• Tandy Tops. Porsche Factory Driver Scores First IMSA iRacing Win. • Porsche Indy. Sports Car Maker’s History at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. • Virtual Champion. ten Voorde Claims Inaugural Supercup Virtual Edition Title. • Formula E Virtual. Porsche Works Drivers Fight Back at Hong Kong. • Porsche Podcast. Formula E Race Engineers and Their Pursuit of Perfection. • PYDA Reflections. Scott Hargrove, Class of 2014.
Event Story Lines.
Tandy Tops. Porsche Factory Driver Scores First IMSA iRacing Win.
Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy (Great Britain) won round four of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series on the virtual Road America circuit. The experienced British racing driver put in an inspired performance at the wheel of his virtual No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR to cross the finish line at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin track with a lead of 2.845-seconds. During the 90-minute race using the iRacing online racing simulation platform, Tandy kept out of trouble in the tight and at times turbulent race to notch-up the maiden victory for Porsche in the digital IMSA racing series. In the lead-up to the race, Tandy had garnered valuable tips from Joshua Rogers (Australia), the reigning champion of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup.
Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven (Turkey), however, was struck by major misfortune. After putting in a strong drive, the young driver was running in second-place behind his Porsche colleague Tandy. With approximately 19-minutes remaining in the race, his No. 913 Porsche 911 RSR sustained significant damages after making contact when a car he was lapping lost control directly in front of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup regular. Güven, who underlined his great skill as a sim racer by turning the fastest race lap by a convincing margin, was unable to continue. One of the most impressive performances came from the Japanese-American Shinya Michimi. The seasoned online driver born in Cincinnati, Ohio concluded the race in the Porsche 911 RSR entered by Meyer Shank Racing in fourth-place.
The reigning IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar GTLM class champions Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) crossed the finish line in positions 21 and 24. Canada’s Robert Wickens celebrated a strong debut at the wheel of the virtual Porsche 911 RSR fielded by Pfaff Motorsports. The former DTM driver, who is fighting his way back into racing after a serious IndyCar accident, finished in 27th-place.
Round five of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series will be contested May 28 at the virtual VIRginia International Raceway.
Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR.
“That was great fun! If you’re competitive and win, that always puts you in a good mood, of course. I’ll go to bed tonight feeling very happy. I got a bit nervous during the last laps because I had a few glitches with my computer. The screen kept going blank, but it all turned out ok in the end. A huge thank you to Joshua Rogers. Our reigning champion of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup gave me a lot of very helpful tips over the past few days. It paid off.”
Ayhancan Güven, Driver, No. 913 Porsche 911 RSR.
“Congratulations to Nick. I’m delighted about his first win. We were focused completely on preparing for this race, and obviously it worked very well judging by our strong performances. Unfortunately, I had bad luck. My race came to an end after I touched a backmarker. It’s a pity, but at least we gave fans a good show – and victory went to Porsche. That’s the most important thing.”
Porsche Indy. Sports Car Maker’s History at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Sunday, May 24, 2020 was scheduled to be the 104th start of the Indianapolis 500. While the world-famous event at “The Brickyard” has been postponed to August 24 due to concerns to contain the Coronavirus pandemic, the Memorial Day holiday is universally linked to the running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. While Porsche is most commonly associated to the events of its greatest successes: the 24 Hours of Le Mans (19 overall wins – manufacturer record), Rolex 24 at Daytona (22 overall wins – manufacturer record) and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (18 overall wins – manufacturer record) for example, the German sports car maker has a tradition at “The Speedway” as well. The open wheel cars of Porsche would never have the good fortune on the 2.5-mile oval the brand enjoys at other iconic race courses, the marque’s presence left behind multiple innovations still used in the Indy car racing today.
Though privateer entries had utilized non-sanctioned engines as early as 1966, Porsche did not take a serious look at American open wheel racing until the late 1970s when it developed an Indy car engine to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the CART PPG Indy Car World Series. In 1979, Porsche teamed with 1963 Indy 500-winner Parnelli Jones, sports car racing customer Interscope Racing, and driver Danny Ongais for a conceived 1980 effort to win Indianapolis. Pairing an Interscope IR01 chassis to a factory race engine based on the Porsche 935 powerplant, the team showed promise early in testing. However, officials from the United States Auto Club (USAC) – the sanctioning body of the Indianapolis 500 at the time – lowered the turbocharger boost for the engine, immediately making the car uncompetitive. Porsche withdrew before it ever turned a wheel in competition.
