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Porsche Netted A Double Podium In WEC Fuji Round

After two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship, Porsche leads the GTE Pro category in points following a win at Silverstone with a podium place at the 6-hour race in Fuji. Michael Christensen paired with Kevin Estre to come home in second position this weekend in their #92 Porsche 911 RSR. With this successful result, the pair have also moved into the lead of the drivers’ championship. Their teammates Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz had the absolute opposite race, starting from pole position and finishing 6th. The #91 car suffered all race with misfiring issues, an untimely tire puncture, and a drive-through penalty. Meanwhile, in the GTE Am category, the Porsche-driving Project 1 team of Jeroen Bleekemolen, Ben Keating, and Felipe Fraga came home in third position to give Porsche two different class podiums in the same race.

Christensen and Estre mounted a comprehensive assault against the GTE Pro competition, starting the race from last place in class and climbing through the field to an impressive 2nd position finish. With quick laps and a smart pit stop strategy (plus a bit of luck) the team worked well through the 6-hour race. The race began, in typical Fuji fashion, under safety car for heavy rain. That weather cleared up for the first couple of hours, but came back with a vengeance in the 3rd and 4th hours of action. With the right tire strategy and impressive Porsche rain driving dynamics, the pair of drivers were in the cat bird seat for the finish, and pitted at exactly the right time during the race’s caution periods.

The GTE Am Project 1 team had a very similar story, starting from dead last on the grid. The trio gave a spirited chase through the entirety of the 6-hours, but ultimately the Aston Martins were better suited to the Fuji track, and won in both classes.

Comments on the race
Fritz Enzinger (Vice President Motorsport): “After the one-two success at Silverstone we’ve now finished on the podium at Fuji with our new Porsche 911 RSR. We’re still at the top of the manufacturers’ championship, and a Porsche duo is also leading the driver’s classification. Our balance sheet looks good. We’re now feeling confident and full of excitement for the upcoming race in China.”

Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport): “The overall result with both vehicles doesn’t really meet our expectations, but we’re pleased about second place for the number 92 car. In the first two races of the season, we’ve secured a one-two at Silverstone as well as a podium result and pole position at Fuji. That’s a great start for our new Porsche 911 RSR. We’re heading to the next races feeling highly motivated.”

Alexander Stehlig (Head of Operations FIA WEC): “Pole position on Saturday, second in the race on Sunday, we can be very pleased with this. Everything went according to plan with our number 92 car, but the number 91 vehicle was plagued with troubles. Damage from a puncture, a drive-through penalty and misfiring – it seems pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I hope that we’ve used up all the bad luck for the rest of the season. We’ll be back in full force again at Shanghai.”

Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “After the super pole position on Saturday, we were disappointed with how the race went for us on Sunday. Our pace was good at the beginning but unfortunately the penalty, tyre problem and misfiring relegated us to sixth place. We’ll now take a very good look at this and fix the problem.”

Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “When you start from the last grid spot and cross the finish line in second, then you’ve definitely done everything right. Our strategy worked perfectly, we got the absolute maximum out of it. Thanks to this podium result, Kévin and I are now leading the world championship. We’re certainly can’t complain about that.”

Race result
GTE-Pro class
1. Sörensen/Thiim (DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage, 211 laps
2. Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 210 laps
3. Lynn/Martin (GB/B), Aston Martin Vantage, 210 laps
6. Lietz/Bruni (A/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 208 laps

GTE-Am class
1. Yoluc/Eastwood/Adam (TR/IRL/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 208 laps
2. Perrodo/Collard/Nielsen (F/F/DK), Ferrari 488 GTE, 207 laps
3. Keating/Fraga/Bleekemolen (USA/BR/NL), Porsche 911 RSR, 207 laps
5. Campbell/Ried/Pera (AUS/D/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 207 laps
7. Perfetti/Heinemeier Hansson/Cairoli (N/DK/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 206 laps
8. Wainwright/Barker/Watson (GB/GB/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 204 laps
9. Preining/de Leener/Hoshino (A/B/J), Porsche 911 RSR, 198 laps

