Posted by: porschebahn | April 5, 2012

Porsche Motorsports Newsletter 2 – 2012

Porsche Motorsport around the world

Stuttgart. The Motorsport Newsletter regularly provides information on Porsche Motorsport around the world. More detailed information and additional photographs are available for accredited journalists from the press database.

Sebring 12 Hours: Successful start for the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
The tradition-steeped race on the airfield circuit of Sebring (17 March) marked the start of the new World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the American Le Mans Series. In the WEC, works drivers Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet clinched second place in the GTE Pro class for Felbermayr-Proton at the wheel of the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. In the amateur GTE Am category, Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti made a faultless start to the season with a victory in last year’s 911 GT3 RSR. Bad luck, however, for the Porsche drivers in the ALMS: Flying Lizards Motorsports’ 911 GT3 RSR piloted by Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Marco Holzer was rammed by a Ferrari in the formation lap. Bergmeister and his colleagues still managed to yield tenth place. Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers and Martin Ragginger claimed ninth in the Falken Tire Porsche after an engine change.

Tribute: Hans Herrmann inducted into the Sebring Hall of Fame
The organisers of the Sebring 12 hour race pay tribute to the performances of extraordinary race drivers by inducting them into the Hall of Fame. In the lead up to this year’s race, Hans Herrmann received this very rare honour. The former Porsche works driver, born 1928, won the Sebring classic twice, contributed to Porsche claiming the manufacturers’ world title in 1969 and 1970, and clinched the first overall victory for Porsche at Le Mans with Richard Attwood in 1970.

Convalescence: Works driver Timo Bernhard on the way to recovery
Porsche factory pilot Timo Bernhard has to take several weeks of time out. During testing with an Audi in Sebring (USA), he went off the track at high speed through no fault of his own and slammed backwards into the barrier. At hospital an injury to his cervical spine was diagnosed. An operation is not necessary. However, Bernhard has to remain in the USA for some time and is wearing a neck brace for support. “I’ll take things easy so that I can get fit again quickly,” says the Porsche works driver. “My wife Katharina has joined me here in Florida and she’s helping me with the necessary check-up examinations. As soon as the doctors give me the clearance to fly, we’ll be back in Germany.”

Carrera Cup Asia: Tenth season features largest grid in history
With 27 competitors, the Carrera Cup Asia enters its tenth season with the largest grid line up in its history. In Shanghai and Singapore the Asian Carrera Cup runs as support to the Formula 1.

Carrera Cup Australia: Champion Craig Baird unbeatable in Melbourne
Three races, three victories and the points lead. After a faultless weekend as support to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne (16/18 March), Craig Baird elbowed Alex Davison from the top of the points’ table. Davison had led the series after winning two races at the first weekend in Adelaide (3/4 March). Ex-Formula 1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen gave an impressive performance at his guest drive in Melbourne yielding two fourth places. This marked the first time at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for the German. Next round: 4 to 6 May in Perth, WA.

Carrera Cup Deutschland: Additional race on Saturday
The German Carrera Cup takes off: In addition to the 80 kilometre race on Sunday, competitors in 2012 also contest a 60 kilometre sprint on Saturday. Also new this season is the B classification for amateurs as well as a rookie category for new-comers up to 25 years old. The price money increases by 100,000 Euro to now total more than half a million Euro. Nine race weekends with an event on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife as the highlight make up the calendar. The season kicks off on 28 April in Hockenheim.

Carrera Cup Japan: New junior driver – season highlight alongside Formula 1
Again in 2012, a talented young driver is given the chance to launch his career in the Carrera Cup Japan. 18-year-old Ryo Hirakawa competes with the support of Porsche Japan in a 911 GT3 Cup fielded by the Garmin Team. Hirakawa comes from formula racing and contests his first GT season. He faces tough opposition from the likes of GT aces Igor Sushko and Shinichi Yamaji from the Japanese Super GT. Two Porsche Centres join the series for the first time, with Excellence Motorsports running the 100th 911 GT3 Cup imported into Japan. Okayama hosts the first of eleven races on 1 April. Season highlight: The race as support to the Japan Grand Prix in Suzuka, 5/7 October.

Race notes: Record grids in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA and the GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil with 39 and 37 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup respectively. +++ After just the tenth of twelve races in the GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East 2011/12, Abdulaziz Al Faisal from Saudi Arabia is the champion. +++ Manthey Racing contracted Porsche works driver Marco Holzer for the International GT Open to race a new 911 GT3 RSR in the pan-European championship. His teammate is Britain’s Nick Tandy. The pair competes against their works driver colleague Patrick Pilet, who shares driving duties with Raymond Narac in a 911 GT3 RSR run by the IMSA Performance Matmut squad.

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