Image credits: © Porsche.
2009 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR news, pictures, and information
Porsche GT3 RSR considerably improvedThe Porsche GT3 RSR launches into the new model year wîth extensive modifications. The most powerful race car based on the Porsche 911, which last year scored wins at the 24 hour races of Le Mans and Spa as well as overall victory at the Nuerburgring 24 hours, competes in the GT2 class at international long distance races. The most distinguishing feature of the new GT3 RSR is the front end which received major improvements to the aerodynamics. The majority of innovations however are hidden under the weight-optimised body.
Aside from the easily recognisable additional spoilers on the front apron, so-called flicks, an optimised air ducting wîth newly-designed side air outlets generates more downforce and reduces drag. The rear end including the rear wing was taken over from the predecessor. Extensive changes to the suspension cinematics increase mechanical grip considerably. The range of possible suspension set-ups was broadened.
The 3.8-litre boxer engine of the GT3 RSR remains unchanged apart from slight improvements to details. It delivers 465 hp (342 kW) at 8,000 revs per minute and delivers a maximum torque of 430 Nm at 7,250 revs. The rev limiter of the efficient six-cylinder kicks in at 9,400 rpm.
Much of the know-how in the GT3 RSR's totally new gearbox has come from the RS Spyder sports prototype. The sequential six-speed unit, developed by Porsche engineers, is considerably lighter than its predecessor. Internal friction was substantially reduced. The flat angle of the drive shafts allows teams a wider range of suspension set-ups.
Aside from the GT3 Cup and the GT3 Cup S, the GT3 RSR is the third race car based on the Porsche 911 offered by Porsche Motorsport. Thirty-five units of the fastest and most powerful long distance racer made in Weissach, apart from the exclusive RS Spyder sports prototype, are now being produced and delivered to customer teams around the globe. The price of the GT3 RSR is 349,800 Euro plus VAT.
Technical Description Porsche GT3 RSR (2008)
Six-cylinder aluminium boxer engine, water-cooled; 3,795 cc; stroke 76.4 mm; bore 102.7 mm; 465 bhp (342 kW) at 8,000 rpm; max. torque 430 Nm at 7,250 rpm; air restrictors 2 x 29.5 mm; maximum engine speed 9,400 rpm; four valves per cylinder; dry sump lubrication; individual throttle butterflies; central air intake; electronic MS 4.0 engine management; fuel injection; fuel grade: RON 98 Super Plus unleaded.
Six-speed gearbox wîth sequential jaw-type shift; oil/water heat exchanger; single-mass flywheel; hydraulic disengagement lever; three-plate carbon-fibre clutch; rear wheel drive; limited-slip differential 45/65 %.
Monocoque body (basis GT3 RS) of hot-galvanised steel; aerodynamically optimised front end wîth front spoiler; aerodynamically optimised front underfloor; adjustable rear wing; 90-litre safety fuel tank wîth fast filling function; air jack; welded-in safety cage; bucket-type racing seat (on driver's side only) wîth flame-resistant seat cover; six-point seat belt adapted for use of the HANS Head and Neck Support; electric fire-extinguishing system.
Front: McPherson spring strut axle; Sachs four-way gas pressure dampers; double coil springs (main and ancillary spring); front axle arms adjustable for camber; adjustable sword-type anti-roll bar on both sides; power §teering.
Rear: Multi-arm axle wîth rigidly mounted axle sub-frame; Sachs four-way gas pressure dampers; double coil springs (main and auxiliary spring); rear axle tie-bar reinforced and infinitely adjustable; adjustable sword-type anti-roll bar on both sides.
Complete suspension infinitely adjustable (height, camber, track).
|Engine : 4.0 L., 8-cylinder|
Power: 465 hp
Torque: 317 ft-lbs
Front: Single-piece six-piston aluminium fixed callipers; inner-vented, 380 mm in diameter; racing brake pads.
Rear: Single-piece four-piston aluminium fixed callipers; inner-vented, 355 mm in diameter; racing brake pads.
Front: Three-piece BBS light-alloy wheels (11J x 18-34); central bolt;
Rear: Three-piece BBS light-alloy wheels (13J x 18-12.5); central bolt.
Motec display wîth integrated data recording; adjustable traction control; battery: 12 volt, 50 Ah, 140 Ah alternator.
Approx. 1,225 kg complying wîth A.C.O. regulations, 1,200 kg complying wîth FIA regulations.Source - Porsche
Long and Bergmeister, the defending ALMS GT champions, were determined to rebound from a disappointing fourth-place finish at Sebring, and outlasted both the BMWs and Ferraris at Long Beach to vault themselves into a share of first place driver points after two events.
'Because this was the second event of the two-race probation for me from Laguna last year, the team decided it would be better for me to drive the first stint,' said Bergmeister, 'but it was the quick driver and tire change at our pit stop, plus Patrick's amazing pressure on the BMW, that gave us the victory.'
