Porsche returns to Florida as record winner
As the most successful manufacturer in the history of the 24 Hours of Daytona, Porsche heads to tomorrow's 53rd edition of the sports car classic.
No less than eight factory drivers tackle tommorrow's Daytona International Speedway at the wheel of the Porsche 911 RSR. This race, which starts at 14.30 hrs local time (20.30 hrs CET), also marks the start of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship season. The Porsche North America works squad travels to Florida as the defending champions to contest the second season of this popular race series. Porsche’s record at Daytona includes 22 overall and 76 class victories. Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “Porsche has celebrated some of its greatest victories at this famous race. To continue this streak of unforgettable successes is truly motivating for our drivers and teams.”
Aside from Le Mans, the 24 hour race at Daytona is the second greatest long distance classic in international motor racing. The race is contested on the 5.729 kilometre Daytona International Speedway, one of the most famous race tracks in the world. Created from a combination of the original oval and the infield, the circuit features twelve corners, two of them banked.
The Porsche drivers
For the Porsche North America factory squad, which fields a pair of Porsche 911
RSR in the GTLM class at Daytona and in other rounds of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship, Porsche works drivers Nick Tandy (Great Britain), Patrick Pilet (France) and Marc Lieb (Germany) share the cockpit of the vehicle with the starting number 911. They start from P8. Two positions behind: their factory pilot colleagues Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) at the wheel of the number 912 Porsche. Competing for the Porsche customer team Falken Tire in the third Porsche 911 RSR (#17) are works drivers Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) together with Bryan Sellers (USA).
In the GTD class, Porsche junior Connor de Phillippi (USA) drives the Porsche 911 GT America for the Muehlner Motorsports America customer team. All in all, nine Porsche 911 GT America race cars will be fielded by customer teams at Daytona.
The Porsche 911 RSR and the Porsche 911 GT America run in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship which includes the 24 Hours of Daytona. Both are based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. As the successor to the winning 911 GT3 RSR, the 470 hp 911 RSR celebrated its race debut in 2013 with a brilliant double victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours and last year won the three most prestigious sports car races in the USA: the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans.
The Porsche 911 GT America was built specifically for the GTD class of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship and was campaigned for the first time in 2014. The vehicle is a modified version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the most successful and most produced race car in the world.
Porsche has celebrated many great victories at Daytona. The first outright victory
went to Vic Elford, Jochen Neerpasch, Rolf Stommelen, Jo Siffert and Hans
Herrmann in 1968 with the Porsche 907. The most recent overall win in 2010 went to Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, Ryan Dalziel and Mike Rockenfeller with the Porsche-Riley. In the traditionally very competitive GT classes, Porsche has notched up a record 76 wins. 2014 yielded the most recent victory with Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet clinching GTLM class honours.
The Tudor United SportsCar Championship
The Tudor United SportsCar Championship is a sports car race series contested in the USA and Canada since 2014, that was formed from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in four different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona), P (Prototype) and PC (Prototype Challenge). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, with the Porsche 911 GT America contesting the GTD class.
The 2015 races
24/25.01 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona/Florida *
21.03. Sebring International Raceway, Sebring/Florida *
18.04. Long Beach Street Circuit, Long Beach/California
03.05. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey/California
30.05. Detroit Belle Isle, Detroit/Michigan (only GTD/P)
28.06. Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen/New York *
12.07. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville/Ontario
25.07. Lime Rock Park, Lime Rock/Connecticut (only GTD/PC)
09.08. Road America, Elkhart Lake/Wisconsin
23.08. Virginia International Raceway, Danville/Virginia
19.09. Circuit of the Americas, Austin/Texas
03.10. Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Braselton/Georgia *
* These races count towards the North American Endurance Cup.