Porsche concludes Le Mans preparations with best times in both GTE classes

Test day

With a path time of 3:52.901 minutes, a 911 RSR driven by Kévin Estre (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) set a best time in a GTE-Pro difficulty during this morning’s session. The No. 91 sister automobile common by a works motorist contingent Gianmaria Bruni (Italy), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Fréderic Makowiecki (France) resolved a dual sessions in second with 3:52.904 mins – a time roughly matching to their code colleagues’. The dual Porsche patron teams WeatherTech Racing and Hub Auto Racing wrapped adult a day in third and sixth place out of a 8 participants in this category. The WeatherTech automobile crewed by a Belgian works motorist Laurens Vanthoor, Cooper MacNeil (USA) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) finished a afternoon eventuality as a fastest in a Pro category.

In a GTE Am division, a No. 99 entrance fielded by Proton Competition and Project 1’s No. 56 automobile cumulative positions one and dual with their matching 911 RSR. In this class, pledge drivers with FIA “bronze” or “silver” standing share a cockpit with professionals. At a circle of Dempsey-Proton Racing’s No. 77 car, Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender distinguished his GTE entrance during Le Mans. However, a Irish-German will not foe a race.

The deteriorate prominence of a FIA World Endurance Championship WEC takes off this Saturday during 4pm. The exam day is a customarily eventuality before a start of a tangible Le Mans week to fine-tune a automatic and aerodynamic setup on a 13.626-kilometre multiple of permanent circuit and open roads. At a pre-test in high summer, teams faced prohibited pavement temperatures of roughly 50 degrees Celsius. On Sunday, a twelve 2019-generation 911 RSR incited a sum of 991 laps, that corresponds to a stretch of 13,503 kilometres.

With 19 undisguised victories and 108 difficulty wins, Porsche is by distant a many successful manufacturer during a French 24-hour classic. The many new win for a nine-eleven in a GTE-Pro difficulty on a storied racetrack was in 2018. At that time, Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen and Belgium’s Laurens Vanthoor sat in a cockpit. In serve to a bureau delegation, 7 patron teams with a sum of 7 works drivers as good as a Porsche Young Professional Julien Andlauer (France) will tackle a 89th book of a famous continuation race. They can acquire twice as many points towards a universe championship as in a shorter FIA WEC races. After clinching dual difficulty wins from a initial 3 races this season, a works drivers Estre and Jani now lead a drivers’ classification. Porsche ranks second in a manufacturers’ universe championship, customarily 7 points behind a leader.

Comments on a exam day

Alexander Stehlig (Porsche Head of Operations FIA WEC): “The exam day went good for us. The racetrack had surprisingly decent grip, that we hadn’t expected, and we found some unequivocally standard conditions in a morning session. We can already see that it’ll be a unequivocally tighten foe – 7 of a 8 cars in a Pro difficulty are within three-tenths of a second. The group and a automobile that can grasp a best opening with a fewest mistakes will be during a front in a end. We managed to evenly parasite off all equipment on a to-do list. We now have dual days to work on a 911 RSR and analyse all a information before we continue on Wednesday afternoon.”

Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “We were means to exercise what we schooled from a morning eventuality in a afternoon and so serve urge a car’s balance. Ultimately, this resulted in a some-more quick back spindle in quick corners. Now we customarily have to find a small some-more hold on a front spindle in a delayed corners, and we’ll be good.”

Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “Today was okay. We worked by a pursuit piece and attempted a few things to see how they went. we done a teenager mistake on a final army – we attempted something new on a initial path and mislaid a car. But not many happened.”

Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “Compared to prior years, a lane was unequivocally purify with good grip. The Le Mans organisers did a good pursuit here. We managed to start work on a setup unequivocally early – and that’s generally not a case. Our Porsche felt unequivocally good from a get-go and we fast got adult to speed. Still, we went by a checklist and found a few things. We now have a lot of information to analyse and discuss. It’s always formidable to know what a foe is doing, though we’ll mix on a possess business. We’re gratified given we’ve schooled a lot and we were always adult with a play in terms of change and path times.”

Neel Jani (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “My initial laps in a GT racer during Le Mans were a new experience, though they were also good fun. It was unequivocally prohibited today, we can’t remember a final time we had such temperatures during Le Mans. It’s foresee to be unequivocally comfortable on a foe weekend, though a high temperatures matched us. We might have to do some work on a automobile so that we can cope with a feverishness better.”

Florian Latorre (Porsche 911 RSR #99): “I consider we got a good start into a foe week. All drivers set a good pace. We didn’t make any mistakes and we were means to give a automobile a few additional tweaks. This was my initial time in a 911 RSR. We’re unequivocally confident with today’s exam sessions.”

