Upcoming Porsche Motorsport Events.
FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Event: Six Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit
Dateline: Sakhir, Bahrain
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2017
Track Length: 3.36-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
Event Story Lines.
Grand Finalé. Porsche 919 Hybrid Readies for Last Race.
One of the most successful chapters in Porsche motorsport history comes to an end on Saturday, November 18 in Bahrain. The ninth and final round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will be the last race for the Porsche 919 Hybrid. The Six Hours of Bahrain sees a pair of 919 Hybrids guided by six Porsche factory drivers.
In 2013, the first test version of the Class 1 Le Mans prototype (LMP1) rolled out at the research and development center in Weissach, Germany by an entirely new Porsche team. The powertrain concept was as innovative as it was brave. The revolutionary system has evolved to consist of the most efficient combustion engine Porsche has ever built combined with two different energy recovery systems. Despite a difficult test period, 2014 saw the first positive results: four pole positions and the 919’s first race win. From 2015 to date, the Porsche LMP Team has been phenomenally successful with three consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans outright victories and three successive manufacturers’ world championship titles. The pilots of the Porsche 919 Hybrid have won the drivers’ world championship title on three occasions.
When Porsche entered the LMP1 category for the 2014 season, it did so in the footsteps of Ferry Porsche’s philosophy of using motorsport as the ultimate challenge and development cycle. The 2014 LMP1 technical regulations presented a tremendous challenge. It required hybrid technology from manufacturers and, at the same time, penalized a high amount of recovered energy by limiting the fuel consumption. Regulations did, however, leave individual freedom on how to deal with these complex requirements. The Porsche engineers didn’t focus on existing racecars but made full use of the chance to create a revolutionary machine from scratch.
Entering its final six hour race, the Porsche 919 Hybrid develops a system power of around 900 HP (662 kW) that comes from a compact two-liter turbo charged V4-cylinder (nearly 500 HP/368 kW) engine and two different energy recovery systems – brake energy from the front axle combined with exhaust energy. The combustion engine drives the rear axle while the electro motor boosts the front axle with an output of more than 400 HP (294 kW). This way the 919 accelerates with four-wheel drive and at the same time recuperates energy from the exhaust system that otherwise would pass unused into the atmosphere. The electrical energy that comes from the front brakes and the exhaust system is temporarily stored in a liquid-cooled lithium ion battery. The volume of knowledge Porsche has gained from the 919 program for future road-going hybrid and electric cars is immeasurable. Information and experience unknown before have been discovered in, for example, the areas of combustion efficiency, battery and high voltage technology as well as energy recovery.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1.
“Back then we developed from zero a highly complex hybrid racecar on a Formula One level. The early days were extremely demanding, especially as we had to set up the infrastructure, including new buildings, at the same time, plus assembling a team of 260 excellent people. The timing was really tight and the 2014 Le Mans race came way too early for us. But since then, we have managed maximum success. I’m incredibly proud of this team and I hope that we can conclude the era of the Porsche 919 Hybrid with a good race in Bahrain.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal, Porsche LMP Team.
“I feel a big relief that the pressure of defending the manufacturers’ and drivers’ world championship titles is resolved before our last race. The emotions of the farewell under the stress of the title battle would have been extremely hard for the team. In Toyota this year, we are facing a competitor who developed an all-new car for 2016. We, instead, kept developing our existing car. That we still won Le Mans as well as both championship titles, is thanks to outstanding driver performances, many detailed improvements and the operational strength of our team. Now we have to get ourselves together and focus on this last race. We want to leave the stage not only as world champions but also with a performance that is satisfying for all of us. Six hours of reliability and faultless work are big challenges of men and machine. Safety has the highest priority. Only after the checkered flag can we allow our reflective feelings to break through.”
Neel Jani, Driver, No. 1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“The last race in the Porsche 919 Hybrid’s history will certainly be very special. The end of an era is the prefix for this weekend. At the same time for our car number 1 driver crew, a strong race result is the priority. We will give everything to send off the 919 nicely in to retirement. The circuit should suit us with the high downforce aerodynamic package. It’s an abrasive track for the tires. It will probably be hot during the day but we drive into the cooler night and therefore have to manage our tire strategy accordingly.”
