All posts in “Porsche”

Best 911 RSR Narrowly Misses Podium at COTA

AUSTIN, Texas (May 7, 2017) – After a successful start to the season in the USA, the new Porsche 911 RSR narrowly missed out on securing its third podium result in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Circuit of the Americas in Austin. With the 510 hp racing car, which is a totally new development of Porsche Motorsport in Weissach, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) secured fourth in the GTLM class after holding the lead at one point. In the second 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) took the flag in eighth place.
 
Patrick Pilet got off the line well at the 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit near the capital of Texas. When several cars became entangled during the sprint to the first turn, Pilet managed to avoid the melee and launch a pursuit race from fourth place. First he snatched third and several laps later he overtook another competitor. After almost an hour of racing he was in the lead. This pace, however, could not go on. His teammate Dirk Werner, who took the wheel of the 911 RSR, was first shunted by a GTD car, and was then handed a 60-second penalty for running the red light at pit exit. As a result, all hopes for a possible podium finish were dashed. After two hours and forty minutes, Patrick Pilet finally took the checkered flag in fourth place.
 
The Turn 1 accident put an early end to the race for the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR shortly after the start. Wolf Henzler, who replaced Kévin Estre (France) at Austin so that the Frenchman could contest the WEC round in Spa, rejoined the race in fifth after the first stop for repairs. However, associated damages required longer repairs in the team garage. When Laurens Vanthoor finally returned to the racetrack, he was too far behind to make up any positions.
 
Round five of the IMSA SportsCar Championship will be contested on July 2 at Watkins Glen in upstate New York, following a break after the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 
 
Steffen Höllwarth, Program Manager IMSA SportsCar Championship: “Everything actually ran according to plan with the 911. Our strategy to strengthen the car in the practices worked perfectly. We managed to take over the lead. In the middle stint, however, we were shunted by a GTD car, which affected the rear aerodynamics. The penalty for not seeing the lights in the pit lane was the final straw. Although we continued to fight our way back up, it was not enough for a podium. Now we have time to analyze the first third of the season. This is what we’ll do and after the summer break we’ll be back in full force.”
 
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “This race was pretty disappointing. We had the best chances to do well here, but it was our own fault that it didn’t succeed. We make mistakes that shouldn’t happen. I hope things go better for us at the next race in Watkins Glen.”
 
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “We had the chance for a podium result here. It’s a shame that we didn’t managed to use it. At the exit of the pit lane I was alongside a BMW and I didn’t notice – for whatever reason – that the pit lights were red. The resulting penalty cost us the race, what’s more I had already been sent into a spin by a GTD car prior to this. All in all, it wasn’t a great race for us.”
 
Wolf Henzler (911 RSR #912): “I didn’t imagine my first race this season with the 911 RSR would be like this. In the very first corner after the start, a Ford and a Ferrari had a big encounter and that set off a chain reaction. When I sped up right behind a Corvette, it suddenly spun. I couldn’t avoid it and we collided. Our 911 RSR was so badly damaged that the resulting repairs cost us all chances of a good result.”
 
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “By the time I climbed into the car for my stint, the race was as good as over for us. That was not a great weekend for us. We’ll now go testing and hopefully we’ll return stronger after the summer break.”

CORE Hangs on for 13th at COTA

AUSTIN, Texas (May 6, 2017) – CORE autosport faced stiff WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition and rising temperatures at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Never the less, drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun persisted and were able to finish four positions ahead of their qualifying spot in Austin, Texas.

 

Bennett qualified the Porsche 17th on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona grid and took on starting duties. His position was improved even prior to the start of the race when two competitors opted to change their tires and move to the back of the field.

 

On the start, Bennett adeptly dodged several spinning cars in the first corner and came out unscathed. As track temperatures rose to 120 degrees, the hottest in IMSA competition so far this year, Bennett managed the tires through his stint in the No. 54 Flex-Box / Composite Resources Porsche 911 GT3 R.

 

After an hour in the car, it was time to hand the wheel over to Braun. On the way into pit lane, Bennett was caught exceeding the pit lane speed limit. As a result, the team was issued a drive-through penalty.

 

Thanks to smart pit strategy, Braun was able to make up the ground lost by the penalty and began some intense battles among his GTD rivals. Though fading brakes hindered his forward progress, Braun managed to advance two more spots to 13th, even with a late-race caution and restart.

 

The next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round will take place on the streets of Detroit, June 2 – 3. Prior to that, Bennett and Braun will compete in the second round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, May 20 – 21, in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

 

“Brick-by-brick we are making progress. We were able to finish on the lead lap this race, which is an indication of forward progress. I’m still a little behind pace-wise and we are still working to learn the various systems of the car – ABS, traction control, etc. Each of these systems has to be catered to, so we’re learning more and more about the car.

“I think we are all encouraged going forward and heading to Detroit. It’s a track that both Colin and I like and it’s a bit challenging. There’s a bit of opportunity and chaos that will ensue at Detroit and our learning season continues.”

– JON BENNETT

 

 

 

“The car had a really good pace this race. Jon did a good job in his opening stint. Unfortunately, he got a pit road speeding penalty coming in. We were fortunate enough to get our lap back with our pit sequence that the guys on the box called.

