Wednesday 8 August 2012

Porsche Motorsport around the world

Porsche Motorsport around the world


American Le Mans Series: Two-tenths of a second shy of second win

Works driver Patrick Long held a clear lead with the Flying Lizard Motorsports 911 GT3 RSR at round six on the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course (4 August), until a Corvette came within strik-ing distance during a caution phase to snatch the lead whilst the Porsche pitted for a driver change. Joerg Bergmeister shaved the gap from five seconds to two-tenths – and took the flag in second. At the fourth race in Lime Rock (7 July), Bergmeister celebrated his 35th ALMS victory and Porsche its first win of the season. Two weeks later, Bergmeister/Long again crossed the finish line in first only to be disqualified due to a faulty air inlet system.

International GT Open: Marco Holzer and Nick Tandy continue at the lead
After securing a fifth and second place in the 911 GT3 RSR of Manthey-Racing at races nine and ten in Le Castellet (21/22 July), factory pilot Marco Holzer and his teammate Nick Tandy head into the second half of the season tied for the points’ lead with an Aston Martin squad. In the GTS class, the Italian customer team Autorlando Sport scored victory with Archie Hamilton and Marco Mapelli.

Grand-Am: Magnus Racing endurance champions after Indy win
A historic success for Porsche customer motorsport: Magnus Racing won the inaugural North American Endurance Championship with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driven by John Potter and Andy Lally. Potter and Lally secured the title for the Daytona 24 hour winning squad with their triumph at the three hour race in Indianapolis (27 July) - the first GT long distance race on the Grand Prix version of the legendary circuit. The North American Endurance Championship consisted of three races: Daytona, 6 hours of Watkins Glen as well as Indy. Leh Keen and Andrew Davis rounded off the Indy weekend for Porsche clinching third place in the Brumos 911 GT3 Cup.

British GT Championship: Season enters dramatic final phase
Points’ leader David Ashburn heads to the final two races of the season holding a mere two-point advantage after races 7 and 8 in Snetterton (5 August). Taking off into race seven from pole position, Ashburn and Richard Westbrook finished in sixth with their Trackspeed Porsche 911 GT3 R after clashing with an opponent. Race eight was over early for the pair after seven laps, handing double victory to Steve Tandy/Joe Osborne and Jon Minshaw/Tim Harvey in Trackspeed Racing’s two other 911 GT3 R.

French GT Championship: Beltoise and Hassid rank second overall
A successful weekend (14/15 July) for Pro GT by Almeras in Magny-Cours: Anthony Beltoise and Henry Hassid finished the first one-hour race in second and secured eighth at the second sprint with their Porsche 911 GT3 R. Hassid and Beltoise travel to the next race weekend in Navarra (8/9 September) ranking second overall, separated from the leader by just four points.

Works drivers: Comeback for Timo Bernhard
On 4 August at 12:54 p.m., Timo Bernhard took over the wheel of Manthey-Racing’s 911 GT3 R from his works driver teammate Romain Dumas to celebrate his comeback following an injury lay-off after he became an innocent victim of a crash during an Audi test drive in Sebring (USA) in March. Engine problems after 44 minutes put an early end to Bernhard’s drive.

Works drivers: Team building for Marc Lieb/Richard Lietz in 356 Carrera GT
At the 20th Ennstal Classic (11/14 July) in Austria - one of the most important oldtimer rallies - works drivers Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz competed in a 356 Carrera GT (1960) from the Porsche Museum. Sharing driving duties while the other read rally pace notes from the co-driver’s seat marked a new experience for the pair. Marc Lieb commented, “It’s a little un-nerving for a race driver to follow the directions of someone else. But it was certainly a great team building exercise.” The two finished on position 124, partly because they ran out of pet-rol on the Red Bull Ring. Lieb said, “We didn’t have our Norbert Singer at the pit wall to do our fuel calculations for us. I guess we were a little bit wrong...”

Youth Development: Porsche expands talent initiative
In addition to the company’s long-term training and support of Porsche juniors, from 2013 Porsche gives a particularly talented youngster from Carrera Cup series worldwide the chance to move up into the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Porsche provides a large part of the budget. The evaluation drive takes place in autumn on a European race track.

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: Quartet enters final chase
Kévin Estre is in the lead after claiming his first win of the season on the Hungaroring (29 July). He sits just one point ahead of reigning champion René Rast. Ranking third is Norbert Siedler six points up on Sean Edwards, who in turn is 12 points shy of Estre. On the Hockenheimring at its 212th race, the Supercup celebrated its 20th anniversary (22 July). Rast won, ex-Formula 1 pilot Nick Heidfeld impressed with tenth place at his guest appearance. Only two races are left on the calendar (Spa, 2 September; Monza, 9 September).

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama: Miller rules Mosport
Bryce Miller made a brilliant debut for Effort Racing scoring victories at both the eighth and ninth race in Mosport (21/22 July). Sean Johnston defended his lead in the Platinum Cup class with two second placings. In the fight for the Gold Cup, Angel Benitez jr. retained his lead with a win at race eight. At race nine, Australian David Calvert-Jones celebrated his first win in the one-marque race series.

Carrera Cup Asia: Ragginger and Simonsen win in Ordos
The former Porsche Junior Martin Ragginger won race five in Ordos (7 July) in the 911 GT3 Cup fielded by Eagle Jiejun & Junbaojie ahead of points’ leader Alexandre Imperatori. Victory at race six (8 July) under difficult weather conditions went to guest driver Allan Simonsen after the Dane had started from the 27th and very last grid spot. Imperatori continues his stronghold in the drivers’ standings over defending champion Keita Sawa.

Carrera Cup France: Ledogar and Vernay favourites for the title
With four races left on the calendar, four-time winner this season Côme Ledogar holds a nar-row lead over Jean Karl Vernay. In Magny-Cours (14/15 July) recently, Vernay chipped away at the gap with a win and two second places, whilst his opponent yielded three third placings. Reigning champion and guest starter Kévin Estre (Nourry Compétition) impressed with two victories on the circuit near Nevers in France.

Carrera Cup Italia: Postiglione shunts Malucelli from the top of the table
Scoring victory and a fifth place at races seven and eight on the Red Bull Ring in Austria (4/5 August), Vito Postiglione in Antonelli Motorsports’ 911 GT3 Cup replaced Matteo Malucelli at the top of the points’ table. Malucelli finished Saturday’s race in second, but retired from Sunday’s event when an accident damaged the radiator. Edoardo Piscopo (Petri Corse Motorsport) clinched a pole-to-flag victory at Sunday’s race. Six races are still to be contest-ed; two points separate both front-runners.

Carrera Cup Japan: Favourites fulfil all expectations
Ryo Hirakawa in the Garmin Porsche extended his points’ lead after taking a clear sweep with pole position, the fastest race lap and victory at races six and seven at the Sportsland Sugo (28/29 July). Hiroaki Nagai claimed both wins for Ninne Racing and with these triumphs also boosted his lead in the Gentleman Class over the second-placed driver. Four races are left on the calendar. Next event: 8 September, Fuji.

Race notes: Maiden win of the season for Ebimotors at race seven of the Italian GT Cham-pionship on the Red Bull Ring (4 August) thanks to Alessandro Balzan and Giacomo Barri. The pair came third in race eight with the 911 GT3 R. +++ Naoki Yokomizo and Kyosuke Mineo defended their class lead in the 911 GT3 R fielded by Endless Taisan claiming fifth at race four of the Japanese Super GT in the Sportsland Sugo (29 July).

Communication Porsche AG
Oliver Hilger

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