André Lotterer, Driver, No. 1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“The entire team will experience a very emotional weekend in Bahrain. I had similar feelings with Audi last year. But I think this time it will be different for the entire paddock because an era of great competition between extremely cool hybrid sports cars is ending. I will try to enjoy every second and take all the memories with me. I want to contribute with a strong performance for a nice farewell. The Bahrain track layout is not one of my favorites, but I still like driving there. The weather usually is nice in the desert. It is a challenging race for the tires but I think the 919 is a fast, solid car and we have the potential to win there.”
Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“I prefer not to think about the farewell yet. The Bahrain race is very interesting anyway because we are racing from day into night. It is normally very hot for the car, the drivers and especially the tires. It is a challenging race to finish the season at. I haven’t been there since 2015 but I was on the podium back then when I came second in the LMP2 class. So this year’s target is to make it onto the LMP1 podium.”
Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“Two Le Mans wins and now the world championship – there is a lot I can thank Porsche for. It was very special for me to join the Porsche LMP1 program back in 2015. It was one of my first ever tasks as a Porsche works driver when Fritz and Andreas and everyone in the team believed in taking a Carrera Cup driver to Le Mans. That was amazing. I was back in the GT program in 2016 and then becoming one of the main LMP drivers has been a fantastic year in which I was learning a lot. Stopping now feels difficult because I feel every race weekend we are getting better and better and there is still a lot more performance and a lot more than we can show. The race weekend in Bahrain will be challenging and we will give it our best. It will be very, very special to see two cars in the museum forever having my name on the side. The Porsche 919 Hybrid will always bring back special memories.”
Timo Bernhard, Driver, No. 2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“It is great that we could take both titles in Shanghai. Now we are relieved to give it a go in Bahrain and to fully enjoy our last weekend with the Porsche 919 Hybrid. In other words, we will get the maximum out of it without the pressure of the championship battle. In any case it will be a weekend full of emotions. For me, many memories from the first days of the program pop up. These were intense experiences at the beginning. Not easy. When the last stint of the 919 is over, a lot more feelings will come up. These four – or five years if you include development – were just such cool times and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a single moment. I’m heading very positively to Bahrain, although I know it will not be easy to suppress such thoughts during a very tough six-hour race.”
Brendon Hartley, Driver, No. 2 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid.
“Going to Bahrain will be emotional for all of us. Especially as we arrive as World Champions with less pressure now. I have so many incredible memories and experiences with the 919 Hybrid, teammates and all the boys and girls from the Porsche LMP Team. We shared something very special together. After developing the Porsche 919 for more than four years, it's an absolute dream to drive so we will all be enjoying every last lap with this awesome machine. On one side there will be a lot of sadness, but on the other hand we will be giving everything to give this project the ultimate send off it deserves.”
Facts and Figures. Bahrain.
- The WEC efficiency regulations limit the amount of energy that can be used per lap. On the 3.36-mile (5.41 kilometers) long lap of the Bahrain International Circuit, the Porsche 919 Hybrid can use 4.92 megajoule of electrical power from energy recovery systems and 1.907 litres/1.381 kg liters of petrol. - At normal race speed, the 919 Hybrid is due for refueling after 31 laps. - Refueling and changing tires may only be done sequentially, not at the same time. Only four mechanics may work simultaneously when changing tires and also may use only one wheel gun at a time. That takes a lot longer than in IMSA, NASCAR or F1, for example. - The drivers are normally only changed when new Michelin tires are needed. - These different types of Michelin tires can be used: three different compounds of slick tires for dry conditions, a hybrid tire (no profile either but softer cover) for mixed conditions and wet weather tires. Four sets of dry weather tires are available per car for qualifying and the race, this is two sets less than in 2016. - A lap on the F1 track of the Bahrain International Circuit has nine right-handers and six left-handers. The longest straight is at the start-finish and measures 0.68 of a mile (1.090 kilometers). - The circuit opened in 2004 and is located about 18.6-miles (30 kilometers) outside Bahrain’s capital of Manama. Over 30 islands in the Persian Gulf belong to the Kingdom.
Crown Jewel. Porsche Drivers Aim for World Championship.