Michael Fassbender (Porsche 911 RSR #77): “That was my initial try in a 911 RSR here during Le Mans. I’m holding it step by step. It feels good to be here and a partial of this event.”

Results, GTE-Pro class:

1. Estre / Jani / Christensen (F/CH/DK), Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR #92, 3:52.901 minutes
2. Lietz / Bruni / Makowiecki (A/I/F), Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR #91, 3:52.904 minutes
3. MacNeil / Bamber / L. Vanthoor (USA/NZ/B), WeatherTech Racing, Porsche 911 RSR #79, 3:52.938 minutes
6. Martin / Parente / D. Vanthoor (B/P/B), HubAuto Racing, Porsche 911 RSR #72, 3:53.221 minutes

GTE-Am class

1. Inthraphuvasak / Latorre / Tincknell (T/F/GB), Proton Competition, Porsche 911 RSR #99, 3:54.472 minutes
2. Perfetti / Cairoli / Pera (N/I/I), Team Project 1, Porsche 911 RSR #56, 3:54.502 v
4. Andlauer / Bastien / Arnold (F/USA/D), Dempsey-Proton Racing, Porsche 911 RSR #88, 3:54.619 minutes
6. Wainwright / Barker / Gamble (GB/GB/GB), GR Racing, Porsche 911 RSR #86, 3:54.668 minutes
9. Haryanto / Picariello / Seefried (RI/B/D), Absolute Racing, Porsche 911 RSR #18, 3:55.011 minutes
14. Renauer / Ineichen / Bohn (D/CH/D), Herberth Motorsport, Porsche 911 RSR #69, 3:55.595 minutes
18. Ried / Campbell / Evans / Fassbender (D/AUS/NZ/IRL), Dempsey-Proton Racing, Porsche 911 RSR 3:55.895 minutes
20. Olsen / Buchardt / Foley (N/N/USA), Team Project 1, Porsche 911 RSR #46, 3:56.190 minutes

The preview

So distant in this season’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), a bureau patrol has cumulative dual difficulty wins from 3 races. The mythological Circuit de la Sarthe hosts turn 4 on 21/22 August, when Porsche again relies on a three-driver organisation in any of a cars.

In total, 12 911 RSR racers will tackle a GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes during a 89th book of a world’s fastest continuation race. The eventuality starts this Sunday (15 August) with a pre-test on a 13.626-kilometre course, that takes in a circuit and open roads. With 19 altogether victories and 108 difficulty wins to a credit, Porsche is by distant a many successful manufacturer during a 24-hour foe in France.

“We contested Le Mans for a initial time final year with a Porsche 911 RSR-19 and we struggled a bit opposite a extreme foe in a GTE-Pro class,” recalls Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport. “I’m certain we’ll be significantly some-more rival this year. We’ve collected a outrageous volume of information and knowledge with a works group and a patron squads, who get a possibility this year to margin a latest chronicle of a 911 in a WEC. These insights assistance us find a ideal setup. We also achieved strongly on a high-speed lane during Monza. Our success there gave us an additional boost for Le Mans.”

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is intensely renouned with engine racing fans and is a prominence on a FIA World Endurance Championship calendar. Situated south of a 150,000-inhabitant city, a march consists generally of open roads, with hundreds of trucks and cars pushing a mythological Mulsanne true any day on their approach between Le Mans and Tours. Treacherous ruts benefaction special challenges, generally in a rain.

While a long-distance classical was creatively set for June, a 89th 24-hour foe is being contested in Aug this year due to a coronavirus pandemic. Unlike final year, adult to 50,000 fans will be means to watch a movement live from a racetrack as a latest era Porsche 911 RSR tackles a world’s biggest continuation foe for customarily a second time.

“I’m assured that we’ll be many some-more rival this year,” says Alexander Stehlig, Head of Operations FIA WEC. “In a meantime, we’ve collected extremely some-more knowledge with a car, and a successes during Spa and Monza have been hugely encouraging. There’s no improved inducement for us than a win on a high-speed circuit in Italy. What’s critical during a 24-hour foe is to say hit with a streamer container during all times so that we’re in a position during a finish to quarrel for victory. This means that we have to conflict right from a start. we consider this a earnest recipe for success.”

Due to a length of a 24-hour race, double a common points are awarded compared to a required six-hour WEC race. As such, a foe has mostly proven to be wilful in terms of a WEC manufacturer and motorist standings. The prominence of a year also facilities a special subordinate rule: in a Pro class, customarily a 6 fastest cars from a one-hour gift eventuality on Wednesday (18 August) are accessible to take partial in a Hyperpole hold a following day. This eventuality afterwards determines a best grid positions for a race.