“Even though we had that set back, the whole team stayed focused forward and I gave it my all to pick up some spots and get these CORE guys a finish they could be proud of.  All-in-all, we finished on the lead lap and we continue to improve our performance each race. We’re moving forward and had great stops on pit road.”
– COLIN BRAUN

Second Podium for New Porsche 911 RSR

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 11, 2017)  At the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the new Porsche 911 RSR claimed its second podium result at its third race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. On the spectacular city course in the port district, where the pits are just a stone’s throw away from where the docked ocean-liner giant “Queen Mary” lies anchored, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Kévin Estre (France) secured third place on Saturday with the No. 912 car. In the sister 510 hp 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, last year’s winner Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) finished sixth.

The race set against a postcard-perfect backdrop of sun, sea and palms is regarded as the American equivalent to the Monaco Grand Prix for good reason. Despite the short race duration of just 100 minutes, the completely walled and fenced 1.968-mile street circuit demands everything from the drivers, and on the grandstands and balconies of high-rise apartments, keen sports car fans mingle with famous stars. The simple reason for the high number of prominent celebrities is that Hollywood is virtually just around the corner.

The race was as spectacular as the backdrop. After just one lap, the leading trio in the particularly competitive GTLM class clashed – which opened the door for Laurens Vanthoor. Taking up the race from the fourth grid spot, the Belgian, who was the winner of the 2016 Macau Grand Prix is no stranger to narrow city circuits, moved into the lead. Vanthoor held onto the top spot for almost 45 minutes until the first pit stop – no other GTLM vehicle stayed out on the track as long without a tire change. It was only while handing the 911 RSR off to Kévin Estre that the position was lost. Running in fifth place, the Frenchman then took up the chase again. In the final laps of a race that had seen no less than five safety car phases, events turned truly dramatic: Kévin Estre advanced to fourth place and kept his cool in the hairpin just before the finish line: In stop-and-go traffic he overtook another competitor in the last seconds to secure the second podium result for Porsche in North America’s premier racing series.

In the second 911 RSR with the starting number 911, two former Long Beach winners had to line up at the back of the field; Patrick Pilet (2016) and Dirk Werner (2015) were unable to take part in the qualifying session due to an accident during practice and were therefore relegated to the very back of the 35-strong field. Putting in a spirited drive, Patrick Pilet ploughed his way through the pack and as he came into the pits he was running in eighth position. Dirk Werner gained another four places during his stint and was even looking good for a podium spot. However, a drive-through penalty imposed by the stewards of the meeting for making contact with another competitor put a sudden halt to his charge.

Round four of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be contested on May 6 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “It takes a while to digest such a race. It was turbulent and difficult to keep oversight. Finishing in third place at the end was pretty good. Still, you’re left feeling that there could have been more. Thanks to a good strategy and fast pit stops we managed to gain ground, particularly with our number 911 car, which had started from the very back, but because of the drive-through penalty it wasn’t enough for a podium result.”
Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Manager GT Works Motorsport: “That was a crazy race with highs and lows. We suffered a setback on Friday when our number 911 car that was damaged during practice, but the team worked brilliantly to repair the car in time to compete. The race started turbulently. We were able to take the lead at a relatively early stage, which suited our strategy perfectly. At the next safety car phase we then split the strategy, like most other teams, and that also worked well. As far as the result is concerned, we definitely did the best we could under the circumstances, but no one needs such a rollercoaster of feelings every weekend.”
Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “That was a dramatic race with a lot of incidents. The safety car had to be deployed often. There were a lot of collisions and drive-through penalties, and then the front-runner loses the race in the final lap because several cars didn’t make it around the bend. That’s pretty crazy.”
Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “Patrick got us back in the race with great overtaking maneuvers. We were lucky with the caution phases and by mid-way through the race we were already running in the top four, but then we were handed a drive-through penalty and our fight for a podium spot was over. It’s a shame for the team who worked so hard through the night to repair our 911 RSR. Those guys certainly deserved a better result.”
Kévin Estre (911 RSR #912): “It was a difficult race. We actually did everything right with our strategy. We were leading, but then lost places due to the many safety car phases. In my first lap I was hit quite hard in the rear. After that I had hardly any downforce, but I kept fighting and was rewarded in the bizarre final lap.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR #912): “We actually didn’t expect to be on the podium, but we’re happy to take it home. My teammates told me a lot about Long Beach, but I hadn’t expected it to be quite so turbulent here.”

CORE Takes on Busy Streets of Long Beach

ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 4, 2017) – The third round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship takes CORE autosport to one of the most famous temporary circuits in the world; the BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix takes place on the streets of Long Beach, California.

 

Featuring the Prototype, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona categories, this year’s event features the largest field IMSA has ever brought to the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street course. Thirty-five cars are slated to take the green flag for the 100-minute race, 16 of them GTD cars. With minimal passing opportunities and a full race track, qualifying, pit lane performance and race strategy will be critical to a win at Long Beach.

 

Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are no strangers to Long Beach, but once again they face a familiar circuit in an unfamiliar vehicle: the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R. It will be the duo’s first time running the GTD car on a street circuit. The Porsche offers more forgiving suspension, plus traction control and ABS, as compared to the Prototype Challenge car they raced together at Long Beach in 2012, 2013 and 2016.

