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Watch The Behind-The-Scenes Of BBI Autosport’s Pikes Peak Record Breaking Run

The Hoonigans have been following BBI Autosport’s efforts building and campaigning a turbocharged Porsche 911 GT3 Cup at Pikes Peak this year. Everything from the conception to the 30-day build, to finally the championship winning race day, has been documented fastidiously. The boys flew into Colorado for the weekend to take in the race, and watch Raphael Astier take the bright green and black car to the top in record time.

We already know the result, so here’s the video depicting how it happened. Check it out!

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Watch BBi Autosport’s Record Breaking Pikes Peak Run

This turbocharged Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car ran at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday, claiming second overall behind an open cockpit prototype, and breaking the Time Attack 1 class record by more than 14 seconds. Pro rally driver and PPIHC veteran Raphael Astier took the checkered flag in just 9 minutes 23.721 seconds. You can watch the full run below.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this time is that Raph Astier was clearly frustrated at the top of the mountain, saying that there was something wrong with his engine. So it’s possible that this crazy build had even more time in it if things hadn’t gone wrong. Here he is giving an interview immediately after the run. You can see the disappointment in his face.

And if you want to know the backstory of this Porsche’s build up in the weeks leading up to Pikes Peak, thankfully the Hoonigans documented the whole thing. Check that out, in three parts, below. The BBi team cut it awfully close, getting the car operational just hours before they needed to leave for Colorado. It’s a hectic build. Hopefully they can improve on this formula and bring it back to the mountain next year.

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Part 3 –

 
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Porsche Sets Fastest Car With A Roof Time At Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Last year Volkswagen set the world of racing on its head with an all electric prototype ID.R setting a new world record at Pikes Peak. With that overall record out of the way, there were no big players at this year’s race aiming for an overall record. With the top spot pretty much a foregone conclusion as Robin Schute would be taking an open-top Honda-powered lightweight prototype up the hill, the BBi Autosport/Hoonigan effort would be running for fastest in Time Attack 1 class honors. The BBi team in Southern California built a 991 GT3 Cup car with a turbocharged GT3 4-liter pumped up to something like 900 horsepower. That should be enough to win that class, for sure, and it did. Raphael Astier, a French rally driver and Pikes Peak competitor, was called in to do the driving, and managed it quite well.

Astier managed to run up the mountain in 9 minutes 23 seconds, just a little less than a second faster than Acura’s Peter Cunningham, who won the Pikes Peak Open class. Just a few seconds behind Cunningham was Porsche of Colorado Springs entered David Donohue in the return of the turbocharged beast with a 9:33.404.

Astier’s onboard video has not been released yet, but in the post race interview he mentions in broken English when asked about his run, « It’s complicated for me. My engine no good. » Personally I can’t wait to see exactly what he means. The engine was built about a week before the test day, so it’s possible that something got messed up in the process. To see the full build on this car, check out the four-part series on Hoonigan’s YouTube Channel.

All of the competitors mentioned that the race course was much bumpier this year, and you can see much of that nastiness in David Donohue’s 911 Turbo run. It’s pretty gnarly, especially in the top sector just before the finish.

And finally, because it’s just how awesome he is, you need to watch Travis Pastrana’s run up the hill. Because he was running later in the day, Pastrana’s « Porsche Trophy » class Cayman GT4 Clubsport ran into quite a lot of rain, and he finished in 32nd with an 11:24.287 time. His lap involved serious levels of wheelspin, waving to the crowds mid-lap, and avoiding a herd of sheep at the top of the mountain. He’s just too cool.

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Porsche Narrowly Misses Nurburgring 24 Victory With Late Race Penalty

Porsche did everything it could to win the Nurburgring 24 Hour race. With seven quasi-factory, or at least factory-supported cars in the race, and most of the contracted Porsche drivers behind the wheel, the only thing that could be done was run the race. It was quite obvious after the first few stints that the 911 GT3 R was the package to have for this race. While one of the Manthey Racing cars was out of contention early with a flat tire that cost them several minutes, the other « Grello » colored #911 was trucking along at the front, just pounding out laps. From about hour 5 of the race, the Porsche 911 number 911 took over the lead in dramatic fashion (below) and didn’t give it up for 17 straight hours.

