• Petit Porsche. Porsche Pursues IMSA Titles Wearing the Hometown Jersey. • Porsche Podium. Porsche Works and Customer Teams Earn Pair of WEC Podiums in Japan. • Contender for the Cup. Brynjolfsson and Park Place Keep an Eye on the Porsche Cup.
Event Story Lines.
Petit Porsche. Porsche Pursues IMSA Titles Wearing the Hometown Jersey.
Entering the final round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Porsche is poised to clinch the manufacturer, team and driver titles in the all-factory GTLM class. The North American factory team of the German sports car manufacturer tackles the 22nd Running Motul Petit Le Mans on Saturday, October 12 holding a clear lead in all class categories. To celebrate the conclusion of the 50th Anniversary season of the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA), the pair of race cars will wear the “hometown jersey” for Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) at their local race track in Braselton, Georgia. The Nos. 911 and 912 factory cars will carry the red and white colors of a close neighbor, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, a tribute to the popular 1980s livery campaigned by longtime Porsche privateer Bob Akin Motor Racing. In addition to the factory effort, Pfaff Motorsports will field a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the GTD category at Road Atlanta. The Canadian customer team earned the first 2019 title for Porsche, the WeatherTech Sprint Cup, at the most recent race.
To win the IMSA GTLM manufacturers’ championship, only one of the two Porsche 911 RSR race cars needs to roll from the multi-class grid to acquire the necessary points. However, the fight for the GTLM drivers’ classification goes down to the wire between the Porsche works driver pairings of Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) in the No. 912 car and their colleagues in the No. 911 vehicle, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain).
The ten-hour race on the 2.54-mile (4.088-kilometer) circuit marks the conclusion of IMSA’s 50th anniversary season. The storied racetrack on the outskirts of Atlanta is a favorite among drivers. The aptly named “Esses” (turns two to five) are particularly challenging on the high-speed circuit. Courage and utmost precision combined with a perfect car setup are required through this high-speed section. In 21 years, Porsche has secured a record 20 class wins at Petit Le Mans. In 2015, the factory team had an unprecedented overall victory bettering not only its GTLM class competitors but all prototypes in the rain-soaked race, while securing three class championships. In 2018, Porsche claimed victory in the fiercely competitive GTLM class flying the historic colors of Mobil 1. Petit Le Mans is also the final round of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup (IMEC). In this championship within a championship, which includes the endurance races at Daytona (24-hours in length), Sebring (12-hours), Watkins Glen (six-hours) and Road Atlanta (10-hours), the Porsche GT Team is currently first and second in the standings. The No. 911 has secured to two victories (the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in Florida and the Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen in New York).
Regular drivers Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) join forces with their works driver teammate Frédéric Makowiecki in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR in defense of their 2018 “Petit” class win. This trio won at Sebring, Watkins Glen and VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) earlier this season. Pilet and Tandy, along with Richard Lietz (Austria), also combined for the 2015 Petit Le Mans victory. Pilet/Tandy currently rank second in the full season drivers’ classification. Their works driver colleagues in the No. 912 sister car, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), lead the class with a twelve-point advantage after victories at Long Beach, Mid-Ohio and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The pair shares driving duties in the ca. 510 hp 911 RSR with Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) at Petit Le Mans.
With its successor debuting at the 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, the 10-hour Petit Le Mans marks the last outing for the two Porsche 911 RSR (2017 model year) with the Porsche GT Team factory program. Since debuting in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship, the Porsche 911 RSR (MY 2017) has won ten times entering its final race. The most recent victory came with the No. 911 at VIR on August 25.
In the GTD class, the customer squad Pfaff Motorsports again relies on the services of Porsche development driver Lars Kern (Germany) for the ten-hour finale. The two Canadians, Zacharie Robichon and Scott Hargrove, join the seasoned German in the cockpit of the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Hargrove is a Porsche Selected Driver. Robichon took home an early title in the Sprint Cup at the previous IMSA round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca to secure the first 2019 IMSA title for Porsche. The Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the Canadian team will contest the event decked out in a special blue and yellow livery.
