Porsche arrives as the championship leader

A major motorsport appearance for Porsche in the USA: The latest racers from Weissach will compete at Austin/USA on 19 September. The first day of practice was promising.

911 RSR, 2014, Porsche AG

On the Circuit of the Americas, the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC heads into the second half of the season, while the Tudor United SportsCar Championship runs its penultimate race of the 2015 season. In this hotly-contested North American sports car series, which concludes with the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta on 3 October, Porsche leads all championship classifications in the GTLM class. In the WEC, victory at the Nürburgring has put Porsche factory driver Richard Lietz in the lead of the World Endurance Cup for GT Pilots.

On the circuit southwest of the Texas capital near the Colorado River, race fans can look forward to experiencing the great fascination of Porsche GT sport and witness three of the successful GT racers from Weissach in action – the 911 RSR, the 911 GT America, as well as the 911 GT3 Cup in a double-header event as part of the GT3 Cup Challenge USA. A total of nine Porsche GT works drivers will tackle the WEC and the Tudor United SportsCar Championship for the Porsche Manthey and the Porsche North America squads.

Earl Bamber supports Abu Dhabi Proton Racing

In the WEC, the Porsche Manthey outfit fields a pair of Porsche 911 RSR on the 5.513-kilometre Grand Prix circuit: Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Richard Lietz (Austria), the winners of the Nürburgring round, share driving duties in number 91 Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class, with their French teammates Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet manning the nine-eleven with the starting number 92 in the same class. Two customer teams take on the GTE-Am class running the 911 RSR: Dempsey Proton Racing with the American actor and race driver Patrick Dempsey as well as Patrick Long (USA), and Abu Dhabi Proton Racing with New Zealander Earl Bamber, who recently supported the squad at the Nürburgring.

The Le Mans outright winner joins forces with Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) in the number 912 Porsche 911 RSR to also tackle the Tudor United SportsCar Championship for Porsche North America. Patrick Pilet will contest two races, as well. The points’ leader in the GTLM drivers’ classification of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship shares the cockpit of Porsche North America’s second 911 RSR (#911) with Le Mans overall winner Nick Tandy (Great Britain). The duo has won the last three races at Bowmanville, Road America and Danville. Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (USA), the winners of the six-hour classic at Watkins Glen, again take up the challenge for the Falken Tire customer team.

LMP1 class: Porsche leads the manufacturers’ World Championship

Moreover, another six factory pilots will contest the WEC in a third Porsche works team-entry campaigning two 919 Hybrids. The number 17 car will be shared by Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU). The number 18 sister car will be in the hands of Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE). The Porsche 919 Hybrid is a research laboratory for future sports car technology. It is powered by a downsizing two-litre V4-cylinder turbo charged petrol engine and an electric engine, which is fed by two energy recovery systems (brake energy from the front axle and exhaust energy). This unique and ground-breaking power train temporarily turns the 919 into a four-wheel drive car with a system performance of around 1,000 hp.

Since the 919’s debut back in 2014, it has won three races: Interlagos 2014, Le Mans and Nürburgring 2015. The car has entered 12 races in total and started from pole position eight times. To date in 2015, a 919 has been on pole for every race. Porsche leads the manufacturers’ World Championship, with 184 points ahead of Audi on 151 and followed by Toyota on 89. In the drivers’ standings, Bernhard/Hartley/Webber improved to second place, with the gap to the leading Audi trio reduced to 17 points. With a tally of just two points less, teammates Dumas/Jani/Lieb are in third place.

The Porsche Team had a promising first day of practice before the fifth of the eight rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Austin. In both the two 90-minute free practice sessions on the spectacular 5.513 kilometre long Grand Prix circuit a Porsche 919 Hybrid has topped the time sheets. After the first session took place in the afternoon with track temperatures way over 40 degrees Celsius and ambient temperatures in the mid thirties, the second session was held after sunset. Each of the drivers had to complete five mandatory laps in the dark.

919 Hybrid, WEC, Free Practice, Austin, Texas, 2015
919 Hybrid, WEC, Free Practice, Austin, Texas, 2015

Related Content