Porsche Motorsports Weekly Event Notes. Tuesday, June 7, 2016
June 7, 2016
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. Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada USA by Yokohama
Event. Grand Prix of Montreal, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Dateline. Montreal, Québec, Canada
Date. Race 1. Saturday, June 11
Race 2. Sunday, June 12
Race Duration. Two, 30-minute Races
Class. Platinum (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2014-2016 MY)
Gold (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2010-2013 MY)
Round. Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA. Five and Six of 16
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. Three and Four of Twelve
Next Round. Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, Watkins Glen, New York, July 1-3
Porsche Profile. Event Story Lines
Porsche 911 GT3 R On The Street. Detroit IMSA Race Boosts Porsche Point Lead
With the ACO-regulated GT Le Mans (GTLM) class cars not scheduled for the June 3-4 Chevrolet Sports Car Classic on the temporary Raceway at Belle Isle street course in Detroit, the GT Daytona (GTD) class were the featured road-based entries. Three new Porsche 911 GT3 Rs were competing in Saturday’s one-hour, 40-minute feature on the 2.35-mile track that winds through the island park. Since the beginning of the season, Park Place Motorsports quickly found speed in the rear-engine, direct-fuel injected 911 and again were fast from the start of the weekend in Detroit. Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) qualified the No. 73 on the outside of the front row and held in the top three until pitting from the lead near the one-hour mark.
The tall American handed the wheel of the red and black Porsche over to tall German factory driver Jörg Bergmeister. Bergmeister, now in second-place, chased down the leading Dodge Viper for the remainder of the race. In the closing minutes it looked as if the hard-charging veteran, the only Porsche “works” driver on site, would catch the local entry. However, he would come up just short to lead the trio of German products in second-place at the checkered flag.
The No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R of Alex Riberas (Spain) and Mario Farnbacher (Germany) took fourth in class. Their team car, the No. 22 WeatherTech Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, finished seventh with Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) and Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia).
With the podium result, Porsche extended its points lead in the class manufacturer standings. The German brand leads Ferrari by five points, 127 to 122.
Jörg Bergmeister, Driver, No. 73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I was flat out the entire race. We didn’t really have anything for the Viper. Those guys did an even better pit stop than we did and got by us in the pits. I didn’t have a chance to get around them. Unfortunately, not a win but solid points. Our first good result.”
Patrick Lindsey, Driver, No. 73 Park Place Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“We’ve had fast cars at every event and something kept us from bringing home a good finish. Not the case here. Our driver change wasn’t as clean as we wanted and that hurt us in track position. That Viper was really quick but our Park Place Porsche was fantastic, it is just really hard on a street course if you don’t have the track position. We never really had a chance to pass for the win. But, second is great points towards the championship and we helped Porsche extend its lead in the Manufacturer category. That is our first strong finish of the year. It is good to get a result for all the hard work the Park Place guys are putting in.”
The French Connection. Porsche Drivers Make Overnight Flight from Detroit to Le Mans.
Like at all sports car races, the shadow of the 24 Hours of Le Mans hung over Detroit. Several drivers left the Michigan track to fly directly to France in anticipation of the Sunday, June 5, Le Mans Test Day. Of the Porsche contingent making the overnight dash were factory driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) – who will race in the No. 92 Porsche Motorsport factory 911 RSR in the LM GTE-Pro class at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 18-19. Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) and Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia), who will share the No. 89 Proton Competition WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR in the LM GTE-Am class, also made the trip. Drivers entered to race in the classic 24-hour race must take part in the Test Day to be eligible mandating the stressed travel plans.
Following the day of official testing, Bergmeister’s No. 92 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR was third in LM GTE-Pro with a lap of three-minutes, 55.691-seconds on the 8.47-mile track. The WeatherTech-backed No. 89 Proton Competition entry of Keen and MacNeil was 10th in LM GTE-Am with a best time of 4:01.258.
This Is Only A Test. Porsche Teams Descend on Le Mans for Pre-Test
Porsche 919 Hybrid.
The 2016 Le Mans event has begun: The Porsche Team has used the official pre-test to set up the two Porsche 919 Hybrids for the 24-Hour marathon on June 18-19. Today provided the only opportunity to test on the 8.47-mile (13.629 kilometer)-long Circuit de la Sarthe. The track includes 5.72 miles (9.2 km) of what are normally public country roads. This part includes the famous Mulsanne straight on which the 900 HP strong Porsche Le Mans Prototypes (LMP1) go significantly over 200 mph (320 km/h).
