- Electric Jani. Neel Jani Named as a Porsche Formula E Pilot.
- Pfaff Full. Pfaff Motorsports New 2019 Plans/Hargrove Porsche Selected Driver.
Event Story Lines.
Electric Jani. Neel Jani Named as a Porsche Formula E Pilot.
Porsche continues to build its entry into the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with the naming of Neel Jani (Switzerland) as the first driver on its new factory effort in the world’s premier open wheel electric race series. With the experienced formula and sports car racer at the wheel, the German marque’s entry will begin track testing in early 2019 to prepare for the fully electric single-seater series’ sixth season. Porsche is awaiting the arrival of the standardized chassis to install its in-house-developed drivetrain. The electric powertrain has already been on the company’s test benches.
Jani has been a Porsche “works” driver since 2013. He took an outright victory at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans and became FIA World Endurance Champion the same year at the wheel of the Porsche 919 LMP1 Hybrid. Between 2014 and the end of 2017, the 35-year-old won four races in the 919 while securing nine pole positions and four fastest race laps. In 2018, he set the track record at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, bettering the then Formula One benchmark with the 919 Hybrid Evo. Jani began his career in formula-style cars, ultimately becoming a Formula One test driver before moving to the sports cars.
The first electric-powered Porsche race car is perfectly timed to parallel the new Taycan road car heading on the market in late 2019. The brand’s first road-going all-electric sports car also generates its performance with no internal combustion engine. With an over six billion dollar investment, Porsche enters the electrical and digital era with the Taycan.
Porsche has long tied its racing and production efforts, gaining lessons from the track that are directly implemented into future road-going machines. The next iteration of propulsion for passionate driving is no exception. This new chapter requires fundamental new processes and is set to be carbon neutral. The Formula E program has an important position within the company’s future strategy, as motorsport and production vehicle experts work side-by-side at the research and development center in Weissach, Germany. One of the early results of this close working relationship is the Taycan’s 800 Volt technology, which combines huge range and short charging times with impressive performance output. This high voltage technology is based on the pioneering engineering mastered with the three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid. Development of the production cars has already benefitted from the experience gained in motorsport specifically in terms of electrical drive, battery and cooling management. The electric racing series will also focus on the development of key technology and energy management for the Porsche electric and hybrid car line.
Thanks to the launch of the new Gen2 Formula E car and higher capacity batteries, vehicle changes will no longer take place during the races themselves as in all previous races held by the sports first serious foray into all-electric competition. While the vehicle and battery unit are still standardized for all teams, all powertrain components are developed individually and in-house at Porsche. These partly road-relevant elements include the electric motor, inverter, gearbox, differential, drive shafts, the structure and suspension components attached to the rear axle, as well as the cooling system and ECU.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Porsche Motorsport.
“Without doubt, Neel is the right man for our new technologically trendsetting program. Not only does he contribute speed, he has a huge amount of single-seater experience. He has already driven in Formula E and is well established in Weissach as a development driver.”
Neel Jani, Driver, Porsche Formula E.
“I’m very much looking forward to the new task. Being part of an entirely new Porsche Motorsport program for the second time, right from the beginning, means a lot to me. The technical and driving challenges are huge and our strong Formula E opponents have a significant advantage in experience. There is a lot of work ahead of us and I can’t wait for the roll-out.”
Pfaff Full. Pfaff Motorsports New 2019 Plans/Hargrove Porsche Selected Driver.
Leading Canadian Porsche dealer and race team Pfaff Motorsports will enter the full 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) season with recently announced Porsche Selected Driver Scott Hargrove (Canada). The announcement increases the participation of the longtime Porsche entrant in North America’s premier sports car series with the new-for-2019 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Pfaff announced at the season-closing Petit Le Mans in October they would focus only on the 2019 IMSA Sprint Championship. However, via the efforts of the team led by Steve Bortolotti, the full calendar is now planned for the first-year WeatherTech Sports Car Championship team.
The Pfaff Porsche 911 GT3 R driver lineup features Hargrove, who is the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge GT Sprint champion and 2017 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Canada by Yokohama champion. Sharing Hargrove is fellow Canadian Zacharie Robichon who earned the 2018 Porsche GT3 Cup Canada championship in convincing style. Lars Kern (Germany), a Porsche engineer who recently earned the production-car lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR, will join the team for all endurance races. Porsche Young Professional driver Dennis Olsen (Norway) will contest the Rolex 24 At Daytona with the team.
Daniel Armbruster, President and CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America.
“We introduced our Porsche Selected Driver program last year with the expressed purpose of placing deserving drivers with equally deserving customer programs. Scott Hargrove is a perfect representative of a Porsche Selected Driver. He is fast, intelligent and has a honed racing savvy in and out of the cockpit. Scott has worked his way up through the Porsche racing ranks, including a seat at the 2014 Porsche Young Driver Academy, which makes it that much more satisfying for us at Porsche Motorsport to name him a 2019 Porsche Selected Driver. We are looking forward to a strong year for Scott and Pfaff Motorsports in the full IMSA WeatherTech Championship next season.”
Steve Bortolotti, Pfaff Motorsports Manager.
“I am excited to expand our IMSA effort beyond the originally planned sprint championship to include the North American Endurance Cup events. The challenge for our team will be immense, but the Porsche customer-racing model is second-to-none, and their support means we’ll be as prepared as possible for our first endurance races. I’m also happy Scott is becoming a Porsche Selected Driver. He is an incredible talent behind the wheel, and a true professional off-track. We are all proud of the role Pfaff has played in his development, and hope this leads to more opportunities in the future with the Porsche brand.”
Scott Hargrove, Driver, Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“2019 is shaping up to be a massively exciting season,” said Scott Hargrove. “Racing with Pfaff Motorsports in GTD for the full season showcases the drive this team has on- and off-track. They are always looking for more. It is an honor to be a part of the effort, and I can’t wait to hit the track with my new teammates in Daytona.”
Zach Robichon, Driver, Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Expanding our program to the complete IMSA WeatherTech championship shows Pfaff’s commitment. When the right opportunity presented itself, we all jumped at the chance, and we’re looking to get the season started on the right foot at Daytona. We have a huge challenge ahead of us, but the team has consistently proven they can be successful at new challenges. The Roar is only a few weeks away, and we’re looking forward to getting our new Porsche 911 GT3 R on track.”
Lars Kern, Driver, Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Starting the season in January at the world center of racing, Daytona, is just great. And being there with the Pfaff Team and such a superb driver lineup is stunning. I followed closely what Pfaff and Scott have done this year in PWC. Winning a championship title in their first year running a GT3-class car in PWC is a sign of what this team is capable of.”
Dennis Olsen, Driver, Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I’m really looking forward to get started together with Pfaff, and also excited to see how the new Porsche 911 GT3 R will perform at Daytona! I think we will have a good chance for the win - so we have to stay focused, and make no mistakes. Consistency is going to be the key!”