• New Contender. Porsche Unveils Newest 911 GT3 R for World Competition. • Canada Calling. Porsche Customer Teams Travel North for PWC Double. • Nürburgring Win. Porsche 911 GT3 R Wins Long Distance Thriller. • Raise the Trophy. Pirelli Trophy West USA Continues Growth in 2018. • Lapping With Legends. Porsche 956 C and 919 Hybrid Evo Run Nürburgring Laps Together.
Pirelli World Challenge.
Event: Grand Prix of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Dateline: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Date: Friday - Sunday, May 18 – 20, 2018
Track Length: 2.458-miles, 10-turn
Race Duration: Two, 50-minutes Races
Class: GT (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
GTS (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR)
GT. 4 and 5 of 10
GTS. 3 and 4 of 10
Next Round: SprintX Championship. Grand Prix at Lime Rock, Lime Rock, Connecticut, May 25 – 26, 2018
Event Story Lines.
New Contender. Porsche Unveils Newest 911 GT3 R for World Competition.
Porsche has introduced the next generation customer racer for GT3 series worldwide. Based on the latest 911 GT3 RS production sports car, the 911 GT3 R will make its competition debut in 2019 at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. During the development of the up to 550 horsepower* racing nine-eleven, special attention has been paid to efficient aerodynamics, optimized safety as well as lowering the cost of servicing and spare parts.
The lightweight body design of the 911 GT3 RS production sports car, featuring intelligent aluminum-steel composite construction, has proven to be the ideal basis for the near-production race car. The roof, front hood and fairing, wheel arches, doors, side and tail sections as well as the rear deck lid and interior trim are made of particularly light carbon-fiber composite material (CFRP). All windows are constructed of polycarbonate.
Powering the new 911 GT3 R is a cutting-edge four-liter flat-six unit that is largely identical to the high-performance production engine of the road-legal 911 GT3 RS. Direct fuel injection, which operates at pressures up to 14.5 psi (200 bar), as well as variable valve timing adjustments of the intake and exhaust camshafts ensure a particularly efficient use of fuel. Moreover, compared to its predecessor, the normally aspirated engine offers significantly better drivability and a broader, more usable rev range. The engine response is more precise due to six throttle butterflies. Power from the rear-mounted engine is transferred to the 12.2-inch (310-mm)-wide rear wheels via a Porsche sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox with an electronic shift actuator for fast and precise gear changes. As in the GT road-going models, the driver changes gears via shift paddles conveniently positioned on the steering wheel. The clutch is electro-hydraulically controlled, which eliminates the need for the clutch pedal and assists in quick race starts. Typical of the 911, the weight distribution ensures excellent traction and braking performances.
The aerodynamics of the 911 GT3 R also follows the example of the road car. The distinctive wheel arch air vents on the front fairings increase downforce at the front axle. Measuring 74.8-inches (6.23-feet) in width by 15.75-inches in depth, the rear wing lends aerodynamic balance. The tire circumference at the front axle has grown from 25.6-inches to 26.77-inches. In tandem with the new Porsche double wishbone suspension, this helps ensure superior braking performances and consistency over the duration of the race.
The brake system of the 911 GT3 R also underwent further modifications and now offers increased stiffness and more precise control of the ABS. At the front axle, six-piston aluminum monobloc racing brake calipers combined with ventilated and grooved steel brake discs with a diameter of 15.35-inches ensure outstanding braking performances. Fitted at the rear axle are four-piston calipers and discs measuring 14.5-inches.
Another development focus was on the safety features of the 911 GT3 R. In order to improve pit stop performance, the 31.7-gallon (120-liter) FT3 safety fuel cell can now be refilled from the left or the right depending on the circuit layout. The doors and the side windows can be removed. The new racing bucket seat affords drivers even better protection in the event of a collision. The seats are now bolted at six points. In combination with the adjustable pedal box, the driver’s center of gravity is optimized and offers increased safety in the event of an impact. In addition, the driver is protected thanks to a side impact element positioned in the driver’s door, which consists of a carbon-fiber/Kevlar/aluminum construction with energy-absorbing plastic foam.