It was nearly ten years later when Porsche finally made its official debut at Indianapolis. In 1987, Porsche launched its second attempt in Indy car racing. Fielding a factory team in the CART race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with Al Unser, Sr. driving and Porsche motorsport legend Al Holbert managing, both the turbocharged 2.65-liter V8 engine and chassis (type 2708) were built in Weissach, Germany. The car would qualify 21st but finish 24th when a water pump failure ended the car’s debut after seven laps. The car did not attempt to qualify at Indianapolis having entered late in the 1987 season.
The following May, foreseeing issues with its chassis, Porsche switched to the March 88P (‘P’ for Porsche) race car. Italian Teo Fabi – 1983 pole sitter at Indianapolis – was named as driver of the No. 8 Quaker State March earning the effort’s best finish of the season, a fourth-place, at Nazareth. The effort would finish 10th in season points. In May 1988, Fabi qualified the Porsche-March 88P 17th on the grid and finished in 28th-place. The greatest setback in the marque’s Indy effort would not come on track but with the sudden death of the program’s guiding light, Al Holbert, in a private plane crash on September 30, 1988.
In its second year of running a March (now designated the March 89P), the efforts initiated by Holbert gave Porsche its best Indy car season overall, earning two pole positions (Portland and Mid-Ohio), and winning the brand’s only Indy car race to date at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Fabi at the wheel. The program also had its best oval track finish, a second-place at Michigan International Speedway. Struggles at Indianapolis continued however with a 30th-place finish for Fabi after qualifying 13th.
In 1990, Porsche entered its final season of Indy car racing with the innovative March 90P chassis and its first two-car team – Fabi (No. 4 Foster’s Beer/Quaker State March-Porsche) and John Andretti (No. 41 Foster’s Beer March-Porsche). Fabi would earn Porsche its third Indy car pole position on the street circuit in Denver and a podium finish (third-place) at the Meadowlands circuit. The Italian would finish 14th in the final standings. Andretti would have his best result of fifth-place twice (Cleveland and Vancouver) and finish tenth in points. At Indianapolis, Fabi would finish 18th from a 23rd starting spot while Andretti qualified 10th and finished 21st.
When sports car racing came to the “Circle City” in 2000, the traditional Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car met with a great deal more success on the Indianapolis road course. From 2000-2006, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup traveled from Europe to support the United States Grand Prix. Racing twice during the Formula One weekends, the support series was a launching pad for many great Porsche driving careers. Jörg Bergmeister won twice (2000, 2001) while Sascha Maassen claimed the second 2001 victory. Alex Davison won in 2002. The most successful Supercup driver at Indianapolis was Wolf Henzler who claimed four victories in three years (2002, 2003 and twice in 2004). Porsche Supercup also provided several famous “guest” drivers an opportunity to compete including Travis Pastrana and Indianapolis 500 winners Mario Andretti and Al Unser Jr.
When F1 left the Indy road course, Porsche left with it until GT racing returned in 2012 for the Brickyard Grand Prix. The GRAND AM Rolex Series race was won by Magnus Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racer that year against heated competition that included fellow Porsche customer teams Brumos Racing and TRG. 2014 marked the return of an official factory effort when the Porsche GT Team’s Porsche 911 RSR took works drivers Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) to a third-place GTLM class finish. It would be the sole appearance of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at The Brickyard.
Virtual Champion. ten Voorde Claims Inaugural Supercup Virtual Edition Title.
At the final doubleheader round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition raced at a simulated Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit developed on the iRacing online simulation platform, Larry ten Voorde (Netherlands) won both races in his 485 hp Team GP Elite Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car. By virtue of the commanding performance, the Dutchman was crowned champion of the first Virtual Edition of the premier Porsche one-make series in the world. He snatched the trophy from his toughest rival Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven (Turkey) in the Martinet by Alméras Porsche.
