Porsche North America Pre-Mazda Raceway Report
Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Porsche North America “works” squad will campaign two Porsche 911 RSRs in Round Four of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on May 1. The 911 RSR is based on the seventh-generation of the iconic sports car. With five manufacturers competing in Sunday morning’s race, the GTLM class delivers the most intense endurance GT racing on the planet.

The trademark of this 2.238-mile circuit is the legendary “Corkscrew” corner, which winds steeply downhill from the highest point of the 12-turn track. Four Porsche factory drivers tackle the two-hour race with the Porsche 911 RSR. Sharing the cockpit of the No. 911 entry is the defending IMSA GTLM champion Patrick Pilet (France) and outright Le Mans winner Nick Tandy (Great Britain). The pair scored their first win of the season recently at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Driving the No. 912 rear-engine racer is overall Le Mans winner Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France). These two secured third-place finishes at the first two races of the season at Daytona and Sebring.

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport.

“Last year our lead-in time took a little longer, this time we managed to score the first victory at just our third race in the USA. Our preparations leading up to Laguna Seca will be just as intensive and we will do everything we can to turn the extra motivation and energy that this win gave our team into a top result.”

Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Manager GT Works Motorsport.

“The race is shorter than last year’s, so that makes it all the more important to have an excellent strategy worked out and not make any mistakes. The highlight is the Corkscrew, of course. Such a corner is unique in the world. We’ll work out some special set-up details especially for this section of the track.”

Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

“This is one of the most beautiful races of the season. The circuit is located in a magnificent setting and it’s very demanding. The track is like a rollercoaster, and the Michelin tires come under extreme stresses. It’s crucial to find a good compromise with the car’s setup and tire choice. Last year we launched our catch-up campaign at Laguna Seca, which ultimately led to the title. Hopefully this is a good omen.”

Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

“I have fond memories of Laguna Seca. In 2013, I scored my first U.S. victory here in the [American Le Mans Series] GTC class. Because the wind constantly blows sand on to the track, conditions can change from lap to lap. That makes it difficult, but also interesting.”

Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

“I’ve never actually raced at Laguna Seca. I only know this wonderful circuit from last year’s Porsche Rennsport Reunion V. I got the chance to turn several demo laps with outstanding cars such as the 919 Hybrid and the 911 GT1. The circuit has something truly magical about it. I can hardly wait to go racing with the 911 RSR there.”

Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.

“I also turned a couple of demo laps with the 911 RSR on this great racetrack at last year’s Porsche Rennsport Reunion. Now Earl and I are looking forward to our first race together here. I’m really excited to see how the Corkscrew feels at racing speed.”

Park Place Looking to Park Back in GTD Victory Lane. Four Porsche 911 GT3 R Challenge Entered in Pro-Am Class

After a one-race hiatus when only the GTLM and prototypes cars ran at Long Beach, the GT Daytona (GTD) class is back on track with this weekend’s Continental Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda. Four Porsche 911 GT3 Rs are entered with an eye to get the car’s first endurance race victory. Leading the quartet is defending class race winner Park Place Motorsports. Factory pilot Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), the fifth Porsche factory driver this weekend and a six-time GT class winner at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, will co-drive with Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. Park Place, the racing arm of the largest Porsche dealership in Texas, is defending GTD class race winner. Lindsey, then co-driving with Spencer Pumpelly, raced to his first IMSA win here last year from the pole position.

Alex Job Racing will field its two cars including the No. 22 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) and Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) and the No. 23 Team Seattle machine shared by Germany’s Mario Farnbacher and Spain’s Alex Riberas. The No. 23 currently sits third in the GTD Team standings.

Black Swan Racing’s No. 540 was the first team worldwide to podium – a third at the Rolex 24 At Daytona – with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. The pairing of Tim Pappas (Boston Massachusetts) and Nicky Catsburg (the Netherlands) look to move to a hire step in Monterey in the team’s fulltime return to IMSA competition.

Jörg Bergmeister, Driver, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“Laguna Seca is a racetrack that’s great fun. The famous Corkscrew poses a very special challenge, of course. We approach it in fifth-gear at 130 mph and suddenly you’re looking at the sky. The only landmarks at this point are a couple of trees. So it’s not at all easy to perfectly negotiate this corner.”

