Maybe you’re not able to, or put more simply, you don’t want to read each little news blurb about Porsche Motorsports. If that’s the case, there is no better way to stay up to date than by reviewing the monthly Porsche Motorsport Newsletter here on PorschePurist.
There’s always a lot going on and this month is no different. Filled with interesting facts and figures about past and upcoming races, along with changes to team and crew, the Porsche Motorsport Newsletter is an easy way to keep on top of this year’s racing activities within the Porsche community.
Porsche Intelligent Performance: 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0 ready for the Nürburgring
Porsche has revised the ground-breaking 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car in all key areas and competes with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0 at the 24 hour race on 25 June. With hybrid components now approximately 20% lighter and improved aerodynamics, the GT3 R Hybrid 2.0 achieves comparable lap times with even better fuel efficiency. The output of the two electric motors at the front axle has increased from 60 to 75 kilowatts each, with approximately 200 extra horsepower available to pilots for seconds at a time on top of the 470 hp of the six-cylinder rear engine, depending on the balance of performance classification. The total weight of the race car was reduced from 1,350 to 1,300 kilograms.
Sebring 12 Hours: Pole and podium for Richard Lietz & Co.
Porsche works driver Richard Lietz posted the best time in qualifying for the Sebring 12 Hours (19 March) with the 911 GT3 RSR of Proton Competition in the GTE-AM class. The race from pole position yielded second place for Lietz, Christian Ried and Gianluca Roda in the GTE-AM class after suffering transmission problems. A collision, a stop-and-go penalty and electrical problems caused by a faulty cooling vest hampered factory pilots Joerg Bergmeister, Marc Lieb and Patrick Long in Flying Lizard Motorsports’ 911 GT3 RSR: Sixth in the GT class. Tim Pappas, Sebastiaan Bleekemolen and Damien Faulkner were victorious with a 911 GT3 Cup in the GTC class reserved for one-make race series vehicles.
Le Mans Series: Porsche teams optimistic after testing in Le Castellet
Optimism prevailed amongst the Porsche customer teams after the official Le Mans Series test days (11/12 March) at Le Castellet in Southern France. The further-enhanced 911 GT3 RSR met with approval from all drivers. Works pilot Marc Lieb, who with teammate Richard Lietz attempts a title defence for the Felbermayr-Proton squad, praised the excellent agility of the GT sports car. Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet from France pointed out the markedly improved stability on uneven surfaces. In 2011, Pilet and his works driver teammate Wolf Henzler are on a campaign to defend their title for IMSA Performance Matmut, whilst the second 911 GT3 RSR is manned by team owner Raymond Narac and Nicolas Armindo as the reigning champion of the Carrera Cup Deutschland. Factory pilot Marco Holzer competes for Prospeed Competition with Belgian privateer Marc Goossens.
Porsche Mobil1 Supercup: Jonas Krauss takes over the wheel
Jonas Krauss took over as manager of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup on 1 March. The 37-year-old industrial engineer is successor to Jens Walther. In October 2010, Walther was made President and CEO of Porsche Motorsports North America. With Jonas Krauss, Porsche has gained a motorsport manager with many years of experience to helm the flagship of its 19 brand trophy series worldwide. As project manager at BMW Motorsport, Krauss was responsible for the Formula BMW Motorsport Deutschland and the Formula BMW Europe series.
IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge: 15 year old, youngster impresses at debut
The greatest one-make race series in the USA celebrated its season-opener as support to the Sebring 12 hour race (19 March) with a packed grid of 40 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Henrique Cisneros won both classification races in the Platinum class for race cars from the 2010/2011 model years. Reigning LMPC champion Scott Tucker and Glen Gatlin won the Gold class for older GT3 Cup sports cars. Fifteen-year-old Madison Snow gave his debut as the youngest race driver in all of Porsche’s brand trophy series internationally. Snow clinched fifth and fourth in the Gold class, in which his mother Melanie was champion two years ago. In Sebring, Melanie Snow saw the flag in the Platinum class ranking 9th and 11th.
