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Video: 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season review

 

If the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship provided Porsche with the same triumvirate of successes as last year, the route to this season’s titles was definitely more fraught.

Thanks to significantly improved challenges from both Audi and Toyota, the Porsche 919 Hybrids certainly didn’t have it all their own way in 2016 (despite winning six of the nine races between the two LMP1 entries).

 

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From an astounding 18th overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to a second consecutive world title, Porsche’s 2016 triumphs invariably went right down to the wire this year.

Thanks to this quick-fire video from the factory (complete with some great behind the scenes footage), you can relieve Porsche Team’s incredible FIA WEC campaign, perfect if there’s currently a motorsport-shaped whole in your life during the winter break.

For more of the latest and best Porsche films, check out our dedicated video section now.

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2016 United SportsCar Championship season review

In 2015, Porsche North America Racing captured all three GTLM class titles in the WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship, the no. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet capturing four victories along the way, including a famous outright triumph at the season-ending Petit Le Mans.

For this year though, new GTLM technical regulations were introduced, leading to newly developed entries from Ferrari (in the shape of its 488 GTE) and the radical Ford GT. Porsche, meanwhile, choosing to focus on creating an all-new racer for 2017, brought along an updated version of its 2015 car.

Despite this, at the 24 Hours of Daytona, the traditional curtain raiser for the American sports car season, the factory Porsche 911 RSRs were able to lock out the front row in qualifying, converting this position into a solid one-two during the first half of the race.

sebring

As the daylight hours returned on Sunday morning, the Porsches’ pace advantage began to wain but still the two cars circulated at the head of the field until, with five hours to go, disaster struck the no. 911 entry of Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Kévin Estre, a driveshaft failing on the high-speed banking.

This left Earl Bamber, Frédéric Makowiecki and Michael Christensen in the no. 912 RSR to fight the two Chevrolet Corvettes but, despite taking the lead after the final round of pitstops, Porsche had to settle for a solid third place at the end of a day’s racing.

The 12 Hours of Sebring brought a similar result for the two factory 911s, the no. 912 car battling through the rain and red flags to secure another third place while the no. 911 retired at half distance when Estre made a failed passing attempt while defending the lead and cannoned into the barriers at turn one.

2016 - Long Beach Grand Prix

After the two longest races on the calendar, round three at Long Beach provided the shortest encounter of the year with just 100 minutes of race action around the Californian street circuit.

Unsurprisingly, it also made for one of the most frenetic races of the year, with the result – Porsche’s first victory of the year only decided in the final few laps when Makowiecki missed his braking point and punted into the back of the no. 4 Corvette.

Spinning the erstwhile leader (and forcing the no. 912 car into retirement), the Frenchman’s mistake allowed teammate Tandy in the no. 911 RSR into a lead the British ace duly converted to victory.

2016 - IMSA - Laguna Seca

Round four at Laguna Seca saw Bamber and Makowiecki take another third place finish for the no. 912 crew however, the Pilet and Tandy’s hopes were dashed early on when one of the Corvettes hit the back of the no. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, knocking the car down the order. The Anglo-French duo would eventually finish ninth.

After four races, Porsche was just three points behind Chevrolet in the manufacturer standings, while Bamber and Makowiecki sat similarly placed in the drivers’ table (albeit 12 points off the top thanks to their Long Beach DNF).

If Weissach was still in with a chance of retaining its titles now, the same couldn’t be said after the conclusion of the next four races: Watkins Glen, Mosport, Lime Rock and Road America (circuits that, in 2015, saw Porsche North America Racing kick-start their championship challenge).

2016 - IMSA - Watkins Glen

Both factory 911 RSRs failed to make the podium through the middle of the season, hamstrung by changes to the Balance of Performance and a general lack of pace compared to the newly developed Fords and Ferraris.

At ‘The Glen’ the two RSRs brought up the tail end of the GTLM pack, improving slightly during the trip north of the border to Mosport. Lime Rock Park – a new addition to the USCC calendar – was similar fruitless before Bamber and Makowiecki managed to salvage a little bit of honour with fourth at Road America.

It wouldn’t be until round nine at Virginia International Raceway that one of the works Porsche 911 RSRs would be back on the podium, Bamber and Makowiecki battling hard in extreme heat to finish third (while Tandy and Pilet came home sixth after an off-track excursion).