The 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season finale in the desert promises suspense from start to finish. At the six-hour race on the Bahrain International Circuit, November 18, the title decisions in the LMGTE-Pro class go down to the wire. Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) aim to wrap up an incredibly close and eventful season by securing the GT drivers’ title with the 510 hp Porsche 911 RSR.
Their prospects of claiming the crown in the first season of the newly developed racecar from Weissach, Germany look good. Ranking second in the drivers’ classification, they are just two points behind the leaders and could take home the world championship crown by their own efforts. Also within reach of a world championship title is the Porsche GT Team, which currently lies second in the team classification. In Bahrain, the Porsche GT Team fields two 911 RSR in the fiercely competitive class. Their toughest rivals in the fight for the world championship are Ferrari and Ford.
In the LMGTE-Am class, Dempsey Proton Racing travels to the Kingdom in the Persian Gulf also holding a chance at the title. The Porsche customer team is within striking distance of clinching the entrants’ World Endurance Trophy in the Pro-Am class with a previous generation 911 RSR.
A distinctive feature of the six-hour race on the Bahrain International Circuit is that it starts in the heat of the afternoon and ends in the darkness and cooler temperatures of the late evening. The 3.36-mile (5.407-kilometer) racetrack is located 30 minutes by car to the southwest of the capital Manama. In 2004, the track was purpose-built in the middle of the desert for Formula 1.
Four Porsche factory pilots and a Porsche Young Professional contest this season’s last WEC round. Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) share the cockpit of the No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR. Their team colleagues Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France) drive the 911 RSR with the starting number 92. In the LMGTE-Am class,
Porsche customer teams field two 2015-spec 911 RSR. Dempsey Proton Racing has notched up two victories at the Nürburgring and in Mexico so far this season with the Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Christian Ried and Marvin Dienst (both from Germany). Ben Barker and Michael Wainwright from Great Britain as well as Australian Nick Foster compete in the 911 RSR run by Gulf Racing.
The newest 911 RSR, developed on the basis of the high-performance 911 GT3 RS sports car, contested its first season in 2017. The suspension, body structure, aerodynamic concept, engine and transmission were all designed from scratch by Porsche Motorsport. Depending on the size of the restrictor, the motor, which is positioned in front of the rear axle, puts out around 375 kW (510 hp). Thanks to the large rear diffuser combined with a top-mounted rear wing, the level of down-force and the aerodynamic efficiency were significantly improved over the previous iteration. It scored its maiden victory in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Lime Rock on July 22. The best results thus far in the WEC are second-place finishes at the rounds in Nürburgring, Austin, Fuji and most recently at Shanghai.
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars.
“In Bahrain, an exciting WEC season comes to an end, the first for our new 911 RSR. Considering how close and fierce the competition in the GT categories were this year, its no surprise really that most of the title decisions have to wait until the finale. Our very clear focus for the final round is to provide Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki with all the support they need to win the race and secure the world championship title, which is awarded this year for the very first time in the GTE-Pro class. The first WEC win for the 911 RSR would also increase the chances for the Porsche GT Team to win the team classification. And, of course, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for our Dempsey Proton Racing customer team, who still has a chance to conclude a successful season by winning the FIA World Endurance Trophy.”
Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports.
“Racing in the heat of Bahrain is the ultimate test for the brakes. Those who have the right knack and manage to cope with the temperatures enjoy a huge advantage and have the best chances to be among the frontrunners. And the season finale in the desert also puts the tires under incredible stress. However, as we’ve seen in the last few years, the brakes are the decisive factor.”
Richard Lietz, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“So now comes the grand finale. Bahrain is one of my favorite racetracks. Firstly, I like driving on the interesting desert circuit, secondly it’s always good weather there. We have a great chance in Bahrain to win the world championship in our new 911 RSR’s maiden season. That’s our goal and we’ll fight for it to the finish – supported by a terrific team, which has played a major role in getting us this far.”
Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“It’s been a very tough first season so far with our new 911 RSR, and the final round in Bahrain won’t be easy either. For us, the season finale is about the world championship, and that increases the pressure. But we can handle it. In Shanghai, we missed out on winning the race by just eleven seconds. This makes us even more motivated for Bahrain, where we have good chances to win and clinch the title for Porsche.”
Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“I’m looking forward to the last race of the season. 2017 was an interesting year. We tackled it with the new 911 RSR, we’ve learned a lot from every race and now we’ve reached a good level. This development was a very interesting experience. I’m hoping to finish the season with a strong performance in Bahrain, and I wish the same for our team colleagues Richard and Fred, who hopefully secure the world championship title in Bahrain.”
Kévin Estre, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“The first season for our new 911 RSR comes to an end in Bahrain. It would be fantastic if we managed to bring home our first win of the WEC on this special racetrack in the desert. The race has a very special atmosphere – a little like 1001 nights. The focus is definitely on the title fight of our teammates Richard and Fred. We’ll do everything we can to support them and, with our entire team, to help them win the GT world championship.”
Matteo Cairoli, Driver, No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
“In Shanghai we experienced problems and we had no real chance to win. We want to change this in Bahrain. I’m certain that our engineers will find the appropriate solutions to get us back up amongst the frontrunners for the final race of the year. We want to win the FIA Endurance Trophy in Bahrain. That’ll be difficult, but it’s not impossible.”
Keys of Success. Jake Eidson Earns the GT3 Cup USA Title and 911 Carrera.
Hurley Haywood Scholarship winner and IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Champion Jake Eidson stormed onto the one-make championship’s schedule in strong style. When the season had concluded he reaped title of one of the hardest-fought seasons to-date for the one-make championship. He also earned yet another valuable trophy in the process – the keys to a brand-new Porsche 911, his to use for the next year.
Appropriately equipped for a GT3 Cup Challenge Champion, Porsche outfitted the stunning black 911 with a seven-speed manual transmission to transfer power to the ground from the 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged boxer engine that produces 370 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. And if Eidson is late for an appointment, those six cylinders will propel him to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds, while the Champion is wrapped in a leather interior listening to the tones of the optional Bose Surround Sound system and Sport Exhaust.
Eidson first got a glimpse of the car at the championship banquet at Motul Petit Le Mans. At the end of the celebration, the first year participant in the series was handed the keys to iconic machine by Dr. Daniel Armbruster, president and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America.
Entering the Road Atlanta finale, the 22-year-old driver had already clinched the Overall and Platinum Cup Championships at the series' previous event at Sonoma Raceway in the No. 24 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry. However, he had to wait to the conclusion of on-track activities at Road Atlanta on Friday to collect the wares of his efforts. To celebrate the teamwork nature of the sport, Eidson said one of his first rides in his new 911 Carrera was with Kelly-Miss principal Jeff Stone.
While the fruits of the labor came at the season’s close, the young driver said a major career moment happened before his 2017 season even started when he got the call that he had won the inaugural Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship, backed by IMSA, Yokohama, Porsche and Haywood himself. The scholarship allowed Eidson to grow his relationship with Kelly-Moss and put into motion his impressive rookie season.
Although winning a new Porsche and the scholarship were memorable, Eidson raved about his experience with “Racing For Kids” – a unique national charity, which supports children when they are most vulnerable, sick and hospitalized. Drawing on the popularity of motorsports, “Racing For Kids” uses its distinctive position within the racing world to bring attention and funding to child health institutions. Around 100 of those children came out to Barber Motorsports Park for the GT3 Cup Challenge event weekend in April. Eidson started from pole position and won both 45-minute races at the Alabama track.
Jake Eidson, 2017 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Overall Champion.
About winning the 2017 Championship and 911 Carrera. "They basically handed me the keys and said, 'Go have fun!’ There's six to seven drivers on any given weekend who could win the pole and the race so it's a lot of tough competition in this series.
"The amount of support I've received this year is overwhelming, I can't thank everyone enough. First of all, I have to thank my team - Kelly-Moss Road and Race. I think they're the best team at what they do. They've been a huge contributor with [owner and competition director] Jeff Stone and he's been an enormous amount of help and support for me. He's done a really good job of making us feel like we are part of the Kelly-Moss family - and it's truly more of a family than a team."
About winning the Hurley Haywood Scholarship. "Winning that scholarship was a bit of added pressure because a lot of people really want to see you do well. Trying to meet those expectations and standards was difficult at times, but I think if nothing else, it was more motivation.