 

Noteworthy

  • CORE won the PC class at Long Beach in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  • This year’s Long Beach race is earlier in the day (1pm local time) than previous years.
  • CORE’s No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 will be on display for fans at Thunder Thursday in the Pike Outlets. The event starts at 6:30pm local time.
  • Long Beach is the only race that will be broadcast live, in its entirety on FOX.
  • IMSA shares the weekend with the Verizon IndyCar Series and Pirelli World Challenge.

 

 

 

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“Colin and I have had good results at Long Beach in recent years and we are both excited to bring the Porsche GT3 R to the streets of Long Beach. The Porsche’s sophisticated suspension is more compliant than the prototype; this will give us the freedom to use more of the race course, including the curbs.

 

“The set up is tough at Long Beach because the race course is constantly changing grip level from the first session right through the end of the race. We will start with a set up that suits a slippery surface and adapt to the grip for every on track outing.

 

“Traffic will be a challenge and should be quite interesting for the race fans. The speeds of the GTLM and GTD cars are similar. Combined, there will be 25 GT type cars. Finding passing opportunities for the faster prototypes will be a challenge in many areas of the circuit.

 

“Our team’s spirits are high despite our slower than usual start. We all understand the ups and downs of motorsport. We also realize the effort required to adapt to a new race car platform. Despite the quality of the 2017 GTD field, I expect to see CORE autosport on the top of the podium in the near future.”

 

 

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“I think the biggest change from PC to GTD is going to be how the classes interact together. In the PC cars we were the second-fastest class on track, but with the GTD cars, we’ll be the slowest class, so the interaction might be a bit easier, but we’ll have more cars to contest with. A lot of people are unsure what to expect on the GTD side, because it’s the first time this class has gone to Long Beach. I’m as interested as anyone to see what it will look like.

 

“The biggest challenge for us when it comes to setup is the schedule. We’re the first thing on track Friday morning and it’s usually very dusty and dirty. We have all of our practice and qualifying on Friday and then we don’t race until Saturday afternoon. It’s hard to set your car up for what the race will be like when there’s a lot more rubber and grip on the track. We’re always trying to set it up to be strong on Saturday and trying to know what that feels like on Friday is always a challenge.

 

“Going from a PC car to a GTD car, we’ll be able to use a little bit more of the apex curving. We won’t be getting any closer to the wall though; I’ve already been scraping all of those in some fashion or other in the PC car! There’s not a lot more room to be had! It should be a nice addition for us to have traction control and ABS though, which we did not have the last time we were at Long Beach.”

 

 

 

BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach | April 7- 8

Track Length: 1.968 miles, 11 turns

Race Length: 100 minutes

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Friday, April 7

10:40am – 12:40pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

7:45pm – 8:10pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

8:20pm – 8:35pm: Qualifying (GTD Class)

Saturday, April 8

12:45pm – 1:30pm: Driver Autograph Session

4:05pm – 5:45pm: BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, April 7

7:30pm – 9:15pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, April 8

4:00pm – 6:00pm: FOX

Full flag-to-flag coverage is available on FOX Sports GO with FS1 authentication

 

LIVE Race International:

3:50pm – 5:45pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

Brilliant Strategy But a Lot of Bad Luck for Porsche GT Team

SEBRING, Fla. (March 19, 2017) – At the 12 Hours of Sebring, the new Porsche 911 RSR was on course for a podium result until shortly before the finish. Then, a tire puncture and drive-through penalty put an end to Patrick Pilet’s spectacular late-race charge.

 

The Frenchman had fought his way through the field in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR and was poised to snatch the lead. After 334 laps on Sebring International Raceway, the legendary airfield circuit in the heart of Florida, the Porsche works driver and his teammates Dirk Werner (Germany) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) ultimately had to settle for seventh place in the GTLM class. In the second 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche GT Team, Kévin Estre (France), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Richard Lietz (Austria) took the flag in eighth place.

 

The 65th edition of the 12 Hours of Sebring, which started in summer temperatures of over 77F, treated fans to gripping racing from start to finish, particularly in the strongly represented GTLM class, which was packed with drama. Before the final pit stop the field was still running close together. Right up until this time, Porsche’s strategy to setup the 911 so that it would perform at its best in the cooler hours of the evening unfolded brilliantly. But during a tire change, an impact wrench suddenly gave up the ghost, resulting in a longer pit stop than planned for the No. 911 car. As a consequence, Patrick Pilet fell down the field from second to fifth place.

 

The Frenchman, who started the season with a second-place finish with his teammates at the 24 Hours of Daytona, refused to give up. Putting in breathtaking overtaking maneuvers and turning the fastest race lap, he battled his way up the order in a very short time to retake second place and was within striking distance of the leader. His spirited final charge, however, came to an abrupt end 33 minutes before the finish. Due to a tire puncture, he had to come in for an unscheduled pit stop, and after the front left tire was changed he drove over the hose of the wheel gun. The drive-through penalty that he received for this destroyed all hopes of clinching his second podium result of the season.

