Once again the Porsche Team has to prepare the Porsche 919 Hybrids for an unfamiliar track. Software instead of hardware is the way it works. Computer simulation is what the team uses when adapting the current car’s hybrid strategy and set-up for different circuit profiles. However, for the final set-up work track time in the three free practice sessions in Shanghai is invaluable.
“Each track is a new challenge for our young team with the Porsche 919 Hybrid. In Fuji we managed the situation very well with an extremely steep learning curve from the first practice laps up to the race,” says Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1. “We hope we can do the same in Shanghai, which is a completely different circuit. We are pleased to have this race on the calendar, as China is such an attractive market for Porsche. We want to perform there as well as possible in comparison to our strong competition.”
GTE-Pro: Porsche pilots keen to make headway in title fight
The Porsche Manthey team – winner of the season-opener at Silverstone – is strongly represented in China’s economic powerhouse, fielding a pair of Porsche 911 RSR racers in the intensely competitive GTE-Pro class. In the manufacturers’ classification, Porsche currently ranks second. Sharing the cockpit of the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR on the 5.451-kilometre Grand Prix circuit are works drivers Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria). Their French factory pilot colleagues Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet also contest the GTE-Pro class in the 470 hp number 92 car. Two customer teams tackle the GTE-Am class: Proton Competition with Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria) and Prospeed Competition, both fielding the 911 RSR.
“We performed very well in Fuji recently and the 911 RSR ran without any problems. Still, we were unable to improve our position in the championship”, summarises Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche Head of Motorsport. “With just three races left, this makes the fight for the title just that much harder. We’re well prepared heading into the final phase of the season. A challenging circuit awaits us at Shanghai, but we believe that our car and our tyres will work very well together there. This makes us very confident that we can go for victory.”
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Facts and figures
- The six-hours of Shanghai will get underway on Sunday, November 2, at 11am local time.
- The length of the Shanghai International Circuit is 5.451 kilometres. One lap features nine right-handers and seven left-handers.
- The longest straight, between turns 13 and 14, is 1.3 kilometres.
- Turn one is as full of character as it is difficult: it winds like a snail’s shell into an almost complete circle, getting tighter and tighter.
- The bird’s eye view of the circuit is in the shape of the Chinese character shàng, which translates into “over” or “above”.
- The track and the impressive huge facilities outside the metropolis of Shanghai have been built on marshland.
- Since 2004 the circuit has been the home of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix and since 2012 it has been used by the WEC.
- In its first season the Porsche Team has so far achieved two podiums (Silverstone and Fuji) and one pole position (Spa).