Porsche Road America Notes Package

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Porsche Profile. Event Story Lines.

Almost Like Home. Porsche Teams Come to Road America.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship takes a trip into the past. On the legendary Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, one of the oldest and most demanding racetracks in the USA, the eighth round of North America’s premier endurance sports car race series will be contested. The Porsche North America factory squad will field two Porsche 911 RSRs in the GTLM class against strong opposition from BMW, Ferrari, Ford and Chevrolet on the storied circuit. The 470 hp winning racer from Weissach, Germany is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. Equally as fierce is the competition in the GTD class in which Porsche customer teams such as Alex Job Racing, Park Place Motorsports and Black Swan Racing campaign the new 500 hp Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Opened in 1955, Road America is one of the oldest racetracks in the United States and one of the few circuits to have retained its original layout. The 4.01-mile circuit and its 14 corners is the longest on the championship trail.

The defending IMSA GT Driver’s champion Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) return to Elkhart Lake as last year’s winners. The pair shares the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR with which they won on the Long Beach, California street circuit earlier this year. Their team colleagues in the sister 911 RSR run by Porsche North America (No. 912) are Earl Bamber (New Zealand), who finished second here last year after starting from pole position, as well as Frédéric Makowiecki (France). One of the most successful GT pilots at Road America is Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) who contests the GTD class for the Porsche customer team Park Place Motorsports as the fifth works driver. He has notched up no less than five victories on this racetrack. Porsche Junior Sven Müller (Germany), the current leader of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, joins the No. 540 Black Swan Racing program for the first time this season. Competing for the Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing squad is former Porsche junior Alex Riberas (Spain) and Mario Farnbacher (Germany).

The 470 hp 911 RSR is the most successful GT racing car of recent years. After securing victories at the long distance classics in Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans, 2016 marks its last season as a works-run racer. Its successor is expected to make its racetrack debut in January 2017 at the Daytona 24-hour race.

Porsche built the 500 hp Porsche 911 GT3 R for GT3 series worldwide based on the 911 GT3 RS production sports car. The new customer racer scored its first victory in the IMSA SportsCar Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.

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

“The Road America race is a real classic. Our drivers are looking forward to competing on this fast, demanding track. As part of our preparations we have tried to build on the progress we made at the last race at Lime Rock Park. At that round we were in the position to fight for a top spot. Despite the limited time, the team will do everything so that our drivers again have the best possible chances at Road America. Their recent defeat below their true potential can be attributed to various reasons. We will all be working hard to change that.”

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

“Road America is a little like Spa, fast and challenging. It’s a racetrack with loads of character. Last year we had a great race there, where we came from the very back of the field to win. You don’t experience that every day. I hope we can secure a better grid spot this time – we were very happy with the race result. To win at Road America you need the best package of car, driver and team. Only then do you have a chance on this circuit.”

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

“I have great memories of Road America. Last year we started from the very last grid spot after experiencing a problem in qualifying and we won – I’ll never forget the feeling of overtaking the entire GT field in the 911 RSR. Road America is one of the most traditional racetracks in the USA. It’s a piece of American sports car history and it’s always great fun competing there.”

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

“Road America is one of my favorite racetracks in America. Last year I secured pole position with the 911 RSR and obviously I’m hoping that we can deliver another strong performance again this time. We went testing there a while ago and worked on a baseline setup for the 911 RSR. Hopefully we can benefit from this.”

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

“This is another American racetrack on which I’ve never competed. I’m looking forward to this new experience. Road America is one of very few old circuits left in the USA and hence it is steeped in tradition. It’s an exciting challenge for every driver. After things haven’t gone so well for us recently I’m hoping that our team’s hard work will be rewarded and that we regain a little of our old strength at Road America.”

 

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

“There’s no other circuit I look forward to more than Road America. It’s a classic racetrack that has everything a driver could wish for – it’s very fast, very hilly and very challenging. No wonder that sports car fans travel from far and wide to witness this race. Road America is my all-time favorite in the USA, and that’s not just because I’ve celebrated many successes there with Porsche.”

Mario Farnbacher, Driver, No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“What I enjoy most about the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship are the great racetracks. They’re not boring Grand Prix circuits, but real drivers’ racetracks that are challenging and fun. I think Road America stands at the top of the list.”