 

Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “We witnessed a very dramatic race and up until 33 minutes before the end, everything was looking good. We had a tough fight for first place with the Corvette but then suffered a slow puncture on the front left tire. We had to pit and change the tire and after that we could forget about victory. With our number 912 car, the unplanned pit stop due to a leaking damper cost us three laps and all chances of winning. This car was also running very well.”

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “Our plan was to have the best car at the end of the race. This meant that it wasn’t so easy driving during the heat of the day, but once it cooled down we were very clearly the fastest on the track. The team did an excellent job. The strategy had been perfect. After the last pit stop we had a good chance to win. The tire puncture was annoying. It wasn’t pit crew error, it was just bad luck.”

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “The pace of the car was very good and under normal circumstances it would have been enough to win here. Patrick was running in a very good position when he got the puncture. It’s hard to lose the fight for victory like this. Still, we had a great weekend and we put in a good race. The performance of the entire team was outstanding and we were so close to winning our first race.”

Frédéric Makowiecki (911 RSR #911): “It’s really disappointing. The team had done such a great job and we had a very good strategy. We knew that we would get stronger in the second half of the race when the temperatures cooled down, and that worked perfectly, too. Patrick’s flat tire cost us the victory. That was just simply unfortunate.”

Kévin Estre (911 RSR #912): “It was a tough race. Our car had the pace to run with the leaders. The track worked better for us in the second half of the race when it got cooler. Unfortunately, we then had the problem that cost us three laps. We were able to make up one of those laps, but we couldn’t do any more than that.”

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR # 912): “Our pace was very good. Unfortunately, we lost three laps because of a leaky damper. Because there were comparatively few caution phases, we weren’t able to make up much ground in the final hours.”

Richard Lietz (911 RSR # 912): “Sebring is merciless, but we knew this beforehand. We had a good car and I enjoyed driving here with my teammates. We did our very best, but unfortunately we had the problem with the rear left damper. Things like this can happen, particularly on a bumpy circuit like this one. We were well prepared, we did a great deal of testing here in Sebring, but sadly it ultimately wasn’t enough for a better result.”

 

CORE Takes Positive Momentum to Sebring

ROCK HILL, S.C. (March 14, 2017) – Though Daytona wasn’t the race the team had hoped for, CORE autosport took away many positives from its first GT Daytona event and is looking forward to getting on track again at Sebring International Raceway.

 

CORE is a three-time winner at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and most recently won the Prototype Challenge class last year. The team knows what it takes to win at the historic circuit, but is still on a learning curve with its new Porsche 911 GT3 R. Luckily, CORE took part in a two-day test at Sebring in February and posted the fastest GTD lap time each day.

 

Its performance at the test combined with the race-leading pace it showed at Daytona, have CORE looking forward to taking the green flag on March 18.

 

In the cockpit of the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R, full-season drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun welcome Nic Jönsson back to the driver line-up for Sebring.

 

 

Noteworthy:

  • CORE won the PC class at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
  • Colin Braun earned the PC pole at Sebring in 2013 and 2016.
  • Jon Bennett finished second in PC in his Sebring debut (2011).
  • Nic Jönsson has twice finished on the Sebring podium with a Porsche (2003 and 2005). He won in a GTE-Am Ferrari in 2011.
  • The 12 Hours of Sebring is also the second round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.

 

 

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

 

“It was exciting to start a new chapter at Daytona with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. The transition to the new car required much effort in a short time to match the efficiency we expected from our PC program. With a new program and almost 30 class competitors, I was impressed to see our car in P1 roughly eight hours into the race. Unfortunately, a mistake by another competitor ended our run about 10 hours into the event. Overall, it was a promising start for our new Porsche GTD program.

 

“Post Daytona, our team continues to work on cockpit ergonomics and more driver change aids to ensure quick stops. We all left the Sebring test with optimism and excitement for the upcoming 12-hour race. We made big gains in improving the Porsche’s handling on the challenging surface at Sebring. We also learned some new set-up tricks that will sharpen our Porsche’s handling at the historic, and rough, Sebring circuit.

 

“Sebring’s rough surface is one of the biggest differences compared to Daytona. The darkness at Sebring is another challenge compared to Daytona, which is almost completely lit at night.

 

“Time is precious in the days leading up to the Sebring 12-Hour.  Our days are full with track time and meetings. That said, we always make time Friday night to sneak out into the infield and simply enjoy being at the racetrack and with the diehard Sebring race fans who enjoy our sport.”

 

 

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“I’m very proud of the effort by CORE autosport to transition from PC to GTD. We were leading laps and competitive and right up there at the front. I think that goes to show the strength of CORE autosport and the competitiveness that we have. Unfortunately, a mistake by another driver took us out of the race. It was a big hit, but our crew is the best in the business and had the car ready for the Sebring test two weeks later.

 

“We had a great test at Sebring and were the quickest car both days. Not that, that means a whole lot, but it gives us good momentum to roll into the race weekend with and shows that we’re comfortable with the car. We worked through our test plan and things we wanted to learn. Up to then, we’d done all our testing and racing at Daytona, so it was nice to work on the car someplace besides a roval.

