North American teams and Porsche drivers form winning combination for Porsche success in 40th year of 911 sports car.
ATLANTA -- December 18 -- In celebration of the 40th birthday of the Porsche 911, Porsche teams in North America tackled competition from Audi, Ferrari, Corvette, and BMW in all the major road racing arenas and emerged victorious.
"Porsche teams and the Porsche 911 had wonderful seasons in The Speed Cup, Grand-Am Cup, American Le Mans and the Rolex Sports Car series, and we are proud that many of those teams and drivers had similar success in Europe at Le Mans and in the FIA-GT seri es," said Alwin Springer, president of Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA)
"It was particularly gratifying for me in my final year with PMNA, and I feel comfortable turning the future of Porsche Motorsport North America over to Uwe Brettel with so many successes to build on," Brettel takes over the Santa, Ana, California-based P MNA operation as of January 1, 2004.
The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and the Porsche 911 Cup race cars were responsible for all the successes listed below, and these cars continue to be the only race cars in the world built on the regular auto assembly line and made available to customers around the world.
Built on the same line that produces Porsche Boxsters, 911s, and Turbos, Porsche has now built more than 600 of these race cars in the ten years they have been offered, with many of the machines going to North American teams.
2003 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona -- Porsche's 20th overall win
The 2003 motorsport year began in February with a resounding success when The Racer's Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS (Kevin Buckler, Jorg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard and Michael Schrom) claimed the 20th overall victory for Porsche at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona (USA) against considerably more powerful vehicles. It was the team's second win in a row at Daytona, and the first time a GT car had won the race overall since 1977.
2003 12 Hours of Sebring -- Porsche shuts Ferrari out of top three
Led by factory drivers Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr, the Alex Job Racing McKenna Porsche 911 GT3 RS scored its third straight GT class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring (and the fourth in a row for Luhr). Completing the Porsche sweep was the White Lightning /Petersen Motorsports Porsche of Craig Stanton/JohnnyMowlem/Nic Jonsson, and third was the Seikel Motorsport Porsche of Gabrio Rosa/Alex Caffi/ Andrea Chiesa.
2003 American Le Mans Series -- Porsche scores all nine wins
After Sebring, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS teams marched to victories in the other eight rounds of the American Le Mans Series, with the Alex Job team scoring all but one of the wins.
Factory drivers Lucas Luhr (Monaco) and Sascha Maassen (Belgium) won five races in a 911 GT3 RS of the Porsche-backed Alex Job Racing team, clinching the GT class with two races remaining. Second overall in the drivers' championship went to the works driv er duo Jorg Bergmeister and Timo Bernhard. The two Germans also piloted an Alex Job-run GT3 RS. They won the second round in Road Atlanta, the Mosport race (Canada) and the finale which also took place in Road Atlanta. This victory marked the 19th class wi n in succession for a Porsche, and the 38th GT triumph in the ALMS, which began back in 1999 -- two unparalleled records.
The other victory for Porsche in ALMS was secured by Briton Johnny Mowlem with his teammate Craig Stanton (USA) in the White Lightning/Petersen Motorsport 911 at Road America. With Cort Wagner, Kevin Buckler (both USA), Johnny Mowlem and Craig Stanton hol ding positions seven to ten respectively in the year-end GT point standings, eight of the top ten drivers were in Porsche sportscars in 2003.
Alex Job racing claimed the GT team championship by a clear margin, ahead of Risi Competizione (Ferrari) and another Porsche team, The Racer's Group. Thanks to its successful customers, the GT manufacturers' title went to Porsche.
2003 24 Hours of Le Mans -- North American Porsche teams win GT class
Although Alex Job Racing and White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports are fierce Porsche rivals in the U.S., the teams combined resources and expertise for a joint entry -- the first for both organizations -- for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Emmanuel Collard (Franc e) joined AJR regulars Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen for the GT class win in the Alex Job Racing/Petersen Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RS, while the Flordia-based Orbit Racing team of Peter Baron/Leo Hindery (both USA) and factory driver Marc Lieb (Germany) was second in the Orbit Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
2003 Grand-Am Cup -- Porsche GT3 Cup, Porsche 911 win championships
Toronto-based Doncaster Racing repeated as Grand-Am Cup Grand Sports I champions by defeating the much more powerful Corvettes with its Porsche 911 GT 3 Cup racer driven by Jean-Francois Dumoulin, Robert Julien, both from Canada. The team won five races a nd helped secure the manufacturers title for Porsche.
After a long eleven-race season, Planet Earth Motorsports claimed the 2003 Triple Crown Championship in the Grand-Am Cup Grand Sports II category with their Porsche 911 racer. Wayne Nonnamaker shared the driver's championship with his father, Joe. The fi nal tally saw the team score four wins and eight podiums in the Grand Sports II class. In addition to the performance the team had a perfect finishing record. Porsche also won the manufacturers title -- this time over BMW -- in GS II.
Motorsport Results 2003
Final standings: American Le Mans Series, GT Class
1. Sascha Maassen (Belgium), Porsche, 164 points
1. Lucas Luhr (Monaco), Porsche, 164 points
3. Timo Bernhard (Germany), Porsche, 104 points
3. Jorg Bergmeister (Germany), Porsche, 104 points
5. Ralf Kelleners (Germany), Ferrari, 96 points
5. Anthony Lazzaro (Italy), Ferrari, 96 points
7. Cort Wagner (USA), Porsche, 77 points
8. Kevin Buckler (USA), Porsche, 74 points
9. Johnny Mowlem (Britain), Porsche, 73 points
10. Craig Stanton (USA), Porsche, 51 points
1. Alex Job Racing, Porsche, 182 points
2. Risi Competizione, Ferrari, 96 points
3. The Racer's Group, Porsche, 79 points
1. Porsche, 192 points
2. Ferrari, 123 points
3. BMW, 12 points
Overall victories in national championships
Grand American Cup Series (USA), GS1 class
Jean-Francois Dumoulin, Robert Julien ( both CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
Doncaster Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
Grand American Cup Series (USA), GSII class
Joe Nonnamaker, Wayne Nonnamaker (both USA), Porsche 911
Planet Earth Racing, Porsche 911
Results of Major Endurance Races involving North American drivers/teams
Daytona 24 Hours (USA), overall results
1. Jorg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard (both D), Kevin Buckler, Michael Schrom (both USA), The Racer's Group, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 695 laps
2. Ralf Kelleners (D), Antony Lazzaro (USA), Johnny Mowlem (GB), Risi Competizione, Ferrari 360 GT, 686 laps
3. Johannes van Overbeck, Richard Steranka, Dave Standridge, David Murry (all USA), Rennwerks Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 684 laps
Sebring 12 Hours (USA), GT class
1. Lucas Luhr(Monaco)/Sascha Maassen (Belgium), Alex Job Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 320 laps
2. Johnny Mowlem (England)/Nic Jonsson (Sweden)/ Craig Stanton (USA), Petersen Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 319 laps
3. Gabrio Rosa/Alex Caffi/ Andrea Chiesa (all Italy), Seikel Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, 312 laps
Le Mans 24 Hour Race (France), Le Mans GT Category
1. Emmanuel Collard (France), Lucas Luhr (Monaco), Sascha Maassen (Belgium), Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Alex Job Racing/Petersen Motorsports, 320 laps
2. Peter Baron/Leo Hindery (both USA)/Marc Lieb (Germany), Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Orbit Racing, 314 laps
3. Michel Neugarten (Monaco), Ian Khan/Nigel Smith (both England), Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Team Thierry Perrier, 305 laps