Porsche 911 GT3 R Debuts Alongside 911 RSR
The 24-hour race at the Daytona International Speedway is contested on a 3.56-mile (5.73-kilometer)-long, 12-turn combination of the historic tri-oval home of NASCAR's Daytona 500 and a tight infield section.
Full-season drivers Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) share the No. 911 car, and like last year, will be supported by Frédéric Makowiecki (France). In 2018, the trio won the long-distance races at Sebring and Road Atlanta, half of the four-race Michelin Endurance Cup events of Daytona (24-hours), Sebring (12-hours), Watkins Glen (6-hours) and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (10-hours). Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) share the cockpit of the No. 912 sister car campaigned by the Porsche GT Team.
NGT Motorsport returns to premier IMSA competition with the No. 99 Porsche 911 GT3 R manned by works driver Sven Müller (Germany) and Klaus Bachler (Austria) as well as the Germans Steffen Görig, Alfred Renauer and Jürgen Häring. Sharing driving duties in the No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche are factory driver Dirk Werner (Germany), Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Marco Seefried (Germany) and driver/team principal Timothy Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts).
Fritz Enzinger, Head of Motorsport, Porsche.
"The season in North America always takes off with this great classic at Daytona. The race is a highlight that we definitely want to win this year with our superbly-engineered 911 RSR. Porsche is the most successful manufacturer at the 24-hour race in Florida. We sincerely hope that we can continue this success streak. The tests were promising. The entire team is well on track."
Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport, Porsche.
"We have some unfinished business in Daytona from last year. We won all the other major races except the 24-hour classic in Florida. This has to change in 2019. Our sights are firmly set on winning. Our car has been perfected and tested, the team and the drivers are the very best. So we've taken all steps for a successful performance. We're also looking forward to seeing our customer teams compete with the new 911 GT3 R for the first time."
Steffen Höllwarth, Program Manager 911 RSR IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Porsche.
"We struggled with several problems at Daytona last year. These things should now be sorted out. The test underlined that all manufacturers in the GTLM class are still very close. So, for 2019, the name of the game will again be: the winner will be the one who makes the least mistakes. We hope that's us, because we want to settle a score at Daytona."
Sebastian Golz, Project Manager 911 GT3 R, Porsche.
"We have high expectations. We've finished developing the new car, the first four customer teams tackle Daytona with the new 911 GT3 R. The pit crews and driver pairings are very good, so we can head into the race feeling optimistic. We all made good progress during the tests. If this trend continues, then I'm confident that we'll ultimately see a strong result."
Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
"It's important that we bring home the best possible result at the start of the season. Obviously we would like to win. Daytona is the most important 24-hour race in North America. That motivates the team and all the drivers even more. With our Porsche 911 RSR and the experienced squad, we have every chance to fight for victory."
Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
"The 24 Hours of Daytona is one of the world's greatest endurance races. This alone makes the event immensely important for us. What's more, this race opens the IMSA season, so it's really important to earn as many points as possible here. Our Porsche 911 RSR is in its third year. We know everything about this car. That'll help us. We won the major races at Sebring and Road Atlanta last year. Now it's time to do the same at Daytona."
Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
"We achieved some great successes last year. I'd like to see this continue at Daytona in 2019. At the test, we saw that we're very well prepared with our tried-and-true 911 RSR. We should be able to maintain a good speed over the distance. It's important that we don't make any mistakes. If we can drive a clean race, then definitely anything is possible."
Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
"At last it's starting again! I can hardly wait for the IMSA series to take off. We're well prepared for the tough competition with our Porsche 911 RSR. My dream is to win the world's top four 24-hour races. I did it at Le Mans, at the Nürburgring and in Spa-Francorchamps. Only Daytona is missing on my list of victories. I'd very much like to tick it off."
Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
"It's great to contest all races with Laurens again this year. We're a perfect combination. They say that becoming a father makes a racing driver slower. That definitely won't be the case with Larry. He'll probably press the throttle pedal even harder. And, we have a very competitive car. If we drive a flawless race, we should be able to fight for victory no matter where we are – including, of course, the 24 Hours of Daytona."
