Dirk Werner, 2009 Rolex Grand-Am GT Driver Co-champion, earns Porsche Cup
STUTTGART, Germany - December 11 --Dirk Werner (Germany), 2009 co-champion driver of the Rolex Grand-Am GT Farnbacher Loles Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, has won the coveted Porsche Cup for the world's most successful driver of privately-entered race cars.
The accolade, awarded by Porsche AG, was presented by Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Supervisory Board Chairman of Porsche AG, at tonight's season-closing "Night of Champions" celebration in the Porsche Museum. In addition to the challenge cup, the German also received a Porsche 911 GT3 worth around 120,000 Euro ($176,400). Last year, Werner was narrowly beaten to the trophy by Australian Alex Davison. Werner joins the ranks of world class Porsche Cup winners which include Jochen Mass, Klaus Ludwig, Bernd Schneider, Bob Wollek, Henri Pescarolo and Marc Lieb.
Over the course of this season, Dirk Werner won the drivers' classification in the Grand-Am Series with Leh Keen at the wheel of the #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing 911 GT3 Cup. Thanks to their four victories, Porsche took home the manufacturers' title, with Farnbacher Loles Racing claiming team honors. The 2006 German Carrera Cup champion is the first European to win two Grand-Am Series titles after his GT championship in 2007. Werner also contested four rounds of the American Le Mans Series at the side of Porsche works pilot Wolf Henzler. At the 1,000 mile Petit Le Mans event, the pair ranked third in a 911 GT3 RSR. At the long distance Nurburgring 24 hour classic, the 28-year-old saw the checkered flag in third place with his teammates Emmanuel Collard, Wolf Henzler and Richard Lietz with Manthey Racing's Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S. For Mamerow Racing, Werner won three rounds of the Nurburgring long distance championship.
Second place in the 2009 Porsche Cup went to Raymond Narac (France). The Frenchman won six races in the International GT Open at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of IMSA Performance Matmut, and concluded the season in third place with his teammate and Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet. Again with Pilet, the 42-year-old yielded sixth place in the European Le Mans Series. In Portimao, the pair managed a podium result in second. Narac also contested the 24 hour races in Le Mans and at Spa-Francorchamps, as part of the FIA GT Championship.
The third best private driver was Richard Westbrook (England). During 2009, the Briton competed in eight different race series, crowning his season with the drivers' title of the FIA GT Championship in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Prospeed Competition. The 34-year- old also contested two races each in the American Le Mans Series, the International GT Open, the Belgian GT Championship and the ADAC GT Masters. Westbrook also made a guest appearance in the Grand-Am Series.
The 2009 Porsche Cup carries a total value of 253,000 Euro ($372,000), with positions two to ten receiving graduated prize money. In the competition for the title of the best private race driver of the year, Porsche awards points in prototype and grand touring race series as well as in selected long distance races following a special system.
Other North American Porsche Cup finishers included Darren Law, driving both the Brumos Porsche Riley and the Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (fifth), Leh Keen, Werner's co- driver in the Farnbacher Loles Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (sixth), and Andy Lally (tenth) and Spencer Pumpelly (11th) - both drivers for the TRG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.