Sunday 31 March 2013

FIA GT Series: Loeb and Parente take thrilling Nogaro win

Loeb and Parente take thrilling Nogaro win

In a thrilling FIA GT Series opener at Nogaro this afternoon, Sebastien Loeb (FRA) and Alvaro Parente (P), claimed a superb victory to ensure that the 2013 season will be one to savour this year. Taking his Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP4-12C to the chequered flag, 9-time World Rally Champion and motorsport legend, Sebastien Loeb, was roared on to victory by a huge Easter holiday crowd at the traditional Coupes De Pâques meeting at Nogaro in south-west France.
Loeb, who took over the wheel from Parente just after the half way mark of the 60-minute race, hunted down the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT entered Audi R8 LMS ultra of Niki Mayr-Melnhof (DEU) with just 8-minutes of the race remaining. In a breathtaking around the outside manoeuvre at the hairpin, Loeb surged ahead and eventually won the race by a clear 5-seconds.
For Loeb, it was a dream start to his first full-season campaign as a circuit driver and immediately after the race he paid tribute to his team mate, saying: “Alvaro was very good today, he did a great start in the qualifying race and even if our competitors closed the door he never let them go. It is very different from what I am used to do, I am here to learn, but I had a really good time driving the car today, it was a great fight from the start to the finish.”
Second place overall was a fine reward for Rene Rast (DEU) and Niki Mayr-Melnhof (AUT) as they picked up maximum points in the PRO-AM class. Rast led for the first half of the race, despite intense pressure from Alvaro Parente’s McLaren MP4-12C. After the pit stops, Loeb reduced a three second gap to Mayr-Melnhof, and so began a riveting dogfight that continued for a further 20 minutes until Loeb broke through Mayr-Melnhof’s defences.
Rast was happy after the race and enjoyed his battle with Parente, saying: “I think we can be really happy, we had a hard fight with Alvaro, I think he was a bit faster on the straight so I had to block his way, and he could not find a way through. But we didn’t touch one time so it was a fair and very good fight.”
Finishing 3rd on the road and 2nd in the PRO class was the HTP Gravity Charouz Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 of Alon Day (ISR) and Maximilian Buhk (DEU). Both drivers completed solid stints to start their season off with an excellent result, Especially after coming through from 9th on the grid.It was a proud moment for Alon Day who became the first driver to from his homeland of Israel to claim a top three position in International racing.
“It is an excellent way to start the season,” confirmed Alon Day. “We had a nice clean race and the team gave us a superb pit stop. Everything we planned came together and I am proud to represent my country here in the FIA GT Series.”
Coming 3rd in the PRO class was the #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra of Enzo Ide (BEL) and Anthony Kumpen (BEL). After a good platform was set by Ide’s opening stint, Kumpen chased down Mayr-Melnhof in the latter stages but just missed out on claiming 3rd overall by 0.2 secs. Cesar Campanico (P) and Carlos Vieira (P) claimed 3rd place in PRO-AM and 5th overall in the Novadriver Audi R8 LMS ultra, continuing their excellent pace this weekend so far.
In the Gentlemen’s Trophy class, Fabien Barthez (FRA) and Gerard Tonelli (FRA) claimed a hugely popular victory for the French SOFREV ASP team. Barthez impressed with his opening stint by taking the lead early on from the #8 Rodrive entered Ford GT. Tonelli then completed the race in the Ferrari 458 Italia to please an ecstatic crowd.
“The objective for us today was to take the car to the finish line,” said French national footballing treasure, Barthez. “We knew that it could be easily damaged so we were careful, and tried to bring it back in one piece for the team. We did not think about getting a result, it just came naturally.Gerard and I really enjoyed driving the car and are looking forward to the main race tomorrow.”
Stephane Ratel, CEO and Chairman of SRO Motorsports Group, commented on the day’s events, saying: “Today was a wonderful way to start the 2013 FIA GT Series season. A large crowd, a good grid of cars and a great result for Sebastien Loeb and his team in their home country. Tomorrow we will see an even larger crowd I am sure and some more exceptional GT racing.”
Today’s race was the ideal warm up to enhance the appetites of fans all over the world as tomorrow’s Main Race promises to deliver more classic FIA GT Series racing. The 60-minute race starts at 14.15cet. For a full schedule of times, including details on live web streaming and live timing of the event please click here -

Blancpain - Over 275 years of tradition in motion:
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next
through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit.
From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past seven years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 26 new calibres.
Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the feminine Women models.

