Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Thursday, October 13, 2016

July 20th, 2018 by

October 13, 2016


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Early each week, Porsche Cars North America will provide a weekend summary or pre-race event notes package, covering the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Pirelli World Challenge (PWC), the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) or other areas of interest from the world of Porsche Motorsport. Please utilize this resource as needed, and do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.

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Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes: Thursday, October 13, 2016

Next Porsche Motorsport Event:
FIA World Endurance Championship
Event. 6 Hours of Fuji, Fuji International Speedway
Dateline. Fuji, Japan
Date. Sunday, October 16
Track Length. Track Length: 2.83-miles, 16-turn
Race Duration. Six-Hours
Class. LMP1 (Porsche 919 Hybrid)
LMGTE Pro (Porsche 911 RSR)
LMGTE Am (Porsche 911 RSR)
Round. 7 of 9
Next Round. Six Hours of Shanghai, Shanghai, China, November 11, 2016

Porsche Profile.

Event Story Lines

World Championship Battle Heats-Up at the Foot of Mt. Fuji. Porsche 919 Hybrid Seeking Global Sports Car Title.

On October 16, the seventh out of nine rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will take place near the legendary and mystical Mount Fuji in Japan. For Porsche, the six-hour Fuji International Speedway event kicks off the race to defend its 2015 titles. After five race wins for the 919 Hybrid – including the Le Mans 24 Hours – Porsche leads the manufacturers’ world championship with 238 points ahead of Audi (185) and Toyota (137). In the drivers’ world championship, the trio of Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany) top the standings with 130 points. They have an advantage of 37.5 points over the best Audi trio and half a point more to the best placed Toyota drivers. Mathematically, but only if there were special circumstances, a title decision in Japan is possible. A race win is rewarded with 25 points, and this is the jackpot the crew of the sister Porsche have taken three times in a row. Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia) are fourth place (78.5 points) in the championship after scoring the series’ most recent victory at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

The 2.83-mile Speedway at the foot of the picturesque volcano is quite demanding when it comes to car set-up. Minimum drag is required for the nearly one mile-long straight, however, through the 16 corners, most of which are very tight, high-downforce is needed. Aerodynamic adjustments are limited in the WEC. Fine-tuning for the track can be difficult and the competition in the top category of the class Le Mans Prototype One (LMP1) is extremely tight. The smallest advantage or disadvantage can decide the overall victory.

The Weissach, Germany-developed Porsche 919 Hybrid produces a system power of over 900 HP (662 kW). Its combustion engine is a ground breaking “downsized” engine: the very compact two-liter V4 turbocharged gasoline engine drives the rear axle with almost 500 PS (368 kW). Two different energy recovery systems – brake energy from the front and exhaust energy – feed a lithium ion battery that, on command, passes on the energy to an E machine to power the front axle with an extra boost of over 400 PS (294 kW).

Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.

“The competition in LMP1 is breathtaking. At our most recent race in Austin, again all three manufacturers involved made it onto the podium. The general framework, such as changing track temperatures, lead to decisive performance differences. We also face an ever-present risk in traffic, when the fast prototypes lap the GT cars. Looking at the points’ standings, we are on target to defend both our world championship titles. But in a total of 18 hours of racing that remain just everything can happen.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal.

“Generally speaking, we can expect cooler temperatures in Fuji than we had recently in Austin and this should help. Also the 919 with its relatively high downforce should be strong in the corners that are the challenging parts of the circuit. In 2015, we had some heavy rain in Japan. At this time of the year this can easily happen again, but our team has proved that we are able to handle difficult situations as well.”

Timo Bernhard, Driver, No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“For the car’s set-up you have to balance what is needed on the long straight, the speedy first sector and the winding final part of the lap. Also the surface is rather slippery. At turn 13 you cannot see the point where you have to turn in. This one and the next two corners you take by feeling, constantly trying to improve your racing line there. Given how tight competition is in our championship, the question is always who manages to get everything perfectly right. It is small things that swing the pendulum towards one or the other manufacturers. For me it is a great joy to be part of our forceful crew.”

Brendon Hartley, Driver, No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“We go to Japan with good momentum after three wins on the trot for car number 1. Fuji is a track I enjoy and it’s a track that has produced great racing over the last years in the WEC. I expect another tough fight, and our goal and focus is to continue our winning streak.”