About the Racing For Kids Experience. "Being able to meet some of those kids involved and put a smile on their faces has been really moving and memorable. It was special watching them enjoy the sights and sounds of racing and all the excitement of a race weekend."
Return of the Original Lizard. Team Founder Neiman Races in GT3 Cup Trophy
After stepping away from a storied sports car career that included 11 years of professional racing in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series as well as nine trips to the Circuit de la Sarthe for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Flying Lizard Motorsports founder Seth Neiman recently returned to Porsche competition, racing in the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA season-finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Following a three-year hiatus from racing, Neiman was ecstatic to get back behind the wheel of a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, rekindling his long association with one of the most fabled brands in motorsport.
Neiman joined the 15-car field of Silver Class drivers, all competing in the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport platform. Neiman’s return also featured the classic red and silver Flying Lizard livery to bring fans back in time to where it all started for the team.
Having raced against some of the sport’s greats in his outings in events like Le Mans and Daytona, Neiman appreciated the opportunity to race against a talented field of up-and-coming drivers who are moving up the motorsports ladder as well as racers who thrive on the competition and camaraderie that is a staple of the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA series.
Although Neiman relished the opportunity to return to the race track after taking some time off, the true racer within emerged as he was hoping for more at the close of the race weekend.
Seth Neiman, Driver, Flying Lizard Motorsports.
“Well of course the dominant experience is just to see so many old friends from the very beginning of my pro motorsports career. The fans are also really nice to come back to. It’s always surprising to me when people are yelling my name. But, a lot of people have a connection to the old Lizards, so that’s been the most fun. I am really impressed with the (Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA) series. It’s kind of an interesting combination of serious race cars but some that can be handled without all of the surrounding equipment that it takes to run a full pro racecar.”
About his return to Flying Lizard Motorsports. “I didn’t realize until I saw the reaction from the fans how people connect with that history and the image that we created. People don’t realize that this car is not far off, power-wise, from a GT2 RSR from four or five years ago, and that was a 440-horsepower car. It’s been a lot of fun although I am not happy with my results, but I was here for fun and I’m had a great time!”
Porsche Entries at Bahrain.
FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Total Car Count: Six (6) Porsche entries are officially entered for the Six Hours of Bahrain – Round 9 of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
LMP1 Hybrid Class – Two (2) Porsche 919 Hybrid.
No. 1 Porsche LMP Team Neel Jani (Switzerland)/ André Lotterer (Germany)/ Nick Tandy (Great Britain)
No. 2 Porsche LMP Team Timo Bernhard (Germany)/ Earl Bamber (New Zealand)/ Brendon Hartley (New Zealand)
LMGTE-Pro Class – Two (2) Porsche 911 RSR. (Model Year 2017)
No. 91 Porsche GT Team
Richard Lietz (Austria)/ Frederic Makowiecki (France) No. 92 Porsche GT Team Michael Christensen (Denmark)/ Kévin Estre (France)
LMGTE-Am Class – Two (2) Porsche 911 RSR. (Model Year 2015) are officially entered.
No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing
Matteo Cairoli (Italy)/ Christian Ried (Germany)/ Marvin Dienst (Germany) No. 86 Gulf Racing Michael Wainwright (Great Britain)/ Benjamin Barker (Great Britain)/ Nicholas Foster (Australia)
Where to Watch.
All FIA World Endurance Championship information, audio and live timing and scoring for each on-track session is additionally available on the WEC App and at www.FIAWEC.com .
FIA World Endurance Championship. Channel/Web Address
Race Broadcast. Live
Saturday, November 18
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.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Event: Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway
Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: Friday - Sunday, January 5 – 7, 2018
Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn
Race Duration: Official Test Session
Class: GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)
GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round: GTLM. NA
Next Round: 56th Running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway, January 27 – 28, 2018
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Event: 56th Running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway
Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: Saturday - Sunday, January 27 – 28, 2018
Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn
Race Duration: 24-Hours
Class: GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR)
GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Round: GTLM. 1 of 11
GTD. 1 of 11
Next Round: 66th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring, Florida, Sebring International Raceway, March 17, 2018