 

“We’re facing a lot of changes at Sebring: we’re running a different Continental Tire compound, all of our notes from previous Sebring races don’t apply, and you couldn’t pick two more different track than Daytona and Sebring. That’s the fun and challenge of a new car though; everywhere we go, we’re starting from scratch. We’ve got a lot of support from the guys at Porsche and hopefully they can point us in the right direction. Plus we know from Daytona we have a solid lineup that works well together with Jon, Nic and myself.”

 

 

Nic Jönsson
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“If you look back at the big picture from Daytona, we were continuously picking up speed in a car that was new to the team. The crew did a phenomenal job preparing the car for the race and we were able to run the pace that we wanted to. Unfortunately, someone made a mistake and took us out of the race, but coming away from Daytona I think everyone had a very positive attitude. The pace was there and the guys all did a great job on the pit stops.

 

“The car was pretty good right off the truck for the Sebring test. We worked through a lot of the management systems on the car and getting attuned to the tire. We made good progress with Porsche’s help and came away with a very positive result and a good idea what we need to do to have a good race.

 

“At Sebring, you have to be a little more aggressive from the get-go. The equipment is so much more reliable, that it’s almost a 12-hour sprint race. I think the plan is to stay on the lead lap, stay out of trouble, keep the car healthy and take care of your brakes. The last three hours is when everyone is going to start pushing really hard and you need to take care of your car so you still have all your aerodynamic pieces onboard and you want good brakes.”

 

Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring | March 16 – 19

Track Length: 3.74miles, 17 turns

Race Length: 12 Hours

 

SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Thursday, March 16

11:10am – 12:10pm: Practice #1 (All Classes)

3:15pm – 4:15pm: Practice #2 (All Classes)

7:30pm – 9:00pm: Practice #3 (All Classes)

Friday, March 17

9:20am – 10:20am: Practice #4 (All Classes)

11:45am – 12:30pm: Driver Autograph Session

1:00pm – 1:15pm: Qualifying (GTD Class)

Saturday, March 18

8:00am – 8:20am: Warm Up (All Classes)

9:15am – 10:10am: Open Grid / Fan Walk

10:50am – 10:40pm Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

 

TV SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

LIVE Qualifying:

Friday, March 16

1:00pm – 2:30pm: IMSA.com

LIVE Race U.S.:

Saturday, March 17

10:30am – 11:00pm: FOX Sports Go

12:30pm – 11:00pm: FS1

Full flag-to-flag coverage is available on FOX Sports GO with FS1 authentication

 

LIVE Race International:

Saturday, March 17

10:30am – 11:00pm: IMSA.com

 

LIVE In-Car Cameras & Commentary:

IMSA.com

 

911 RSR Takes Second Place in Race Debut

At the 24 Hours of Daytona, Porsche factory drivers Patrick Pilet, Fred Makowiecki and Dirk Werner secured second place with the 911 RSR for the Porsche GT Team factory squad. After 634 laps on the demanding Daytona International Speedway, they were just 2.988 seconds shy of claiming victory.

 

The 55th running of the Daytona 24-hour race proved tremendously challenging for drivers and teams, especially during Saturday night with steady rain and unusually cool temperatures. The race was repeatedly interrupted by safety car phases after many pilots lost control of their vehicles on the rain-soaked course and ended up trackside.

 

The longest of the 21 safety car phases lasted over two hours. In the early hours of Sunday morning, the race director made the decision for safety reasons due to the flooding on the racetrack. More than two hours – even the safety car ran out of fuel.

 

In the first race hours on the storied racetrack featuring two fast banked corners and a twisty infield, the 510 hp 911 RSR racers, designed from scratch by Porsche Motorsport in Weissach, lost time and positions due to six unscheduled tire changes. After the problem with the right front tires was solved by further optimizing the setup, both 911 RSR began to re-establish their rhythm. When heavier rain made conditions even more difficult, they fought their way to the top of the GTLM class and led the field over many laps on the 5.729-kilometre-long speedway.

 

Sports car fans did not let the bad weather spoil their fun and witnessed breathtaking fights for positions over the entire race distance, with constantly changing cars in the lead.

 

The race showed that the level of competition in the GTLM class is enormous. None of the vehicles of the five automobile manufacturers contesting this category could build a convincing lead over the course of the race. When the sun came up on Sunday, the field was as close as it had been the night before. Both 911 RSR had turned consistently fast laps to secure a good starting position, only to have an unscheduled pit stop for repairs on the right front suspension throw the No. 912 vehicle out of contention for a podium spot. Kévin Estre (France), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Richard Lietz (Austria) ultimately took the flag in sixth place.

 

However, their team colleague Patrick Pilet crowned his impressive final stint after an ongoing four-way battle with Ford, Ferrari and Chevrolet with a well-deserved second place. Thanks to this result, he secured a good position for Porsche in the North American Endurance Cup, for which the long distance classics of Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans in addition to Daytona count.

 

Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “That was an incredible race and a great debut for our new 911 RSR. We were only two seconds off victory after 24 hours, but that doesn’t matter in this case. It was an extremely tough race, a fantastic fight for victory. Despite the bad weather conditions, the fans were treated to everything that makes racing so exciting. Both 911 RSR made it to the finish well and without any real problems.”

