WOLF HENZLER WINS PORSCHE CUP BASED ON U.S. ROAD RACING RESULTS
--Porsche teams and drivers win championships at every level of professional road racing in North America in 2006 --
ATLANTA - December 18 - Wolf Henzler, from Nuertingen, Germany, on the basis of wins in both the American Le Mans Series and the Grand American Rolex Series, has won the 2007 Porsche Cup - the trophy awarded annually to the most successful driver in privately-run race cars, by Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, in Stuttgart, Germany.
Henzler, 31 years old and the 2004 Porsche Michelin Supercup champion, has had considerable success in his short U.S. racing career, not only winning the Indianapolis Motor Speedway rounds of the 2004 supercup series, but winning races in the SCCA SPEED World Challenge (2005), and ALMS and Grand-Am GT races in both 2005 and 2006. The Cup winner receives the sought-after silver-gold trophy as well as 37,000 Euros ($48,100) in prize money. The Porsche Cup is endowed with prize money totalling 153,000 Euros ($198,900).
In scoring the most amount of points among the 178 customer Porsche drivers who earned Cup points, Henzler pulled his co-drivers up into the top four Porsche Cup point stands as well. Johannes van Overbeek, from San Francisco, who co-drove with Henzler to an ALMS GT2 win at Mid-Ohio in their Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT2 RSR and second overall in the ALMS standings, is second in the 2007 Porsche Cup points. Robin Liddell, from Edinburgh, Scotland, co-drove with Henzler to Grand-Am GT wins at Virginia International Raceway, Laguna Seca Raceway, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, and Sears Point in their Tafel Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, is fourth in the Porsche Cup points.
Third in the Porsche Cup results is Jorg Bergmeister, who won the American Le Mans Series GT2 drivers championship this year in his Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with the help of co-driver Patrick Long. Long, like the other Porsche factory drivers in 2006, was not eligible for Porsche Cup points as the factory drivers all agreed that they did not want to compete against customer team drivers as allowed in the past (when factory drivers drove for private teams). The drivers approach Porsche Motorsport as a group, and the company accepted their proposal.
Other top American Porsche drivers in the top-ten Porsche Cup point results include Darren Law - seventh (Flying Lizard Motorsports - ALMS and Brumos Racing - Grand-Am); Seth Neiman - eighth (Flying Lizard Motorsports - ALMS); and Marcel Tiemann - tenth (Alex Job Racing - ALMS).
A banner year in North America
Besides the Bergmeister/White Lightning Porsche championship in ALMS mentioned above, Porsche Motorsport had both factory-support and privateer successes in north America in 2006.
Perhaps the most visible was the championship won by Penske Motorsports in the American Le Mans Series' LMP2 class. The factory Porsche RS Spyders, which won seven of the ten ALMS LMP2 class competitions, gave Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen the year-end championship, Penske Motorsports the team championship, and Porsche the engine and chassis manufacturers championship.
In the ALMS GT2 class, in addition to Bergmeister's title, Porsche also won the manufacturers title, the company's seventh such title in the eight years of the series.
In the SPEED World Challenge, where Porsche was nosed out by Cadillac with one lap to go in the 2005 battle, Porsche came back strong in 2006, with rookie Lawson Aschenbach winning the drivers title in his Jon Groom Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, and guiding Porsche to the manufacturers title over Cadillac and Dodge.
In Grand-Am Cup, Spencer Pumpelly and Andy Lally finished second in their Porsche 911, but they had enough podium finishes to help Porsche edge BMW for the manufacturers title.
<pre> Porsche Cup winners 1970 - 2006 1970 Gijs van Lennep (Netherlands) Wihuri 1971 Erwin Kremer (Germany) Kremer 1972 John Fitzpatrick (Great Britain) Kremer 1973 Clemens Schickentanz (Germany) Kremer 1974 John Fitzpatrick (Great Britain) Kremer 1975 Claude Haldi (Switzerland) Haberthur 1976 Bob Wollek (France) Kremer 1977 Bob Wollek (France) Kremer 1978 Bob Wollek (France) Kremer 1979 Klaus Ludwig (Germany) Kremer 1980 John Fitzpatrick (Great Britain) Barbour 1981 Bob Wollek (France) Kremer 1982 Bob Wollek (France) Joest 1983 Bob Wollek (France) Joest 1984 Henri Pescarolo (France) Joest 1985 Jochen Mass (Germany) Joest 1986 Klaus Ludwig (Germany) Joest 1987 Volker Weidler (Germany) Kremer 1988 John Winter (Germany) Joest 1989 Bob Wollek (France) Joest 1990 Bernd Schneider (Germany) Kremer 1991 John Winter (Germany) Joest 1992 Oscar Larrauri (Argentina) Joest 1993 Edgar Doren (Germany) Freisinger 1994 Price Cobb (USA) Kelly Moss 1995 Lilian Bryner/Enzo Calderari (both Switzerland) Stadler 1996 Bruno Eichmann (Switzerland) Roock Racing 1997 Franz Konrad (Austria) Konrad Motorsport 1998 Franz Konrad (Austria) Konrad Motorsport 1999 Cort Wagner (USA) Alex Job Racing 2000 Mike Fitzgerald (USA) G&W Motorsports 2001 Wolfgang Kaufmann (Germany) Paco Orti Racing 2002 Kevin Buckler (USA) The Racer's Group 2003 Marc Lieb (Germany) Freisinger Motorsport 2004 Stephane Ortelli (Monaco) Freisinger Motorsport 2005 Tim Sugden (Great Britain) Gruppe M Motorsport/J3 Racing 2006 Wolf Henzler (Germany) Tafel Racing/Flyin Lizard Motorsports
-credit: porsche motorsport