- North American Masters. Park Place, Wright Tabbed for Porsche Works California 8-Hour Entries. Back-To-Back.
Event Story Lines.
North American Masters. Park Place, Wright Tabbed for Porsche Works California 8-Hour Entries.
Porsche Motorsport has selected two representatives for the California 8 Hours scheduled for March 30. Three years ago, Porsche pioneered an approach of utilizing regional customer teams to enter its factory drivers in the endurance race run at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and is now expanding the concept for 2019.
For that inaugural North American round of the SRO-organized Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) in 2017, the German marque picked Wright Motorsports to field the Porsche 911 GT3 R in the eight-hour race. The Ohio-based team will reprise the role for the third-time this weekend on the historic 2.225-mile, 11-turn track. Wright’s fourth-place finish in 2018 marks the best result for Porsche in the California 8 Hours to date. Joining the No. 912 Wright Motorsports-prepped rear-engine Porsche this year will be first-time IGTC entrant Park Place Motorsports. The Texas-based team will field the No. 911 Porsche giving the brand a strong one-two punch of United States-entries with a pedigree of winning in professional motorsports. Though it has never run the California 8 Hours, Park Place has an impressive history at Laguna Seca. The team has finished on the podium in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona class the past five consecutive years at the track on the Monterey Peninsula.
Porsche comes to Monterey, California for the second round of the five-race IGTC season having captured the season-opening victory at the 12-Hours of Bathurst in Australia. The German marque holds the points lead in the GT3-spec series with the driver pairing of factory driver Dirk Werner (Germany) as well as Porsche Young Professionals Matt Campbell (Australia) and Dennis Olsen (Norway). That lineup will share the No. 912 Wright Motorsports-entered machine while the cockpit of the No. 911 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R will see works drivers Romain Dumas (France) and Sven Müller (Germany) with Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) behind the wheel.
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is famous for its legendary “Corkscrew” corner. The narrow turn on top of the hill has witnessed many memorable moments as it starts a 20-story, 180-foot, elevation drop from its peak to the final Turn-11 that brings the cars up to the start-finish line.
This year’s race will see several regulation changes to the SRO series. The key modification allows 2019 model year machines to enter the race. Additionally, unlike previous years, each driver must post a qualifying lap time to set the grid. Competitors will have only one official practice prior to the qualifying session. This will prove beneficial to the experienced teams and drivers that make-up the Porsche entrants at Laguna Seca. First-timers to WeatherTech Raceway, Jaminet and Olsen, will lean on their more experienced teammates to flatten the learning curve of the 11-turn track founded in 1957.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R was newly developed for the 2019 season. Improvements in the areas of aerodynamics, kinematics, efficiency and drivability were systematically implemented from the insights garnered from the many race outings of its predecessor which ran its last race at Bathurst on February 3. The six-cylinder engine in the rear of the GT3 customer racer produces over 500 hp. The successful predecessor has notched up victories in numerous international racing series, for example in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTD class, the SRO Blancpain GT World Challenge America, the ADAC GT Masters, at the Nürburgring 24-hour race and the Bathurst 12 Hour.
The 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge calendar is made up of five endurance races on five continents. While the teams were only permitted to field 2018-spec GT3 cars at the season-opening round in Bathurst, the latest spec machines are sanctioned beginning with the California 8 Hours. The 24-Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) follows July 27 - 28, Suzuka (Japan) 10-Hour on August 25 and concludes at the Kyalami Circuit in South Africa on November 23 with a nine-hour race. Porsche will continue its approach of utilizing regional customer teams to compete with this lineup of factory drivers throughout the season.
The California 8 Hours will start with the waving of the American flag at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time/ 11:30 a.m. Eastern, Saturday, March 30. The race can be viewed live at:
Dr. Daniel Armbruster, President and CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America.
“The Intercontinental GT Challenge’s California 8 Hours race, now in its third year, has been growing in importance and stature with each visit to Monterey’s WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. By having Park Place Motorsports and Wright Motorsports represent Porsche, we are assured of two well-prepared 911 GT3 R race cars, by two of the best managed teams in racing. I am encouraged to see the event continue to grow in the Unites States, as the customer team focus is an important part of our philosophy at PMNA.”
John Wright, Team Principal, Wright Motorsports.