The Petit Le Mans will take the green flag on Saturday, October 12 at 12:05 p.m. ET. Check local listings for the NBC family of stations covering the race live. IMSA Radio coverage of the race – as well as in-car coverage from both the factory Porsche 911 RSR race cars – can be found at www.IMSA.com and also on SiriusXM
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Motorsport.
“We are eager to make the final race of the IMSA season a huge celebration for the fans, for Porsche and for our partner Coca-Cola. Last year we won the Petit Le Mans with our Porsche 911 RSR finished in a historic design. That’s our goal again this year. It’ll be the last factory outing for this version of the Porsche 911 RSR. It would be fantastic if we were able to again experience the vehicle in the center of the winner’s ceremony at Road Atlanta.”
Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport.
“The Porsche 911 RSR has given us countless wins since 2017. We’ve won the world championship with this car, and we also won Le Mans and Sebring, among others. It would be a dream come true if we could add further titles at Road Atlanta and repeat last year’s win at this storied racetrack. Our success at the 2018 Petit Le Mans underlined that we’ll be well prepared when we tackle the tough competition of the ten-hour race. We are keen to round out our impressive season in North America with another highlight.”
Steffen Höllwarth, Head of Operations IMSA Championship.
“With Petit Le Mans we have a real classic to conclude the season. Road Atlanta has been the venue of major Porsche successes. We have fond memories of our overall win in 2015 and our success last year. The circuit and the Porsche 911 RSR match perfectly. Our aim for the finale is clear: At the end of this year we want to finish first in all championship classifications.”
Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“Petit Le Mans will be the grand finale of a sensational year for Porsche. We hold a convincing lead in the manufacturers’ championship. In the drivers’ championship, Nick and I still have a small chance in the duel against our colleagues. Our aim is to finish first with our beautiful Porsche 911 RSR decked out in the Coca-Cola livery. If we succeed in doing this, we just might clinch the drivers’ title.”
Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“I’m always really excited to go racing at Road Atlanta. The spectacular circuit and the Petit Le Mans event have a very special place in my heart. Our Porsche 911 RSR has always been fast there. Moreover, at the IMSA endurance races we always profit from our strengths as a team. I’m hoping for a great result at the last race of an outstanding season.”
Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“Once again our Porsche 911 RSR will compete in a striking livery. Not only does it look great, it could also be a good omen for us. In 2018 we won in the Mobil 1 colors. We’re eager to repeat this feat in Coca-Cola livery this year – especially since this will be the last factory outing of the 2017-spec 911 RSR. For the swansong of its outstanding career, this car deserves another victory.”
Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“An impressive year in the North American IMSA series comes to an end. At the final round we want to ensure that as many titles as possible go to Porsche. This is the big goal. What’s more, Laurens and I have personal ambitions, of course. We want to claim the drivers’ championship. This certainly won’t be easy. I’m very much looking forward to the race. Just being able to drive for Porsche is great, but to race a Porsche 911 RSR flying the Coca-Cola colors is simply sensational. The car is beautifully finished – and it’ll certainly be fast at Road Atlanta as well.”
Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“We head into the last race of the season holding a solid points’ advantage in the drivers’ championship. For this reason we can tackle the race in a controlled offensive manner. Our colleagues are under a bit more pressure, because Nick and Patrick have to win to stay in the fight. If Earl and I achieve a decent result we should make it. At the same time it’s important to secure the top spots in the manufacturers’ and the team championships. Obviously, the best scenario would be to celebrate the championship titles together with a race win.”
Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“I’m very pleased that I get the chance to drive the Porsche 911 RSR again at the final round of the IMSA season. Until now all the races were exciting and very educational for me. The focus at Road Atlanta is to claim the championship. I will do my utmost to ensure that Earl and Laurens finish in first-place and that the entire Porsche GT Team can celebrate with a big party on Saturday evening after the race.”
Lars Kern, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I’m really looking forward to my next race outing in Pfaff Motorsports’ 911 GT3 R. I’ve come to know the team well, and we work together brilliantly. My colleague Zacharie has celebrated a great success by winning the Sprint Cup. Now we’re eager to see the team finish its first season in the North American series with a top result at Road Atlanta.”
Porsche Podiums. Porsche Works and Customer Teams Earn Pair of WEC Podiums in Japan.