 

Marco Ujhasi, Overall Project Manager GT Works Motorsport: “I’m incredibly proud of my boys. The entire team spent 18 months giving their utmost so that we could tackle this race with a competitive car. Whether in Weissach, with our tire partner Michelin, or with our squad, every single person did everything they could. Today we reaped the rewards for this.

 

“It was an extremely gripping race to the finish. In the beginning we had some slight problems with the tires because we first had to find out where our limit was with the setup for the decisive final phase, but we never gave up and we fought back. The fighting spirit shown in the team made this possible. I’m incredibly proud of our works driver squad. They are our greatest asset. These guys don’t make any mistakes and always deliver top performances.”

 

Patrick Pilet (911 RSR #911): “That was a typical Daytona race. I knew that not a lot would happen in the first 20 hours and the decision always goes down to the wire. That’s why I didn’t take too many risks, and didn’t fight for every position come what may. I possibly made some team member nervous by taking this approach, but I knew exactly how things work here. Then during the last two hours I pulled out all stops and squeezed every last ounce out of the 911 RSR. Now I’m pleased. It was the maiden outing for our new car and the one little drawback was that we didn’t win. Still, it was an important step. Now I’m looking forward to Sebring.”

 

Dirk Werner (911 RSR #911): “That was a very emotional race for me; my first as a Porsche works driver. It certainly wasn’t for the fainthearted, particularly in the final phase. Patrick really gave everything he had and a couple of times I thought he might even win, but only a fraction was missing at the flag. Still, it was virtually a perfect race. The team worked really well together and the potential of the new 911 RSR makes us very optimistic. I take my hat off to the people who developed this car.”

 

Frédéric Makowiecki (911 RSR #911): “Congratulations to the entire team. What a great start to the season. The time that was invested in developing the new 911 RSR has paid off. The concept is good and it works. Of course not everything ran smoothly today, but we never gave up and we always fought back. One thing is certain – we’re back in the game.”

 

Kévin Estre (911 RSR #912): “That was a really cool race. Seven cars within ten seconds after 24 hours – you don’t get that very often. We were there when it counted, but not quite enough to have a say in the fight for victory. The whole team did their utmost. Daytona was just the beginning.”

 

Laurens Vanthoor (911 RSR # 912): “Daytona was my first race for Porsche, my first with the 911 RSR and the first in the USA. Everything actually went well, even though there’s room for improvement as far as the result goes. But I didn’t make any mistakes and that’s important. I wasn’t totally happy with my performance, I can do better, but I still have a bit of time. The car has potential and that makes me optimistic for the rest of the season.”

 

Richard Lietz (911 RSR # 912): “That was a great debut for the new 911 RSR. The car ran almost perfectly. The entire squad again worked together like clockwork. This gives Porsche a great foundation for the rest of the season. Now I’m curious to see how we perform at Sebring.”

CORE Leads Class Before Daytona Exit

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 29, 2017) – In its GT Daytona class debut, CORE autosport’s Porsche 911 GT3 R ran up front for the first half of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, before retiring because of crash damage. The team made it to the halfway point of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener, before contact forced it to take the car back to the garage.

 

Drivers Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, Nic Jönsson and Patrick Long faced adverse conditions in each of their stints. Bennett started the car from 25th followed by Jönsson. When it was Jönsson’s turn to pass the car to Long, a light rain began to fall. The rain continued to vary in intensity, which made tire choice a tricky decision.

 

As the sun went down, temperatures dropped and the rain held steady. Drivers likened the Daytona International Raceway circuit to an ice skating rink, even on wet tires. Despite this, the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R led a total of 22 laps in the highly competitive and 27-car strong GTD field.

 

Almost precisely at the halfway mark, Jönsson was hit from behind entering the Bus Stop. This sent him spinning into the wall. The Porsche sustained heavy damage to both the front and rear of the car. Upon closer inspection in the garage, it was determined the car would be unable to continue. Fortunately, Jönsson was able to walk away from the incident unharmed.

 

The early exit was disappointing for CORE, but nonetheless, the team was buoyed by their performance as rookies in the GTD class. CORE now looks forward to the 12 Hours of Sebring, March 16 – 18, in Sebring, Florida.

 

 

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“It was wonderful to start our first race with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. Our qualifying wasn’t the greatest, but we had a good place to start the race in terms of being able to see what was going on. We took a conservative approach at the start. Then once things started to settle down after a lap or two, we started chipping away. I ultimately got to a really good pace for myself after the start and kept the car basically on the lead lap. Nic, Pat and Colin did a great job moving us up in the order, in addition to some great strategy by the team. In short order, we were near the top of the list. In fact, when the sun fell, Colin had our car in the lead in our first race and we held that lead for quite a long time.

 

“It just wasn’t meant to be. The rain was quite challenging. The car was new to all of us and it was a bit tricky drive. The conditions were some of the most difficult I’ve seen, especially when Nic took the car after my stint. We were struggling to find balance, but Nic did a great job. In the middle of the night, Nic unfortunately was hit from behind and there was nothing that he could do. He was just a victim of circumstances. We have a bit of a broken racecar, but it’ll get mended up quickly. My hat’s off to the crew for their hard work. We’ll be back strong for Sebring.”

 

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“It was really treacherous for a big portion of our race out there. Nic did a great job in the car, but unfortunately, he got collected by someone. Nic and Jon both did a great job, and we led some laps and stuck to our plan there.

