Porsche pilots keen to make headway in WEC title fight
Shanghai the first of the final three six-hour races.
Turning toward to the finish line of this season, the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC calendar picks up the pace for the final spurt. The final three six-hour races are contested within four weeks – with the Shanghai International Circuit hosting the first of these on 2 November.
The Porsche Manthey team – winner of the season-opener at Silverstone – is strongly represented in China’s economic powerhouse, fielding a pair of Porsche 911 RSR racers in the intensely competitive GTE-Pro class. In the manufacturers’ classification, Porsche currently ranks second. After Shanghai, the WEC entourage then heads to Bahrain (15 November) and on to Sao Paulo for the season final on 30 November.
Sharing the cockpit of the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR on the 5.451-kilometre Grand Prix circuit are works drivers Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria). Their French factory pilot colleagues Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet also contest the GTE-Pro class in the 470 hp number 92 car. Two customer teams tackle the GTE-Am class: Proton Competition with Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria) and Prospeed Competition, both fielding the 911 RSR.
The Porsche 911 RSR
The Porsche 911 RSR campaigned in the Sports Car World Endurance Championship is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. At its race debut in 2013, the winning car from Weissach scored an emphatic double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For 2014, the vehicle received improvements in many areas. The 911 RSR also clinched victories at the long distance classics at Daytona and Sebring before going on to win the WEC season-opener at Silverstone.
The six-hour race on the Shanghai International Circuit takes off on Sunday, 2 November, at 11.00 hrs local time (04.00 hrs CET). TV station Eurosport airs the last 90 minutes of the race live from 08.30 hrs CET.
Said Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “We performed very well in Fuji recently and the 911 RSR ran without any problems. Still, we were unable to improve our position in the championship. With just three races left, this makes the fight for the title just that much harder. We’re well prepared heading into the final phase of the season. A challenging circuit awaits us at Shanghai, but we believe that our car and our tyres will work very well together there. This makes us very confident that we can go for victory.”
Said Jörg Bergmeister (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “I’m looking forward to returning to Shanghai. The circuit is very challenging and it’s great fun. Porsche has done very well there in the past. At my first race last year I came third, and Richard finished second two years ago. Perhaps this year we can win together.”
Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “In Fuji it was important for me to see whether my broken arm would be strong enough over the whole race distance. Now I’m looking forward to Shanghai. It will be a key race with Porsche focusing on getting ahead in the championship. We have to show that nothing is decided yet and we haven’t written off the manufacturers’ title.”
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