This past weekend marked the official start of pre-season testing in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship (TUSCC) at Daytona International Raceway. The "Roar before the Rolex 24" is an event unto itself and consists of 3 days of practice and set-up with the emphasis being on set-up.
Patrick Long had this to day about the Roar -
“Although the Roar is three days of testing, it actually turns out to be very limited running time with yellow flags, systematic things to work through and having multiple drivers. I think the Roar, for us, is an acute focus on establishing a setup for the race weekend. The time that you get on race week is very limited, so that puts a big emphasis on getting a base-line setup on the car at the Roar.
It’ll be our first time with the RSR in its current configuration at Daytona. We have a lot of work to do, so realistically, our focus is all around getting the car balanced for the race and not thinking too much about the lap times. Daytona is a unique track with so many periods of long, sustained, full-open throttle.”
Porsche Presence Abounds at Roar
14 Porsches have been entered to test in the Roar Before the Rolex 24 this weekend, no other manufacturer comes close to this combination of quality and quantity of team and driver entries. Between Porsche’s factory effort and customer teams, drivers come from 12 states and 13 different countries, including: The United States, The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, New Zealand, Austria, Denmark, France, Canada, Venezuela, Poland, Ireland and Great Britain. The 55 drivers who will try to add to Porsche's Daytona class-win total of 75 – tops among all manufacturers – have been champions both in North America and around the world in Porsches.
Official Debut of the Porsche North America 911 RSR
With the January 25-26th Rolex 24 At Daytona, Porsche North America will make its official debut as an entrant in professional motorsport competition. A combined effort of Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) and Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) will field a two-car factory effort in the GT Le Mans category utilizing all Porsche factory drivers in the Nos. 911 and 912. The cars are being prepared by CORE autosport. It is the first time the North American arm of Porsche has entered a works program. It is also the first time the Porsche 911 RSR will campaign a full season in North America, having made its international debut in 2013 in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Porsche’s 911 GT America
The 2014 Porsche 911 GT America may be based on the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, but make no mistake, this car is an “All American”. Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) requested the 911 GT America exclusively for the GT Daytona class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with components specific to the needs of the Series. The new car features a Porsche flat-six 4.0 liter racing engine and a six-speed sequential gearbox with pneumatic paddle shift system and electronic throttle. The front spoiler/defuser differs from the 911 GT3 Cup with a newly designed rear cover and carbon fiber undertray – to maximize aerodynamic balance with TUDOR-spec rear wing. Additionally, an exclusive endurance package includes quick-release couplings for all brake calipers, fast-fill refueling system and an oil level display not required in the sprint racing formats of the one-make series using the 911 GT3 Cup car around the world.
Maximizing safety, the 911 GT America follows other new 911 racecars with lightweight bodywork using aluminum-steel composite construction and a fuel safety cell. Other new safety equipment includes a rescue opening in the roof allowing use of the KED system for driver stabilization.
Making up 12 of the 28 entries of the class, Porsche worked with IMSA officials to make the 911 GT America the performance baseline for the new GT Daytona class. The car fits neatly as a step in performance and price between the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and the 911 RSR. Porsche’s newest GT contender made its official debut in TUDOR Championship testing at Sebring International Raceway and Daytona International Speedway in November. It’s competition debut will come on January 25-26th at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Porsche Entries In The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
GT Le Mans Class (2) Porsche 911 RSR
No. 911 Porsche North America - Nick Tandy (UK)/Richard Lietz (Austria)/Patrick Pilet (France)
No. 912 Porsche North America - Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, Calif.)/Michael Christensen (Denmark)/Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)
GT Daytona Class (12) Porsche 911 GT America
No. 18 Muehlner Motorsports America - Mark Thomas (Houston, Texas)/Earl Bamber (NZ)
No. 19 Muehlner Motorsports America - Randy Pobst (Gainesville, Ga.)/Jim Michaelian (Seal Beach, Calif.)
No. 22 Alex Job Racing - Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.)/Leh Keen (Atlanta)/LP Dumoulin (Canada)/Shane van Gisbergen (NZ)
No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing - Ian James (Phoenix)/Mario Farnbacher (Germany)/Alex Riberas (Spain)
No. 27 Dempsey Racing - Patrick Dempsey (Los Angeles)/Andrew Davis (Athens, Ga.)
No. 28 Dempsey Racing - Joe Foster (Suwanee, Ga.)
No. 30 NGT Motorsports - Henrique Cisneros (Miami)
No. 44 Magnus Racing - John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah)/Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.)
No. 58 Snow Racing - Madison Snow (Lehi, Utah)/ Jan Heylen (Tampa), Marco Siefried (Germany)
No. 71 Park Place Motorsports - Jim Norman (Tampa)/ Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.)/ Norbert Siedler (Austria)
No. 73 Park Place Motorsports - Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, Calif.)/Kevin Estre (Germany), Connor De Phillippi (San Clemente, Calif.)/Mike Vess (Wichita, Kan.)/Jason Hart (Flower Mound, Texas)
No. 81 GB Autosport - Damien Faulkner (Ireland)/ Patrick Huisman (Netherlands)/ Bob Faieta (Los Angeles)
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