 

“There was so much mist in the air and everything was so cold. At night, it’s really tough to get the temperature in the tire. I’ve done this 13 years now, and it seems there’s always more heartbreak than there is time on the podium. Now we’ll go on to Sebring and I know that we have a fast car and are capable of running with these guys.”

 

 

Nic Jonsson
Driver: Porsche 911 GT3 R

“We had a very well-balanced car. The CORE guys gave us a really great car along with Porsche. I hadn’t driven the car a lot, so we decided to get going with it and get a good handle on it. We had a good pace and advanced to the lead at one point. The rain made the conditions very difficult, but Colin led for a while and Jon did a great job out there. When I got back in, I just carried on in the same style. We were one of the top three cars out there speed-wise.

 

“In my second stint, I got held up by another GTD car in Turn Six, so I had to check up, but then another car got a good run on me and then a Prototype approached fast from the back. The spotter alerted me, but the next thing I knew, I just got hit really, really hard from behind, right into the wall, several times. It was unfortunate; we had such a great car. A big thanks to Porsche Motorsport North America and CORE for all of their hard work.”

 

 

Patrick Long
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“I ran in mixed conditions – cold weather, rain and dark. That is the sort of trifecta of difficulty for a driver. The team did a great job giving me a versatile setup and keeping me calm. I enjoyed being with these guys. It’s a shame that we’re out early, but they’ll fight back. I look forward to following them the whole season.

 

“Every time I run with CORE autosport, it’s everything you could ever ask for. You have everything at your disposal so that you can put forth the best effort.”

CORE Launches GTD Program at Daytona

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Jan. 24, 2017) – CORE autosport’s first foray into the IMSA WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona category will take place this week in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The legendary twice around-the-clock race is the 2017 IMSA season opener.

 

In September of 2016, CORE announced it would move to the GTD category with a Porsche 911 GT3 R. Since then, the team has been hard at work prepping for 2017 and taken part in three IMSA-sanctioned tests at Daytona International Speedway with its new car.

 

Joining full-season drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun for the 24-hour race are sportscar ace Nic Jönsson and Porsche factory driver Patrick Long. The lineup is already quite comfortable together. Jonsson and Braun were teammates in the 2006-2007 GRAND-AM seasons and finished on the podium together at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2007. Jönsson and Long drove a Porsche together at the 2006 Petit Le Mans and in 2013 Braun and Long drove a Porsche GT3 RSR together for CORE in two rounds of the American Le Mans Series.

 

The familiarity will serve CORE well as it faces stiff competition in the popular GTD category. The class has 26 entries from nine different manufacturers, some of them with factory backing.

 

Noteworthy:

  • CORE won the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona in the PC class.
  • Colin Braun made his professional racing debut at Daytona in a Porsche GT3 Cup when he drove for Team 16 in 2005.
  • Between them, the No. 54 driver lineup has 42 starts at the Rolex 24 and three victories.
  • Jon Bennett is a nominee for this year’s RRDC Bob Snodgrass Award, which recognizes exemplary team owners.
  • In addition to its 2014 victory, CORE finished runner-up in PC in 2015. The team retired with engine failure in the 2016 race.
  • Flex-Box once again teams with CORE for the 2017 IMSA season. The partnership is in its fourth year.

 

Jon Bennett
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“The Rolex 24 is a special race and can set the tone for the new season. This year, it’s a special honor to be piloting a Porsche GT3 R. Porsche has a long history of success at Daytona and we look forward to making our mark.

 

“Our new Porsche is quite similar to our Prototype Challenge car in many ways. The GT3 R makes incredible power and has an impressive amount of downforce. The driver change process is new and something we’ve had to reengineer.

 

“We didn’t realize how polished our PC operation was. Our team has come to expect a high level of execution and it has been a huge challenge to develop the same level of detail in 90 days. I am amazed at the dedication and long hours our team has invested to optimize our new Porsche program.”

 

 

Colin Braun
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“We all got along really well at the Roar. I’ve worked with Jon for a long time. Many years ago, back when I first got into DP racing in GRAND-AM, I worked with Nic for quite a long time. Pat and I have worked together on and off during different times in our careers. I knew everyone’s personality and wasn’t surprised that we all got along well.

 

“I did the Rolex 24 at Daytona when I was 16. Here we are now and I think this is my 13th consecutive 24-hour race. Daytona was my first big professional car race. It’s fun to flash back to the first few times I came to the track and was thinking about what an amazing opportunity it was when I was 16. Every time I come to Daytona, it reminds me not to take things for granted and to enjoy the moment, because it’s a cool job.

 

“GTD is such a competitive class and the cars have become so reliable, that it will absolutely be a sprint race in the last couple hours. I’m sure there’s going to be a handful of cars in the thick of the battle and if we do things right, we’ll be in the mix. It’s tough to say who will have an upper hand. We’ve got quite a few new makes in the series and until we get into the last couple hours, we won’t see the true performance of the new cars.”