 

That was 17 straight hours. Until… Well, here it is, straight from the mouth of Laurens Vanthoor “We made only one mistake over the entire 24-hour race. I didn’t see the yellow flag. I don’t know how it happened. I can still see the scene in my mind, but even then I didn’t notice it. Unfortunately it had serious consequences. Other than the overlooked flag, the rest of race ran perfectly. »

Missing a yellow flag is a big deal, because Laurens passed some traffic under yellow, which is a really big no-no. As a result, the team which had been leading by over a lap was awarded a 5-minute stop and hold penalty. That penalty was compounded by the fact that it threw the car off its scheduled fuel strategy. The team tossed Kevin Estre into the car for the final two stints, and he absolutely tore hell apart to find as much time as he could. In the end, they fell short by about 30 seconds of racing, and ceded the victory to the Phoenix Racing Audi, settling for second overall.

It’s obvious that Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen, Laurens Vanthoor, and Earl Bamber gave the race their all, but sometimes bad luck happens. This is the team’s second 24 hour race in as many weekends, and that’s sure to weigh heavy on a driver’s focus. With a million things going on in the race, it’s possible to miss a single flag stand here and there. It’s a shame that it had to happen when it did. Great fight, guys, better luck at the next one.

Check out the full race highlights right here.

Were it not for that penalty, Porsche would surely have won the race outright. As it stands, our favorite German auto maker will have to settle for a mere eight class victories, as shown below.

Class SP9 Pro-Am: (Porsche 911 GT3 R #12) Manthey Racing, Otto Klohs, Matteo Cairoli, Dennis Olsen, Lars Kern
Class AT: (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup #320) Team Care for Climate, Thomas von Löwis of Menar, Daniel Schellhaas, Axel Duffner
Class Cup 3: (Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport #310) Team Mathol Racing, Marc Keilwerth, Marcos Adolfo Vazque, Rüdiger Schicht, Montana
Class SP6: (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport #80) Schmickler Performance, Achim Wawer, Michael Grassl, Ivan Jacoma, Claudius Karch
Class SP7: (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup #62) Mühlner Motorsport, Mark J. Thomas, Sebastian von Gartzen, Moritz Kranz, Marcel Hoppe
Class V3T: (Porsche 718 Cayman S #718) Ralf Zensen, Fabian Peitzmeier, Michael Küke, Edgar Salewsky
Class V5: (Porsche Cayman S #146) FK Performance Motorsport, Fabian Finck, Fabio Grosse, Jens Moetfindt, Yann Munhowen
Class V6: (Porsche 911 Carrera#133) Black Falcon, Christoph Hoffmann, Carsten Palluth, Tobias Wahl, Robert Woodside

Sebastian Golz (Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R): “We demonstrated an extremely good performance over the 24 hours with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. A strong team worked brilliantly and pulled everything together. Luck wasn’t on our side, and two minor mistakes ultimately meant we couldn’t bring home victory. A commendable second place and class win in the Pro-Am – all in all a good weekend for Porsche.”

Earl Bamber (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “I think we had the best car and the best crew in the pit lane. We made a mistake and that cost us victory. We spent 5:32 minutes in the pits and lost a good 40 seconds. The shows clearly just how strong we were. Every one of us could have made the mistake that led to this penalty. It’s very hard to see all the slow zones and yellow flags. But such misfortune gives us more motivation to return to the Nürburgring even stronger.”

 

Nicki Raeder (Manthey-Racing): “It’s hard to take in; somehow a repeat of events. At Le Mans we were leading for a long stretch before a penalty threw us back. And now we have to get over this initial disappointment, because second at this tradition-steeped race at the ‘Ring is an incredible result and should be celebrated. I’m particularly happy that we managed to win the Pro-Am class with Otto Klohs and his boys. We can be proud of that too.”

Sven Müller (Porsche 911 GT3 R #31): “I’ve never been as disappointed in my racing career as I am today. The entire team gave their utmost, the car was awesome to drive, all our pit stops ran perfectly. We had a real chance of winning today and then a defect as a result of a puncture stopped us. Simply unbelievable.”

Robert Renauer (Porsche 911 GT3 R #30): “Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well for us. We sustained the same defect twice, which is very disappointing for everyone, because we were running well without any mistakes. Sometimes luck simply isn’t on your side. Still, it was a lot of fun and great to be a part of Frikadelli Racing.”

Dennis Olsen (Porsche 911 GT3 R #12): “We’re thrilled with fifth place. We’ve achieved our goal of winning the Pro-Am class. What’s more, we’re really proud that an amateur-category vehicle finished so far up the field – and with a model of the Porsche 911 GT3 R from last year.“

Jörg Bergmeister (Porsche 911 GT3 R #44): “The race didn’t go as we’d hoped. We lost quite a lot of time at the beginning because of the repairs. Our pace improved as the race progressed, which was a positive development. The fact that we flew off the track so close to the end of the race is, of course, very annoying. But that’s racing.”