2016 IMSA - Circuit of The Americas

With some momentum behind them, Porsche enjoyed its most competitive outing of the year at Circuit of the Americas. The two works 911 RSRs were the class of the field during the Lone Star Le Mans event, taking a much-needed one-two.

Tandy and Pilet in the no. 911 car were originally on course for victory but, with a slim chance of retaining their trio of titles, Porsche choose to swap the two cars’ positions, handing the lead to the no. 912 RSR, a move that gave Bamber his first USCC win.

At Petit Le Mans neither Porsche 911 was ever really in contention though. The no. 911 car again suffered with reliability issues while Bamber and Makowiecki struggled for pace on the way to fifth, a result that saw Porsche finish third in the final manufacturers’ standings.

For more of the latest Porsche 911 race new and reports, check out our dedicated motorsport section now.

2016 IMSA - Petit Le Mans

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2016 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season review

From the opening race in Barcelona, the 2016 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup was a season dominated by Weissach’s in-house talent. Between them, the three Porsche Juniors in the field – Sven Müller, Matteo Cairoli and Mathieu Jaminet – won every single race, proving themselves a cut above the rest.

Despite this domination, the battles between the trio were often enthralling, with the momentum in the championship chase swinging between Müller and Cairoli throughout the year, the title only sealed in the final meeting at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Round one at the Circuit de Catalunya gave the chasing pack a taste of what to expect as Cairoli, Jaminet and Müller lined up one-two-three on the grid and promptly controlled a race blighted by safety car periods.

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Monaco 2016

Cairoli – driving for the FACH Auto Tech squad that helped Earl Bamber to the 2014 Supercup title – was never under much threat in Spain as Müller leapfrogged Jaminet off the line to snatch second from the Frenchman.

On the streets of Monaco, Cairoli continued his winning ways, the Italian putting in a commanding performance in wet conditions to see off Klaus Bachler and Michael Ammermüller, extending his early championship lead over Jaminet to an already impressive ten points, the Martinet by Alméras driver coming home fifth.

Despite a storming drive, Lechner Racing Team’s Müller could only finish 13th after a qualifying accident left the 24-year-old starting from the back of the grid. The German would bounce back spectacularly in round three at the Red Bull Ring however.

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Budapest 2016

Starting on damp a track with slick tyres, Müller leapt from third to first on the run to turn one at the Austrian circuit, jumping ahead of poleman, Cairoli and Jaminet, taking a lead from the Frenchman he would never relinquish. After winning the opening two races, Cairoli could only finish fourth.

Müller doubled his 2016 wins tally next time out at Silverstone, again leading home Jaminet as Cairoli rounded off the podium in third but it was at the Hungaroring – round five – where the German took command of the championship battle.

While Jaminet caused an accident on the first lap (retiring as a result) and Cairoli could only manage seventh, Müller again made a lightning start to take the lead from Robert Lukas, disappearing into the lead to take his third consecutive victory and, with it, a four-point advantage over his Porsche Junior rivals.

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Hockenheim 2016

In Germany, tensions between the protagonists finally came to a head. Starting from pole, Müller’s prowess off the line escaped him, allowing Cairoli to nose ahead on the run to turn one.

However, the German wasn’t willing to relinquish the place, driving off the track around the outside of his 20-year-old challenger to retain first place. While Cairoli could not find a way back through on the track, the stewards deemed Müller had gained an unfair advantage, adding a second to his race time.

The move promoted Cairoli to first – his third victory of the season – while third place was taken by Jeffrey Schmidt in Lechner Racing Middle East’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. A grid penalty for Jaminet (a result of the Hungaroring accident) meant the Frenchman would finish eighth in round six.

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Spa 2016

Heading to Belgium to tackle the fearsome Spa-Francorchamps, Müller’s lead was just two points but, while Cairoli could only finish fourth, second place in the Ardennes Forest meant the German left round seven with a six-point advantage in the standings.

It was Jaminet however, who stole the show around the infamous Belgian circuit. Shadowing poleman Müller in the opening stages, the Alméras racer made his move after a brief safety car period, snatching the lead to secure his maiden Porsche Supercup victory.

Next up was Monza, the final European round of the season and Cairoli’s home race. Buoyed on by his local support, the Italian put on a master class in round eight, taking pole position and leading every lap on his way to a fourth win of 2016 (one more than Müller’s tally).

