Nurburgring 24H: Porsche preview

Porsche relies on diversity at the Eifel marathon StuttgartAtlanta - May 6 -- Porsche will contest the 38th edition of the Nurburgring 24 hour race on May 15 - 16 with its largest entry in many years. Porsche AG as well as several...

Porsche relies on diversity at the Eifel marathon

StuttgartAtlanta - May 6 -- Porsche will contest the 38th edition of the Nurburgring 24 hour race on May 15 - 16 with its largest entry in many years. Porsche AG as well as several customer teams tackle Germany's greatest motorsport event with a total of 33 vehicles featuring its iconic 911 six- cylinder boxer engine.

The defending Nurburgring 24 hour championship drivers from Manthey Racing will compete in the race at the wheel of the number one car: Porsche works drivers and former Penske Porsche RS Spyder American Le Mans Series champions Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) along with factory teammate Marc Lieb (Germany), as well as Manthey pilot Marcel Tiemann (Monaco) pilot the new, 480 hp 911 GT3 R. This winning squad already sent a signal to their competition showing their determination to bring home the fifth straight overall victory at the first two races run in preparation for the Eifel marathon. At rounds one and two of the VLN Long Distance Championship Nurburgring, the team's yellow and green racer saw the chequered flag in first place.

"I was impressed with the new 911 GT3 R right from the start with its extremely predictable handling and reliability," exclaimed Timo Bernhard. "And those are exactly the qualities you need in an endurance race car if you want to finish without problems and climb to the very top of the podium."

The other American Le Mans Series Porsche factory driver participating at the event is Wolf Henzler (Germany), who is driving the Mamerow Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R with Chris Mamerow (Germany). Henzler drives the Team Falken Tire Porsche with Bryan Sellers in ALMS.

The recently-introduced Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid has been designed to be particularly conservative with fuel. Its 480 hp combustion engine at the rear is supplemented by two 60 kilowatt electric motors at the front axle. Under braking, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid converts kinetic energy into electrical energy and stores it in a flywheel. At the 24 hour race, the innovative hybrid racer will be manned by Porsche works drivers and American Le Mans Series/Flying Lizard Motorsports regular Jorg Bergmeister (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria), as well as Porsche junior Marco Holzer (Germany) and Martin Ragginger (Austria) and fielded by Porsche Team Manthey. Bergmeister and factory teammate Patrick Long are current GT2 leaders in ALMS.

Due to its good performance at the second VLN race, when the orange/white liveried 911 finished in third with a gap of 1:09 minutes after fours hours, the organisers mandated a 25kg handicap weight. The vehicle now competes weighing 1,375 kg instead of 1,350 kilograms.

Also competing in the midst of the 200 race cars is a road-going vehicle. Decked out in white and red, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, right from the showroom, is intended to demonstrate that a standard sports car from Zuffenhausen is up to the challenge of a 24 hour race. Driving the 450 hp vehicle with the number plate "S-GO 2400" is former DTM pilot Roland Asch (Germany), race professional and TV commentator Patrick Simon (Germany) as well as Nurburgring regulars and journalists Horst von Saurma (Germany) and Chris Harris (Great Britain).

On behalf of his teammates, Asch outlines the plan of action: "Keep our noses clean, avoid any tricky situations and if possible finish in the top 20 to 30." Already at the first VLN round in March, the standard sports car gave an indication of its potential: Finishing 22nd out of 163 vehicles, the 911 GT3 RS provided a pleasant surprise at its race debut.

"This year, Porsche is particularly well represented at the Nurburgring 24 hour race by its vehicles, customers and drivers," says Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport. "We regard this diversity as a clear commitment to the 24 hour event. Our customer teams compete with strong driver contingents, with some receiving support from our Porsche factory drivers. I'm especially curious about our 911 GT3 R Hybrid. We're not setting our sights purely on race results, but more on the data that our race lab delivers for the further development of hybrid technology."

Television station Sport1 (formerly DSF) broadcasts over 20 hours of the Nurburgring 24 hour race. For the first time, Porsche offers its German-speaking fans its own internet radio as part of a web special under www.porsche.com. In a ten-minute radio show held on the hour every hour during the race, commentator Burkhard Bechtel reports on the progress of the Porsche entries, and also interviews interesting guests at the track.

The 38th running of the Nurburgring 24 Hours starts on Saturday, May 15 at 3:00 PM local time (9:00 AM Eastern), and finishes 24 hours later.

-source: porsche

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Series Endurance
Drivers Marcel Tiemann , Timo Bernhard , Patrick Long , Christian Mamerow , Marc Lieb , Romain Dumas , Bryan Sellers , Wolf Henzler , Marco Holzer , Richard Lietz , Patrick Simon , Chris Harris , Roland Asch
Teams Team Falken Tire