“I’m very proud to be heading back to the California Eight Hours with the support of Porsche Motorsport for a third year. In 2018, we gave Porsche their best IGTC finish of the season with a fourth-place, but we still have some unfinished business to tend to, so we’re eager to fight for the win with the new Porsche 911 GT3 R. We have all of the tools we need to do so with the manufacturer’s support, a strong driver lineup, and a very experienced group of crew members. This event always brings out some of the best in global competition, but we’re prepared to do what it takes to help Porsche continue what they started at Bathurst and extend their championship lead.”
Patrick Lindsey, Team Principal, Park Place Motorsports.
“First, I need to say that I am very honored to have Porsche’s support in our first IGTC race. Events such as this one, with team’s you don’t usually get to compete against, are always fun. It gives you a new test and a new way to measure how you’re doing. I think we have an advantage going into the race because of our history of success at Laguna Seca. Porsche has given us a talented lineup that can win; it’s just up to our guys to give them the right tool. Our team’s been on the road for a month now, but I think we all understand the importance of this event and have a strong will to win it for Porsche.”
Sebastian Golz, Porsche Motorsport, Project Manager 911 GT3 R.
“We’re delighted to contest the second round of the season with our experienced American customer teams. Park Place Motorsports and Wright Motorsports are very familiar with the quirks of the Laguna Seca racetrack. Entering the famous Corkscrew, our drivers will be able to brake very late with the two Porsche 911 GT3 R vehicles. If you’ve ever looked at onboard footage of this turn, you’ll know just how spectacular it’ll be. With our new GT3 race car, we want to continue where we left off in Bathurst.”
Romain Dumas, Driver, No. 911 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“This will be a very special event for me because I’ve never actually contested a race with the new Porsche 911 GT3 R. The new model definitely has a lot of potential. I’m very excited to turn my first laps. Last year we finished fourth at Laguna Seca. We should be able to do better with the new car. We’re aiming for a podium spot.”
Sven Müller, Driver, No. 911 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Racing in North America is always a great pleasure for us European drivers. The circuits are wonderfully original and often very challenging. Laguna Seca is no exception. Our performance there last year wasn’t perfect. This year, however, we’re driving the new Porsche 911 GT3 R. The team has a lot of experience and our car has a top driver lineup. We should be able to do something good.”
Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, No. 911 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I’m super excited about this event. Unlike my two teammates, I’m not familiar with this circuit. It’s high time that I turned my first laps at Laguna Seca and experienced the Corkscrew myself. Park Place Motorsports is very experienced. I’m positive that all requirements are in place for a successful race premiere of the new Porsche 911 GT3 R in the IGTC.”
Dirk Werner, Driver, No. 912 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“After our win at the season-opener in Bathurst, we’d now like to do it again at round two in Laguna Seca. We have all the necessary ingredients: The team has a wealth of experience and our new Porsche 911 GT3 R is perfectly prepared. I really like this course with its unique turns. It presents us drivers with a fantastic challenge.”
Dennis Olsen, Driver, No. 912 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I’ve never driven at Laguna Seca, so I’m very much looking forward to it. The course is awesome – with barely any run-off zones, significant elevation differences and legendary turns like the Corkscrew. As a racing driver you’ve simply got to love it. I know the Wright Motorsports squad and I’m certain that our car will be really fast.”
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 912 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I can’t wait to go racing in California. I already know the Wright Motorsports team and I really like the circuit. I’m ready and raring to race. I’m excited to see how the new Porsche 911 GT3 R does at its first IGTC outing. After our Bathurst success and the perfect farewell to the predecessor model, it would be absolutely ideal if we could continue this performance seamlessly with the new car.”
Porsche GT Team (North America). @PorscheNARacing
Porsche Motorsport – GT Cars. @PorscheRaces
Porsche Racing. @Porsche_Team
Porsche Motorsport North America. @porschecustomerracingna (Instagram)
Porsche 911 RSR. #911RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R. #911GT3R
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. #911Cup
Series Hashtags and Handles.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3CAN
Pirelli Trophy West USA. @PirelliTrophy (Twitter)
@PirelliTrophyWestUSA (Instagram) IMSA @IMSA
Blancpain GT World Challenge America. @SROAmerica
FIA World Endurance Championship. @FIAWEC
Intercontinental GT Challenge. @IntercontGTC