"I'm thrilled to get another opportunity to drive the 912 car at the long-distance races in the USA with my colleagues. If you look at the previous races in Daytona, you see that it must be Porsche's turn to win again. We have a strong team and a fast and consistent car. The prerequisites for a win at the 24-hour race are therefore in place."
Patrick Long, Driver, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"I'm ready to kickoff 2019 with the Rolex 24 At Daytona. A notable mention that this is our first start on North American soil with the new Porsche 911 GT3 R. It was exciting to drive at the Roar, it's a nice car out of the box.
In modern GTD racing, teams continue to deliver even after 24 hours of racing. The return to Park Place has me looking forward to the rest of the season. I'm working with some professionals that I've worked with for over ten years and great friends as well. Endurance is the name of the game for this one; not only in trying to win a watch but more importantly trying to get a good base of points on the board for the start of IMSA's 50th season."
Patrick Lindsey, Driver/Team Principal, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"The theme of the weekend is 'a lot'. Every moment of our week is planned out. The crews have a lot on their shoulders between pit lane and the two garages. As drivers we have a lot to focus on to get the Porsches just right for an endurance race. Even hospitality has a lot going on, every person on the team will be maxed out but I think we're all excited and ready. There's a fresh hope at the start of every season. Daytona is fun. We're a highly competitive team and this is the start of competition so we're ready to get out there.
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"I'm not really sure what to expect. This is my first time contesting the Daytona classic. During the test I familiarized myself with the new car, with my Park Place Motorsports team and the racetrack, so I'm not expecting any difficulties. We want to do the best possible job. If we manage to do this, then let's see what result comes out in the end."
Dennis Olsen, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"Our Pfaff Motorsports team is very strong, but Daytona is new territory for us all. And this, of course, is a big challenge. But we certainly have enormous potential – in terms of the team, the car and the drivers. If we can make the most out of this and get through the first 23 hours of the race without mishap, then anything is possible. We will do our best to finish as far up the front as possible."
Sven Müller, Driver, NGT Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"Daytona is a sensational racetrack, and the event is simply fantastic. I'm very excited. It's hard to describe our expectations. The car is brand new, and we still have a lot to learn. NGT Motorsports is one of the few teams to compete with a five-man crew. There are pros and cons to this. Let's see what we can achieve in the tough GTD-class fight."
Matteo Cairoli, Driver, Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"The Black Swan Racing environment is still very new for me. The squad is strong and our drivers are also impressive. We have a bit of work to do on the setup of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. I'm confident that we'll make good progress. Then nothing stands in the way of a good race result."
Michelin Pilots. Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport Makes World Debut at Daytona.
Porsche debuted its new GT4-spec machine, the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, on January 3 at the Roar Before the Rolex 24. The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series test session provided valuable data for Porsche Motorsport North America and the customer teams involved. The newest Porsche race car led the GS class time charts for the weekend. Now, the mid-engine racer – in its top tier MR package trim – returns to the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. Eight of the new road car-based machines are entered in the four-hour season and series' debut on Friday, January 25 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Leading the GS class teams is defending race winner RS1. The No. 28 Porsche will be shared by veteran Jan Heylen (Clearwater, Florida), Charlie Luck (Richmond, Virginia) and Fred Poordad (San Antonio, Texas). Park Place Motorsports, a past race winner and current contender in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's GTD class with Porsche, makes its Michelin Pilot Challenge debut teaming with Alan Brynjolfsson (Tampa, Florida) and Trent Hindman (Ocean Township, New Jersey) in the neon yellow No. 7. BGB Motorsports brings its new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport adorned with the No. 11 to Daytona for drivers Thomas Collingwood (Canada), John Tecce of Daytona Beach and Stefan Rzadzinski (Canada). Bodymotion Racing, the first team to win a GS class race with a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport – the previous version of the car – has entered the No. 31 for Pete McIntosh with the Old Bridge, New Jersey-resident's co-driver yet to be announced. Mike Vess (Wichita, Kansas) Matt Travis (The Woodlands, Texas) and Jason Hart (Flower Mound, Texas) will take turns at the wheel of the No. 44 nolasport Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. TRG – The Racers Group – returns to the professional Porsche ranks with its traditional Nos. 66 and 67 now on the natural fiber bodywork of the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Dillon Machavern (Charlotte, Vermont) and Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia) will pair in the No. 66. The duo ran to the race victory at Daytona together in 2018 – then with RS1. Chris Bellomo (Portola Valley, California) and Robert Orcuff (Santa Cruz, California) share the second TRG machine.
