ALMS winter test in Sebring: Racetrack debut for new 911 GT3 RSR
Porsche customer teams are right on schedule in their preparation for the season-opener of the American Le Mans Series at Sebring (14 – 17 March). At the test debut on the challenging concrete circuit in Sebring, drivers were unanimous in their praise for the handling of the new 911 GT3 RSR. “We are able to carry a lot more momentum through the fast corners,” said works driver Patrick Long enthusiastically. “The new RSR has much less understeer at the front axle and feels stiffer and altogether more balanced,” added his factory pilot colleague Marco Holzer. While the Flying Lizard Motorsports team continues to run on Michelin rubber, Falken Tire competes with their own Falken race slicks with Paul Miller Racing joining forces with Dunlop for the first time.
24 Hours at Daytona, USA: Triple victory after long distance sprint
The strongest grid in the history of the Daytona 24 Hours (28/29 January), a breathtaking in-house fight to the flag amongst Porsche pilots, and a victory and triple success for Porsche in the GT class. Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (AUT) won the 50th running of the classic on Florida’s east coast in the 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Magnus Racing with René Rast (GER) as well as Americans Andy Lally and John Potter. At the flag, a mere 9.4 seconds separated the Magnus 911 from Porsche works driver and last year’s winner Wolf Henzler (GER) at the wheel of TRG Racing’s 911 GT3 Cup which he shared with teammates Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Marc Goossens (BEL), Spencer Pumpelly and Steven Bertheau (both USA). Third place went to Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb (GER) who received reinforcement in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of the Daytona-winning squad Brumos Racing from Americans Hurley Haywood, Leh Keen and Andrew Davis. With 22 overall and now 74 class victories, Porsche holds a record in Daytona.
Porsche motorsport 2012: Nine works drivers race around the globe
Like in the last years, Porsche supports its most successful customer teams again in 2012 by providing works pilots. The driver line-up this year remains the same with Joerg Bergmeister (GER), Timo Bernhard (GER), Romain Dumas (FRA), Wolf Henzler, Marco Holzer, Marc Lieb (all GER), Richard Lietz (AUT), Patrick Long (USA) and Patrick Pilet (FRA). Amongst other series, the factory pilots will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship, the American Le Mans Series and the International GT Open as well as major long distance races.
Gulf 12 Hours: Porsche claims class win at endurance premiere
Success for Porsche customers at the “Gulf 12 Hours”, the first long distance race for Grand Touring vehicles on the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi (20 January). Sweden’s Mikael Bender, Johan Löfqvist and Patrik Skoog scored the Cup class victory at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup run by PFI Racing and secured sixth overall. The Porsche ran perfectly. Only Patrik Skoog experienced a fright when several opponents spun ahead of him in a very fast corner. After safely negotiating the high speed slalom, Skoog brought the 911 back to the pits for the driver change unscathed.
Youth scholarship program: Carrera Cup Deutschland as career stepping stone
Porsche continues to expand its motorsport involvement with an international youth development scheme. Beginning in the 2012 season, two young pilots will receive support as Porsche Juniors in the Carrera Cup Deutschland series. Porsche provides most of the season’s budget, the drivers select their team themselves. A junior coach trains the youngsters off the track. In the second year, depending on their performance, the juniors have the chance to pit themselves against the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup regulars, with a new pair of talented youngsters getting the chance to launch their GT or sports car career in the Carrera Cup. The programme is initially planned to run for four years.
Carrera Cup France: WRC champion Sébastien Loeb fields own squad
The Matmut Carrera Cup France gets a celebrity boost: The eight-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb brings his own team to launch a three-car campaign for the title. Two young drivers have already been confirmed: 21-year-old Vincent Beltoise and Sacha Bottemanne (23, both FRA). The new season takes off with the first of six race weekends in Lédenon on 28/29 April. It is understood that Loeb himself is keen to compete in the European Le Mans Series at the wheel of an LMPC prototype.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia: Compact calendar for 2012
Six race weekends in six months between April and September – that’s the calendar for this year’s Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia. Two new race tracks have been added: Winton and the Queensland Raceway. 2012 marks the second year that extra points will be awarded at three races towards the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy. The season kicks off at Mallala Motorsport Park from 13 to 15 April.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East: Race debut in Qatar
A premiere for the 2009-inaugurated Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East: Having raced exclusively in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the series now travels to Qatar for the first time. Rounds nine and ten of the 2011/12 season are held on the Losail International Circuit on the 2/3 March. At the halfway point of the season, Abdulaziz Al Faisal holds a tenuous lead over his Saudi Arabian compatriot Bandar Alesayi. Next meet: Rounds seven and eight on the Reem International Circuit, Saudi Arabia, 15/16 February.