Porsche GT Team drivers

The unchanging WEC drivers Gianmaria Bruni from Italy and Richard Lietz from Austria join army with Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki in a cockpit of a No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR. The Frenchman, who contested this year’s eight-hour foe in Portugal, brings a resources of knowledge with him. Makowiecki has contested a Le Mans classical a sum of 10 times – for a final 4 years pity pushing duties in a factory-run automobile with Bruni and Lietz. In a No. 92 sister car, Frenchman Kévin Estre and Neel Jani from Switzerland accept bolster from Danish racer Michael Christensen. The contingent used a WEC foe in Portimão in Jun to get in sync with any other. Estre and Jani now lead a drivers’ championship after scoring dual difficulty wins from 3 races. In a manufacturers’ classification, Porsche ranks second customarily 7 points behind a leader.

The patron teams

Two patron teams tackle a 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Porsche 911 RSR in a GTE-Pro difficulty – a difficulty that is customarily a domain of bureau teams. WeatherTech Racing puts a trust in Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium, Earl Bamber from New Zealand and a American pledge motorist Cooper MacNeil. Sharing a cockpit of a matching automobile campaigned by HubAuto Racing from Taiwan are Maxime Martin from Belgium, Alvaro Parente from Portugal and Belgian Dries Vanthoor – a younger hermit of Porsche works motorist Laurens Vanthoor.

A sum of 8 of a latest era Porsche 911 RSR racers will foe a GTE-Am category, in that pledge drivers with a Bronze or Silver FIA standing share a automobile with professionals. Dempsey-Proton Racing runs dual 911 from Weissach. The German patron group also fields another automobile underneath a name Proton Competition. Project 1 has also purebred dual entries. The patron squads Absolute Racing, Herberth Motorsport and GR Racing will also debate a automobile any during Le Mans.

An overview of a teams and drivers

GTE-Pro class
Porsche GT Team #91 – R. Lietz (A) / G. Bruni (I) / F. Makowiecki (F)
Porsche GT Team #92 – K. Estre (F) / N. Jani (CH) / M. Christensen (DK)
HubAuto Racing #72 – M. Martin (B) / A. Parente (P) / D. Vanthoor (B)
WeatherTech Racing #79 – C. MacNeil (USA) / E. Bamber (NZ) / L. Vanthoor (B)

GTE-Am class
Absolute Racing #18 – A. Haryanto (RI) / A. Picariello (B) / M. Seefried (D)
Team Project 1 #46 – D. Olsen (N) / A. Buchardt (N) / R. Foley (USA)
Team Project 1 #56 – E. Perfetti (N) / M. Cairoli (I) / R. Pera (I)
Herberth Motorsport #69 – R. Renauer (D) / R. Ineichen (CH) / R. Bohn (D)
Dempsey-Proton Racing #77 – C. Ried (D) / M. Campbell (AUS) / J. Evans (NZ)
GR Racing #86 – M. Wainwright (GB) / B. Barker (GB) / T. Gamble (GB)
Dempsey-Proton Racing #88 – J. Andlauer (F) / D. Bastien (USA) / L. D. Arnold (D)
Proton Competition #99 – V. Inthraphuvasak (T) / F. Latorre (F) / H. Tincknell (GB)

Porsche’s undisguised victories during Le Mans

1970 – Herrmann (D) / Attwood (GB) – Porsche 917 KH
1971 – Marko (A) / Van Lennep (NL) – Porsche 917 KH
1976 – Ickx (B) / Van Lennep (NL) – Porsche 936
1977 – Ickx (B) / Haywood (USA) / Barth (D) – Porsche 936/77
1979 – Ludwig (D) / Whittington (USA) / Whittington (USA) – Porsche 935 K3
1981 – Ickx (B) / Bell (GB) – Porsche 936
1982 – Ickx (B) / Bell (GB) – Porsche 956
1983 – Schuppan (AUS) / Haywood (USA) / Holbert (USA) – Porsche 956
1984 – Pescarolo (F) / Ludwig (D) – Porsche 956
1985 – Barilla (I) / Ludwig (D) / Krages (D) – Porsche 956
1986 – Bell (GB) / Stuck (D) / Holbert (USA) – Porsche 962C
1987 – Bell (GB) / Stuck (D) / Holbert (USA) – Porsche 962C
1994 – Dalmas (F) / Haywood (USA) / Baldi (I) – Dauer Porsche 962 LM
1996 – Wurz (A) / Reuter (D) / Jones (USA) – TWR Porsche WSC-95
1997 – Kristensen (DK) / Alboreto (I) / Johansson (S) – TWR Porsche WSC-95
1998 – Aiello (F) / McNish (GB) / Ortelli (F) – Porsche 911 GT1
2015 – Bamber (NZ) / Tandy (GB) / Hülkenberg (D) – Porsche 919 Hybrid
2016 – Jani (CH) / Lieb (D) / Dumas (F) – Porsche 919 Hybrid
2017 – Bernhard (D) / Hartley (NZ) / Bamber (NZ) – Porsche 919 Hybrid