The new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the most advanced development of the successful model from the German-marque. The near-standard mid-engine racer now is available in two versions: the "Trackday" model for ambitious amateur racing drivers and the "Competition" variant for national and international motor racing, including the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GT4-class.
In developing the new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, the focus was put not only on improved drivability and faster lap times but also on the sustainable use of raw materials. The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the first production race car to feature body parts made of natural-fiber composite material. The driver and co-driver doors and the rear wing are made of an organic fiber mix, sourced primarily from agricultural by-products such as flax or hemp fibers and feature similar properties to carbon fiber in terms of weight and stiffness.
Powering the 718 GT4 Clubsport is a 3.8-liter flat-six engine producing 425 hp (313 kW), a 40 horsepower increase when compared to its successful predecessor.. The power is transferred to the rear wheels via the Porsche PDK dual-clutch gearbox with six gears and mechanical rear axle differential lock. The lightweight spring-strut front suspension is taken from the 911 GT3 Cup car. The racing brake system features steel brake discs all-around, measuring 14.96-inches (380-millimetres) in diameter.
Lizard Cayman. Longtime Porsche Entrant Returns with 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
Flying Lizard Motorsports is back for its 16th season of racing, announcing a two-car effort in the SRO's Pirelli GT4 America, formally the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class. The six-time sports car racing champions will enter a 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport with returning drivers Michael Dinan and Robby Foley. The second entry will be announced at a later date.
The relationship between Flying Lizard Motorsports and Porsche goes back to the team's inception in 2004. The pair went on to win a combined six team and driver championships in the American Le Mans Series. Flying Lizard continues to run an extensive customer-racing program with Porsches in the Pirelli Trophy West series, and most recently ran the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR in 2017. The 2019 No. 21 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport will run a variation of the iconic Flying Lizard livery, to be unveiled at a later date.
Both Dinan and Foley first competed with Flying Lizard Motorsports in 2018 at the Pirelli World Challenge GTS SprintX doubleheader at Utah Motorsport Campus. Both drivers instantly fit in with the team and made steady progress throughout the course of the weekend, not only learning the new car, but the series as well.
Dinan started club racing in 2018, and began racing in the MX-5 Cup at Mid-Ohio. His race weekend with Flying Lizard Motorsports was his first event with the Pirelli World Challenge, and the young rookie hit the ground running in his new series.
Last year's effort at Utah Motorsport Campus was also Foley's Pirelli World Challenge GTS debut, however, Foley also came to the team with experience in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's GTD class, where he will race again this year as well.
Darren Law, Program Manager, Flying Lizard Motorsports.
"We are looking forward to again be working with Michael Dinan and Robby Foley. We had the opportunity to work with both of them at one of our events last year, and we established a great relationship. This is an excellent continuation of our customer racing program. We have been working with young drivers for several years now and have watched them progress on to much success, and we expect the same for Michael and Robby this season. They both have a bright future.
All of us at Flying Lizard are excited about being back with Porsche and having the opportunity to race the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. We ran the first generation of the GT4 car in 2017 with a lot of success, and after all of the development that has gone into the second generation of the car, we're looking forward to accomplishing even more in the Pirelli GT4 America championship."
Robby Foley, Driver, No. 21 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
"I'm really excited to be back with Flying Lizard Motorsports and my good friend Michael Dinan for the 2019 season. Michael has an incredible passion for motorsport, and we're both very motivated to make the most of this opportunity. It's an honor to join such an iconic team with a brand they have a deep history with. I have vivid memories growing up as a kid watching the Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR's at Lime Rock Park and to now be driving a Flying Lizard Porsche is something special. We had a great experience last year in a one-off effort and we're looking forward to continuing our relationship with the team."