Mark Webber, Driver, No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“I’ve always enjoyed racing there with Mount Fuji providing such a spectacular backdrop. In the last two years we received a very warm welcome from the fans. Fuji is a unique circuit. It’s a short lap and technical with a mix of slow and quick corners, and a very long straight. It’s a challenge and not easy to get everything together. The last sector is tight and twisty, which I actually really like and it suits our 919 very well with the four-wheel drive. We want to keep the run going with car number 1.”

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

“We have a good car, it’s going well for Porsche and I hope it continues like this. Our car crew would love to have a luckier race next time, but we can’t complain as we are leading the championship by quite a good margin. I’m looking forward to seeing the Japanese fans again. They love motorsport and that is good fun.”

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

“Now the final spurt of the world championship kicks off, and in Japan we want to stabilize our leading position. That’s the most important thing for me. In the recent three races the luck wasn’t really on our side, but no such runs last forever. In 2015, we were very strong with our 919 Hybrid in Fuji and in the end we allowed the sister car to win the race. It would be nice to make up for this and win the race this year.”

Marc Lieb, Driver, No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

“I like going to Fuji. The atmosphere is always great and the competition is super exciting. This season all the different LMP1 cars have revealed individual strengths and weaknesses on different circuits. The Fuji Speedway is neither a classic high downforce track nor a typical low downforce circuit. I think our 919 definitely should be good through the twisty parts. For the long straight we have to slim the aero a little bit, as far as this is possible within the rules.”

Fuji Facts and Figures.

– The six-hour race on the Fuji International Speedway is the seventh out of nine rounds of the 2016 FIA WEC and starts on October 16 at 1:00 a.m. ET

– The official WEC App can be downloaded free of charge in its basic version and can be extended (not free of charge) by a live stream. Several live features, such as on-board cameras, timing and GPS tracking, are implemented in the Porsche Motorsport App (free of charge) and at porsche.com/fiawec.

– In 2015, Bernhard/Webber (1:22.763 minutes) and Dumas/Lieb (1:23.071 minutes) locked out the front row of the grid. (In the WEC the average of the respective best laps of two drivers counts for the grid position.)

– Bernhard/Hartley/Webber won last year’s race ahead of Dumas/Jani/Lieb.

– The WEC efficiency regulations limit the amount of energy that can be used per lap. In Fuji the Porsche 919 Hybrid can use 4.15 megajoule of electrical power from energy recovery systems and 1.169 kg or 1.559 liters of petrol.

– At normal race speed (no safety car) the Porsche 919 Hybrid is due for refueling after every 38 laps at the latest.

– Refueling and changing Michelin tires may only be done sequentially, not at the same time. Only four mechanics may work simultaneously when changing tires and may use only one wheel gun. That takes a lot longer than in F1, for example.

– The drivers are normally only changed when new tires are needed.

– A set of Michelin slick tires should ideally last two fuel tank fills.

– These different types of tires can be used: three different compounds of slick tires for dry conditions, a hybrid tire (no profile either but softer cover) for mixed conditions and wet weather tires. 6.5 sets of dry weather tires are available per car for qualifying and the race.

– A lap on the Fuji International Speedway is 2.83-miles and has 16 corners – 10 right-handers and six left-handers.

– In 2005, the circuit was rebuilt for safety reasons and became, once again, the venue for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix in 2007 and 2008.

– From 1982 to 1988 the Sports Car World Championship had a round in Fuji. In 1983 Stefan Bellof set the fastest ever recorded lap at the wheel of a Porsche 956 in 1:10.02 minutes. This was, however, on the old track layout when a lap was only 2.71-miles.

– In 2015, the WEC race was started behind the safety car because of heavy rain. In 2014 the track was dry on race day. But the weather in the Japanese Alps can be very changeable at this time of the year. In 2013, heavy rain made it impossible to run the WEC race. Not forgotten is the downpour back in 1976, which caused Niki Lauda to pull out of the race and gave the Formula One World Championship title to James Hunt.

– Mount Fuji is an active volcano that last erupted in 1707. It is the highest mountain in Japan at 12.388 feet and is regarded as a holy mountain.

– The circuit is located about 62-miles southwest of the capital of Tokyo on the Japanese main island of Honshu.

All points’ standings: http://www.fiawec.com/courses/classification.html

All results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com

Successful Debut. Porsche 911 GT3 R Earns Multiple PWC Victories, Second In Points. 