The winners of the other classifications were also decided in the digital series of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Thanks to his two podium results at Monza, Leon Köhler (Germany) won the rookie classification. Marc Cini (Australia) took home the ProAm-class title. The GP Elite squad from the Netherlands celebrated first-place in the team classification.
Oliver Schwab, Project Manager of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
“The season finale of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition was perfect proof that a virtual season of our series was the right decision. Both races were gripping from start to finish. It’s fantastic that the drivers and teams embraced the virtual competition with such enthusiasm. Now we’re looking forward to the start of the real season.”
Larry ten Voorde, Driver, Team GP Elite Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“I did a lot of preparation work with my team for these two races. Ayhancan Güven and I put on a great show for the fans. I managed to control the race well and I’m delighted with the title.”
Ayhancan Güven, Driver, Martinet by Alméras Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“That was an action-packed debut season for the virtual Supercup. Unfortunately, I only finished second, but it was a terrific experience. I hope we can soon compete against each other on real racetracks.”
Formula E Virtual. Porsche Works Drivers Fight Back at Hong Kong.
A mass pile-up caused chaos in the starting phase of the fourth race of the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge – and robbed the two TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team drivers of the chance to score points. Factory drivers André Lotterer (Germany) and Neel Jani (Switzerland) had to be content with 15th and 16th-places respectively on the virtual circuit in Hong Kong. Joshua Rogers (Australia) gave another strong performance at the wheel of the digital Porsche 99X Electric in the event for sim racers and influencers. The reigning Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup champion had already secured pole position in qualifying. He then concluded his second race appearance of the season by crossing the line in second-place.
After starting from tenth and 17th on the grid, some fine maneuvers saw the two Porsche drivers improve by several places, only to find themselves propping up the field after a series of not-at-fault collisions. The two Porsche “works” drivers then performed at a good pace in their Porsche 99X Electric simulated race cars and displayed great fighting spirit as they both moved up eight positions. Lotterer finished 15th-place, with Jani just one place behind. Jani remains fifth in the drivers’ standings with 24 points, while Lotterer is 14th with six points.
The “Challenge Grid” race at Hong Kong once again proved to be a fruitful soil for Joshua Rogers. Three weeks after recording a maiden win in the event for sim racers and influencers on the same circuit, Rogers finished in second-place to secure another spot on the podium. The Australian driver had missed the races on the last two weekends but returned to secure pole position on a simulated wet surface. In the race, Rogers made a series of defensive moves to hold his lead against challenger Lucas Müller (Germany). Ultimately, Rogers gave way to the German driver on the penultimate lap. Rogers scored 20 points for his pole position and second-place finish. He is now fifth in the drivers’ standings after competing in two of four races. Marius Golombeck (Germany), the second driver in a virtual Porsche 99X Electric, reached 15th-place.
Marco Ujhasi, Manager Esports at Porsche Motorsport.
“It is no exaggeration to say that it was a tumultuous race. It was the first time that qualifying for the ‘Race at Home Challenge’ took place on a wet surface. That was a challenge for all the drivers. Neel and André started from midfield. Right at the start of the race, they were involved in some incidents on turn one that pushed them back down through the field. Josh Rogers did another great job on his second appearance in the event for sim racers. However, he made a small error after securing pole position and a very good starting phase. Nonetheless, second-place is a very good result.”
Neel Jani, Driver, No. 18 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric.
“Points were a possibility again today. Sadly, that didn't work out. Qualifying was difficult. Tenth-place is alright in these conditions. The start did not go according to plan. However, someone hit me on the way out of turn one. Now I am concentrating on the race coming up next Saturday.”
André Lotterer, Driver, No. 36 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric.
“Despite the difficult conditions, I had a good feeling in qualifying, so I have to carefully examine where I lost some time. After the start, it was all chaotic on turn one. There wasn't much I could do, and I fell back to last place. At least I could still drive the car. That meant I could battle back and improve by a few places.”
Joshua Rogers, Driver, No. 36 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric (Challenge Grid).