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Monza 2016

Third place for Müller, behind Michael Ammermüller, left the German Porsche Junior with just a two-point advantage ahead of the double-header season finale at Circuit of the Americas. Cairoli was closing in and appeared to have the momentum.

This was confirmed in race one where Cairoli took the lead from poleman, Jaminet and appeared to be heading for the victory that would give him the championship lead with just one race left in the 2016 season.

For the Italian though, disaster then struck. A mechanical problem forced the FACH Auto Tech driver into retirement and, distraught, he could only watch as Müller drove a comfortable race to second place behind Jaminet.

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Austin 2016

The result gave the German a 20-point lead ahead of the final race and, with 20 points for a win, Cairoli needed to take victory and hope that Müller didn’t score in order to take the title in Porsche’s premier one-make series.

As it was though, Jaminet proved too tough nut to crack in race two, leading home Cairoli after a tough battle while Müller drove sensibly to eighth place, securing his maiden Supercup championship crown.

After an inconsistent season, Scmidt took the final podium step of 2016 but it was Ammermüller who finished the season fourth in standings, albeit 17 points behind Jaminet as the Porsche Juniors proved their class.

For all the latest Porsche 911 race news and reports, make sure you check out our dedicated motorsport section now.

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Austin 2016

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2016 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season review – part two

If the first half of the 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup season suggested that Daniel Cammish wasn’t going to have it all his own way (despite taking five wins from eight races), the second part of this year’s campaign confirmed that the 27-year-old from Leeds is currently one of the fastest 911 GT3 Cup racers around.

Between rounds nine and ten at Snetterton and rounds 13 and 14 at Silverstone, the Redline Racing driver dropped just two points to his rivals. 2016/17 Carrera Cup GB scholar, Charlie Eastwood grabbed the point for fastest lap in race one at Snetterton while Stephen Jelley did likewise in race two at Silverstone.

Cammish was untouchable at Snetterton, Knockhill and Silverstone, with a run of six consecutive victories allowing him to wrap up the 2016 title when the series revisited the home of British motorsport for two races on the National circuit.

Cammish was imperious through the second half of 2016, taking six wins in a row.

Cammish was imperious through the second half of 2016, taking six wins in a row…

His charge to the championship was accelerated by Dino Zamparelli’s sudden downturn in form over the second half of the season. Having dominated at Croft, the 24-year-old from Bristol could only manage sixth and third in the two races at Snetterton.

Things got even worse for the GT Marques driver at Knockhill. Struggling for the whole weekend north of the border in Scotland, Zamparelli couldn’t break into the top five in either of the races before a fifth and third at Silverstone saw him concede the title to Cammish before the Brands Hatch finale.

While Zamparelli’s challenge fell by the wayside, Cammish’s closest rival came from within over the second half of the 2016 season as Eastwood, driving for Redline Racing in his debut Carrera Cup GB campaign, strung together a run of four consecutive second places at Snetterton and Knockhill.

...This allowed the 27-year-old to wrap up his second PCCGB title with a round to spare.

…This allowed the 27-year-old to wrap up his second PCCGB title with a round to spare.

Silverstone was slightly tougher for the new Porsche GB scholar but, at the season finale, held on the Brands Hatch GP layout, Eastwood finally scored his first Carrera Cup pole position, duly converting it to a maiden victory in race one as Cammish made a rare mistake, spinning on his way to eighth.

Normal service was resumed in the final race of the year as Cammish took a record-breaking 12th victory, ahead of Zamparelli and Eastwood, the order of the podium finishers reflecting the final points standings.

After a solid run throughout the season (in which he only finished outside the top six once), Carrera Cup GB debutant, Tom Oliphant finished the season in fourth. Driving for Redline Racing, the 26-year-old’s best performance of the year came with second place in the first race at Silverstone National.

2016/17 Porsche GB scholar, Charlie Eastwood improved massively through the second part of the year, taking his maiden race win at the Brands Hatch season closer.

2016/17 Porsche GB scholar, Charlie Eastwood improved massively through the second part of the year, taking his maiden race win at the Brands Hatch season closer.

Behind Oliphant in the final points table, Jelley and Tom Sharp both showed flashes of speed. Each took five podiums during the season however, neither had the consistency to challenge each weekend at the sharp end.

In the Pro-Am1 class, it was all about the McKay brothers. Driving for IN2 Racing, Euan McKay won the title at a canter, taking nine class victories and four other podium finishes however, come the end of the season, it was younger sibling, Dan doing the winning as the latter rallied to finish second in the standings.

