Event Story Lines.
Peter Schutz Remembered.
Known as the man that saved the Porsche 911 from cancelation, Peter Schutz could also be rightly remembered as the man who saved Porsche motorsports as well. Peter Schutz, the former Chief Executive Officer of Porsche AG from January 1, 1981 to December 31, 1987, passed away on Sunday, October 29. He was 87.
Born in 1930 in Berlin, Peter moved with his family first to Cuba in 1937, and then to Chicago in 1939 where he later graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He worked as an engineer for Caterpillar Tractor and then Cummins Engine as a Vice President. In 1978, he took over the Deutz Engine Division of Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz in Germany. He joined Porsche at the behest of Professor Ferry Porsche and assumed the leading role from Professor Ernst Fuhrmann.
In one of his first official acts at Porsche, Schutz, long considered the savior of the Porsche 911 famously extended the product cycle of our iconic sports car beyond its scheduled end in 1981. In his own words:
“I went down to the office of our lead engineer, Professor Helmuth Bott, to discuss plans for our upcoming models. I noticed a chart hanging on his wall that depicted the ongoing development trends of our top three lines: 911, 928, and 944. With the latter options, the graph showed a steady rise in production for years to come. But for the 911, the line stopped in 1981. I grabbed a marker off Professor Bott's desk and extended the 911 line across the page, onto the wall, and out the door. When I came back, Bott stood there, grinning. Do we understand each other? I asked. And with a nod, we did.”
Schutz soon followed that decision with a declarative return to the top tier of endurance racing when he said, “as long as I am in charge of this company, we will never go to any race without the objective of winning (overall).” In addition to a resurgence of race victories around the world, Porsche won the 24 Hours of Le Mans seven years in a row, a record that still stands.
During his seven-year term as Porsche CEO, global sales rose by nearly 100 percent, while projects like the groundbreaking 959 took hold and morale at the company rebounded. Porsche Cars North America came into existence during his tenure.
Peter Schutz retired to Naples, Florida in 1988 and became a renowned motivational speaker, and remained quite popular in Porsche circles as he made himself readily available at events like the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
He is survived by his wife Sheila, daughter Lori and sons Michael and Mitchel.
Three-Peat. Porsche Claims World Championship Titles In Shanghai.
Finishing in second and third-places at the penultimate round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) allowed Porsche to successfully defend the Drivers’ World Championship title as well as the Manufacturers Trophy for the LMP1 Hybrid class. The Porsche LMP Team will return home to Stuttgart, Germany with the Manufacturers’ title for the third consecutive time.
The “works” driver trio of Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) finished in second-place in the Six Hours of Shanghai and are the new World Champions for Drivers. Their teammates with the sister car – the outgoing world champion Neel Jani (Switzerland), André Lotterer (Germany) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) – finished in third-place overall in China. A technical issue early in the race had caused them to drop back. Victory in the WEC’s round eight of nine went to Toyota. Until the 174th of 195 laps it looked as if the title for makes would remain open until the final race in two weeks time. However, the then second-place running Toyota had to pit for repairs after a collision and the two Porsche 919 Hybrids each moved up a position.
Michael Steiner, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche AG.
“Three manufacturers’ world championship titles and three Le Mans victories for the Porsche 919 Hybrid are confirmation of our initial bold decision to attempt something totally new. Especially in regard to battery technology, downsizing, efficiency improvements with the turbocharged petrol engine and, in particular, for energy recovery systems. We didn’t look for role models, instead we struck out on our own path. Only by doing this could we create such a strong package, which has enabled us to make huge progress on the racetrack and in our technical development center.”
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.
“Today’s race told another chapter of an almost unbelievable success story that shortly comes to an end. For the achievement of six world championship titles and three Le Mans overall victories, this team deserves the highest praise. With a great team spirit and good fun, they had a common aim: to win races for Porsche. This was again rewarded today by the defense of both world championship titles. What we have experienced over the last three years will take some time to sink in. Hats off to every single team member that contributed to this success and I want to thank everyone at Porsche worldwide, especially the board. They have supported us right from the beginning, believed in us and gave the program a high priority. Without this backing, we would not have won those races. This also goes for the great cooperation with our partners right from the beginning. Now I’m looking forward to an exciting race in Bahrain where many board members will join us. I’m utterly proud of our achievements over the recent years.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal.