Pirelli – Official Tyre Supplier to the FIA GT Series
Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer and world leader in the automotive industry. It has an exclusive relationship with over 50 racing series worldwide, including Formula One. Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has also claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world.
The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of the FIA GT Championship while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.
The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded P Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.
For live text commentary of all sessions please click on to and follow #EasterGT

Saturday 30 March 2013

FIA GT Series: Nogaro, P1 and P2 in FP for McLaren!

FIA GT Series: Nogaro, P1 and P2 in FP for McLaren!

Pit notes from Friday at Nogaro
The hugely anticipated FIA GT Series roared in to life at Nogaro in South west France today with 24 GT3 cars taking to the track in dry but then increasingly wet conditions.
Sebastien Loeb Racing topped the times in the 80-minute session this afternoon with the #10 Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren, in the hands of Mike Parisy (FRA) setting the fastest lap of 1m27.573s. Parisy, racing on home turf, as he lives close by in Pau, is partnered by Austrian, Andreas Zuber (AUT) this season.
In the #9 Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP4-12C, Sebastien Loeb (FRA) and Alvaro Parente (PT) were next fastest. The 9-time World Rally Champion is entering his first full season in racing and started his first FIA GT Series weekend well as his McLaren ended the session just under two-tenths of a second behind the sister car.
In 3rd place was the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT entry of Frank Stippler (DEU) and Edward Sandstrom (SWE). The Audi R8 LMS ultra is one of three cars entered by the Belgian team this season in an impressive commitment to the FIA GT Series.
Leading the Pro-Am class and a highly creditable 4th overall was the Portuguese team, Novadriver, in their Audi R8 LMS ultra. Carlos Viera (PT) set a time just half a second shy of the outright pace and along with team boss and co-driver Cesar Campanico (PT) was very pleased with the way they started the season.
In the Gentlemens Trophy class, 1998 World Cup hero and now SOFREV Ferrari FIA GT Series driver, Fabien Barthez (FRA) topped the times along with team mate Gerard Tonelli (FRA) and was immensely satisfied with 16th overall.
The track action at this traditional Coupes De Pâques starts again tomorrow morning with Free Practice 2 at 10.05 cet before the 24 cars get set for qualifying which begins at 15.15. Q1 will be 15 minutes for all cars with the nominated Driver 1, while Q2 will be another 15 minutes for all cars with the nominated second driver. The fastest 10 cars from the combined qualifying of Q1 and Q2 will go into the nail-biting Superpole session to set the top 10 places for Sunday afternoons Qualifying Race before the Main race on Monday.


Quotes from the pitlane

Mike Parisy, #10 Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP12-4C
“It was a good start for us and the car felt great under me right away. It was a shame that the rain came because there is a lot more time to be had out there for sure. We have more work to do and we have to stay modest. The potential is really high for us.”
 Cesar Campanico, #14 Novadriver Audi R8 LMS ultra
“This first practice was good for the team. Of course we had to start on new tyres so we never know how much we are pushing or not. We raced here last year and the car seems to be quicker so it is a great base to start.
“In the beginning I was a bit surprised but I am happy because it means that we have a good base to work from and hopefully tomorrow we can improve more. Our aim is to be on top of Pro-Am but we will see, it is too soon yet. "
Fabien Barthez, #31 SOFREV ASP Ferrari 458 Italia
“A nice session for us and the team. We ran our planned programme and both Gerard and myself are pleased. It is always a pleasure to race here at Nogaro and we are looking forward to seeing many fans here to support us.”
For live text commentary of all sessions please click on to and follow #EasterGT

Thursday 28 March 2013

Porsche 911 RSR Consequent lightweight design for 50th anniversary

Porsche 911 RSR

Consequent lightweight design for 50th anniversary

Stuttgart. Porsche has developed a new GT race car for the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours. The new 911 RSR is characterised by consequent lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics. The exceptional vehicle styling honours a very special anniversary: From a bird’s eye perspective, the numbers 50 and 911 are visible. These stand for 50 years of the Porsche 911. The Porsche AG Team Manthey works squad exclusively fields two Porsche 911 RSR in the 2013 season.

