Porsche Motorsport Weekly Event Notes: Monday, June 29, 2020

This Week.
• Paul Revere Rides Again. Porsche Looks to Add to Illustrious Daytona in July History. • Put a Ring On It. Porsche and Nürburgring Extend Partnership into 2022. • Virtual Grüne Hölle. Porsche Supports Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series. • 935 at 14,000-Feet. Pikes Peak Legend Zwart Testing Porsche 935-19 for Run Up America’s Mountain.

Porsche Profile.
Event Story Lines.
Paul Revere Rides Again. Porsche Looks to Add to Illustrious Daytona in July History.

With 22 overall and 78 class wins in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the success Porsche has enjoyed at Daytona in January is well known. Slightly less well recognized is the German marque’s record at the sports car races held on the Daytona International Speedway road course in the month of July. Since the first sports car race was held on or near the Fourth of July there in 1967, Porsche privateer race teams have compiled a record-setting seven overall and five other class victories on the 3.56-mile hybrid oval and infield road course. When the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to racing for the WeatherTech 240 on July 4, the race will help celebrate the Independence Day holiday for the first time since 2010 with three Porsche-built race cars in the multi-class sports car field.

Twin Porsche 911 RSR-19 factory race cars will be fielded in the GTLM by the Porsche GT Team. The two 515-hp machines finished in second and third-places in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January. That was before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered international motorsports and paused the race season until this weekend. The No. 911 machine, which will be piloted by Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain), finished in third-place to open the season at Daytona. The No. 912, which was runner-up in the twice-around the clock classic, will be shared by 2019 GTLM class season champions Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium). In the customer GTD class, Wright Motorsports enters the No. 16 Porsche 911 GT3 R race car for “works” driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and Atlanta, Georgia’s Ryan Hardwick.

Historically, and like the 24-hour race in Daytona, Hurley Haywood (St. Augustine, Florida) leads the way for Porsche in wins at the race traditionally known as the Paul Revere 250 with four titles (1974, ’79, ’81, ’83). The victories are bookended by the first Porsche win in the night event (1974 with the Applejack Racing Porsche 911 Carrera RSR) and 1983 when he teamed with the equally legendary A.J. Foyt, Jr. (Houston, Texas) to pilot the Preston Henn-owned “Swap Shop” Porsche 935 to victory.

Additional overall victories in the twenty-seven 250-mile races held between 1967 and 2010 (no summer races were held at Daytona from 1984 – 1999) include six wins in seven years. Beginning with George Dyer earning top honors at the wheel of a Porsche 934 in 1977, then Peter Gregg drove the Brumos Racing Porsche 935 to the winner’s circle in 1978. Haywood took the victory in a Porsche 935 he shared with Charles Mendez in 1979. Dick Barbour Racing earned back-to-back titles using the familiar Porsche 935 in 1980 with John Fitzpatrick and then with Haywood and Mauricio de Narvaez in 1981.

When GRAND AM was founded in 2000, the Daytona high-banks were a cornerstone of the series with July races running under the lights from that first year through 2010. Porsche did not add an additional overall title to its record tally during the span but it brought five classes trophies home in 2000 (GTU class – Darren Law/Mike Fitzgerald, G&W Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car), 2002 (GTS – Jack Lewis/David Murry, Jack Lewis Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup), 2004 (SGS – Wayne and Will Nonnamaker, Nonnamaker Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup), 2009 (GT – Leh Keen/Dirk Werner, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) and the last event prior to this weekend, 2010 (GT – R.J. Valentine/Andy Lally, TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup).

The return to international sports car racing can be seen live starting at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT on Saturday, July 4 on NBCSN. Live timing and scoring as well as in-car camera footage is available at IMSA.com .

Patrick Long, Driver, No. 16 1st Phorm Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“It is great to get back to racing. It is ironic that it will be right back to where we ran last. I have a lot of good memories running at Daytona on the Fourth of July back in the GRAND AM days. The limited track time is always interesting. You have to come off the truck and be right there. I like that format for the future.