“I only just missed out on a second race win. Pole position in qualifying was great, of course, but the wet conditions surprised everyone. I started the race well and I got through turn one without any problems. I was then able to build up a lead, but I made a little mistake in the chicane. That caused some damage to the car and I couldn’t stop Lucas Müller from getting past towards the end of the race. I am happy, nonetheless. The performance level is there. It was fantastic to be driving for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team again. I am already looking forward to my next appearance in the ‘Race at Home Challenge’.”
Porsche Podcast. Formula E Race Engineers and Their Pursuit of Perfection.
As race engineers on the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team, Kyle Wilson-Clarke (Great Britain) and Fabrice Roussel (France) have a direct line to the two factory drivers Neel Jani (Switzerland) and André Lotterer (Germany). In the eighth episode of the “Inside E” podcast, the duo talks about the tasks of race engineers, the special features of Formula E and their close collaboration with the drivers. Wilson-Clarke and Roussel also explain why the team concept is the crucial factor for success.
Wilson-Clarke first worked with Jani on the Porsche LMP1 project. After that he was intensively involved in the preparations for entering Formula E, and part of the Porsche Formula E project from its inception. Roussel has been part of a successful team with Lotterer for some time and brings a wealth of Formula E experience to the table.
Wilson-Clarke and Roussel have been involved in the world of motorsport for many years and agree on one thing, that Formula E demands top performance from man and machine.
Race engineers and drivers make the perfect team. Behind them are other engineers, who provide Roussel and Wilson-Clarke with valuable information.
No one in the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team sits back after enjoying success. Although both Wilson-Clarke and Roussel enjoy looking back on the second-place at the first race in Saudi Arabia and the pole position in Mexico, the pursuit of success and perfection is a constant companion. The long-term goal is clear for them both: winning the driver’s and team standings for Porsche.
The Porsche Formula E podcast is in English and can be accessed from the Porsche Newsroom. “Inside E” is also available on other platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
Kyle Wilson-Clarke, Engineer, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.
“The energy and power management at a one-day event is the biggest difference from other race series. It’s all about getting the maximum out of the car and driver at different ‘power levels’ – that is the art of Formula E engineering. We want to develop and improve continuously,”
Fabrice Roussel, Engineer, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team.
“It is important to stay calm and focused, whatever the situation. In Formula E, you have to be open to new ideas as an engineer. We have a whole load of new options compared with conventional motorsport and everything that we know from the last 15 years of racing. Teamwork is everything in motorsport. That’s how everyone gets the best out of themselves. As an engineer you are always looking at the result and what you could have done better.”
PYDA Reflections. Scott Hargrove, Class of 2014.
One of the first manufacturers to create not only a “factory driver” group but also a “Junior” program, Porsche continues its efforts to assist young racing talent beyond its “works” team. Since 2012, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) and Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) have provided aspiring race car drivers from the United States and Canada an opportunity to develop their professional skills at the North American Porsche Young Driver Academy (PYDA). While tweaked each year, the PYDA syllabus is founded on the principles and practices of the marque’s European Junior selection process. The Academy puts four drivers through intensive classroom activities with the objective to broaden and sharpen talents not only behind the wheel but also out of the cockpit. While education has always been the hallmark of the two-day invitation-only event held each fall, the “Academy” is also a determining factor for the IMSA Hurley Haywood Scholarship. The annual honor provides the selected driver with a package of tangible assets to present to teams in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama for the upcoming season.
In the coming weeks we will spotlight one of the 33 drivers who have taken part in the PYDA. Since 2012, graduates have gone on to win races and championships in series around the world, both in Porsche race cars and not. To date, drivers have won five IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championships, 13 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge championships, three SRO-sanctioned championships, the Indy Lights Championship, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Petit Le Mans as well as races in NASCAR, Trans Am, Rallycross and more. This week, we look at Scott Hargrove (Canada).
Scott Hargrove Highlights.
