Posted by: porschebahn | March 18, 2012

Race Results for 2012 12 Hours of Sebring – World Endurance Championship / American Le Mans Series round 1

Successful race debut for the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

Stuttgart. At the Sebring 12 hour race, the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR celebrated a successful race premiere. At the wheel of the 911 fielded by the Felbermayr-Proton team, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Patrick Pilet (France) secured second place in the GTE Pro class at the long distance classic in Florida and with this made a very promising start into the new World Endurance Championship.

“Second place is a great result. Right from the start, our new 911 GT3 RSR was reliable and that’s very positive,” said Marc Lieb. “But we lacked the speed to win off our own bat.” Richard Lietz, who had to start from the back of the field because the cockpit temperature of his Porsche in qualifying was one degree over what was permitted, said, “I’m very satisfied with how the race went. For twelve hours our 911 ran without the slightest technical problem. Which is, of course, not something you take for granted at the first race with a new car.”

Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti made a superb start to the season. With the second Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (2011 model year) run by Felbermayr-Proton they celebrated victory in the GTE Am class. “This win is a perfect way to kick off the season,” Ried commented. “The last one and half hours of the race were incredibly tough for Paolo, because he had to cope without power steering.”

With the tradition-steeped twelve hour race on the Sebring International Raceway the American Le Mans Series also took off into the season. Driving the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for Paul Miller Racing, Sascha Maassen (Germany), Bryce Miller (USA) and Rob Bell (Great Britain) secured fifth place in the GT class. At the wheel of Flying Lizard Motorsports’ 911, Americans Seth Neiman, Darren Law and Andy Lally saw the flag in seventh place.

For two other new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, the season-opening round in the sunshine state of the USA brought less than perfect results. Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) secured ninth with Bryan Sellers (USA) and Martin Ragginger (Austria). After the qualifying, their Falken Tire team had to replace the engine in the 911, and although the mechanics managed this in record time, he still took up the race one lap behind. Things were not a lot better for his factory pilot colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Marco Holzer (Germany) in the second Flying Lizard Porsche: In the formation lap, a Ferrari rammed into the rear of the Porsche, which threw them far back. After putting in a spirited chase, they still managed to yield tenth and earn valuable points towards the championship.

“Our car ran better in the race than it did in qualifying. We drove consistently fast lap times to the end,” stated Wolf Henzler. Marco Holzer added: “That was a bitter race. It was already over for us before it had really begun. So our goal was to finish the 70 percent distance and safeguard those important championship points.”

Hartmut Kristen, head of Porsche motorsport, regarded the start of the season as positive. “Compliments to the Felbermayr-Proton team for their victory in GTE-Am class and second place in GTE-Pro class. This was almost an optimum result,” he
said. “I am extremely pleased with the reliability of the new 911 GT3 RSR. As far as the time difference to our fastest rivals in qualifying and in the race is concerned, we will be analysing that gap to determine whether the performance balancing influenced this. Congratulations as well to Paul Miller Racing for its great result in the American Le Mans Series with fifth. It’s a pity that the race was over before the start for one of our strongest cars, it was not the team’s fault.”

Round two of the World Endurance Championship takes place on 5 May 2012 in Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium. On 14 April, round two of the American Le Mans Series takes off on the street course in Long Beach, California.

Results

World Endurance Championship
GTE Pro class
1. Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci (I/MC/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 307 laps
2. Lieb/Lietz/Pilet (D/A/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 306
3. Mücke/Fernandez/Turner (D/MEX/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 291
4. Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander (I/I/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, 215
5. Melo/Makowiecki/Vernay (BRA/F/F), Ferrari F458 Italia, 183

GTE Am class
1. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 298 laps
2. Bourret/Gibon/Belloc (F/F/F), Chevrolet Corvette, 297
3. Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy (F/F/P), Chevrolet Corvette, 288
4. Kaufmann/Waltrip/Aguas (USA/USA/P), Ferrari F458, 283
5. Krohn/Jönsson/Rugolo (USA/S/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 265
6. Binnie/Palttala/Camathias (USA/SF/CH), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 251

American Le Mans Series
GT class
1. Hand/Müller/Summerton (USA/D/USA), BMW E92 M3, 307 laps
2. Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor (DK/E/USA), Chevrolet Corvette, 307
3. Gavin/Milner/Westbrook (GB/USA/GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 307
4. Müller/Auberlen/Alzen (D/USA/D), BMW E92 M3, 306
5. Maassen/Miller/Bell (D/USA/GB), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 302
6. Brown/Segal/Lazzaro (USA/USA/USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, 302
7. Law/Neiman/Lally (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 302
9. Henzler/Sellers/Ragginger (D/USA/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 289
10. Bergmeister/Long/Holzer (D/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 251

GTC class
1. Sweedler/Bell/von Moltke (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 291 laps
2. Keen/Dumoulin/MacNeil (USA/CAN/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 291
3. Faulkner/Bleekemolen/LaSaffe (IRL/NL/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 290

Points’ standings

World Endurance Championship
Manufacturer’s World Cup GTE class
1. Ferrari, 34 points
2. Porsche, 33
3. Chevrolet, 22

Team Trophy GTE Pro class
1. AF Corse, Ferrari, 26 points
2. Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche, 18
3. Aston Martin Racing, Aston Martin, 15

Team Trophy GTE Am class
1. Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche, 25 points
2. Labre Competition, Chevrolet, 18
3. AF Corse-Waltrip, Ferrari , 12

American Le Mans Series
GT class
1. Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Jonathan Summerton, BMW , 24 points
2. Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, Chevrolet , 20
3. Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Richard Westbrook, Chevrolet, 17
5. Sascha Maassen, Bryce Miller, Rob Bell, Porsche, 12
7. Seth Neiman, Andy Lally, Darren Law. Porsche, 8
9. Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers, Martin Ragginger, Porsche, 6
10. Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Marco Holzer , Porsche, 5

Manufacturers
1. BMW, 24 points
2. Chevrolet, 20
3. Porsche , 12
4. Ferrari, 10

Teams
1. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 24 points
2. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 20
3. Paul Miller Racing, Porsche, 12
4. Extreme Speed Motorsports, Ferrari, 10


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