Posted by: porschebahn | August 13, 2010

Preview of Le Mans Series round 4 in Budapest, Hungary

Porsche pilots try to get in position for title decision

In the Le Mans Series, the fight for the title could soon be decided. With a victory at the 1,000 kilometre race on 22 August at the Hungaroring near Budapest, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) could settle matters and be celebrated as GT2 class champions before the season finale at Silverstone. The title defenders, who took off into the season with two victories and also won the Le Mans 24 Hours, take up the inaugural race of the Le Mans Series in Hungary at the wheel of the Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

The champagne for the champions, however, is not yet on ice. “We want to win the race, but we’re not thinking about the championship,” says Marc Lieb. “We’ll do the best job we can and try to finish without making any mistakes. The rest will unfold. At the previous race in Portugal our opponents were very strong. Now we have to find an answer.” It’s all about grip on the 4.381 kilometre Grand Prix circuit with its many slow and semi-fast corners. “The tyres play an important role,” says Marc Lieb. “But I don’t believe we’ll have problems with wear.” Fuel consumption could play another crucial role. With the 911 GT3 RSR, Richard Lietz regards this as advantageous: “If we can save ourselves one pit stop through lower fuel consumption, this could be the secret to success in Hungary.”

“It’ll certainly be an exciting race”

At the inaugural running of the 229-lap race on the Hungaroring, the flag will only drop at 22.00 hours. Although racing into the night provides a very special flair, it also makes the drivers’ job more difficult. “The stint during dusk is not easy,” says Marc Lieb. Richard Lietz, however, sees the later start due to the expected heat as an advantage: “Night races are more interesting for spectators and more comfortable for the drivers. We all get something good out of it.”

Sharing the cockpit of the second 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Felbermayr-Proton, Martin Ragginger (Austria), currently third in the points, and Christian Ried (Germany), join forces this time with Porsche works driver and Le Mans overall winner Romain Dumas (France). “It’ll certainly be an exciting race. The track is really demanding and there are not many chances to overtake,” states Martin Ragginger. Even if the title is out of reach under normal circumstances, Ragginger is in fighting spirit at the penultimate race of the season. “We aim to earn a few more points and then in Silverstone we’ll go hell for leather for second place.”

Whilst Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet (France) and his compatriot Raymond Narac strive for their first podium result of the season in the 911 GT3 RSR of the French IMSA Performance Matmut team, Porsche Junior Marco Holzer (Germany) and the reigning FIA GT Champion Richard Westbrook (Great Britain) field the ProSpeed Competition 911 GT3 RSR. The Belgian squad contests their first season in the Le Mans Series and are determined to bring home points again from Budapest. Both the drivers and the team have already shown impressively that they can score top results: At the Le Mans 24 hour race in June this year, they achieved third place.

The race on the Hungaroring will start at 16.00 hours on 22 August. Television station Eurosport broadcasts the final part of the race from 21.30 hours. Fans can witness the race via Live Timing on the official website

Points’ standings GT2 class

1. Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Porsche, 62 points
2. Jean Alesi, Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander, Ferrari, 52
3. Martin Ragginger, Christian Ried, Porsche, 44
4. Patrick Long, Porsche, 35
Gianmaria Bruni, Jaime Melo, Ferrari, 35
5. Luis Perez Companc, Matias Russo, Ferrari, 29
6. Patrick Pilet, Raymond Narac, Porsche, 28

1. Porsche, 109 points
2. Ferrari, 106
3. BMW, 30
4. Spyker, 26
5. Aston Martin, 10

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