Lucas Luhr (Porsche 911 GT3 R #8): “We had a few problems early on with the balance and had to change a few details on the car. That improved the situation considerably and, with different tyre compounds, our pace improved. The penalty for a collision in the pit lane was rough. In the meantime, this race has become a sprint and you can’t afford a time penalty of five and a half minutes. This is the first time we’ve competed here as a team and our result is very respectable.”

Result
1. Kaffer/Stippler/Vervish/Vanthoor (D/D/D/B), Audi R8 LMS, 157 laps
2. Bamber/Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor (NZ/DK/F/B), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 156 laps
3. Winkelhock/Haase/Fässler/Rast (D/D/CH/D), Audi R8 LMS, 156 laps
5. Klohs/Kern/Olsen/Cairoli (D/D/N/I), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 155 laps
12. Slooten/Luhr/De Leener/Jans) (D/D/B/L), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 153 laps
17. Bachler/Bergmeister/Ragginger/Werner (A/D/A/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 145 laps
39. Abbelen/Müller/Renauer/Preining (D/D/D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 135 laps
42. Dumas/Campbell/Müller/Jaminet) (F/AUS/D/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 134 laps
126. Lietz/Makowiecki/Pilet/Tandy (A/F/F/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 61 laps

 
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Timo Bernhard Celebrates 20 Years with Porsche

As of 2019, Timo Bernhard is the longest-serving Porsche works driver. While his highest profile victory came in 2017, with his upset Le Mans victory, Bernhard has been putting rubber to the road for two full decades as of this month. Of the current drivers, he’s also the only one to have won championships at every level of the « Porsche Pyramid. » Bernhard won the German Carrera Cup in 2001, won the GT title in ALMS in 2004, won the ALMS LMP2 class in 2007 and 2008, and won the FIA WEC crown in 2015 and 2017. As much as any Porsche model, the man is a machine built for victory.

Becoming Indispensable

Becoming a Porsche Junior was not a step Mr. Bernhard expected to take, “I went along, but had no expectations at all,” yet after testing at Misano, Mr. Bernhard left a Porsche Junior. Indeed, he still has the letter affirming his newfound status.

« To be honest, I didn’t really know what was in store. At that time I didn’t think beyond the next race, and only gradually came to understand what a big opportunity this was for me and what the Porsche legend really meant, » reflects Bernhard. Back in 1999, he could not have anticipated that by 2013 he would be the first person to test the marque’s triumphant return to top tier endurance racing.

Though he began in the Carrera Cup, Bernhard would become indispensable to Porsche’s motorsports development. He piloted the 919 Hybrid on its first rollout, and notes that  “(I) was involved in the development of the new car from the beginning. Driving the car for the first time in the rollout was a very proud moment.”

Upon entering in to competition in the new car, Bernhard proved formidable. After a slightly rocky 2014, subsequent seasons brought victory after victory. In 34 total entries in the 919 Hybrid Bernhard and his teammates landed on the podium an astonishing 23 times, and racked up no less than a dozen outright victories.

To Bernhard, this level of success was not a given. “When I started at Porsche as a junior in 1999, I wouldn’t have dared dream that some day I might get the opportunity to fight it out for the overall victory in Le Mans, and be good enough to actually pull it off. »

Breaking Records

But his successes don’t end with his competition record. Bernhard, a five-time overall winner of the 24 Hours Nürburgring, was just the man to break the all-time lap record at the Green Hell. Stefan Bellof’s 1983 lap record stood for twenty-five years before Bernhard shattered it by an astounding 51.58 seconds, with a time of 5:19.55. Though Bellof’s time remains the fastest-ever lap by a competition-legal car, a record that is unlikely to ever be broken, breaking the outright record remains an impressive feat.

Looking to the Future

Following Porsche’s exit from top-tier endurance racing, Bernhard has refocused his effort. At present he is splitting his time between driving for Porsche, and driving Porsches for the team he runs with his father; KÜS Team75 Bernhard. Since last year he has been racing a GT3 R in ADAC GT Masters, appearing in Super Sports Car League, and supporting his team’s efforts in karting, Porsche Sports Cup, ADAC GT4, and numerous endurance racing events.

As Porsche fans, we’re proud to have had a driver like Mr. Bernhard around for so long, and we wish him decades of continued success with Porsche, both on and off the track.

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