- PYDA Class: 2014 - 2019 Porsche Selected Driver - 2019 SRO GT World Challenge America GT Race Winner - 2018 Pirelli World Challenge GT Sprint Champion - 2014 and 2017 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Champion - Announced IMSA GTD class driver for 2019 - Indy Lights Driver
Hailing from north of the border in Vancouver, British Columbia, Scott Hargrove grew up karting in Canada and on the west coast of the U.S. In 2011, he started racing cars and began by winning two open wheel championships in short order. While moving quickly up the “Road to Indy” ladder system, a one-off race weekend with the Porsche dealer in Vancouver set the stage for Hargrove’s career to turn towards sports car racing. In 2014, he competed his first year in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, winning the championship in his rookie season. That August he received a phone call.
“It was an exciting phone call to get,” reflected Hargrove. “It’s one you know lots of people are hoping to receive and it was really humbling to have Patrick call and to get the chance to participate.”
That chance was getting to participate in Porsche’s Young Driver Academy held at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. The two-day event allows Porsche to teach and test four young drivers on what teams and manufacturers look for in promising, up-and-coming talent. Modeled after the marque’s Junior program in Europe, North America’s only Porsche factory driver Patrick Long created the event to give young drivers a chance to showcase their talent while also providing advice early in their respective careers.
“When you go to PYDA you get to experience that manufacturer side of it and there’s a lot more eyes on you in a smaller setting compared to a race weekend,” offered Hargrove. There’s a lot of in-house training from media stuff to the psychological side, it’s all about getting the most out of the weekend at the track.”
Hargrove applauded the amount of media training that the Academy put an emphasis on. The day in the classroom learning what manufacturers like Porsche look for in young talent stuck with him. However, he and his fellow participants are race car drivers after all and getting behind the wheel and trying to post lap times as quick as Long’s baseline lap was good fun.
Hargrove: “Hearing the ‘do’s and don’ts’ helped me out for sure as a kid. The lessons learned there, I really grabbed the bull by the horns and made sure to make the most of the opportunity. But also, I knew my abilities and tried to stay calm and level-headed. I didn’t want to mess anything up.”
The Porsche Young Driver Academy’s goal is to supply each driver with advice and experience that can be used to further their racing careers. For Hargrove, being a PYDA participant has helped open doors because of the connections made to the brand in 2014.
The Canadian was invited by Porsche to Germany in 2016 to take part in the Junior driver shootout. There drivers from all over the world compete for seats in the marque’s Junior program. Hargrove continued in the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada through 2017, where in his final year he was crowned champion by winning all but two races. He then made the jump to driving in the Pirelli World Challenge – now the SRO GT World Challenge America – in 2018, earning the championship and race wins. Again in 2019, Hargrove’s ties to the German sports car manufacturer paid off as he became a Porsche Selected Driver. Driving for Wright Motorsports, he co-drove the 2019 season with Long in the SRO series, bringing things full circle to that fall weekend in Alabama. He also co-drove a Porsche 911 GT3 R for much of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season with fellow PYDA graduate Zacharie Robichon (Class of 2017) for Pfaff Motorsports in the GTD class.
“From a driver’s perspective it means a lot to get to associate yourself with a manufacturer that gives you the time of day,” commented Hargrove. “Early on Porsche was one of my targets. What they have to offer is a deciding factor in where to put my time and effort for a successful career. It all circles back to their willingness to invest in me.”
Porsche GT Team (North America). @PorscheNARacing
Porsche Motorsport – GT Cars. @PorscheRaces
Porsche Racing. @PorscheTeam
Porsche Motorsport North America. @PorscheMotorsportNorthAmerica (Instagram)
Porsche Formula E. @PorscheFormulaE (Twitter)
@porsche.formulae (Instagram) Porsche Newsroom. @PorscheNewsroom (Twitter)
Porsche 99X Electric. #99XElectric
Porsche 911 RSR. #911RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R. #911GT3R
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. #911Cup
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. #GT4Clubsport
Porsche 935. #Porsche935
Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport. #GT2RSClubsport
Series Hashtags and Handles.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3Canada
Porsche Sprint Trophy USA West. @PirelliTrophyWestUSA (Instagram)
SRO America @SROAmerica
SRO GT4 America #GT4America
FIA World Endurance Championship. @FIAWEC
Intercontinental GT Challenge. @IntercontGTC
FIA ABB Formula E Championship. @FIAFormulaE