The new 911 RSR, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, follows in the footsteps of its successful predecessor, the 911 GT3 RSR. As with the production vehicle, the wheelbase grew by about ten centimetres. A new wishbone front suspension replaces the previously used McPherson struts. Another new development from Porsche Motorsport is the particularly lightweight racing gearbox. The six gears are selected via paddles on the steering wheel. The 460 hp, 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine was taken from the predecessor and optimised in detail.

One of the priorities in the development of the new 911 RSR was the more evenly balanced weight distribution. The centre of gravity is also significantly lower than that of its predecessor. Carbon fibre played a crucial role in the new design. The front and rear mudguards, front and rear lids, doors, underbody, wheel arches, rear wing, dashboard and centre console are constructed from the very light and strong material. Moreover, all windows are made of particularly thin and light polycarbonate. Also contributing to the weight reduction is the lithium-ion battery known from the GT road-legal models.

The look of the new 911 RSR is dominated by the flared mudguards and the deep cooling air intakes at the front. With the new air ducting, the radiator is now centrally-located in the front and even more effective than in the previous model. At the same time, the cockpit air conditioning became more efficient. The quick-change concept of the body parts was specially adapted for endurance racing, allowing for easier maintenance and shorter repair times. The front end, front lid and rear panel are fitted with quick release systems and can be replaced within seconds.

Competing in the Porsche 911 RSR with starting number 92 are Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria), who already shared a cockpit in the 2012 WEC. At the first two races of the season in Silverstone (14.4) and Spa (4.5) as well as at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (22.6), they receive support from their works driver colleague Romain Dumas (France). Factory pilots also drive the #91 sister car, with Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) making up a team. In Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans, the duo is joined by Timo Bernhard (Germany).

Porsche Motorsport.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Porsche at the Techno Classica 2013

Porsche at the Techno Classica 2013

Stuttgart. Porsche Classic will be in attendance at the world's largest old-timer car show in Essen from April 10 to 14, 2013. The extensive range of Classic Genuine Parts and the full spectrum of services provided by the Porsche Classic workshop for the restoration, maintenance and repair of classic Porsche vehicles will be on show in Hall 7.0. The main focus at the spacious exhibition stand will be on the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911. The sports car icon from Zuffenhausen has excited car enthusiasts all over the world for five decades.

Few other automobiles in the world can look back on such a long tradition and such continuity as the Porsche 911. It has been inspiring car enthusiasts the world over since its debut as the model 901 at the IAA International Automotive Show in September 1963. Today it is considered the quintessential sports car, the benchmark for all others. The 911 is also the central point of reference for all other Porsche series. Over 820,000 Porsche 911s have been built, making it to one of the most successful sports car in the world. Like no other vehicle, the 911 reconciles apparent contradictions such as sportiness and everyday practicality, tradition and innovation, exclusivity and social acceptance, design and functionality. And about 70 percent of all built 911 are still driving on the streets today.

Porsche Classic will take this opportunity to present four 911 models to illustrate the broad scope of the 911's history. Two early coupés will provide visitors with an insight into the technology of the first 911 models: one 911 (1964) currently being restored in the Porsche Classic workshop as well as a 911 (1965) straight from the Porsche Museum. The 911 Turbo Cabriolet concept car will also be on show in Essen. This made its debut in September 1981 at the IAA in Frankfurt. Porsche Exclusive and Tequipment will present the modern 911 range with a current 911 (type 991) which has been specially equipped to demonstrate the broad range of personalisation options. In addition, fans of the 911 predecessor, the 356, will not be disappointed at the Techno Classica, as Porsche Classic will be presenting a rare fully restored 356 B T5 GS Carrera GT model.

Naturally, Porsche Classic experts will be present to advise and assist visitors to the show. They will be pleased to provide information on the extensive availability of Genuine Parts for Porsche Classic models as well as insider tips on the maintenance and correct servicing of these historic vehicles. Many of the Genuine Parts and accessories from the Classic range will be presented in a large shelving unit. In this way, Porsche Classic is clearly stating that its commitment to the preservation of old sports car treasures has never been stronger. A total of 35,000 Genuine Parts for Classic vehicles are available via the Porsche Centres worldwide.