Alex Riberas, Driver, No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“As far as top speed is concerned, this is probably the fastest racetrack on the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar. It’s challenging and huge fun.”

 

WeatherTech Double. Alex Job Racing Adds Third Porsche 911 GT3 R for Road America.

WeatherTech Racing will add a second car for drivers David MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) and Gunnar Jeannette (Salt Lake City, Utah) for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Road Race Showcase to run at Road America August 5-7.     

MacNeil, founder and CEO of WeatherTech, and Jeannette were a part of the driver line-up for the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona in January with Cooper MacNeil, Leh Keen and Shane van Gisbergen. After leading much of the latter part of the race, the team finished 13th. The duo had an opportunity to test the No. 77 WeatherTech Racing Porsche at Road America during the WeatherTech International Challenge Weekend three weeks ago.

David MacNeil, Driver, No. 77 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

"Road America is a track that I have a lot of miles around. I have driven a lot of different cars there and I am looking forward to racing the new Porsche on the IMSA weekend. I had so much fun running with my son and the team at Daytona that I thought the Road America race a perfect track to get out there and run again. Gunnar and I were able to get a few laps in the car a few weeks ago and I felt comfortable, turned some pretty fast laps and feel good about our effort. Alex Job and the team have reams of data on the track, so my learning curve with the Porsche was pretty short. Gunnar is a great teammate and coach and I am looking forward to next weekend. I will see if I can keep things close with my son Cooper."

Alex Job, Owner, Alex Job Racing.

"David is a competitor in business and on the track. When he mentioned he wanted to run at Road America in another car it was a natural for us to get a second car ready. He and Gunnar ran some laps to get comfortable with the car and we came away from the test encouraged. It will be interesting to see the dynamic of father versus son next week."

 

Pursuing The Cup. Hard-Fought Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Championship Battles Continue at Road America.

The battle for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama championship will resume Aug. 5-7 at Road America for Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2016 season.

Jesse Lazare and Lucas Catania have been the stars of the Platinum Cup title race since splitting the first two rounds in mid-March at Sebring International Raceway. Lazare, the top returning driver this season, took the victory in Round 1 with Catania winning Round 2 for his first series victory.

Lazare rolled off four consecutive wins after the second round, in which he had an unfortunate puncture, to close the gap to points leader Catania. Lazare took the lead after Rounds 7 and 8 on Fourth of July weekend at Watkins Glen International.

Montreal resident Lazare leads the series standings with 133 points and five wins in the No. 21 Porsche prepared by Kelly-Moss Road and Race, based in Madison, Wisconsin. Catania, from Cazenovia, New York, is second with 117 points in the No. 26 NGT Motorsport entry.

Catania has only a three-point lead on Andrew Longe, from Naples, Florida, in third place with 114 points. Longe earned his first series victory in Round 8 at Watkins Glen in the No. 47 Wright Motorsports Porsche.

There is an intriguing battle shaping up for the Platinum Masters championship between two Texas rivals. 2015 Gold Cup and Gold Masters champion Jeff Mosing, from Austin, Texas, has four class wins and leads the class with 135 points. His lead is only one point over fellow Texan Fred Poordad, from San Antonio. Poordad has two wins, including one in Round 8 at Watkins Glen in early July in a Wright Motorsports entry.

Mosing’s TOPP Racing teammate, David Baker, from Colleyville, Texas, is in third place with 107 points. He has finished on the podium in three of the last six races.

Competition in the Gold Cup class is also tight, with the top three drivers within 18 points. Michael de Quesada, from Tampa, Florida, leads the class with 138 points and four wins in an Alegra Motorsports entry. Michael Levitas, from Baltimore, is second at 132 points with one class win and seven podium finishes. Levitas’ TPC Racing teammate, Sebastian Landy of Falls Church, Virginia, is third with 120 points and three class wins.

Philip Bloom, from New York, is also in the hunt in his first season in the series with 98 points in a Wright Motorsports Porsche.

Round 9 will start at 4:40 p.m. (CT) Saturday, Aug. 6. Round 10 will begin at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 7. Both rounds are 45 minutes. There will be two practices Friday, with qualifying at 8 a.m. Saturday

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