 

 

Nic Jönsson
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“Everything went really well at the Roar. For me, it was the first time in a Porsche since 2007, so it’s been awhile since I’ve been in a rear-engine car. Pat and I used to be teammates in 2006 with a Porsche. Colin I’ve known since he was eight and I’ve worked with his dad in different programs. Jon was very welcoming as was the rest of the team. They’re very professional.

 

“Daytona is a unique 24-hour race, because it’s lit up like a stadium, so it’s never truly dark. Turns Three and Five are probably the darkest places on the track. I don’t really have a favorite time to be driving; anytime is a good time at Daytona when you’re in a race car!

 

“As far as the GTD class is concerned, I don’t think the talent has ever been this stacked before. There are teams with factory backing, there are teams with very talented driver lineups. The competition is going to be stiffer than ever. It’ll come down to who can keep it on track without making any mistakes or an unscheduled pit stop. CORE is absolutely up to the challenge. I feel very fortunate to be with an organization full of people who want to be here and gel very well together. I think that is a key recipe to success.”

 

 

Patrick Long
Driver: No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R

“The talent pool in GTD is stacked. New manufacturers have brought factory driver lineups. There are a ton of entries and lots of big names, so it’s forcing everybody to raise their game.

 

“The 911 GT3 R may not have the quickest top speed, but we think our ability to keep the tires underneath us, to be reliable, and our braking efficiency are advantages. Daytona is known for really demanding braking. The 911 has always been strong at Daytona and I think that is a big reason why.

 

“Colin, Jon and Nic are guys I have known for a long time. I’ve race with them and against. There was no transition time needed. We got right to business. The leadership and structure that Jeff Braun (engineer) asks of his drivers: you get to work right away.

 

“CORE needs no introduction. They are champions and race winners. The team’s infrastructure and crew on the 54 car is still there and it’s been great to be back with the team. I’m looking forward to watching them factor in all season.”

CORE Adds Jonsson, Long to Rolex 24 Lineup

ROCK HILL, S.C. (Dec. 13, 2016) – CORE autosport has completed its driver lineup for the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Patrick Long and Nic Jonsson will join Jon Bennett and Colin Braun in the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R for the team’s first attempt at the 24-hour spectacle in the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona category.

Long is no stranger to CORE autosport, having partnered with both Braun and Tom Kimber-Smith in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for CORE’s 2013 GT effort in the American Le Mans Series. Porsche’s only American factory driver brings with him 14 years of Porsche experience, including a victory and three podiums at the Rolex 24.

For all Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup races (Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen, Petit Le Mans), Jonsson will serve as CORE’s third driver. Jonsson has nearly two decades of professional sports car racing under his belt. His resume includes the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Rolex Sports Car Series, American Le Mans Series and World Endurance Championship. The Swede has finished on the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times and earned class victories at Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

Long and Jonsson will get their first seat time in the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R at the Roar Before the 24, January 6 -8. It will be the final test before the 2017 race season kicks off in earnest with the Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 26 – 29.

 

16-CORE-JB-HeadshotWJON BENNETT
No. 54 CORE AUTOSPORT PORSCHE 911 GT3 R

“The first race of the 2017 season with our GTD Porsche 911 GT3 R is going to be super competitive. I’m very fortunate to share the car all season with Colin, who I’ve spent a lot of time with and he knows how to win 24-hour races. Now, to have Pat Long and Nic Jonsson added to our lineup, I feel fortunate to be sharing the car with fast drivers with endurance backgrounds. Pat Long, obviously has extensive experience in our car. Although I don’t know Nic very well, Colin has praised his abilities and I look forward to getting to know him better.”

 

 

16-CORE-CB-HeadshotCOLIN BRAUN
No.
54 CORE AUTOSPORT PORSCHE 911 GT3 R

“I’m excited to have a guy that knows Porsches like Pat does with us. To have someone that knows the car and has so much Rolex 24 experience will be a great asset.

“Driving with Nic again will be great. I’ve known him for a long time and learned a lot from him back when I was driving for Krohn. Much like Pat, he’s done this race a lot and he knows GT3 cars. I think our lineup is a great one. It’s probably a sleeper lineup, because we don’t have any big IndyCar or F1 names, but I think it’s as good as it gets when it comes to sportscar racing.”

 

 

16-core-nj-headshotNIC JONSSON
No. 54 CORE AUTOSPORT PORSCHE 911 GT3 R

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of CORE autosport for the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup in their new Porsche GT3 car. I’m very thankful to both Team Manager Morgan Brady and Team Owner Jon Bennett for having the faith in me to offer this opportunity. CORE has shown ever since they came in to IMSA that they are one of the absolute top teams, winning races and championships in the very competitive Prototype Challenge category. To join an already very successful organization with one of the most iconic motorsports brands in Porsche and with such strong teammates in Jon, Colin and Pat makes me very excited.”

 

 

16-core-pl-headshotPATRICK LONG
No.
54 CORE AUTOSPORT PORSCHE 911 GT3 R

“It’s great to be back with CORE autosport. I feel we have a special past together and rejoining them for their first race in the GT3R has a special connection to the first time we rolled out as a team in the 911 RSR at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2013.

“There is some heavy competition in this year’s GTD class, but I have huge respect and confidence in the program Jon Bennett and Morgan Brady have put together and I know there will be no punches pulled leading up to the start of this year’s Rolex 24.”