The fastest lap in a Porsche 919 Hybrid, three-minutes, 22.270-seconds, was achieved by Mark Webber shortly after noon. The Australian shares the car with Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Brendon Hartley (New Zealand). Being the reigning FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) champions, of which the Le Mans 24 Hours is the ultimate highlight, the trio’s car carries the number 1. With a lap time of 3:22.334 minutes Neel Jani was on the same level of speed in the number 2 sister car. The Swiss leads the drivers’ standings in the WEC together with teammates Romain Dumas (France) and Marc Lieb (Germany). Especially in the beginning of the day, the track was slippery, but, unlike last year, it stayed dry. In total, the two Porsche 919 Hybrids completed 173 laps (1,465-miles) in seven and a half hours of testing. The afternoon session was red flagged with 30 minutes to go for repairs to the heavily damaged guardrail following an accident. The day’s best time went to the number 8 Audi (3:21.375 minutes).
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.
“The return to Le Mans after last year’s success is a special moment for us. Along with our endurance test in Aragon, today’s test went without any issues. Looking at the time sheets, for sure we can expect an exciting race weekend. The top four cars are within 1.2 seconds on a 8.47-mile-long track – this underlines what we have kept saying since the beginning of the year: The competition has become closer and this goes especially for Le Mans.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal.
“It was a successful start for us, which makes us confident for the race. Both cars ran smoothly and we completed our entire test program in dry conditions. In the morning session the focus was on set-up work, in the afternoon we worked mainly on long runs for the tires. It was also important to practice all the Le Mans specific procedures with race control, such as safety car deployment and slow zones. As a team, we feel well prepared for the race week.”
Timo Bernhard, Driver, No. 1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“We had an intense test day, ticking some important boxes. Compared to last year, there are four more cars on the track and some Le Mans rookies made their debuts as well. As a driver you need to adapt to such situations to make the right decisions in traffic.”
Mark Webber, Driver, No. 1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“How long you can drive on a single set of tires is key in the race, so evaluating tires was top priority today. It was good for us the weather held off for the sessions and the predicted rain didn’t come. It was a smooth test for us.”
Marc Lieb, Driver, No. 2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“It was a good test. In the beginning we had difficulties with the balance and, of course, traffic wasn’t easy, but both these are pretty normal here at the pre-test. In the afternoon we were running a different aero configuration compared to the sister car. We keep learning and we have never been better prepared than this year. The car’s drivability is good and perhaps this is the most important factor for a 24-hour race.”
Porsche 911 RSR.
On the GT side, the Porsche Motorsport factory team campaigns two 911 RSR at the 84th running of the prestigious long distance classic with the overall Le Mans winners Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) in the GTE Pro class. The squad used this test to setup the 470 hp winning racer from Weissach for the most important race of the year. In testing, the tires also played a vital role. 60 cars and 180 drivers will line up on June 18-19 across the four classes.
With an overcast sky and at first rather cool temperatures of 59 degrees Fahrenheit, more than 22,000 spectators came to witness the tests. In the two sessions, each scheduled over four hours (the second was stopped 30 minutes before the end due to an accident), all works drivers competing for the Porsche Motorsport team had a chance at the wheel. The 911 RSR with the starting No. 91, in which Tandy and the Frenchmen Patrick Pilet and Kévin Estre topped the time sheets in the GTE Pro class before ultimately being clocked as the second fastest, covered a total distance of 511 miles. In the second 911 RSR with the No. 92, Earl Bamber, Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) also completed 587 test miles without incident. They too held the top test time to eventually rank third. With 14 starts under his belt, Bergmeister is the Porsche GT pilot with the greatest Le Mans experience.
For the four Porsche customer teams who will also contest the race with the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, the main priority at the test day was on setting up the vehicles. In particular focus was the No. 77 fielded by Dempsey Proton Racing, with driving duties shared by Austrian Richard Lietz, the WEC winner of the FIA World Endurance Trophy in 2015 as the best GT pilot, and his works driver colleague Michael Christensen (Denmark). Supporting them as the third driver is Le Mans newcomer Philipp Eng (Austria), the 2015 winner of both the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. They will also tackle the GTE-Pro class and covered 503 miles testing. In the GTE-Am class, four other customer teams and two Porsche works drivers took part in tests for the race with the 911 RSR: Abu Dhabi Proton Racing with Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and KCMG with Wolf Henzler (Germany), as well as Gulf Racing and Proton Competition. With its unusual combination of racetrack and public roads, the Circuit des 24 Heures places special demands on the drivers and their cars.
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport.
“The test day proved very productive for us. We started the session this morning as scheduled and the processes within the team worked well. This was important to me because this crew hasn’t yet worked together during the WEC season. Our 911 RSR were immediately fast. Over the course of the tests we looked closely at the tires and the fine-tuning of the setup in terms of the extremely high demands of the race. All in all we’re making good progress.”
Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Manager GT Works Motorsport.
“The test day was the end of always very intensive preparations for Le Mans for the time being. We used the limited time optimally to get down to the crux of the matter in all respects of the 911 RSR, to sort out the tires in advance and to take another step forward in the setup. It was also important that our drivers could psych themselves up for this extraordinary race. We are well on schedule. We’ll spend the time up until the race week analyzing the data we’ve gathered today to sort out a good start setup for when things get serious.”
Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 91 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR.
“It’s an art to set up the car perfectly for Le Mans. Either it’s good in the corners but then too slow on the straight. If you rely too much on top speed you’re missing downforce in the fast corners. The key to success is finding the best compromise. And in this respect, this test has provided us with important reference points.”
Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 91 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR.
“Le Mans is unique. What fascinates me is not just the immense challenge but also the special atmosphere. When you drive through the gate to the paddock in the morning it’s always a very emotional moment, and not just for me as the title defender. Even though today was just a test, it felt amazing to be back.”
Kévin Estre, Driver, No. 91 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR.
“I’ve only contested the race once, so this test was a good chance for me to get used to the 911 RSR on this challenging circuit and to get better acquainted with all its peculiarities.”
Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 92 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR.
“It was a great feeling to come back to Le Mans a year after our win. I’ve never driven a GT car here and hence I felt a little bit like a rookie at first. The test went well and I’m confident that we’ve laid the foundations for a successful race.”
Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 92 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR.
“It always astonishing to see how popular this race is. We only went testing today, but there were still as many fans as there would be at an actual race elsewhere. I get goose bumps even now thinking about the 250,000 spectators who will come to the race to support the team and drivers.”
Jörg Bergmeister, Driver, No. 92 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR.
“Although I’ve contested Le Mans 14 times now, nothing is routine. You always have to be on guard. Especially after driving the 911 GT3 R recently, for instance at the Detroit race on Saturday, this test was very welcome for me to adapt back to the 911 RSR – despite all the strains of travel.”
Patrick Long, Driver, No. 88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
“Optimal preparation is always the key to success in Le Mans. And this test is part of that. I’m certain that we’ve used it well to give our 911 RSR its finishing touches for the race.”
USA-Canadian Relations. Porsche One-Make Series Come Together In Montreal Spotlight.
The races for victory and championships will take a new and higher-profile dimension for the both the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series in their respective next two rounds.
Rounds 3 and 4 for the Canadian series and Rounds 5 and 6 for the U.S. series will take place June 10-12 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, as the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned single-make championships will step under a huge spotlight as a support race for the annual Canadian Grand Prix Formula One race. It’s the first time the Canadian series has competed on the Montreal F1 weekend schedule since 2013; the last time the USA series raced in Montreal was 2011.
The event weekend also will make history because it’s the first time the two series will race simultaneously. The event marks the first of two combined events for the series. The second combined show will be in late June at Watkins Glen International.
The stakes will be high for every driver in Montreal.
There is little margin for error on the 13-turn, 2.71-mile (4.361 km) street circuit, which features a combination of long, fast straightaways, chicanes and a tight hairpin corner.
A strong qualifying performance and the ability to navigate race traffic will be even more important than usual, as there will be 36 cars competing on track in the combined USA-Canada field.
Championship races in all classes for both series have been heating up. Jesse Lazare, from Montreal, trails Lucas Catania by only 11 points in the Platinum Cup Driver Championship in the U.S. series. Between the two drivers they have won all four races so far this season. They will deal with another Montreal native, Chris Green, who will return to the series after earning two podium finishes in Sebring.
The opening two rounds of the Canadian championship May 20-22 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) set the stage at Montreal for a fascinating championship fight among three of Canada’s most promising young drivers and the three-time reigning Platinum Masters champion in the series.
Series rookie Zach Robichon, from Ottawa, took the Platinum Cup championship lead with 36 points by finishing third in Round 1 and earning his first career series victory in Round 2.
Drivers will compete in two 30-minute races at Montreal. The first race is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, June 11. The second race is scheduled for 10 a.m. (ET) Sunday, June 12. Practice and qualifying are set for Friday, June 10.
Grand Prix of Montreal, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Porsche Entries in Montreal. 36
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Platinum Class (Both Series). 28
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Gold Class (Both Series). 8
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Upcoming Porsche Events
FIA World Endurance Championship
Event. 24 Hours of Le Mans, Circuit de la Sarthe
Dateline. Le Mans, France
Date. Saturday-Sunday, June 16-19
Race Duration. 24-hours
Classes. LMP1 (Porsche 919 Hybrid), LMGTE-Pro (Porsche 911 RSR, LMGTE-Am (Porsche 911 RSR)
Round. Three of Nine
Next Round. Six Hours of Nürburgring, The Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany, July 24
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Event. Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Watkins Glen International
Dateline. Watkins Glen, New York
Date. Sunday, July 3
Race Duration. Six Hours
Class. GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)
GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round. GTLM. 5 of 20
GTD. 5 of 20
Next Round. Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, July 8 – 9
Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge
Event. Continental 150. Watkins Glen International
Dateline. Watkins Glen, New York
Date. Saturday, July 2
Race Duration. Two Hours, 30-minutes
Class. Grand Sport (GS) (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport)
Round. Four of Ten
Next Round. Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, July 8 – 9
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
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
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