Twelve Porsche 911 RSR tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Twelve Porsche 911 RSR tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans

13.08.2021: FIA World Endurance Championship, Round 4, Le Mans (France) 18-22 August 2021 The Porsche works team has set a high benchmark for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Fielding two Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche hopes to lay the foundation for yet another title wi

FIA World Endurance Championship,
Round 4, Le Mans (France)
18-22 August 2021



The Porsche works team has set a high benchmark for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Fielding two Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche hopes to lay the foundation for yet another title win in France. So far in this season’s FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the factory squad has secured two class wins from three races. The legendary Circuit des 24 Heures hosts round four on 21/22 August.


Porsche again relies on a three-driver crew in each of its cars at the Sarthe. A total of twelve 911 RSR will tackle the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes at the 89th edition of the world’s fastest endurance race.



The event starts this coming Sunday (15 August) with the so-called pre-test on the 13.626-kilometre-long combination of the circuit and public roads. With 19 overall victories and 108 class wins to its credit, Porsche is by far the most successful manufacturer at the 24-hour race in France.



“We contested Le Mans for the first time last year with the Porsche 911 RSR-19 and we struggled a bit against the fierce competition in the GTE-Pro class,” recalls Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport.



“I’m positive we’ll be significantly more competitive this year. We’ve gathered a huge amount of data and experience with our works team and our customer squads, who get the chance this year to field the latest version of the nine-eleven in the WEC. These insights help us find the perfect setup. We also performed strongly on the high-speed track at Monza. Our success there gave us an extra boost for Le Mans.”



The race



The event on the 13.626-kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures at Le Mans is extremely popular with motor racing fans and is the highlight on the FIA World Endurance Championship calendar. The storied circuit south of the city with its 150,000 inhabitants consists mainly of public roads.


Normally, hundreds of trucks and cars drive over the legendary Mulsanne straight every day on their way from Le Mans to Tours. Treacherous ruts present special challenges, especially in the rain. Contrary to the original plan, which included a mid-June date for the long-distance classic, the 89th running of the Le Mans 24-hour race will be contested in August this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Unlike last year, up to 50,000 fans can watch the action live from the racetrack on 21/22 August. This marks the second time that the latest generation ca. 515 PS Porsche 911 RSR tackles the world’s greatest endurance race.



“I’m convinced that we’ll be much more competitive this year,” says Alexander Stehlig, Head of Operations FIA WEC. “In the meantime, we’ve gathered considerably more experience with the car, and the successes at Spa and Monza have been hugely encouraging.



There’s no better incentive for us than a win on the high-speed circuit in Italy. What’s important at the 24-hour race is to maintain contact with the leading pack at all times so that we’re in a position at the end to fight for victory. This means that we have to attack right from the start. I think this a promising recipe for success.”


Due to the length of the Le Mans 24-hour race, double the usual points are awarded compared to a conventional six-hour WEC race. As such, the race has often proven to be decisive in terms of the WEC manufacturer and driver standings.



Moreover, the highlight of the year also features a special qualifying modality: In the Pro class, only the six fastest cars from the one-hour qualification session on Wednesday (18 August) are permitted to take part in the so-called Hyperpole held the following day. This session then determines the best grid positions for the race.




Porsche GT Team drivers



The regular WEC drivers Gianmaria Bruni from Italy and Richard Lietz from Austria join forces with Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki in the cockpit of the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR. The Frenchman, who contested this year’s eight-hour race in Portugal, brings a wealth of experience with him.


Makowiecki has contested the Le Mans classic a total of ten times – for the last four years sharing driving duties in the factory-run vehicle with Bruni and Lietz. In the No. 92 sister car, Frenchman Kévin Estre and Neel Jani from Switzerland receive reinforcement from Michael Christensen.



The trio used the WEC race in Portimão in June to get in sync with each other. Estre and Jani currently lead the drivers’ championship after scoring two class wins from three races. In the manufacturers’ classification, Porsche ranks second just seven points behind the leader.



The customer teams



Two customer teams tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class – a category that is usually the domain of factory teams. WeatherTech Racing puts its trust in Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium, Earl Bamber from New Zealand and the American amateur driver Cooper MacNeil.


Sharing the cockpit of the identical vehicle campaigned by HubAuto Racing from Taiwan are Maxime Martin from Belgium, Alvaro Parente from Portugal and Dries Vanthoor. The Belgian is the younger brother of Porsche works driver Laurens Vanthoor.



A total of eight of the latest generation Porsche 911 RSR contest the GTE-Am category, in which amateur drivers with a “Bronze” or “Silver” FIA status share a car with professionals. Dempsey-Proton Racing runs two ca. 515 PS 911 from Weissach.



Moreover, the German customer team fields another vehicle under the name Proton Competition. Project 1 has also registered two entries. The customer squads Absolute Racing, Herberth Motorsport and GR Racing campaign a car each at Le Mans.




Holger Eckhardt- photos Porsche

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/twelve-porsche-911-rsr-24h-le-mans---227632.html

13.08.2021 / MaP

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