Porsche brought home a second-place finish in the LMGTE-Pro class at round two of FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Japan. Denmark’s Michael Christensen and the Frenchman Kévin Estre drove the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR to the podium at the Fuji Circuit moving into the lead of the drivers’ championship. Their factory driver colleagues Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria), who won the season-opening round at the Silverstone Circuit in Great Britain, finished in sixth-place.
In the LMGTE-Am class, Porsche customer Team Project 1 earned a podium finish with a third-place result. Texan Ben Keating, in his second-start with the defending 24 Hours of Le Mans class and WEC championship team, joined with Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) and Felipe Fraga (Brazil) for the podium charge from the back of the grid in the No. 57 Porsche 911 RSR.
Round three of the 2019/2020 World Endurance Sports Car Championship will be contested November 10 in Shanghai, China.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Motorsport.
“After the one-two success at Silverstone we’ve now finished on the podium at Fuji with our new Porsche 911 RSR. We’re still at the top of the manufacturers’ championship and a Porsche duo is also leading the driver’s classification. Our balance sheet looks good. We’re now feeling confident and full of excitement for the upcoming race in China.”
Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport.
“The overall result with both vehicles doesn’t really meet our expectations, but we’re pleased about second-place for the number 92 car. In the first two races of the season, we’ve secured a one-two at Silverstone as well as a podium result and pole position at Fuji. That’s a great start for our new Porsche 911 RSR. We’re heading to the next races feeling highly motivated.”
Alexander Stehlig, Head of Operations FIA WEC.
“Pole position on Saturday, second in the race on Sunday, we can be very pleased with this. Everything went according to plan with our number 92 car, but the number 91 vehicle was plagued with troubles. Damage from a puncture, a drive-through penalty and misfiring – it seems pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I hope that we’ve used up all the bad luck for the rest of the season. We’ll be back in full force again at Shanghai.”
Gianmaria Bruni, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“Early on in the race our car was strong. I managed to fight amongst the frontrunners and even take the lead for a long time. Then a penalty and a puncture threw us down the field. When the misfiring began, all our chances went up in smoke. Such things can sometimes happen with a brand new car. What’s important is that our vehicle has huge potential.”
Richard Lietz, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“After the super pole position on Saturday, we were disappointed with how the race went for us on Sunday. Our pace was good at the beginning but unfortunately the penalty, tire problem and misfiring relegated us to sixth-place. We’ll now take a very good look at this and fix the problem.”
Kévin Estre, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“After our bad luck in qualifying we started with one set of tires less than all the other cars. We made up for this disadvantage with a perfect strategy and flawless work in the cockpit. After finishing in second-place twice in a row we’re now at the top of the championship standings. Like last year, we’d like to retain this position until the end of the season.”
Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“When you start from the last grid spot and cross the finish line in second, then you’ve definitely done everything right. Our strategy worked perfectly, we got the absolute maximum out of it. Thanks to this podium result, Kévin and I are now leading the world championship. We’re certainly can’t complain about that.”
Contender for the Cup. Brynjolfsson and Park Place Keep an Eye on the Porsche Cup.
In one of his first endeavors as a driver, Alan Brynjolfsson is positioning himself as a prime contender for the coveted Porsche Cup. The Porsche Cup honors the most outstanding international private Porsche drivers each race season. Through his efforts racing a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport in both the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and the SRO GT4 America Sprint and SprintX East championships with Park Place Motorsports, the Florida-resident’s on-track success has positioned him well against a long list of worldwide competitors. The Porsche Cup is presented at the end of the year during the Porsche Motorsport Night of Champions, scheduled for December 7 in Weissach, Germany.
The Porsche Cup is the brainchild of Ferry Porsche and has been awarded every year since 1970. Porsche awards cash prizes totaling nearly $150,000 USD to the most successful private Porsche racing drivers each year. The winner of the Porsche Cup also receives a Porsche vehicle as part of the prize.
All national and international, non-factory race drivers with results achieved in a car produced by Porsche are eligible to take part in the Porsche Cup. Success in international and national championships, such as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, SRO Blancpain GT World Challenge America and SRO GT4 America as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), count towards the Cup. Results achieved in famous long-distance races, such as the 24-hour races at Le Mans, Daytona and the Nürburgring, are also included in the classification.