“I look forward to putting on a good show for the limited fans at the track and the ones watching on TV. I want to maintain the momentum. We started with a good run at the Rolex 24 and keen to get back to working with Ryan [Hardwick]. We have been training on the sim but eager to get back out there in the Wright Motorsports Porsche.”

Put a Ring On It. Porsche and Nürburgring Extend Partnership into 2022.
Porsche has announced it will continue its affiliation with the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) for another three years. The sports car manufacturer and the events and marketing company VLN VV GmbH & Co. KG – organizers of the NES – have extended their cooperation until the end of 2022. All rounds of the NLS will be contested on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Porsche has been committed to the world’s largest grassroots racing series on the storied race track for many years. The opening round of the 2020 NLS took place on Saturday, June 27. Moreover, the German brand also supports the new Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series this year.

Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in the NLS – known as the Nürburgring Long-Distance Championship prior to the 2020 season – with 217 overall wins and 714 group victories (as of end 2019). Traditionally, a wide variety of models from the sports car manufacturer are fielded, ranging from the Porsche 718 Cayman S in the near-standard Division V to the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport and the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car through to the ultimate customer racing Porsche, the 911 GT3 R. The 911 GT3 R fights for overall victory in the top GT3 category, SP9 in the NLS. As an act of its commitment to the series, Porsche often supports customer teams with engineers, advice and provides works drivers.

Parallel to this, Porsche also supports the Cup 2 NLS class, a division reserved for the 911 GT3 Cup race car. The “Green Hell” offers another attractive playing field for the racing model over and above the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, many national Carrera Cups, other one-make cup formats, the Porsche Sports Cups and many other circuit championships around the world such as the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama in North America.

2020 marks the fifth Nürburgring-Nordschleife season for the Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing. Given the fierce battles for positions among more than a dozen competitors with the latest Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport and the previous Cayman GT4 Clubsport model, the Cup 3 class is particularly popular with spectators. This year’s regulations include an overall team ranking as well as an amateur driver classification. The latter category is for newcomers who, among other things, must turn laps within a specified time.

Michael Dreiser, Head of Sales at Porsche Motorsport.
“Endurance races are part of the Porsche DNA and we have a very special connection to the exceptional Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The particular appeal of the Nürburgring Endurance Series comes from the well-balanced coexistence of elite and club sport racing. This competition on the world’s most demanding race track poses a fascinating challenge that our customer teams relish. They race in different classes, and the battle for top positions is truly gripping among the many privateers and youngsters who put their trust in Porsche. In the NLS, we are able to clearly demonstrate the potential and performance of our racing cars.”

Virtual Grüne Hölle. Porsche Supports Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series.
The Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) was postponed at the start of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NLS has bridged the race-free time since March with a virtual Nordschleife series. This simulated version of the classic German race series will continue through November despite real-world racing returning to the track on June 27 – 28. Just as in the real NLS, Porsche supports 60 sim racers and racing drivers in the digital version as well. Competitors race head-to-head in four classes, which – like in the real competition – include the Cup 2 class for the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car and the GT4 class, where the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Trophy by Manthey-Racing race car competes. Other competitors contest the TCR-category SP3T and the top GT3 class SP9.

Marco Ujhasi, Manager Esports at Porsche Motorsport.
“Esports has been an integral part of Porsche motorsport since last year. The Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series has rapidly turned into a popular online platform and has attracted a unique community of sim racers and motorsport fans. Like in real-life motorsport series, the virtual version focuses on club sport racing. For this reason, we’re particularly pleased to expand our cooperation in this field.”

