Porsche pursues titles at the final works campaign with the proven 911 RSR at Road Atlanta

Porsche pursues titles at the final works campaign with the proven 911 RSR at Road Atlanta

08.10.2019: Preview, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 11 at Road Atlanta/USA Heading to the final round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Road Atlanta (USA), Porsche is poised to clinch the manufacturer, team and driver titles.

Preview, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, round 11 at Road Atlanta/USA




Heading to the final round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Road Atlanta (USA), Porsche is poised to clinch the manufacturer, team and driver titles. The North American factory team of the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer tackles the final ten-hour race, dubbed Petit Le Mans, on 12 October holding a clear lead in all categories
.



To win the manufacturers’ championship, only one of the two Porsche 911 RSR needs to finish in the points. The fight for the drivers’ classification goes down to the wire between the Porsche works drivers Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) in the number 912 car, and their colleagues in the number 911 vehicle, Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain).



The race at Road Atlanta marks the last outing for the two Porsche 911 RSR (2017 model year) decked out in the historic design of Coca-Cola. The customer squad Pfaff Motorsports fields a 911 GT3 R in the GTD category.





The race



The ten-hour race on the 4.088-kilometre circuit in the US state of Georgia marks the conclusion of the 2019 IMSA season. The storied racetrack on the outskirts of the metropolis of Atlanta – the home of Porsche North America and the Coca-Cola beverage company – is a favourite amongst drivers.


The so-called “Esses” (turns two to five) are particularly challenging for the drivers. Courage and utmost precision combined with a perfect car setup are required through this high-speed passage. In 21 years, Porsche has notched up a total of 20 class wins at Petit Le Mans. In 2015, the Weissach factory squad even beat all prototypes in the rain to score overall victory.



In 2018, Porsche claimed victory in the fiercely competitive GTLM class flying the historic colours of Mobil 1. Petit Le Mans is also the final round of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup (IMEC). In this competition, which includes the endurance races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta, the Porsche GT Team currently ranks first and second after two victories.




The Porsche drivers


Regular drivers Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) join forces with their works driver teammate Frédéric Makowiecki in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR. This trio won at Road Atlanta in 2018 as well as at Sebring and Watkins Glen in 2019. Pilet and Tandy currently rank second in the drivers’ classification.



 Their works driver colleagues in the No. 912 sister car, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), lead the class with a twelve-point advantage after victories at Long Beach, Mid-Ohio and Bowmanville, Canada. The pair shares driving duties in the ca. 510 hp 911 RSR with Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France).



In the GTD class, the customer squad Pfaff Motorsports again relies on the services of Porsche development driver Lars Kern (Weissach) for the ten-hour finale. The seasoned German is joined in the cockpit of the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R by the two Canadians Zacharie Robichon and Scott Hargrove. Robichon took home an early title in the Sprint Cup at the previous IMSA round at Laguna Seca (USA). The Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the Canadian team will contest the event decked out in a special blue livery.




The Porsche vehicles



The Porsche 911 RSR, which is based on the high-performance 911 GT3 RS* road-going sports car, has undergone further optimisation primarily in the suspension setup for its third racing season in North America. Depending on the size of the restrictor, the engine, which is positioned in front of the rear axle, puts out around 375 kW (510 hp). The large rear diffuser combined with a top-mounted rear wing provides aerodynamic efficiency and significant downforce. The race at Road Atlanta marks the last factory outing for the 2017-spec vehicle. In the World Sports Car Championship, the switch to the ca. 515 hp successor took place in August.




The 911 GT3 R fielded by Porsche customer teams was newly developed for the 2019 season and is also based on the road-legal 911 GT3 RS*. Improvements in the areas of aerodynamics and kinematics were systematically implemented from the insights garnered from the many race outings of its predecessor. The six-cylinder engine in the rear of the GT3 racing vehicle produces over 368 kW (500 hp).




The schedule


The Petit Le Mans race held at Road Atlanta takes off on Saturday, 12 October, at 12:05pm local time (6:05pm CEST) and can be viewed live outside the USA and Canada on www.imsa.com.




Comments prior to the race



Fritz Enzinger (Vice President):
“We are eager to make the final race of the IMSA season a huge celebration for the fans, for Porsche and for our partner Coca-Cola. Last year we won the traditional Petit Le Mans with our Porsche 911 RSR finished in a historic design.

That’s our goal again this year. It’ll be the last factory outing for this version of the Porsche 911 RSR. It would be fantastic if we were able to again experience the vehicle in the centre of the winner’s ceremony at Road Atlanta.”





Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport): “
The Porsche 911 RSR has given us countless wins since 2017. We’ve won the world championship with this car, and we also won Le Mans and Sebring, among others. It would be a dream come true if we could add further titles at Road Atlanta and repeat last year’s win at this storied racetrack.


Our success at the 2018 Petit Le Mans underlined that we’ll be well prepared when we tackle the tough competition of the ten-hour race. We are keen to round out our impressive season in North America with another highlight.”





Steffen Höllwarth (Head of Operations IMSA Championship):
“With Petit Le Mans we have a real classic to conclude the season. Road Atlanta has been the venue of major Porsche successes. We have fond memories of our overall win in 2015 and our success last year. The circuit and the Porsche 911 RSR match perfectly. Our aim for the finale is clear: At the end of this year we want to finish first in all championship classifications.”



- Oliver Hilger, photos Porsche

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/porsche-titles-final-works-race-911-rsr-road-atlanta---198770.html

08.10.2019 / MaP

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