It has been nearly two decades since an American took home the prize, the last American to do so was Kevin Buckler of The Racers Group in 2002. The opportunity to push one of its own to be memorialized with such status has fueled Park Place Motorsports since mid-season.
Not far behind Brynjolfsson in the Porsche Cup points standings is co-driver Trent Hindman. In 2014, Hindman won his only Michelin Pilot Challenge championship – then known as the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – in a Porsche. Now, reunited with the manufacturer through his work with Brynjolfsson, the Porsche Young Driver Academy graduate is fourth in the Porsche Cup standings. Brynjolfsson edges Hindman out of the top spot through his additional effort in the GT4 America Sprint series – a championship that uses only a single driver.
While racing is very much a team sport, Brynjolfsson’s own talent and determination plays a big part in his success. In Race Two at Road America with SprintX East competition, Brynjolfsson was given the duties of finishing driver and took the job with seriousness. In the rain, Brynjolfsson drove from third-place into the lead to earn a victory after having his day cut short in Race One.
Brynjolfsson goes toe-to-toe with two-time Porsche Cup winner Christian Ried (Germany) of Dempsey-Proton Racing and Egidio Perfetti (Norway) of Team Project 1, Park Place Team Principal Patrick Lindsey’s teammate from his FIA World Endurance Championship program. While Brynjolfsson currently is scheduled to compete in more races than Reid and Perfetti, the weighted structure of the Porsche Cup awards more points – due to perceived difficulty – in the series the two Europeans compete.
With the Porsche Cup, Porsche supports private customer racing and promotes the ambition and professionalism of many teams and drivers. The list of Porsche Cup winners includes famous names such as Bob Wollek, Klaus Ludwig, Bernd Schneider and 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Nick Tandy – earned prior to his joining the Porsche factory driver lineup. It serves both as a testimony to racing talent and a reference for a future career in motorsports.
The final IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race of the season will take place at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Friday, October 12. The No. 7 Park Place Motorsports 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Brynjolfsson/Hindman is the only Porsche entered in the two-hour race which is scheduled to take the green flag at 1:25 p.m. ET. The final rounds of the SRO GT4 America championships will be run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, October 19 – 20.
Dr. Daniel Armbruster, CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America.
“We approach every driver that races a Porsche as a contender for the Porsche Cup. However, there are certain drivers that take it up a notch and move themselves into a place where they are really contending for the honor. Alan is very much in that category. He loves to race and sees the benefit to his driving every time he buckles into the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. This year, teaming with Park Place Motorsports for the first time and racing in both IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and the SRO GT4 America Sprint and SprintX, Alan has gotten the results. In North America, we have so much racing and such stiff competition that drivers often are very focused as compared to the international stage. However, Alan’s performance and diverse program has given us a contender in the Porsche Cup and we are very proud to help him pursue the title. Everyone at Park Place has earned this.”
Alan Brynjolfsson, Driver, Park Place Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
“It has been an incredible season and leading the Porsche Cup standings going into the final events is an amazing feeling. I’m beaming with pride to even be in contention with such accomplished drivers from around the world. I started racing late in life just three years ago, in a Porsche, and I never even dreamed of being in this position.”
Trent Hindman, Driver, Park Place Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
“Goal number one is to get Alan the overall Porsche Cup victory. I think that alone would be an incredible achievement for Alan and the entire Park Place Motorsports team. It’s been our first year together as a team in GT4 competition, with a brand-new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, and I think it’s safe to say it’s been a very successful season.”
Patrick Lindsey, Team Principal, Park Place Motorsports.
“Our entire effort through December is going to have a major focus on helping Alan win the Porsche Cup. It’s a huge accomplishment for Alan but also a huge accomplishment for us as a team to have our name alongside his on the long list of champions. This is our first year having a customer program and having it be noted as the, if not one of the, most successful programs for Porsche would be an amazing honor.”
Mike Johnson, Director of Race Operations, Park Place Motorsports.
“Alan has driven very well all year and the team has continued to provide him with a car that is both fast and reliable. It has been difficult on the team and our families with such a busy schedule but if Alan can pull it off, it will all be worth it. We’re going to do everything we can in the next month.”
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