“First of all congratulations to Toyota for a strong performance in today’s race. Congratulations also to Earl Bamber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley for the drivers’ championship. For sure it’s a sensational story to win all these titles and races three years in a row. At the same time, it was a big relief today not just for me but for the entire team that we could seal the two championships with one race remaining. It was not an easy situation in recent months, especially after the announcement was made to stop after this season. But we kept everyone focused and built up a points gap in the middle of the season. We are really happy that this worked out today. A big thank you to everyone back home in Weissach for the sensational work they have done again this year. A big thank you to the race team here that was delivering despite all of the pressure at each race. And finally, a big thank you to all six drivers. What they have done this year was sensational team work – also between the two cars.”
Neel Jani, Driver, No. 1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“Our car number 1 crew has been unlucky this year, a throttle sensor problem causing us a problem in this race. But we would not have caught both Toyotas and so in this regard, it wasn’t a massive problem. Now we have to turn around this streak of bad luck in Bahrain – a race win would be great. Congratulations to the sister car crew for the title.”
André Lotterer, Driver, No. 1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“It’s cool that we got on the podium with both Porsche crews. Congratulations to our three teammates for becoming the new world champions. It is great that we also won the manufacturers’ title; the team did a top job. For us it wasn’t easy today after we had the issue early in the race. It was basically a case of bringing it home after that.”
Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“The sensor issue is a big shame because we really were in the fight with the two Toyotas but the problem cost us nearly one lap. Afterwards only a safety car or a very fortunate full course yellow could have allowed us to get back in contention. However, we were lucky that we could stay in the race because it was not known how quickly the problem could be fixed. Congrats to Timo, Brendon and Earl.”
Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“World Champion! It just sounds amazing. The team was fighting hard for it all year and now we grab the manufacturers and drivers world championship. I did a double stint at the start of the race. It was okay but it didn’t look like we were on the right tire. I just tried to manage the tire as best as I could for the double stint. The tires held on very, very well actually, but we didn’t have a chance against the Toyota. The task was to bring it home in third position which ultimately became second. This weekend is super special. I can hardly believe that I won my first championship with Porsche back in 2013, only four years ago.”
Timo Bernhard, Driver, No. 2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“The second world championship title – this is kind of crazy and difficult to put in words. It is an honor to drive for the Porsche LMP Team and the brand, it is mega. I am relieved that we have secured both titles here. Now we can face Bahrain a little more relaxed. My stint was good but of course we knew a third place finish would be enough. I could have pushed harder but it just wasn’t necessary. Instead we slowed the car down a bit for safety. Toyota was not really within reach today, but our car was reliable and the crew did another sensational job. This is what endurance racing is about. Many, many thanks to everyone and of course to Brendon and Earl.”
Brendon Hartley, Driver, No. 2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“I was second in the car and stayed there for 76 laps. We lost a lot of downforce in the beginning, so the first stint was hard work. At the stop, we changed the nose which improved this issue. But we had one set of tires less than all the other cars after we lost one in qualifying. So this was a kind of game over for us. But we definitely have had an incredible year. Taking the World Championship title after winning Le Mans – it might take a while until it all sinks in. I had a few busy weeks but sharing this moment with Earl and Timo I will not forget for the rest of my life.”
China Second-Place. 911 RSR Earns Eighth WEC Podium of 2017.
The title fight in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) remains gripping to the end. At the six-hour race on the Shanghai International Circuit on November 4, Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) secured second-place in the LMGTE-Pro class with the Porsche 911 RSR after a spectacular catch-up race. Clinching the eighth WEC podium result for the 510 hp racer from Weissach, Germany this season, they narrowed the gap in the GT Drivers World Championship to just two points before the final race in Bahrain scheduled for November 18. For their teammates Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France), the race on the 3.39-mile Grand Prix circuit on the outskirts of the Chinese economic metropolis came to an early end. After holding the lead for almost the entire first third of the race, they had to park their 911 RSR due to engine damage.