Drivers’ comments before a race

Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “We were unequivocally astounded that we were so rival during Monza. The racetrack there needs as many tip speed as a Le Mans circuit, so this is a good sign. Still, we know unequivocally good from final year how severe a foe is during this 24-hour race. I’m awaiting a unequivocally tough quarrel in a GTE-Pro class. Le Mans is apparently a large prominence for any driver. We’ll do a comprehensive best. I’m unequivocally looking brazen to a exam and a foe week in France.”

Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “Le Mans is always unpredictable. At this event, teams and drivers have to be prepared for any eventuality. That creates a sporting augury probably impossible. I’ve planted a Porsche on stick position for a past 3 years and I’m fervent to continue this streak. we wish that we have a purify foe and that we eventually reap a rewards of a efforts. Our series 91 automobile has finished a final 3 races second in class. Hopefully, we’ll now conduct to finally mount to a tip step of a podium.”

Frédéric Makowiecki (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “At final a large prominence of a year is roughly here. I’m always unequivocally vehement about this race. And I’m even some-more vehement for this year given finally spectators will lapse to a lane – that’s fantastic! It was dull final year. The whole eventuality felt like a test, not a biggest continuation foe in a world. These zealous fans minister significantly to a special Le Mans charm. We’re competing with a Porsche 911 RSR in a difficulty with 8 other cars, all of that are on a same level. It’ll be a stirring and smashing foe and we feel we have a good possibility to succeed.”

Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “As a Frenchman, Le Mans is apparently a large prominence on a calendar. We’re streamer there streamer a drivers’ championship after a difficulty win during Monza – we don’t need some-more proclivity than that! We struggled during Le Mans final year. Now we know a automobile a lot improved and we’re unequivocally well-positioned. What’s more, a sum of 4 911 RSR are contesting GTE-Pro class. If we mix a commentary of all a squads from a use sessions, we’ll have a ideal substructure for operative out an ideal setup for a race.”

Neel Jani (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “After a Monza win, we’re streamer to Le Mans with certainty and in high spirits. Still, everybody knows that anything can occur during any time in this vital 24-hour race. I’ve gifted this first-hand both in a certain and disastrous sense. I’ve contested Le Mans any year given 2009, solely final season. So that creates me all a some-more vehement to lapse to this unequivocally special racetrack. We’re good prepared and we can frequency wait for a start of a eventuality with a pre-test a week before a race.”

Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “I’m gay to finally contest during Le Mans again. And I’m even some-more gay that a fans can lapse to a track. The grandstands won’t be full, though a Le Mans atmosphere simply lives from a spectators’ passion. we wish that we’ll be competitive. I’d unequivocally adore to mount during a tip of a lectern – like in 2018 when we won there with a 911 RSR embellished out in a Pink Pig livery.”

The news (all times CEST)

Sunday, 15 August
09:00 am to 13:00 – Pre-test eventuality 1
14:00 to 19:00 – Pre-test eventuality 2

Wednesday, 18 August
14:00 to 17:00 – Free use 1
19:00 to 20:00 – Qualifying
22:00 to midnight – Free use 2

Thursday, 19 August
14:00 to 17:00 – Free use 3
21:00 to 21:30 – Hyperpole
22:00 to midnight – Free use 4

Saturday, 21 August
11:30 to 11:45 – Warmup
16:00 – Start 89th book of a 24 Hours of Le Mans

Sunday, 22 August
16:00 – Finish 89th book of a 24 Hours of Le Mans

The foe on TV, around livestream and on a Porsche Motorsport microsite

The whole eventuality will be televised giveaway by RTL NITRO for a initial time after a RTL Group cumulative a broadcasting rights for a FIA WEC and a 24 Hours of Le Mans. Eurosport will also news extensively on a 89th book of a classic. Via their paid apps, a World Endurance Championship (WEC) and a ACO, that organises a 24 Hours of Le Mans, will offer a livestream and live timing.

Detailed information on a Porsche 911 RSR, a group and a works drivers will be accessible around a Porsche Motorsport website:  https://media.porsche.com/motorsport, where media multipliers will also find a latest updates and news, credentials stories, picture galleries and countless video features.