The cockpit has been redesigned. All controls have been perfectly aligned to suit the needs of the driver. For the first time the 911 GT3 R features air-conditioning. This ensures ideal interior cooling and, thanks to the direct connection to the seat and driver’s helmet, enables particularly efficient cooling of the driver, which in turn helps them maintain concentration and a constant performance over the race.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 R can be ordered immediately with deliveries beginning in December 2018. All technical details and data are provisional until the final approval is received through FIA.
*Depending on the restrictor/BoP rating, the engine output could be lower.
Canada Calling. Porsche Customer Teams Travel North for PWC Double.
The Pirelli World Challenge travels to Canada for Rounds Four and Five of the Sprint GT championship on May 19 and 20. Leading the pack of GT drivers is Scott Hargrove in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. The Canadian driver and team have been at the top of the Overall Championship point standings since winning the two opening rounds of North America’s premier sprint series for GT cars at St. Petersburg, Florida. Coming to Bowmanville, Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP), Hargrove holds a 10-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship after seven races across both the Sprint (50-minute races with a single driver) and SprintX (60-minute, two-driver races) Championships.
Porsche factory driver Michael Christensen (Denmark) is still looking for his first PWC GT race victory. The pilot of the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona GTD class-winning Alegra Motorsports 911 GT3 R made his debut in the series at St. Pete and found the podium at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) at the most recent PWC weekend – a SprintX Championship event – but is yet to stand on the top-step of the hard-fought series. The fast 2.458-mile, 10-turn circuit northeast of Toronto is familiar to Christensen adding to optimism the No. 24 will capture its first victory of the year. He has one start at CTMP driving the factory team’s Porsche 911 RSR in the IMSA WeatherTech race in 2014. Christensen is in fifth-place in the GT Drivers’ standings, 43 markers behind Hargrove.
Porsche is second, just one point behind Ferrari, in the Overall Manufacturer Championship. The German brand holds the PWC track race lap record at CTMP set in 2016 by 2014 and 2017 Pirelli World Challenge Champion Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California). The Porsche factory driver lapped natural terrain road course, in race conditions, at one-minute, 16.733-seconds.
Nürburgring Win. Porsche 911 GT3 R Wins Long Distance Thriller.
After an enthralling final phase, the No. 912 Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R won the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. In pouring rain, the nine-eleven fielded by the Manthey-Racing team took the lead 70 minutes before the end of the race on the famous Nordschleife Circuit in the Eifel Mountains-region of Germany and held onto it to the checkered flag. This marks Porsche’s first victory since 2011 on the legendary long-distance racetrack and hands the brand its twelfth victory in the history of the event.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R (No. 912) started the race on Saturday, May 12 in sunshine from sixth-place on the grid, but fell behind with a punctured tire. During the night, the driver line-up of Richard Lietz (Austria), Patrick Pilet (France), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) caught up to the frontrunners and moved into second-place despite a time penalty. The race was temporarily red flagged for fog on Sunday but when restarted, Makowiecki snatched the lead with a masterful overtaking maneuver and crossed the finish line with the win after completing 135 laps on the 15.5-mile long circuit.
The Nürburgring 24-hour race is one of the largest motorsport events in the world with 2018 attendance estimated at 210,000 spectators. Porsche was the most strongly represented marque at the Eifel marathon in a field over 500 drivers in 148 cars.
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars.
“That was truly a race of the century. It was simply indescribable under the circumstances with the rain, the red flag and that incredible final spurt. At no other endurance race in the world do you get two drivers sprinting against each other for one and a half hours. Fred secured this triumph with his sensational overtaking maneuver. We hope that Dr. Wolfgang Porsche is pleased with this belated present for his 75th birthday.”
Sebastian Golz, Project Manager 911 GT3 R.
“I’m simply speechless. That was 24 hours of highs and lows. There were problems, we had to fight our way through the field, but we never stopped believing we could do it. This attitude paid off in the end.”
Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 912 Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“It’s unbelievable what we’ve achieved today. We started off with a puncture, fell far behind, but always believed in ourselves. Everyone pulled their weight. Only then is such a victory possible.”
Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 912 Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“That was one of the most eventful races in my career. We experienced setbacks, but we knew that we had a winning car, a top team and top drivers. The restart towards the end played into our hands and Fred’s final stint was indicative of the entire race. Whenever we needed to, the team, drivers and car delivered a perfect performance.”
Richard Lietz, Driver, No. 912 Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“What a race. Everyone worked perfectly and it was a well-deserved victory for the Manthey team and Porsche. And when you think about the bad luck we had, you can say it was also a well-deserved win for us drivers. This victory is also a win for Mr. Porsche, who, as a huge motorsport fan, made it all possible.”
Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 912 Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“That was a tough but completely fair fight for the lead and I’m very happy with this win. Our start with the puncture wasn’t good, but we improved from lap to lap. The car was perfectly setup for dry and wet conditions, so we could push hard to the very end.”
Raise the Trophy. Pirelli Trophy West USA Continues Growth in 2018.
Now in its 12th season, the Pirelli Trophy West USA championship has continued to grow as an outstanding series for Porsche customer racing. The paddock has a mix of drivers with different ambitions, but a strong common bond forged by the thrill of competition on board Porsche machinery.
With an event schedule that focuses on the Western half of North America, Pirelli Trophy West USA races on a great range of tracks including WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the Thermal Club and the Circuit of the Americas.
Founded and operated by Greg Franz of Competent Motorsport, the series is making a significant step in 2018 by having the majority of its schedule feature stand-alone races. Also new in 2018 is the separation of the GT3 and GT4 classes, with each platform staging two races of their own each weekend.
There are five classes: Diamond and Diamond Masters (2017 – 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup), Platinum (2015 – 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup), Silver (Cayman Clubsport GT4 MR) and Bronze (2016 Cayman Clubsport GT4 Trophy). The classes are split into two races, with Diamond, Diamond Masters and Platinum (911 GT3 Cup) in the first race, and Silver and Bronze classes (Cayman GT4) in the second.
Part of the growth of the series has been fueled by a strong weekend experience for the Pirelli Trophy West USA racers.
Experienced motorsports veteran Steven Costello oversees the event weekends in his role as Series Director, managing the planning, logistics and execution of the events. Bringing his years of race school and race series management to the effort, Randy Buck focuses on the on-track program as Race Director. Experienced veteran Craig Stanton, who has years of experience racing Porsches from Daytona to Laguna, actively engages with the drivers as the Director of Coaching at every event.
The Pirelli Trophy West USA will be back in action next month, with two races June 8-10 at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Northern California.
Greg Franz, President and Founder Competent Motorsport.
“We have two key factors that have driven our growth. It comes down to our staff, and their preparation prior to the event, and to the teams and drivers, who really want to put on a quality show not only for their friends and the spectators, but for themselves as well. We’ve enjoyed races that had limited contact, and that gives our drivers more track time and less time having to work on their cars. We’ve carried that momentum from the first races of the season and we’ll carry that through next month, when we’ll be at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California.”
Lapping With Legends. Porsche 956 C and 919 Hybrid Evo Run Nürburgring Laps Together.
Just before the Nürburgring 24-hour race began on May 12, Porsche presented a legendary couple of racers to the crowd of over 200,000 spectators. Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Hans-Joachim Stuck (Germany) took the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo and the Porsche 956 C respectively on a show run around the famous Nordschleife (literally translated as ‘Northern Loop’). The 919 Hybrid – the Le Mans and FIA World Endurance Championship winning car of 2015, 2016 and 2017 – met the prototype that won all titles in the World Sportscar Championship from 1982 to 1984. The 956 still holds the current lap record (six-minutes, 11.13-seconds) at the Nordschleife set by Stefan Bellof in 1983.
The 919 Hybrid Evo is on an international farewell tour and recently broke the track record at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
A video of the memorable pairing of these two legendary Porsche race cars can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/269392394.