Driving the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR, Lietz and Makowiecki were very close to clinching their first world championship victory. After a difficult qualifying session, which saw them start the race from the seventh grid spot, they fought their way to the front with consistently fast lap times. After an hour they were running in third-place, and shortly after their team colleagues’ retirement while in the lead, Makowiecki took the front spot. For almost an hour, the Frenchman defended his position before relinquishing it to come into the pits. With approximately 90 minutes to the checkered flag, Lietz took over driving duties in the 911 RSR, moved into third-place and, in a spectacular overtaking maneuver, grabbed second-place.
The final phase was definitely not for the faint-hearted. Over many laps, the Austrian delivered a gripping duel with the leading Ford, where he was practically glued to the bumper of the frontrunner. With 35 minutes to go, a critical incident thwarted his charge when a Toyota prototype hit the right side of the Porsche in the first corner. Because of this, Lietz lost more than 15 seconds and ultimately the connection to the leader. With his damaged 911 RSR he still managed to salvage second-place, only eleven seconds off the winning time.
The Porsche customer teams also delivered strong performances. Gulf Racing with drivers Ben Barker (Great Britain), Nick Foster (Australia) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) finished in second-place in the LMGTE-Am class. Clinching third-place, Dempsey Proton Racing defended their title chances in the drivers’ and team’s classification of the FIA Endurance Trophy with the Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Christian Ried and Marvin Diernst (both Germany).
The ninth and final round of the WEC will be contested in Bahrain, November 18.
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars.
“The fight for the world championship remains gripping. Today we managed to narrow the small gap to two points. Hopefully in Bahrain we’ll finally be able to bring home our long overdue maiden world championship win for our new 911 RSR. In the GTE-Pro class it was even closer than usual today. It’s a shame that the incident with the Toyota cost us decisive seconds as well as the chance to be even closer and perhaps even score a victory. The title race in the GTE-Am class is still open.”
Richard Lietz, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“That was an exciting race. I feel sorry for Michael and Kevin. They were doing so well. Our 911 RSR was running well, too. Fred drove a fantastic double stint and, at the end, the situation with the leading Ford became really close. The incident involving the Toyota cost us a lot of time, and afterwards our car was pretty badly battered. The steering wheel was wonky and I felt strong vibrations. I’m pleased that I managed to salvage second-place. We’re still totally in contention for the world championship.”
Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“Obviously we would rather have won. We were so close towards the end. But we’ve again improved our chances of winning the world championship with second-place, so I’m satisfied. What I didn’t like was how disrespectful the LMP1 and LMP2 drivers were. That wasn’t the first time we were nudged unnecessarily today. But the most important thing is that it’ll be really exciting at the season finale in Bahrain.”
Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“It’s always disappointing to have a race end prematurely. But considering how we’ve improved over the second half of the season, we have no reason to hang our heads. Again, every team member did a great job today and contributed to a great start to the race, possibly our best this year. Now we would like to reap the fruits of our hard work at the season finale in Bahrain.”
Kévin Estre, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“The beginning of the race went well for us. I had a great start and could move into first-place after three laps. Michael then extended the lead. Our 911 RSR ran like clockwork, it was the fastest GT car in the field. But two laps after Michael handed the car off to me, the car suddenly lost power. That was tough because at that point the situation seemed very promising for us to win the race. It’s just bad luck. But we’re looking ahead now and we hope for a good season finale in Bahrain.”
Matteo Cairoli, Driver, No. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
“That was a very tough race. We experienced problems with the tires over the whole weekend, plus we lacked a bit of speed compared to the frontrunners. Viewed in this light, third-place is a good result, even though it means we’ve lost our lead in the FIA Endurance Trophy. Still, the final score will be settled after the last round in Bahrain.”
PCA Celebration. Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East Season Two.
The PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series celebrated its second season of competition in late October at Daytona International Speedway after eight race events at some of North America’s most challenging courses, including a new addition in Canada.
The flourishing semi-professional series, which debuted in 2016, provides a bridge for Porsche racers to climb to the professional ranks. Drivers compete in the 385-horsepower, mid-engine Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which features a sealed engine and transmission and a Pirelli spec tire. The car is based on the successful street-legal Cayman GT4 sports car.