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Porsche Taps Simona de Silvestro For Formula E Squad Development Role

There are very few racers in the world who can put « Porsche Works Driver » on their CV. That privilege is limited to perhaps no more than a few dozen racing drivers throughout history. Today Simona de Silvestro can call herself a works driver for the Porsche Formula E squad, netting a testing and development role to assist Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer in the team’s first FE season which starts later this fall. The Swiss racer is, by my count, the first female Porsche factory racer in the company’s history.

Simona has a long history of open-wheel motorsport, kicking off her pro career in Formula Renault and Formula BMW before jumping into Atlantics, which springboarded a career in Indycar, where she had 68 race starts. Near the end of the 2014-15 season of Formula E, she came on board with the Andretti team where she raced 12 races before getting signed to race for Nissan in the Australian V8 Supercars series. She’s been racing in the Antipodes ever since, but has kept a toe in the Formula E pool, running as a test driver for Susie Wolff’s Venturi team.

It’s fair to say that she will be prepared to take on the challenge that Porsche’s 99X Formula E car. The hope is that she will allow the car to be at its very best in a quasi-spec series where setup and infinitesimally small changes can make all the difference.

Porsche have also announced a promotion for Porsche Young Driver Thomas Preining to a test role with the Formula E team, as well as a full time endurance racing role in FIA WEC GTE-AM with Gulf Racing, and ADAC GT Masters with Herbert Motorsport.

Fritz Enzinger (Vice President Porsche Motorsport and Group Motorsport Volkswagen AG): “In Simona and Thomas, we have acquired two proven talents for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. Simona comes with a wealth of experience gained in various different race series and is also a familiar face in Formula E. We are looking forward to working with her and welcome her to the Porsche family. Thomas has been with us since 2017, during which time he has demonstrated his talent in GT racing on numerous occasions. With the Formula E programme, we are giving Simona and Thomas the opportunity to develop as drivers and to make a positive contribution to the Porsche Formula E project.”

Simona De Silvestro (Porsche works driver): “It is a great honor to work for this prestigious brand. I am really looking forward to my new role as test and development driver for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. Over the last few years, I have gained a lot of experience from my previous involvements in Formula E. I will do my best to help Porsche on the road to success.”

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Porsche Struggles To Find Pace In Laguna Seca IMSA Race

All credit to the Porsche 911 RSR team in the IMSA championship this year. The cars have been stellar, the drivers have converted good qualifying into good races, and the two factory-supported 911s have combined to win six of the 11 races so far this season. The team has managed to develop the best all-around package for this season so far, and lead the manufacturer’s and driver’s championship by a huge margin.

IMSA did not make any balance of performance changes to the 911 RSR for the Laguna Seca race, meaning the team is running the exact same weight and horsepower they used to win the VIR race a few weeks ago. However, because the race ran green flag from start to finish, Porsche could not find a tactical advantage in the pits over other teams, and ultimately both cars finished a lap down to the GTLM class winning Ford GT.

Despite starting the race in fourth, the #912 car of Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber continued to fall down the time tables as temperatures heated up and the car struggled for grip on the greasy California track, finishing an uneventful and unimpressive 7th. Pilet and Tandy qualified the #911 car in 8th (last), and that is where the pair finished the race as well.

With just one race remaining in the season, next month’s Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta is for all the marbles.

Comments on the Race:

Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport): “The race in the GTLM class was the worst we’ve experienced with our factory cars this season. For once we weren’t competitive and for the first time in twelve months we didn’t finish on the podium. Fortunately, this doesn’t affect our bid for the championship, as we’re heading to the finale at Road Atlanta as the big favourites. We won the Sprint Cup classification in the GTD class with the brand new Porsche 911 GT3 R. Congratulations to Zacharie Robichon on winning the title and a big thank you to our team at Weissach for developing a great GT3 car.”

Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “This simply wasn’t our race. We already noticed in practice that it’d be difficult for us in terms of tyre durability. Still, we tried our best in the race. But even with an immaculate performance from us drivers and a flawless job from the pit crew, we simply couldn’t do more. Now we’re looking ahead. It’ll undoubtedly be better for us at the final round at Road Atlanta.”

Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “We still hold a clear lead in the championship. That’s the most important thing after such a difficult race. We had no real chance today because there was too much wear on the tyres. I don’t know if we could have achieved more with a different strategy. It doesn’t matter now. We’re looking forward to the ten-hour race on the outskirts of Atlanta, which is where Porsche North America is based. We are keen to secure the championship title at our home race.”

GTLM class
1. Müller/Hand (D/USA), Ford GT, 114 laps
2. Krohn/Edwards (FIN/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 114 laps
3. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Corvette C7.R, 114 laps
7. Bamber/Vanthoor (NZ/B), Porsche 911 RSR, 113 laps
8. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 113 laps

GTD class
1. Sellers/Lewis (USA/USA), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 110 laps
2. MacNeil/Vilander (USA/FIN), Ferrari 488 GT3, 110 laps
3. Potter/Lally (USA/USA), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 109 laps
4. Robichon/Hargrove (CDN/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 109 laps

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’67 Porsche 911 2.7 S R – R comme Outlaw ! Enfin presque…

Rouler en sportive, ça se mérite. Si on fait abstraction des enclumes modernes, transformées en salons roulants surpuissants qui n’ont de sportifs que leur nombre de chevaux sous le capot, une sportive ça doit être dure, bruyante, sentir l’essence et troquer toute notion de confort contre celle de l’efficacité pure… comme cette Porsche 911 2.7 […]

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Porsche Is Ready For Its Formula E Debut With The New 99X Electric

With Tag Heuer and Vodafone mobile onboard, the new Porsche Formula E livery is finally ready for prime time. Using a play on the current 911 RSR livery, which shows the outline of the Porsche crest when viewed from above, the tri-colored electric open cockpit racer looks pretty good. Ahead of the official pre-season test in October, Porsche unveiled the new car’s livery in a series of online photographs, as well as an interactive game on the streaming service Twitch. Both Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer are proven quantities with Porsche and in this open wheel racer. I can’t wait to see it on track!

“In hindsight, we laid the foundations for Porsche’s future involvement in Formula E during the LMP1 project. We used the insights gained during that time in the development of the Porsche Formula E powertrain. We focussed on building a highly effective powertrain with the highest level of efficiency,” says Malte Huneke, Technical Project Leader Formula E. “In recent months, we have been able to sound out the reliability of the Porsche Formula E powertrain on the racetrack and on the test bench. We are very pleased and are optimistic going into the final preparations for the first race. »

“In the coming weeks, we will focus on the performance of the Porsche 99X Electric. This is the next step on the road to the Porsche works entry in Formula E,” says Amiel Lindesay, Head of Formula E Operations. “Both Porsche 99X Electric will take to the racetrack there [Valencia for the official pre-season test] for the first time, with Neel Jani and André Lotterer in the cockpit. From an operational perspective, it will be an exciting assignment for everyone involved. A good test before we contest our first Formula E race in November. »

This marks Porsche’s return to single seater racing after more than 30 years away from the sport. Porsche launched its first hybrid racer nearly a decade ago with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid in 2010. Since then, the company has produced a number of hybrid road cars, including the 918 Spyder hypercar, as well as the record-and-championship-winning 919 Hybrid LMP1 racer. As we are on the brink of the unveiling of Porsche’s first full-EV road car, the Taycan, it is only fitting that the company is expanding its efforts into electric motorsport. Not only will they likely be instantly successful, but they will learn a lot from Formula E that will make the Taycan and future electric sports cars even better.

I, for one, welcome this new electric Porsche.

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