Excellent starting positions for the Porsche 911 GT3 R at the twelve-hour race in Sepang/Malaysia: To conclude the 2016 motorsport season, Porsche’s works drivers Frédéric Makowiecki (France), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) will tackle Asia’s most important race on Saturday from pole position in the customer sports racer from Weissach. Securing third in the gripping “Pole Shoot Out” in temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius, Porsche factory pilot Earl Bamber planted the second 911 GT3 run by Manthey Racing on the second grid row. Joining forces with Bamber on the 5.543-kilometre Sepang International Circuit on the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur are Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain).
1. Lietz/Christensen/Makowiecki (A/DK/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 2:02.634 minutes
2. Parente/Ledogar/van Gisbergen (P/F/NZ), McLaren, + 0.130 seconds
3. Pilet/Tandy/Bamber (F/GB/NZ), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 0,217
4. Van Dam/Bhakdi/Sathienthirakul (NL/THA/THA), Ferrari 488, + 0,482
5. Orido/Hiramine/Zaugg (J/J/SA), Lamborghini, + 0,630
6. Haase/Vanthoor/Frijns (D/B/NL), Audi R8, 0,802
Alex Stehlig, Programme Manager Sepang: “This qualifying ran perfectly for us. Just like in Macau, this is the first time for us on this racetrack with the 911 GT3 R as well as with the team. To post pole position and P3 at the first attempt – well, you can’t wish for more than that. But this twelve-hour race throws many challenges at us, especially the extreme heat. It won’t be easy, but today we’ve achieved the best foundation for a successful race.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (911 GT3 R #912): “We worked very well in the 911 GT3 R in free practice and saw constant improvements from session to session. This pole is the result. The team truly deserved it. I’m pleased with this great starting position for our last race of the season. The race will demand a lot from us, but we’re well prepared.”
Earl Bamber (911 GT3 R #911): “This was a very good qualifying for Porsche. We’re competing here to underline the potential of the 911 GT3 R, and we’ve succeeded in this today. I’ve lived in Malaysia for many years and I’ve contested a lot of races in Asia, so I’m very pleased that Porsche is supporting motorsport in the region by competing here in Sepang. It would be wonderful if we could further fuel the growing enthusiasm for motor racing with a great race.”
For Earl Bamber, the 2015 overall winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours as well as champion of the Carrera Cup Asia in 2013 and 2014, Sepang is almost like a home race. He lived in Kuala Lumpur for many years. Bamber is joined in the cockpit of the #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R with his Le Mans teammate Nick Tandy as well as the 2015 IMSA GT Champion, Patrick Pilet. Another strong driver line-up mans the number 912 Porsche 911 GT3 R: Richard Lietz won the 2015 FIA World Endurance Cup as the best GT pilot. He teams up with Frédéric Makowiecki and Michael Christensen.
The maiden race outing of the Porsche 911 GT3 R featuring the new, ultra-modern four-litre flat-six engine with direct fuel injection was in January 2016 at the Daytona 24-hour race. In developing the 911 GT3 R, the engineers placed particular emphasis on lightweight design, better aerodynamic efficiency, a reduction in fuel consumption and further improved driveability. In its debut season, the 911 GT3 R celebrated many successes in international racing series, including the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the World Challenge as well as the Nürburgring VLN Long Distance Championship on the demanding Nordschleife.
The twelve-hour race on the 5.543-kilometre Grand Prix circuit with its 15 corners was first held in the year 2000. Because of its significance for the important Asian market, reputable automobile manufacturers tackled this race right from the start. This season, the Malaysian event is part of the newly-created Intercontinental GT Challenge as the third round alongside Australia’s Bathurst 12 Hour and the 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium. The fourth race planned for Austin/USA did not take place. The idea of contesting four long-distance races on four continents is now expected to be realized in 2017.
The race on the Sepang International Circuit takes off on 10 December at midday local time (05:00 hrs CET) and can be seen via Internet livestream on www.sepang12hours.com and www.blancpain-GT-series.com.
911 GT3 RS: Combined fuel consumption*: 12,7 l/100 km; Combined CO2-Emission*: 296 g/km