Pirelli was named as an Official Series Sponsor and Tire Provider for the PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series in February of 2016 and continued on as a sponsor in 2017. All competitors in the series raced on Pirelli tires, and the global tire giant, as well as Porsche Motorsport North America, also provided technical and engineering support at each event.
Each event in the series featured three races in an exciting, varied format relative to PCA Club Racing standards. The first and second races consist of 30-minute sprint races. The third race is an endurance race lasting 80 minutes.
Pro class, Championship class and Masters class competitors received points based on finish in their respective divisions, with podium recognition for each of the top three drivers. The Masters class is designated for drivers ages 57 and older.
New for the 2017 season was the Clubsport MR – a Manthey-Racing kit for the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport designed to make the car lighter and faster with a combination of an aero package, suspension upgrades and weight reduction. The Clubsport MR has been homologated by SRO as a GT4-spec racer, allowing drivers to participate in the United States and internationally in the respective series’ GT4 categories. It is the same car which raced in Pirelli World Challenge (GTS class) and won the GS class of the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Championship with RS1.
Jim Cox was crowned the Pro class champion for the 2017 season. Cox, representing the Central Florida PCA Region, drove the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR throughout the season. Cox’s teammate, Bruce McKee, placed second in the Pro class with Autometrics’ rookie driver Noël Brown rounding out the Pro class in third.
Winning the Championship class this season was Curt Swearingin, representing the Tennessee PCA Region in his No. 18 ACI Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Swearingin led the standings, 323.5 – 306, over David Baum, representing the Western Michigan PCA Region in the No. 24 Autometrics Motorsports entry.
Swearingin built his strong points margin by sweeping event weekends at Road Atlanta, Barber Motorsports Park, VIRginia International Raceway and Monticello Motor Club.
Alejandro Galindo, who represents the Mardi Gras PCA Region, rounded out the top three in the Championship class standings this season with 288 points.
In the Masters class, Charlie Craig, representing the Connecticut Valley PCA Region in the No. 76 Autometrics Motorsports Cayman GT4 Clubsport, was crowned the champion. He led the Masters standings, 195-184, over John Crosby, representing the Mardi Gras PCA Region.
Kathy Mead, representing the Hill Country PCA Valley Region, rounded out the Masters class in third with 148 points. 2017 marked Mead’s first year with the series, and she was the sole female competitor.
Drivers, teams and families enjoyed an eventful end-of-the-season championship banquet at the Goodyear 500 Club following their final endurance race October 29 at Daytona International Speedway. The event included awards, prizes and sports car racing legend Elliott Forbes-Robinson as the featured guest speaker.
Series sponsor Porsche Design provided an exciting season finale prize to the Championship and Masters class winners at the event. Swearingin and Craig received exclusive titanium timepieces that were both customized with the GT4 Clubsport logo embossed on the back.
Vicki Earnshaw, PCA Club Racing Chair.
“Congratulations to our 2017 GT4 Trophy East Series winners. This season resulted in great improvement in our drivers' speed and racecraft. The competition in eight events with fields of around 18 Clubsport cars gave them close competition. Our generous support from our partners allowed PCA Club Racing to have a rewarding season and we thank you. We also thank the teams, drivers and our PCA Club Racing volunteer staff for their support.”
Porsche Cars North America. @Porsche
Porsche GT Team (North America) @PorscheNARacing
Porsche Motorsport – GT Cars. @PorscheRaces
Porsche Racing – 919 Hybrid. @Porsche_Team
Porsche 911 RSR. #911RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R. #911GT3R
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup #911Cup
Porsche 919 Hybrid. #919hybrid
Six Hours of Bahrain #6hBahrain
Series Hashtags and Handles.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3CAN
PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East @CaymanGT4CSEast #GT4CSE
Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA @PirelliCupUSA
Intercontinental GT Challenge @IntercontGTC
Future Porsche Events.
FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Event: Six Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit
Dateline: Shanghai, China
Date: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Track Length: 3.39-miles, 15-turn
Race Duration: 6-Hours
Class: LMP1-Hybrid (Porsche 919 Hybrid)
LMGTE-Pro (Porsche 911 RSR)
LMGTE-Am (Porsche 911 RSR, MY 2015)
Round: 9 of 9
Next Round: Season Finale