Porsche teams face great challenges in the USA

A total of twelve factory drivers contest the WEC and the TUSC for the Porsche teams

Porsche teams face great challenges in the USA
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
Mark Webber, Porsche Team
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#77 Dempsey Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Long, Marco Seefried
#77 Dempsey Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Long, Marco Seefried
#77 Dempsey Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Patrick Dempsey, Patrick Long, Marco Seefried
#88 Abu Dhabi Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Christian Ried, Klaus Bachler, Khaled Al Qubaisi
#92 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR: Frédéric Makowiecki, Patrick Pilet
#88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR: Christian Ried, Khaled Al Qubaisi, Klaus Bachler
#92 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR: Frédéric Makowiecki, Patrick Pilet
#91 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR: Richard Lietz, Michael Christensen
#88 Abu Dhabi Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Christian Ried, Klaus Bachler, Khaled Al Qubaisi
#91 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR: Richard Lietz, Michael Christensen
Podium: winners Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley, Porsche Team
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#18 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb
#88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Christian Ried, Khaled Al Qubaisi, Klaus Bachler
#18 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb

Stuttgart – Large Porsche contingent in the USA: Just three weeks after the two Porsche 919 Hybrids and 911 RSR (GTE-Pro class) scored double victories at the Nürburgring, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) now heads into the second half of the season on 19 September with round five of eight at Austin (Texas). Before the six-hour race takes off on Saturday at 17.00 hours local time and continues into the night, first on the programme is the penultimate round of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship TUSC, which starts in the heat of the day at 11.35 hours.

The 5.513-kilometre Circuit of the Americas on the periphery of the Austin city limits features a spectacular layout with many corners linking, rapidly changing gradients, and fast passages. Motorsport fans can look forward to some top-end endurance racing in the Texas capital at the Colorado River. A total of twelve factory drivers contest the WEC and the TUSC for the Porsche team (919 Hybrid, LMP1), the Porsche Team Manthey (911 RSR, GTE-Pro) and Porsche North America (911 RSR, GTLM).

Porsche Team, Porsche 919 Hybrid

In the 31-strong WEC field at Austin, Porsche campaigns a pair of 919 Hybrids in the top LMP1 category (Le Mans Prototype class); the trio of Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AUS) crews the #17 vehicle, with Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE) sharing driving duties in the number 18 car. The 919 serves as a racing research lab for future sports car technologies and is powered by a downsizing two-litre V4-cylinder turbocharged engine and an electric motor which is fed by two energy recovery systems (brake energy from the front axle and exhaust energy). Combined, the groundbreaking and unique power-train concept for WEC develops a system performance of around 1,000 hp. After clinching one-two at both the Le Mans 24 Hours and at the six-hour race on the Nürburgring, Porsche tackles the second half of the season as the leader of the manufacturers’ classification.

Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “The upcoming races at Austin, Fuji, Shanghai and Bahrain are decisive for the title. Porsche has set its sights on the manufacturers’ crown, but the decision in the drivers’ championship will be just as exciting. With only 17 and 19 points separating us from the currently-leading Audi trio, both of our driver crews are within striking distance. Last year’s race on the COTA proved extremely tough for us. We hope that we’re now in a position to fight for victory there, but we’re not expecting the dominance we saw at the Nürburgring.”

Porsche Team Manthey, Porsche 911 RSR

The Porsche Manthey team brings two Porsche 911 RSR to Texas

Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Richard Lietz (Austria), the winners of the Nürburgring round, share driving duties in the 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. Richard Lietz leads the World Endurance Cup for GT Drivers. 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 Marco Seefried (DE), and Abu Dhabi Proton Racing with Christian Ried (DE) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) as well as New Zealander Earl Bamber, who recently supported the squad at the Nürburgring.

Tudor United SportsCar Championship

Le Mans winner Earl Bamber is on double duty at Austin

In addition to the WEC, he also contests the TUSC for Porsche North America sharing the cockpit of the number 912 Porsche 911 RSR with Jörg Bergmeister (DE). Patrick Pilet also tackles both races. In the second 911 RSR run by Porsche North America (#911), the points’ leader of the GTLM drivers’ classification joins forces with Britain’s Nick Tandy, who clinched overall victory at Le Mans with Bamber. Pilet and Tandy have won the last three races in 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. After scoring four wins in a row, Porsche leads all classifications in the GTLM class.

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “Porsche brings a large works contingent to Austin again this year. It’s a tremendous event with all three factory teams competing. This is perfect for us, because we’re all at the track together and it’ll be great for the many Porsche fans – they’re in for a real treat. Austin is a fantastic, very demanding circuit and therefore poses a real challenge for our drivers and teams. After a total of five straight wins in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship and the WEC we are well prepared and keen to once again give the best possible performance with our 911 RSR.”

The Porsche 911 RSR

The Porsche 911 RSR, which is campaigned in both the WEC and the Tudor United SportsCar Championship featuring different aerodynamic configurations, is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car and crowned its maiden 2013 season with a double GTE-Pro class victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The winning racer from Weissach, mounted with a 3,996 cc flat-six engine in the rear developing 345 kW (470 hp), is characterised by a consequent lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics. The insights gained during the vehicle’s development and at race outings are directly incorporated into the design of future 911 generations. Last year the 911 RSR won three of America’s most prestigious long distance classics, the Daytona 24 Hours, the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

The schedule

The six-hour WEC race on the Circuit of the Americas takes off on Saturday, 19 September, at 17.00 hours local time (Sunday 00.00 hrs CEST). Eurosport broadcasts the entire race and the podium ceremony live. The Tudor United SportsCar Championship event gets underway on Saturday at 11.35 hours local time (18.35 CEST) and runs over 2:40 hours.

Porsche

shares
comments
Gibson Technology and Cosworth Electronics selected as sole suppliers for 2017 LM P2 regulations

Previous article

Gibson Technology and Cosworth Electronics selected as sole suppliers for 2017 LM P2 regulations

Next article

Aston Martin welcomes up-coming talent to WEC

Aston Martin welcomes up-coming talent to WEC
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak Prime

How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak

The FIA World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 Hybrid remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing.

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear Prime

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021