Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes. Thursday, June 23, 2016

July 20th, 2018 by

June 23, 2016


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Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes. Thursday, June 23, 2016


Next Porsche Motorsport Event. 

Pirelli World Challenge
Event. Road America Grand Prix, Road America
Dateline Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Date. Race 1. Saturday, June 25
Race 2. Sunday, June 26
Track Length. 4-miles, 14-turn
Race Duration. Two, 50-Minute Races
Class. GT/GTA (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
GT Cup (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup)
Round. GT/GTA. 12 and 13 of 20
GT Cup. 11 and 12 of 20
Next Round. GT/GTA/GT Cup, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio, July 29-30

Porsche Profile. Event Story Lines

Unprecedented. Porsche at Le Mans. 

Shocking! Historic! Unprecedented! No adjective is enough to describe what we saw in the closing minutes of the 84th Running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Only two of the high-tech hybrids raced trouble-free for 23-hours and 54-minutes: the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid and the No. 5 Toyota Hybrid. Only one went the full 24-hours. With six minutes remaining the leading Toyota reported a loss of power, the car eventually coming to a stop just beyond the start-finish line on what would be the race’s final lap. Porsche pole-sitter Neel Jani (Switzerland) passed the stationary car to drive to the checkered flag in a twist no one had ever seen before at the granddaddy of all sports car races. The victory is Porsche’s 18th overall win at Le Mans. That extends the German marque’s record at the great race over the second-highest winning total, Audi, who has 13.

The highlight of the GT classes for Porsche came in the LMGTE-Am class. North America’s only Porsche factory driver, Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California), added another Le Mans podium to his resume this weekend in the Pro-Am category. The No. 88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR – by regulations the car runs to 2015 specifications – fought in the top-three throughout the race with the three contenders swapping positions one, two and three regularly. With 32-minutues remaining, Long’s teammate, David Heinemeier Hansson (Denmark), was passed for second-place giving Ferrari a one-two in the LMGTE-Am results. The No. 88 took third. Long, a two-time winner of Le Mans, finished second with Dempsey-Proton Racing here last year.

The two factory 911 RSRs; the No. 91 driven by Porsche North America regulars Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) as well as Kevin Estre (France) and the No. 92 driven by IMSA WeatherTech Championship drivers Frédéric Makowiecki (France), Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) had their share of problems. The No. 91 Porsche Motorsport entry suffered a radiator puncture that led to an engine failure while the No. 92 had a suspension failure near the race’s midpoint, causing it to retire unclassified.

Porsche 919 Hybrid.

Starting from overall pole position, the duel for the win became truly heated after midnight between Porsche and Toyota, but no one would have expected such an ending. Before the final lap, Toyota seemed posed to come out on top but then the prototype stopped on track. One lap later it was the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany) that took the checkered flag first in front of some of the 263,000 spectators that attended the event. It was the same trio that had achieved the maiden win for the 662 kW (900 PS) prototype in 2014 in Brazil.

The success is the 18th overall victory for Porsche at the world’s most famous sports car race. In 2015, drivers Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Nico Hülkenberg (Germany) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) won with a Porsche 919 Hybrid. The first ever overall Le Mans victory for Porsche dates back to June 14th, 1970 and was achieved by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood in a 917 KH Coupé.

The second Porsche 919 Hybrid, car number 1, shared by reigning endurance world champions Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia), had a long stop for repairs at night, fought back and finished 13th overall, fifth in class. Porsche was rewarded in Le Mans with a total of 71 points for the manufacturers’ standings of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). For the Le Mans 24-Hours twice as many points are awarded as for the other eight, six-hours races of the championship. Porsche leads the manufacturers’ standings with 127 points ahead of Audi (95) and Toyota (79). In the drivers’ standings, Dumas, Jani and Lieb have now 94 points in total and lead by 39 points.

Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.

“First of all, I would like to express my respect for the sensational performance which Toyota gave in this race. It was a great fight with them. Shortly before the finish we had settled for second place until we suddenly claimed our second Le Mans victory in a row. I would like to thank our great team in Weissach, our team here in Le Mans and all Porsche employees and fans which have supported us here.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal.

“We certainly feel for our colleagues and friends from Cologne [the Toyota team’s German headquarters]. To give away such a great race this way on the last lap is something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. But this is the sport with all its highs and lows and that’s also why we love it. It was a strong fought victory. We had to put Toyota under pressure and went flat out for the entire race. Also our drivers were on the edge. The frequency with which the leader changed was extreme. Since we have started development and preparation for the 919 Hybrid we have delivered a strong performance. This goes for our colleagues at home in Weissach as well as for the race team. As happy as I am for the number 2 crew, I feel sorry for the guys from the number 1 car. Without the failure and the long repair they would have been able to fight for the win as well. To win Le Mans is the highlight of the season and it is difficult to believe we have managed it twice now in what is only our third year. Now we look forward. We take a lot of points from here and now we want to defend both world championship titles as well.”

Romain Dumas, Driver, No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“For sure we feel sorry for Toyota. It was a great race. But of course if you get the chance to win Le Mans, you won’t say ‘no thank you.’ It’s impossible to realize right now what just happened. This year, the lap times were a bit slower due to the regulation changes.”

Neel Jani, Driver, No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid. 

“I feel heartbroken for the Toyota drivers. I think every racing driver knows how this feels. I still have no words to describe winning the 24 Hours of L