The two leaders of the drivers’ championship, Kévin Estre (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark), kept calm in the chaotic weather conditions in Belgium to claim the third podium step after almost six hours of racing. Their driver colleagues Richard Lietz (Austria) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) were running in third place at the end of the race, but were handed a drive-through penalty. The 911 driven by Lietz was shunted from behind by a competitor, which pushed the Austrian into the car in front. For this, a drive-through penalty was imposed. As the race was stopped shortly before the six-hour duration due to the weather, the race director converted it into a time penalty. As a result, the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR was classified in eighth place and Estre/Christensen moved up one position from fourth to third place.
Fans witnessed a turbulent six-hour race at Spa, Belgium. The changing conditions between sunshine, rain, hail and heavy snow presented teams with major challenges. With a total of 15 pit stops, the Porsche GT Team chose the right strategy in the battle for the manufacturers’ championship. After multiple safety car and full-course-yellow phases, the two driver crews Estre/Christensen and Lietz/Bruni never lost their cool and converted the match point into the manufacturers’ world championship title.
The season finale will be contested in France on 15/16 June
In the GTE-Am class, the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Dempsey Proton Racing notched up its third straight win. Sharing the cockpit of the winning car was Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), Christian Ried (Germany) and Riccardo Pera (Italy). The second best Porsche customer squad was Project 1 in fifth place. The Porsche factory driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) shared driving duties in the No. 56 car with the American Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti from Norway. Gulf Racing with Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining (Austria) and the two British racers Michael Wainwright and Benjamin Barker came seventh. The second Porsche 911 RSR campaigned by Dempsey Proton Racing concluded the race on the 7.004-kilometre “Ardennes rollercoaster” on ninth.
The season finale will be contested in France on 15/16 June. Porsche tackles the venerable 24 Hours of Le Mans as the title defender. In 2018, Estre and Christensen won the race in the Porsche 911 RSR with Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium ahead of their driver colleagues Lietz, Bruni and Frédéric Makowiecki from France.
1. Lynn/Martin (GB/B), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 124 laps
2. Pier Guidi/Calado (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 124 laps
3. Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 124 laps
8. Lietz/Bruni (A/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 124 laps
1. Ried/Pera/Campbell (D/I/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 122 laps
2. Yoluc/Alers-Hankey/Eastwood (TR/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vant. GTE, 122 laps
3. Companc/Cressoni/Griffin (RA/I/IRL), Ferrari 488 GTE, 122 laps
5. Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, 122 laps
7. Wainwright/Barker/Preining (GB/GB/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 121 laps
9. Roda/Roda/Cairoli (I/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 115 laps
Comments about the race
Fritz Enzinger (Vice President Motorsport): “For Porsche, this is the continuation of successful years. First, we won six titles with our LMP1 programme, and now the WEC manufacturers’ title in GT racing after a crazy race. Porsche is a major player in motorsport. You can see how motor racing successes can inspire an entire company. I’d like to thank all of our employees who contributed to this outstanding success!”
Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “It’s hard to find the words to describe how proud I am that we’ve won the manufacturers’ title for Porsche with this incredible team. The race was a rollercoaster of emotions for us. The weather threw everything at us: snow, rain, hail and sunshine. We were at the front and at the back of the field at times. The weather also turned our strategy upside down, but we simply kept pushing our way back up through the field. What a day!”
Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “Crazy, completely crazy – that’s the best way to describe this race. Most of the time it was really difficult to keep the car on the racetrack and sometimes we had to take a gamble. But the main thing is that we’re the manufacturer world champions! That’s a big success, a huge success. The drivers’ world championship decision will have to wait until Le Mans, but we’re leading by a huge margin.”
The world championship leaders Kévin Estre (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) lapped the 7.004-kilometre racetrack near the German border in an average time of 2.13.683 minutes and will take up the six-hour race on Saturday from seventh place.
Under cloudy skies and temperatures of ten degrees Celsius, Richard Lietz (Austria) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) were just 0.153 seconds slower than their brand colleagues on the “Ardennes rollercoaster”. The No. 91 sister car takes up the race from eighth place directly alongside the Porsche 911 RSR of Estre and Christensen.
In the overall classification, the Porsche GT Team holds a 100-point lead over the competition. The factory squad from Weissach can even claim an early world championship title on Saturday (race start 13.30 hrs).
#WEC – #6hSpa GTE-Am qualifying results: #Porsche #911RSR No. 88 P2, No. 56 P3, No. 77 P4, No. 86 P8 @FIAWEC pic.twitter.com/JtZ4P9VVwa— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) May 3, 2019
The qualifying in the GTE-Am class
In the GTE-Am class, the Dempsey Proton Racing team narrowly missed out on scoring pole position. The No. 88 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) and the Italian father-son duo Gianluca and Giorgio Roda take up the race from second on the grid. The third spot is occupied by Project 1, who currently leads the overall classification. Porsche works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) shares driving duties in the Porsche 911 RSR with the American Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti from Norway. Fourth quickest in qualifying was the second 911 run by Dempsey Proton Racing with drivers Christian Ried (Germany), Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia) and Riccardo Pera (Italy). Gulf-Racing with Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining (Austria) and the two British racers Michael Wainwright and Benjamin Barker concluded the qualifying session on eighth.
Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “That wasn’t our best qualifying. We’d hoped to be in the top five. Unfortunately not everyone got a perfect lap or their good lap was annulled. The competition is very tight. If we scored this result in tomorrow’s race we’d be manufacturer world champions. So, nothing is lost yet. And anything is possible in a six-hour race, especially with the weather forecast predicting rain and possibly even snow.”
Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “The car, the balance and the fast lap were really good. It’s always tricky in cool temperatures to get the brakes up to temperature in the first few laps, but it worked well today. In fact, the lap was flawless. We’ll now take some time to look at why it wasn’t enough to be at the front.”
More quotes in the press release (downloads).
1. Priaulx/Tincknell (GB/GB), Ford GT
2. Lynn/Martin (GB/B), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, +0.067 seconds
3. Farfus/Da Costa (BR/E), BMW M8 GTE, +0.092 seconds
7. Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, +0.798 seconds
8. Lietz/Bruni (A/I), Porsche 911 RSR, +0.951 seconds
1. Yoluc/Alers-Hankey/Eastwood (TR/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vant. GTE
2. Roda/Roda/Cairoli (I/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, +0.110 seconds
3. Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, +0.329 seconds
4. Ried/Pera/Campbell (D/I/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, +0.944 seconds
8. Wainwright/Barker/Preining (GB/GB/A), Porsche 911 RSR, + 3.164 seconds
Full results: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com
Porsche reaches a match point at round seven of the FIA Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium). The factory squad from Weissach could take home the manufacturers’ title at the penultimate round of the 2018/2019 WEC Super Season. Two of the Porsche 911 RSR will go up against vehicles from Aston Martin, BMW, Ford and Ferrari. The six-hour race on May 4th marks the second visit to the Belgian venue in the current WEC season. It was here that the Super Season took off last year. At that event, the two works cars finished on positions two and four.
The 7.004-kilometre racetrack not far from the German border has a long tradition. During its rich history in sports car racing and Formula One, fans have been treated to many gripping and spectacular races over the years. The “Ardennes rollercoaster”, as the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is often called due to its wildly undulating layout, includes 21 corners. Fast passages such as Eau Rouge and Blanchimont are as famous as the tight La Source hairpin.
The Porsche GT Team drivers
The Sebring winners Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria) tackle the race in the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR. After seven of this season’s eight rounds, the pair ranks second in the drivers’ classification. Only their brand colleagues Kévin Estre (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) are in a better position in the identical vehicle with the starting number 92. The winners of the 2018 Le Mans 24-hour race and the six-hour event in Fuji (Japan) hold a championship lead of 25 points over their colleagues from the Porsche factory squad.
The customer teams
Three Porsche customer teams field a total of four 911 RSR in the GTE-Am class. Porsche works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), the American Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti from Norway drive for Project 1. The trio in the No. 56 car currently lead the drivers’ classification in the GTE-Am class and could also score an early title. Moreover, the squad from the northern German town of Lohne are on track to claim the team championship. Driving the No. 86 car for Gulf Racing is Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining (Austria) and the two British racers Michael Wainwright and Benjamin Barker. Dempsey Proton Racing campaign a pair of Porsche 911 RSR. In the No. 77 vehicle, Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), Christian Ried (Germany) and Riccardo Pera (Italy) are determined to continue their good run. This driver crew won the previous two races in Shanghai (China) and Sebring (USA). Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) shares the cockpit of the No. 88 Porsche 911 RSR with the Italian father-son pairing Gianluca and Giorgio Roda.
The Porsche 911 RSR
The Porsche 911 RSR celebrated its debut in the WEC Sports Car World Championship at Silverstone in 2017. In the current 2018/2019 Super Season, the racer from Weissach has clinched first and second in the GTE-Pro class at Le Mans as well as the GTE-Am category class win. The water-cooled four-litre boxer engine is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. At Le Mans, the number 91 and 92 vehicles raced in a special historic design.
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A total of six Porsche 911 RSR are on the entry list for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (2 to 4 May). #Porsche911RSR #911RSR #motorsport #racing #racingislife #instacar #car #sportscar #racecar #racetrack #sport #sports #adrenaline #porscheraces #porschemotorsport #porschelife #porschepix #wec #fiawec #spa #spafrancorchamps #belgium
The six-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps gets underway on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at 13:30 hrs local time.
The race on TV and in the Internet
Round seven at Spa-Francorchamps can be viewed free-of-charge via live streaming from 13:00 to 20:00 hrs on sport1.de. The free-to-air station Sport 1 also broadcasts the race live from 14:30 hrs to 14:45 hrs and 16:10 to 20:00 hrs. Eurosport televises the start phase live from 13:15 to 14:45 hrs (Eurosport 2) and between 18:30 and 19:55 hrs (Eurosport 1). Moreover, the entire race can be watched on the pay-TV channel Eurosport Player from 13:30 to 19:30 hrs. The pay-TV channel Motorsport.TV offers a live broadcast of the qualifying and race. For a fee, the FIA WEC app offers live streaming of the complete race as well as the time-keeping.
The Sports Car World Endurance Championship
In the Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC), which was first contested in 2012, sports prototypes and GT vehicles compete in four classes: LMP1, LMP2, GTE-Pro and GTE-Am. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately. The Porsche GT Team contests the GTE-Pro class, while the customer teams Dempsey Proton Racing, Project 1 and Gulf Racing fight for honours in the GTE-Am class.