Fond Farewell. Porsche 911 GT3 R Closes Successful History in Bathurst.
As the 2019 model year 911 GT3 R makes its international professional debut at the January 26 – 27 Rolex 24 At Daytona, the previous generation GT3 R, four Porsche 911 GT3 R entered by three customer teams will give the previous GT3-spec machine its final farewell performance "Down Under". The 12-hour race on the legendary Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia kicks off the 2019 season of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) and marks the last race for the successful GT3-spec Porsche.
As stipulated by the regulations, the GT3 cars must be the previous year's spec. As such, the opening round of the IGTC must be run by no newer than the 2018 model year. The Porsche teams will face stiff competition from vehicles from nine other manufacturers in the top category. Among the teams running the 911 GT3 R is Earl Bamber Motorsport (EBM) owned by Porsche works driver Earl Bamber (New Zealand). The Kiwi will step out of the cockpit and take on the role as team boss this weekend.
First contested in 1991, the GT-only race is run on the 3.86-miles (6.213-kilometers) Mount Panorama Circuit. The course consists of public roads and over 23 turns through the hilly countryside of New South Wales. Per lap, the vehicles must overcome an elevation difference of 571-feet (174-meters). The snaking, narrow passages across the ridge of the mountain are a stark contrast to the long straights at the foot of Mount Panorama. The racetrack poses a great challenge to drivers, engineers and teams alike. Traditionally, the 12-hour event takes the green flag before sunrise at 5:45 a.m. local time with the checkered flag dropping in the early evening before sundown.
EBM will campaign two of the 500-hp Porsche 911 GT3 Rs. Sharing driving duties, the New Zealand-based team has six of Bamber's Porsche factory driver colleagues. Taking the wheel of the No. 911 are Sven Müller (Germany), Romain Dumas (France) and Mathieu Jaminet (France). In the cockpit of the No. 912 car are Porsche Young Professionals Dennis Olsen (Norway) and Matt Campbell (Australia) as well as works driver Dirk Werner (Germany). Marc Lieb (Germany) and Timothy Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) helm the identical No. 540 vehicle run by United States-based Black Swan Racing. The Competition Motorsports/McElrea Racing squad is headed by works driver Kévin Estre (France), Porsche-Junior Jaxon Evans (New Zealand) and David Calvert Jones (Australia).
Fritz Enzinger, Head of Motorsport, Porsche.
"Bathurst marks the start of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. This year we aim to go all-out in this worldwide endurance series for GT3 vehicles. We're contesting the first round with the tried-and-tested Porsche 911 GT3 R. This car has underlined its potential impressively, achieving many successes on different racetracks. With our strong driver crews and the well-structured, regional teams, we should be well positioned to take on the tough fight against many other brands."
Sebastian Golz, Project Manager 911 GT3 R, Porsche.
"Although Earl Bamber's team is still relatively new, it has all the ingredients to be successful at such a long-distance race: a top-notch driver line-up and perfectly prepared cars. The other customer teams are also well positioned. I'm confident that all four Porsche 911 GT3 R will be in a position to bring home a podium result. Bathurst is a very special race. If you get through without mishaps and ultimately have the fastest driver at the wheel, then anything is possible. Our major goal is to send our proven 911 GT3 R into retirement with one last victory."
Romain Dumas, Driver, No. 911 Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"The event, the track, the environment: this is what impressed me last year. It makes me all the more excited for this year's race. My teammates Mathieu and Sven don't yet know this special track, however they'll quickly familiarize themselves with its quirks. Our car is proven. Bathurst will be the last time we compete with the 911 GT3 R in this specification. Looking at the championship, it's important to harvest as many points as possible here and not immediately fall behind."
Sven Müller, Driver, No. 911 Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"I've never been to Bathurst so it's all new for me. I practiced in the simulator and noticed that it's an incredibly beautiful racetrack, which needs precision and courage. We know the Porsche 911 GT3 R inside out. Our team is well prepared. We have three works drivers sharing a car at this event, so of course expectations are high. We want to win."
Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, No. 911 Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"For years I've watched the Bathurst race on television in fascination, and now I get the chance to drive there. At the end of the 2018 season I literally begged Porsche to let me race there. I'm thrilled and super motivated. It's interesting to have my works driver colleague Earl Bamber, with whom I contest the endurance races in the IMSA series, as my team boss in Bathurst. From teammate to team boss within a week… that'll be fun."
Dirk Werner, Driver, No. 912 Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"Bathurst was the absolute highlight of my 2018 season. The racetrack is fantastic, a unique challenge. Driving there is huge fun and now that I have more experience it'll be even better this year. We're driving our proven GT3 car for the last time, it's a final performance. It's always a special experience to begin the year with a world tour: from Germany via Daytona to Bathurst and home again."
Dennis Olsen, Driver, No. 912 Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"It'll be the last big outing for the old generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 R. This alone makes our race in Bathurst particularly delightful. Earl Bamber's team will give their utmost. With Dirk Werner and Matt Campbell, I have two world-class teammates joining me in the cockpit. Both know the racetrack well. I have to learn fast and perhaps turn a few more laps during practice. If I can find my rhythm quickly then we can fight for a front spot."
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 912 Earl Bamber Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"I'm so excited about my home race in Bathurst. Together with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it's definitely the highlight of the year for me. The extraordinary circuit at Mount Panorama is the best racetrack in the world. I've raced at Bathurst many times and I've been successful there. I hope that we can compete amongst the frontrunners this year so that we can give last year's Porsche 911 GT3 R a fitting send-off into retirement."
Marc Lieb, Driver, No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"We climbed the podium at this wonderful event in 2018. We're hoping for such a success again this year. I'm driving with Tim Pappas and Jeroen Bleekemolen again so that will work very well. I think the event is one of the most beautiful in the world. The spectators are great, the race is really demanding, and the track is simply fantastic. I'm really looking forward to my fourth race in Bathurst."
Rally Run. Porsche Cayman GT4 Rallye Demo Run Made On Snow and Ice.
The Porsche Motorsport department in Weissach, Germany is developing the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport to comply with the FIA R-GT regulations to make its return to rallying. The mid-engine machine is targeted to make its competition debut in the 2020 season. A decisive factor in this decision was the positive response at the launch of the Cayman GT4 Rallye Concept Car at the 2018 ADAC Rally Deutschland. Romain Dumas (France) drove the concept study as the course car. The first demo run on snow and ice for the rally concept vehicle will be at the Porsche Winter Event held before the GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria, January 19 – 20. Piloting the concept car is local hero and Porsche factory driver Richard Lietz. Lietz is currently ranked in third-place in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMGTE-Pro class.
In contrast to the concept vehicle, the future rally car will not be based on the Cayman GT4 Clubsport built in 2018, but on the new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport unveiled at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 in Daytona Beach Florida in early January. The new customer sport racer, designed for GT4 series as well as clubsport and track day events, is powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six engine producing 425 hp. In developing the vehicle, the focus was put on performance, drivability and sustainability. Highlighting the car's sustainability, several body parts of the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport are made of natural-fiber composite material, a first for a Porsche racing car. The comparatively low operating cost of the new R-GT-regulation vehicle is a major advantage, thanks to its close connection to the production car.
Porsche in Rallying. Triumphs and Tradition
Porsche has a long history of successes in rallying. Claiming overall victory at the Dakar Rally in 1986 with the Porsche 959 was a milestone achievement for the German manufacturer. The Porsche 953, based on the first four-wheel-drive version of the 911, also won the Dakar Rally.
In the late sixties and early seventies, Vic Elford and Björn Waldegard celebrated major triumphs with the Porsche 911 at the legendary Monte Carlo Rally. In the recent past, many privateers have put their trust in various models of the Porsche 911 in national and international competitions. Moreover, Porsche's works drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) have taken on private projects in rallying. Dumas is the current overall winner and record holder of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
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