'I was able to get right on the tail of the #92 BMW after the pit stop wîth my new tires because we almost beat the BMW out of the pits, even though they did not change tires,' explained Long, who rode the bumper of the BMW and passed Tommy Milner wîth only ten minutes to go in the race.
'I had a little trouble at first because we failed to adjust the seat during the driver change, and since Joerg is almost a foot taller than I am, I was barely reaching the pedals until the first yellow flag of my stint. After that, I realized that, wîth the better tires, that, when I made the pass, I could make it stick. Then I noticed the Ferrari and Corvette were closing, and I needed to get more aggressive. There were a couple points of contact, and I passed him wîth two wheels off in the dirt. What a race!' said Long.
As the green flag dropped, Wolf Henzler (Germany), the driver who had put the Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on the front row of the GT grid, did exactly what he did at
Sebring – out-accelerate the pole-sitting Ferrari to take first place. He held onto the top spot for his entire stint, out-gunning the competition in the corners and keeping them behind him on the straight-aways. Traffic in the pits caused them to lose several positions during their driver change, and he and co-driver Bryan Sellers (ÚSA) finished sixth.
'Our goal was to have a better finish than Sebring, where we knew the car was fast, but we did not have a great result. We definitely achieved that goal wîth our sixth-place finish, but we know we had a car that could have easily finished on the podium. We showed that we could run wîth the leaders in GT, and we look forward to a top finish in a few weeks at Laguna Seca,' said Henzler, the 2008 ALMS GT champion wîth Bergmeister.
In the overall battle among the newly-merged prototype class entries, Klaus Graf (Germany) and Greg Pickett (ÚSA) ran in the top three in the overall event wîth the Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder for the whole race, finishing third behind two former LMP1 cars wîth their LMP2 racer. Further refinement of the LMP rules could result in an overall victory for the Porsche RS Spyder – owner of 11 such wins – before the end of the season.
Butch Leitzinger (ÚSA) and Juan Gonzales (Mexico) won their second straight ALMS GT Challenge in the Alex Job Racing Mission Foods Porsche 911 GT3 RSR when the team Alex Job Porsche, the Battery Tender entry of Bill Sweedler/Romeo Kapudija, got slightly off line and spun while leading the class wîth four minutes to go. Leitzinger, a veteran of late-race drama, was pleased to take home the win.
'The combination of these strong Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars and Alex Job's careful preparation and execution of a race plan make it fun to be wîth this team. I miss running the prototypes, but it is the team, not the car, that completes the experience. I have spent a lot of my career wîth a great team – Dyson Racing, and this experience wîth Alex Job is turning out great as well,' said Leitzinger.
To round out a successful weekend for Porsche Motorsport, both the #6 Muscle Milk Porsche RS Spyder (LMP) and the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GT) earned the Michelin Green X Challenge award, the first time Porsche has swept that honor for both categories. Both cars earned Michelin's best Green Achievement scores from a formula which measures performance efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, and petroleum displacement for both LMP and GT classes.
'It is unbelievable for us to not only win the Long Beach race but the Michelin Green X Challenge, as well, by being both efficient and green,' said Patrick Long, co-driver wîth Joerg Bergmeister of the GT category winning #45 Flying Lizard Porsche. 'We are proud to be wîth a series, a manufacturer and a team that wants to lead the fight to show that it can be cool to be green and fast.'Source - Porsche
Team Felbermayr-Proton: 2010 Le Mans SeriesLongtime GT competitor Felbermayr-Proton, with its two-toned blue livery Porsches, prepared to fight it out amongst the ultra-competitive GT2 class for the 2010 Le Mans Series. It hoped to retain its crown in class in the Le Mans Series, and, had hopes to re-crown Porsche at the top of GT2 racing at Le Mans.
The team's season began with the first round of the Le Mans Series Championship, which was the 8 Hours of Castellet. The German-based team travelled to the Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France with two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs (Type 997).
The number 77 Porsche 997 was driven by German, Marc Lieb, and Austrian, Richard Lietz. The number 88 Porsche had three drivers: Christian Ried, from Germany; Martin Ragginger, from Austria; and Patrick Long, from the United States.
In all, nine cars would qualify for the race in GT2. Showing its superior pace down the long straight at Paul Ricard, the Ferrari F430 GT of AF Corse would take the pole in LMGT2. Gianmaria Bruni completed a lap around the 3.61 mile road course in one minute and fifty-seven seconds. Less than a half second slower, Richard Lietz; in the number 77 Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 997, qualified 2nd in GT2 and would start 28th overall. CRS Racing's Ferrari F430 GT would end up qualifying 3rd and would start 29th overall. The second Felbermayr-Proton Porsche, driven by Martin Ragginger, couldn't match the pace of its sister car and would end up starting 36th overall.