The large selection of products on show on the Porsche stand will be complemented with the Sales Truck of Driver’s Selection by Porsche Design, which has a large selection of current Porsche accessories on offer.

Product and Technology Communication
Product Communication Porsche.

Monday 4 March 2013

World premiere at the International Motor Show in Geneva Porsche celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 911 with a new GT3

World premiere at the International Motor Show in Geneva

Porsche celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 911 with a new GT3

Stuttgart. The sportiest 911 will have its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show: the new Porsche 911 GT3. In the 50th anniversary year of the 911, Porsche is now set to open a new chapter in race track performance sports cars. The fifth generation of the 911 GT3, a complete new development, will take the pole position among the thoroughbred Porsche sports cars with naturally aspirated engines. Boxer engine and transmission, as well as body and chassis are completely new and constitute a further development of the 911 GT3 concept with an impressive performance leap. Power: 475 hp. Power to weight ratio: 3.0 kg/hp. Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h: in 3.5 seconds. Top speed: 315 km/h. Lap time Nürburgring Nordschleife: under 7:30 minutes. As a technical highlight, it features the first active rear wheel steering in a production Porsche. As well as the optional full LED headlights. The new 911 GT3 keeps all the successful properties of a sports car suitable for racing, with even more driving dynamics, more sophisticated practicality - and a highly emotional fun factor.

The powertrain of the new 911 GT3 is composed of a 3.8-liter boxer engine yielding 475 hp (350 kW) at 8.250 rpm, a Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) and a high-traction rear-wheel drive. The six-cylinder engine is based on the same engine as the 911 Carrera S, although they share only few common parts. All other components, particularly the crankshaft and valve gear, were specially adapted or designed for the GT3. For instance, Porsche designed titanium connecting rods and forged pistons. The basic modifications set the stage for an extremely high-speed engine that reaches up to 9.000 rpm. The Porsche dual-clutch transmission was also specially developed; the characteristics are directly based on a sequential gearbox from motor racing, thereby providing further performance and dynamics advantages to the driver.

For the first time, Porsche is using active rear wheel steering in order to achieve even higher precision and lateral dynamics. Depending on the speed, it steers in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels, improving stability and agility. Other new modules improving driving dynamics are the electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock, and the dynamic engine mounts. The newly developed all-aluminium chassis can still be adjusted by height, toe and camber. Contact with the road is made by the new 20-inch forged alloy wheels with central locking.

The 911 GT3 is based on the light, yet stuff body of the current generation 911 Carrera in hybrid steel-aluminium construction, however, it comes with independent front and rear parts. In addition, the 911 GT3 is 44 millimetres wider than a 911 Carrera S in the area of the rear axle. Another clear recognition feature is again the large, fixed rear wing. This makes a decisive contribution to the exemplary aerodynamics of the new 911 GT3, which combines low air resistance with even more power.

As a result, the new 911 GT3 sets new performance records. At full acceleration from standstill, the 100 km/h mark is breached after 3.5 seconds, and 200 km/h are reached in less than twelve seconds. The top speed is 315 km/h in the seventh, top gear of the completely newly adapted PDK transmission. The lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which the new 911 GT3 manages in under 7:30 minutes, is even more impressive.

The new Porsche 911 GT3 will be launched on the market from August 2013 on, and will cost in Germany 137,303 Euro including VAT and national specifications.

Product and Technology Communication
Product Communication
Holger Eckhardt

Saturday 2 March 2013

GT - Qualy Results of GRAND-AM of The Americas presented by GAINSCO and TOTAL

Qualy Results of GRAND-AM of The Americas presented by GAINSCO and TOTAL (Grand-Am)

Motorola Mobility
Ferrari of Ontario,, Przewalski International Motorsport
The Brumos Companies
Stevenson Automotive Group
Park Place Motorsports
APR, Audi Genuine Parts, Audi South Austin

Tequila Patron
PR Newswire, Best Motorsports Goods
Best Motorsports Goods
Park Place Motorsports