The 2016 Pirelli World Challenge saw the international sprint racing debut of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. The car, built to the FIA GT3 regulations, took a victory the first time it was on track at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in early March with Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) behind the wheel. Driving the No. 58 Porsche Consulting Wright Motorsports 911 GT3 R, Porsche’s only North American factory driver, would go on the capture two additional GT class victories at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) in Canada and position himself as one of two realistic contenders for the World Challenge GT Drivers’ Championship entering the final race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS). Michael Lewis (Laguna Beach, California) would add two more World Challenge GT sprint victories on the street course in St. Petersburg, Florida and two SprintX overall victories at Utah Motorsports Complex. Michael Schein (Glen Cover, New York) scored GTA class wins at CTMP, Lime Rock Park, Road America, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Sonoma Raceway as a teammate to Long with his Wright Motorsport’s 911 GT3 R while Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) added a GTA win at the season-ending Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca round in the WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche.

In total, the new-for-2016 car, based on the seventh-generation of the iconic rear-engine road car, captured sixteen wins in the various classes and races in the Pirelli World Challenge in the car’s inaugural season. The year ended with Porsche second to McLaren’s supercar-based racer in the GT Manufacturer title chase. Pirelli World Challenge in North America’s premier sprint-format road racing championship.

Long’s Season Closes So Close. Porsche 911 GT3 R Second in PWC GT Title Chase

Championship battles are season-long campaigns but sometimes it all comes down to a single move. For Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) a season of intense competition and obstacles to overcome came down to the last lap of the last race, Round 20 of the Pirelli World Challenge GT class. Porsche’s only North American factory driver won the season-opening race at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) with the then brand new Porsche 911 GT3 R prepared by EFFORT Racing. However, at the start of the second-race, Long was hit from behind, nearly destroying the car and putting his young championship aspirations in early-season peril in the intensely competitive series. The team worked diligently to return the car to competition one week later at St. Petersburg, Florida. However, shortly after, just prior to the rounds at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP), EFFORT Racing closed its operation for the season, leaving Long and teammate Michael Lewis (Laguna Beach, California) looking for competitive rides to close the remainder of 2016. Again, Long’s championship hopes were at risk. The 13-year Porsche “works” driver joined forces with Wright Motorsports, owned by longtime race engineer John Wright, and immediately took the No. 58 Porsche Consulting Porsche 911 GT3 R to twin victories at CTMP.

During the heart of the season, the team worked to find speed and return to victory lane. With a single race remaining, Round 20, the veteran Porsche pilot was down by two points to Alvaro Parente in his McLaren 650S GT3 supercar. Long started second and was running second entering the final lap. He only needed to lead Parente across the finish line to take his second career PWC GT Drivers title, the first coming in 2011. However, Long was entangled in an incident when the leader left the track and re-entered it with the Porsche driver alongside. With nowhere to go, Long took his line to take the lead but was struck making the pass, damaging the driver’s side door of the Porsche. He fell to fifth in the process, but continued; though he would be awarded back one spot to finish fourth in the 50-minute race after PWC officials penalized the car that struck him. Parente drove past for the race win and the championship. Long would be awarded fourth-place in the race and second in the drivers’ chase. Porsche would also finish second in the Manufacturer’s points.

Patrick Long, Driver, No. 58 Porsche Consulting Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“Like I said at the beginning of this weekend, I was proud to still be in contention during the title chase. I raced Johnny (O’Connell) at the end of the race and I expected racing room and didn’t get it. For him not to be in the championship hunt and to be the deciding factor is a difficult situation. In every scenario there are two drivers that make a decision. There was no intention to try and battle Johnny the entire race. My focus was on the championship and the two times I was alongside or ahead of him, it came down to his mistakes.”

“This is why we all love this sport, it is action packed. I am very proud of Wright Motorsports and we appreciate the support of Porsche Consulting and all of our partners. We will come back stronger from this. In the end there is sport and there is integrity and we walk away proud of how we handled both situations today.”

Udell Hoists GT Cup. Porsche Young Driver Academy Grad Earns One-Make Title with Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Porsche Young Driver Academy graduate Alec Udell (The Woodlands, Texas) showed he can drive the rear-engine legend to a season championship in the Pirelli GT Cup class. The one-make category – all utilizing the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars – is a race within a race with the GT and GTA class cars. Since the opening round at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in March, it was a heated battle primarily between the Clemson University student and Sloan Urry (Park City, Utah). Urry was also a 2014 Porsche Young Driver Academy participant, one year prior to Udell. The pair exchanged early season victories before Udell pulled steadily away in the championship. The young Texan locked the title down one race early in the No. 17 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, at Sonoma Raceway in mid-September.