Pro-Am2 saw an intense, season-long battle between Tautvydas Barstys, Parr Motorsport’s Peter Kyle-Henney and Mark Radcliffe. Only settled at the second visit to Brands Hatch, it was the Lithuanian who took the crown ahead of Kyle-Henney and Radcliffe (the latter taking the most class wins in 2016 with seven).

For more of the latest Porsche 911 race news and reports, make sure you check out our dedicated motorsport section now.

Euan McKay dominated the Pro-Am1 class, beating his brother, Dan to the title. Both will make the jump to the Pro class in 2017.

Euan McKay dominated the Pro-Am1 class, beating his brother, Dan to the title. Both will make the jump to the Pro class in 2017.

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2016 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season review – part one

In 2015, Daniel Cammish waltzed to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB title. The Leeds-based racer’s maiden campaign in the series brought ten race wins (often escaping the chasing pack from the moment the lights went out) and he never finished lower than second, wrapping up the crown with two races to go.

This season, the raw statistics paint an even more dominant picture. Cammish – who again teamed up with Redline Racing in the Nationwide-sponsored Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car – won a record-breaking 12 races, again securing the title with a meeting to spare.

However, the numbers on paper don’t tell the whole story of the 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season, a year when Cammish probably had to dig deeper than ever before (at least in the first half of the season) to secure championship glory.

Dino Zamparelli, driving for GT Marques in 2016, opened the season strongly with victory at Brands Hatch.

Dino Zamparelli, driving for GT Marques in 2016, opened the season strongly with victory at Brands Hatch.

Opening the season at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, it was actually Dino Zamparelli, driving for the GT Marques squad, who won the first encounter of the year, benefiting from a contentious track limits penalty for Cammish (who had started the race from pole position).

While Cammish came out fighting in race two, taking his first victory of the year by over six seconds, two fastest laps for Zamparelli ensured that the Bristol-based racer left the 1.2-mile track in Kent tied on points with his Redline Racing rival.

Supporting the FIA WEC in tricky conditions around the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, Cammish was able to fend off Zamparelli in both rounds three and four. However, both were hard fought affairs, especially the second encounter where the 24-year-old racer was beaten to the chequered flag by just 0.6 seconds.

Daniel Cammish (Redline Racing) strolled to a double victory at Oulton Park at the start of June.

Daniel Cammish (Redline Racing) strolled to a double victory at Oulton Park at the start of June.

Oulton Park played host to another masterclass from Cammish, who seemed to finally be getting into his stride at the Cheshire circuit. While the 27-year-old took his fourth and fifth victories of the season, Zamparelli struggled for pace, finishing fifth and third respectively in rounds five and six.

Instead, Cammish’s closest challenger came from Team Parker Racing’s Stephen Jelley. In what was undoubtedly the veteran racer’s best weekend of the year, he twice finished second (and was leading race one around the undulating parkland circuit until he was forced off the road lapping a backmarker).

If the 2015 champion thought retaining his title was about to turn into a cakewalk however, round seven and eight at Croft brought Cammish firmly back to earth.

The opening half of the season saw a number of tight battles between Cammish and Zamparelli, often with only a few tenths between them.

The opening half of the season saw a number of tight battles between Cammish and Zamparelli, often with only a few tenths between them.

Mechanical problems in race one limited him to seventh (his first non-podium finish in the Carrera Cup GB since a wildcard entry into the 2014 season finale) and he couldn’t overhaul Zamparelli in race two, finishing second.

While his rival struggled, Zamparelli enjoyed his best weekend of the year, winning from pole position and taking fastest lap in both races. In a display reminiscent of his 2015 Silverstone performance, the 24-year-old was untouchable in North Yorkshire, suggesting a title battle wasn’t dead in the water yet.

The maximum points haul meant that the second-year Carrera Cup racer sat just three points behind Cammish in the standings at the season’s halfway mark, while Jelley was a distant third and already under threat by new Carrera Cup GB scholar, Charlie Eastwood.

To find out how Dan Cammish when his second successive Carrera Cup GB title, check out part two of our 2016 season review now.

While Cammish was mired in the midfield, Zamparelli took two wins at Croft to close in the championship leader.

While Cammish was mired in the midfield, Zamparelli took two wins at Croft to close in the championship leader.

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