935 at 14,000-Feet. Pikes Peak Legend Zwart Testing Porsche 935-19 for Run Up America’s Mountain.
When the Porsche 935-19 was unveiled to the world at Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI on September 27, 2018, Jeff Zwart (Long Beach, California) was a special guest of the German sports car maker. The modern interpretation of the classic 1978 Porsche 935 “Moby Dick” shocked all in attendance at the largest gathering Porsche race cars in the world. Despite his long affiliation as a Porsche racer, coach, photographer and brand commercial advertising director, no one was more in awe than the eight-time winner of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (1994-’98, 2002, 2010, 2015). His mind began to formulate a plan to take the Porsche 911 road car-based motorsport model up the iconic mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After months of preparations, Zwart will test the track-only machine on Tuesday, June 30 at Willow Springs Raceway in California. The timing is appropriate as the 98th running of the “Race to the Clouds” was originally slated to run the last week of June but has since been rescheduled for August 30, 2020.

With his deep Porsche ties and as one of the leading experts of racing up the 12.42-mile, 156-turn Pikes Peak race course, Zwart has been officially involved with the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama division since its inception in 2018. He will continue in that role in 2020 but will also return to his first passion of driving Porsche road and race cars after a five-year hiatus. Experienced Porsche race and road car preparer Joey Seely of Emotion Engineering will oversee the program for Zwart. The pairing teamed to win their class in 2015.

The Porsche 935-19 is a single-seat race car based on the Porsche 911 GT2 RS road car. The lightweight 3,042 lbs. (1380 Kg) rear-engine machine is powered by a 700 HP, 3.8-liter flat-six boxer engine with twin-turbochargers. The seven-speed PDK gearbox transfers the power to the rear-wheels only. The weight-optimized bodyshell is created from an aluminum-steel composite with carbon-fiber and Kevlar parts added to improve aerodynamics and overall stability. Suspension is a tuned MacPherson strut in front and lightweight multi-link arrangement in the rear. Both front and rear suspensions have adjustable shock absorbers and anti-roll bars.

Porsche has 27 class victories at Pikes Peak since the German sports car maker first appeared at “America’s Mountain” in 1958. It won its class for the first time in 1961 and added two class victories to its “lifetime total” in 2019. Twice Porsche engines have powered the overall winner to the quickest time up the mountain.

Jeff Zwart, Driver, Mobil 1/Michelin/Road Scholars Porsche 935-19.
“I have been coaching the Porsche GT4 Clubsport class at Pikes Peak the last few years and I wanted to continue coaching but also race again this year. That meant I needed something which was not too complicated to run. Underneath the amazing 935 bodywork and Porsche Motorsport chassis, there is basically the Porsche 911 GT2 RS road car which allows it to be a full ‘turn key’ race car with plenty of power delivered for the horsepower.

After 16 years at Pikes Peak and 12 different Porsche models, I like when there is a good story involved. My earliest photography was inspired by the 935 running in IMSA here in the United States and at Le Mans. The historic 935, both on the visual level and the performance level, was always inspiring for me to photograph. So, naturally when the new 935 was released I was attracted to it visually and the stories it could tell. At the same time, it seems like a great package to take on Pikes Peak.”

About the Porsche 935-19 Test at Willow Springs.
“I have run Pikes Peak in all of its configurations, meaning full dirt, half dirt/half asphalt and now full asphalt. The 935 is built to maximize performance in the current Pikes Peak conditions so my goal at Willow Springs is to learn the limits and the capabilities of the traction control and ABS… which I have not used at Pikes Peak before.”

About his expectations for the Porsche 935-19 at Pikes Peak.
“It will be a bit strange to race at Pikes Peak so late in the summer, rather than the usual June date. I am anticipating the weather conditions to be a little more tricky but trying to read the weather has always been a part of Pikes Peak. Our last Pikes Peak car was something that we built combining a turbo engine with a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car. I really look forward to driving a full factory-built package with the latest upgrades and in the 935 bodywork. It should really be something special to drive.”

Social Media.
Porsche. @Porsche
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)
newsroom (Instagram)

Model Hashtags.
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

  • Photo courtesy of Porsche Cars North America