With his GT Cup title sealed, Udell joined with Brent Holden (Newport, California) for the SprintX events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS). The pairing finished fifth and sixth respectively in Saturday and Sunday’s 60-minute races.

Udell’s previous GT Cup ride went to Chris Thompson (San Clemente, California) at MRLS. Thompson used it to score a podium result keeping the GMG Racing-prepared 911 a full-season podium finisher.

Schein On. Michael Schein Has Veteran Showing in PWC GTA Rookie Season.

Michael Schein (Glen Cover, New York) came into the Pirelli World Challenge GTA class with the expectations of a rookie. He left with the results of a veteran. Schein took a giant leap forward with the No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R when Patrick Long joined the team mid-season. In fact, like Long, Schein took his first two victories of the season when Porsche factory driver debuted with Wright Motorsports at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP). Following those two wins, Schein went on to win at Lime Rock Park and Road America in the amateur class and then followed that with two wins each at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Sonoma Raceway giving him a total of eight on the year.

The New Yorker added to his podium tally with solid results at the season-opener at the Circuit of the Americas (third-place), Barber Motorsports Park (second and third), Lime Rock (second), Road America (second) and at Utah Motorsports Park (third and second).

Porsche Entries at Fuji.

FIA World Endurance Championship.

Total Car Count: Six (6) Porsche entries will be competing in the FIA/WEC Six Hours of COTA.

LMP1 Class (2) Porsche 919 Hybrid.
No. 1 Porsche Team Timo Bernhard (Germany)/Brendon Hartley (New Zealand)/Mark Webber (Australia)
No. 2 Porsche Team Romain Dumas (France)/Neel Jani (Switzerland)/Marc Lieb (Germany)
LMGTE Pro Class (1) Porsche 911 RSR:
No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Richard Lietz (Austria)/Michael Christensen (Denmark)
LMGTE Am Class (3) Porsche 911 RSR (2015 Model Year):
No. 78 KCMG Christian Ried (Germany)/Wolf Henzler (Germany)/Jöel Camathias (Switzerland)
No. 86 Gulf Racing Michael Wainwright (Great Britain)/Adam Carroll (Great Britain)/Benjamin Barker (Great Britain)
No. 88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) Khaled Al Qubaisi (United Arab Emirates)/ David Heinemeier Hansson (Denmark)


Where to Watch:
FIA/WEC Six Hours of Fuji.
Race Broadcast. FS2
Sunday, October 16
12:30 a.m. ET (Live)
Live Race Video Streaming http://www.fiawec.com/
Live Qualifying Streaming http://www.fiawec.com/
Audio Streaming www.RadioLeMans.com
Live Timing and Scoring http://www.fiawec.com/
Social Media.
Porsche Cars North America. @Porsche
Porsche North America. @PorscheNARacing
Porsche Motorsport – GT Cars. @PorscheRaces
Porsche Racing – 919 Hybrid. @Porsche_Team
Model Hashtag.
Porsche 911 RSR. #911RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R. #911GT3R
Porsche 919 Hybrid. #919hybrid
Event Hashtag. #6hFuji
Series Hashtag.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3Canada


Upcoming Porsche Events

FIA/ World Endurance Championship
Event: 6 Hours of Shanghai, Shanghai International Speedway
Dateline: Shanghai, China
Date: Sunday, November 6
Track Length: 3.338-miles, 16-turn
Race Duration: Six-Hours
Class: LMP1 (Porsche 919 Hybrid)
LMGTE Pro (Porsche 911 RSR)
LMGTE Am (Porsche 911 RSR)
Round: 8 of 9
Next Round: Six Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain, November 19, 2016

Porsche Motorsport Video News Releases.


Porsche Cars North America Media Site.

Porsche Cars North America Motorsports Site.

Porsche North America Race Team Portal.

Porsche Motorsports Media Information.
Current news, images and notes relating to Porsche can be found on our press kit. Please contact Dave Engelman or Tom Moore for the latest Porsche Motorsports media kit.


Dave Engelman 
Porsche Cars North America
Media Relations Manager, Motorsports and Brand Heritage
Office. 770-290-3617
Mobile. 404-386-4665

Tom Moore
Motorsports Public Relations
Office. 615-778-1614
Mobile.  615-509-5000


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