Digital Motorsports. CJ Wilson Racing and Forza Team to Bring the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Series to an Xbox Near You.

CJ Wilson Racing announced the launch of the 2016 CJ Wilson Racing Cayman Cup for Forza Motorsport 6. This ten race virtual series for the 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS is presented by Logitech G and runs in partnership with The Online Racing Association (TORA).  

CJ Wilson Racing and its drivers have worked closely with TORA to create a base model car that matches the team's Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport as closely as possible. The driver of the No. 33 car, Danny Burkett (Canada), has done many virtual laps in order to match both the performance and handling characteristics of the Forza Motorsport car to the real thing.

CJ Wilson Racing has entered two Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsports for the Continental Monterey Grand Prix CTSCC event on Saturday, April 30. In addition to CJ Wilson Racing’s No. 33 driven by Burkett and Marc Miller (Holland, Michigan) and the No. 35 shared by Tyler McQuarrie (USA) and Till Bechtolsheimer (USA), there are two additional entries of the mid-engine sports car. Bodymotion Racing brings the No. 12, the first Cayman GT4 Clubsport winner worldwide, to the west coast to follow-up its Sebring victory with drivers Cameron Cassels (Canada) and Trent Hindman (Wayside, New Jersey). Ted Giovanis (Highland, Maryland) and David Murry (Atlanta, Georgia) will run their second race in the No. 64 Team TGM two-seater.  

CJ Wilson, Owner, Nos. 33 and 35, CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

“It’s really exciting to be able to do any kind of partnership where the livery that you designed for your actual car appears in a video game. It’s great to be associated with a group of enthusiasts competing at a simulation quality level. The fact that people want to race Caymans built to the spec of our GT4 Clubsport is really awesome. It shows how far Xbox has come in the last decade and how far the sport and eSports has come. So many users now want to get behind the wheel, even though it is only a digitally connected wheel and race real world cars. This could never of happened without Forza Motorsport’s partnership with Porsche.”

One Make Makes for Intense Competition. IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA.

Competition will intensify April 28-30 during Rounds 3 and 4 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, after an exciting start to the 2016 season in March at Sebring International Raceway.
The series is making its first stop to the 2.238-mile, 11-turn scenic circuit since closing its 2015 championship there during the famed Porsche Rennsport Reunion V last September.

Consistency has been key through the first two rounds of the 2016 championship. Lucas Catania (Cazenovia, New York) had a breakthrough performance at Sebring, earning his first series win in Round 2 in an NGT Motorsport entry. That victory, combined with a second-place finish in Round 1, placed Catania in first place in the Platinum Cup standings with 38 points.

The Platinum Cup Masters class lead, held by Marco Cirone after he swept the class at Sebring. Wright Motorsports' Fred Poordad (San Antonio, Texas) is in second after second- and fourth-place finishes in Rounds 1 and 2.

Competition in the Gold Cup class already has started heating up with the four top drivers claiming all of the podium positions at Sebring to keep the race tight early in the season. Michael de Quesada (Tampa, Florida) swept the opening two rounds after spending the 2015 season competing in Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. He leads the Gold standings with a perfect 40 points.

Round 3 will start at 3:40 p.m. (PT) Friday, April 29 with Round 4 following at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 30. Both races are 45 minutes.

Jens Walther, President/CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America.

“Monterey is one of the most beautiful places we race at all season. It is traditionally a very good track for Porsche. It is very challenging yet rewarding track for our customer race teams. For the GT Daytona teams this marks the beginning of the ‘Sprint Season’ with shorter races. We will again see the entire Porsche GT race car product line racing here this weekend: the 911 RSR, the 911 GT3 R, the 911 GT3 Cup and the Cayman GT4 Clubsport, running in three different series across four different classes. We usually have a large turnout of Porsche fans and cars at our Porscheplatz at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway, as it is in one of our strongest markets for street cars, and we are looking forward to our return to the scene of Porsche Rennsport Reunion V."