- VIR SRO. Porsche Customers Bring 14 Unique Entries for GT Races in Virginia.
- E-Development. Porsche Formula E Race Car Development Continues in Spain.
Event Story Lines.
VIR SRO. Porsche Customers Bring 14 Unique Entries for GT Races in Virginia.
Porsche won the first race ever held at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) in 1957. Since then, the German brand has scored over 20 major race victories at the Alton, Virginia-area race track. Entering the April 26 – 28 sports car race weekend on the 3.27-mile, 18-turn natural terrain road course in Southern Virginia, the 14 Porsche customer entries in six races will be given the opportunity to add to the tally at one of North America’s oldest road courses. Topping the schedule are Rounds 3 and 4 of the SRO Blancpain GT World Challenge America with 90-minute races on Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, the Pirelli GT4 America series has both the GT4 America SprintX and East Championships running separately during the SRO America weekend at VIR.
This weekend sees the return of the top level SRO GT3-spec machines for the first time since the premier class opened the season at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in March. The long-break has the five-customer Porsche 911 GT3 R race cars ready to go after the strong outings at the Austin, Texas-area track. The No. 58 Porsche Consulting rear-engine 911 entered by Wright Motorsports for Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and Scott Hargrove (Canada) leads the contingent of machines. The pairing of the Porsche factory driver and the Porsche Selected Driver comes into Virginia third in the Pro class championship chase, seven-points behind the leading team. Wright Motorsports also brings the Pro-Am No. 16 Henry Repeating Arms-backed Porsche of Anthony Imperato (Brooklyn, New York) and Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia).
Alegra Motorsports has two Porsche 911 GT3 R entered in the Pro class while K2R Motorsports brings a single Pro-Am car to the hills of Southern Virginia. Alegra, long a spotlight Porsche customer team, fields the No. 22 for Daniel Morad (Canada) and Michael De Quesada (Tampa, Florida) as well as the No. 24 shared by Germans Wolf Henzler and Marco Holzer. The twin machines raged a dramatic intra-team battle as well as against the GT class in the opening rounds at Texas. K2R continues its inaugural SRO season with veteran Indy car driver Alex Barron (San Diego, California) and Kevan Millstein in the No. 38 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The four GT4 races on the schedule for VIR add more race cars built by the German marque’s motorsport department. Three machines will run both GT4 events while four of the racers will only start SprintX. Porsche developed the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for GT4 entrants worldwide.
In the pair of GT4 Sprint races – 50-minute, single-driver format events – at VIR, GMG Racing will run its second race with Jason Bell in the No. 2 while Park Place Motorsports continues its inaugural season of GT4 racing with Allan Brynjolfsson piloting the neon yellow No 7. Michael Dinan is entered in the No. 21 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche while veteran Spencer Pumpelly sits behind the wheel of the same No. 66 TRG-prepped race car he won the Long Beach pole and race with two weekends ago. Thomas Collingwood wheels the No 169 BGB Motorsports mid-engine Porsche in the Am class.
Seven 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars are entered for the two-driver, 60-minute GT4 SprintX races. TRG brings the No. 17 for Sean Gibbons and Derek DeBoer while Kelly-Moss Road & Race has Scott Briscoe and Andrew Davis in the No. 32 Porsche. NOLASPORT has a pair of the mid-engine Porsche hardtop with Mike Vess and John Capestro-Dubets in the No. 46. Their teammates, Matt Travis and John Jason Hart, return in the No. 47. Dinan will share the Flying Lizard Porsche with Robby Foley in the SprintX Pro-Am class. In the No. 69 BGB Motorsport Group Porsche, John Tecce joins Collingwood. Trent Hindman will split driving duties with Brynjolfsson in the No. 77 Park Place-entered 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for the SprintX round.
Practice for the busy weekend of SRO America racing begins on Friday, April 26. Qualifying and Race 1 of each series comes on Saturday while the final events of the weekend will be held on Sunday.
E-Development. Porsche Formula E Car Race Car Development Continues in Spain.
Porsche Formula E race car driver Neel Jani (Switzerland) and test and development driver Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) have spent three days completing an extensive test program at the Calafat circuit in Spain. During the test, the pair of veteran open wheel and Porsche sports car racers covered a total distance of more than 620-miles (1,000 kilometers) with the new Formula E car being developed by the German manufacturer.
The 2.02-mile (3.25 km), 16-corner Circuit Calafat is located near L’Ametlla de Mar on Spain.
More intensive tests are scheduled over the coming months for the Porsche Motorsport engineers and Formula E drivers. The goal is to be as well prepared as possible for the first race in Season 6 (2019/20) of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
Neel Jani, Driver, Regular, Porsche Formula E.
“I feel the tests with the Porsche Formula E car at Calafat were very positive. It is hugely important to get as many kilometers as possible under our belt during the test phase for our Formula E race car and, in doing so, to gain valuable experience – particularly from a technical point of view. They have been very productive days. I am now looking forward to working with the team over the coming months, as we strive to get the very best out of the Porsche Formula E race car.”
Brendon Hartley, Driver, Test and Development, Porsche Formula E.
“As a test and development driver, it’s my job to support the Porsche Formula E program with preparations for Season Six of Formula E. My main focus has been on the simulation work in Weissach. Testing the car on track has been both an enjoyable and challenging experience. It is, of course, enjoyable to drive the car, however, contributing and working with the talented group of people at Porsche on this project is also a real pleasure.”
Amiel Lindesay, Team Manager, Porsche Formula E.
“We are very happy with the Porsche Formula E tests at Calafat. We completed an extensive test program and have laid the foundations for the coming months. The data generated will form a good basis. We will now analyze it in detail to be able to prepare as well as possible for the coming test work.”
Malte Huneke, Technical Project Leader, Porsche Formula E.
“The findings from these tests will allow us to take a big step forward in the development of the Porsche powertrain. The primary focus in this phase of preparations is on reliability, before we then concentrate on performance at a later date. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but development is completely on track.“