Porsche one-make race series: Now 20 Cups and GT3 Cup Challenges worldwide
The family of Porsche’s one-make race series continues to grow. As the 20th all-Porsche race series, the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada starts featuring the best-selling race car worldwide, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Three race weekends each with two classification races make up the ca-lendar. Now in its 19th race season, the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup accompanies the Formula 1 exclusively. Eight Carrera Cups are run worldwide, with the Carrera Cup Australia making a comeback after a two-year break. The season kicks off on the last weekend in March as support to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne. Porsche organises a total of eleven GT3 Cup Challenges for amateur racers on four continents.
Carrera Cups Asia and Scandinavia: More competitors than ever before
The Carrera Cups Asia and Scandinavia have announced record starter fields. For the Carrera Cup Asia, 26 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup tested on 12 March on the Formula 1 circuit in Sepang (Malaysia). Entering its ninth season, the first of six race weekends takes place from 15-17 April as support to the Grand Prix of China in Shanghai. Early in March, Porsche Sweden announced the entry list for the eighth season of the Carrera Cup Scandinavia with a record grid of 24 race cars, including 22 new 911 GT3 Cup for the first time. Season kick-off: 23/24 April on Denmark’s Jyllandsringen.
GT3 Cup Challenge New Zealand: Daniel Gaunt champion after gripping finale
Points’ leader Daniel Gaunt travelled to the finale (11/12 March) on the circuit in Taupo, central North Island, with a mere 25-point advantage over six-time champion Craig Baird. Baird promptly won the first two races of the weekend and snatched the lead from Gaunt heading into the last sprint race. Gaunt, however, answered with the quickest race lap and a lights-to-flag win to secure the title. Jonny Reid as title candidate number three had to bury his hopes after suffering tyre damage in the last race. Final standings: Gaunt: 1,042 points, Baird: 1,032, Reid: 1,000.
GT3 Cup Challenge Australia: Extra trophy for the best long distance driver
Run since 2008, the GT3 Cup Challenge Australia introduces the inaugural “Jim Richards Endurance Trophy”. On three of the six race weekends in 2011, drivers contest endurance races for this special trophy. Round one is at the season-opener in Wakefield on 2/3 April. New Zealand-born Jim Richards is one of the most successful GT and touring car drivers in Australia. The Porsche representative won the Targa Tasmania eight times and is four-time Australian Touring Car champion.
GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil: 43-strong Porsche festival at Estoril
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil uses the delivery of 20 new, 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to South America for a spectacular start to the season. On the way from Weissach to Rio, the new cars will rendezvous on the Estoril race track near Lisbon with 23 older, 420 hp 911 GT3 Cup shipped from Brazil to contest round one of the one-make race series. On 26 March, 43 competitors will race in two classes. Round two takes place on 30 April in Argentina’s Buenos Aires.
Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas: Leisure time at the limit
In their spare time, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas compete at the limit. In 2011, Bernhard – 2010 ADAC Race Driver of the Year and Motorsport Grand Slam winner – will contest four rounds of the German Rally Championship with the newly-founded “Rallye Team 75”. His vehicle: a privately-prepared 2009 model 911 GT3 Cup. Romain Dumas contests his fourth season in the French Rally Championship with the latest, 450 hp 911 GT3 RS. The Frenchman can already look back on six overall and eleven class victories.
Porsche Race notes:
- Germany’s Manthey Racing squad fields six Porsche 911 at the Nürburgring Long Distance Championship. Spearheading the contingent is a 911 GT3 R with works drivers Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb as well as former Porsche factory driver Lucas Luhr and Arno Klasen sharing driving duties.
- Gianluca Roda, the most successful Porsche private driver and winner of the 2010 Porsche Cup, aims to defend the title in the International GT Open with Autorlando Sport and a 911 GT3 R.
- The Porsche Mobil1 Supercup will be broadcast live by Eurosport in 59 countries, Sky Deutschland also televises the entire race live. New is coverage from Eurosport Asia which broadcasts to 19 countries. Race highlights can be viewed in 170 countries.
- Porsche Italia expects 23 to 25 new 911 GT3 Cup racers to test in Imola on 23/24 March in preparation for the Carrera Cup Italia.