At the start of the race, the Felbermayr number 77 got caught out and lost a couple of positions. However, from the 1st lap onwards, the number 77 began its march up the running order. Felbermayr-Proton number 88 had the best start of the team, perhaps of the entire GT2 category. By the end of the first lap, the team was able to sit in the 31st position overall. It had jumped five positions just in the first lap. It too would continue a gradual upward trend up through the field.
By the time the GT2 leaders had completed just 20 laps, both of the Felbermayr-Proton Porsches were running inside the top-thirty. By the mid-point of the race, both team cars were inside the top-twenty-five overall. Attrition within the Formula Le Mans classification and LMP2 were playing into the hands of the GT2 competitors including Felbermayr-Proton.
Perhaps the biggest winning hand dealt to the team came after 150 laps had been completed. The pole-sitting Ferrari of AF Corse retired from the field. Once AF Corse number 96 dropped out of the race, the number 77 Felbermayr-Proton Porsche had to contend with another AF Corse, driven by ex-Formula One stars Giancarlo Fisichella and Jean Alesi, along with Toni Vilander. The number 95 AF Corse Ferrari would have a share of the lead at one point. However, the number 77 Felbermayr Porsche would get by and run a smooth race throughout the rest of the event.
In the extremely competitive GT2 class, the way to lose position on the track is to suffer problems and difficulties that cause lengthy delays in the pits. This situation struck just about every GT2 runner except the number 77 Porsche. The Type 997 driven by Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz would have a relatively trouble-free run, despite fueling rig problems, and would take the victory in the GT2. The number 77 car would finish 18th overall after the duo completed 233 laps. An elated Marc Lieb would remark, 'We are over the moon and unbelievably relieved to have so clearly won this race with its many and varied challenges. One of the cornerstones of this success was again the impressive overall efficiency of our 911 GT3 RSR. We completed the race distance with one less pit stop than the Ferrari.'
Felbermayr-Proton had even more reason to celebrate as its second car, number 88, would finish two laps down, but 2nd in class. Just like that, Felbermayr-Proton enters the first race of the season and earns a one-two finish! The AF Corse Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and Jean Alesi would also complete 231 laps and would finish 3rd.
After the long 8 hour race at Castellet in the early part of April, the team would wait a month before it headed to Belgium for the next round of the Le Mans Series Championship.
Almost exactly a month before the 78th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Felbermayr-Proton, and a field of fifty cars, prepared for what was considered the final dress rehearsal for the famed endurance race.
The 1000km of Spa was the second round of the Le Mans Series and it took place on the historic Spa-Francorchamps Circuit. Featuring long, winding straights, high-speed corners and tight hairpin corners, the 4.35 mile road course was like a shrunken version of the Circuit de la Sarthe.
In qualifying, the Ferrari F430 of AF Corse once again showed the way as Jaime Melo would record a time of two minutes and twenty-seconds. Marc Lieb, in the number 77 Felbermayr Porsche was right there. Lieb's time was only a tenth of a second slower. Therefore the number 77 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR would start 2nd in class and 31st overall. Patrick Long, in the second Felbermayr-Proton Porsche, was less than a second slower than his teammate's car. Though less than a second slower, the number 88 Porsche would start 6th in class and 36th overall.
The field was full with fifty cars. In addition to the havoc due to the number of entries, the weather in the Ardennes forest is always unpredictable. Combined together, the 1000km of Spa promised lots of drama for fans and teams.
The race promised to be hectic as rain started to fall on the track during the pace lap. In addition to the treacherous conditions in the climb up through Raidillon, the GT2 cars would need to be looking in their mirrors right from the start as one of the fast LMP2 cars crashed during the morning warm-up and would have to start from the very back of the grid.
The start of the race was as promised in the GT2 field—hectic. Throughout the first few laps cars were two and three wide, jockeying for position. At the conclusion of the first lap, the number 77 had managed to take over some positions in front and came through inside the top-thirty. The number 88 Felbermayr was also able to climb up the order by the end of the first lap.
Over the course of about 20 laps, the number 88 Porsche was battling right around 30th place overall. Over the same course of time, the number 77 Porsche, which had a much more clean bit of road in front of it because of the majority of the competition taking place behind, was about to get inside the top-twenty. The pole-sitting Ferrari, driven by Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni, had been able to take away some positions from others at the conclusion of the first couple of laps. The AF Corse Ferrari ran inside the top-thirty, even as high as 22nd overall, after only five laps. After holding station for about 10 laps, both the AF Corse Ferrari and the Felbermayr-Proton Porsche were battling it out inside the top-twenty. Over the course of the race, the Felbermayr Porsche number 77 would remain inside the top-twenty. AF Corse's Ferrari F430 would fight for the rest of the race just to get back inside the top-twenty. Delays would cause the number 88 Felbermayr to fight throughout the remaining race distance just to run inside the top-thirty.
Every team would end up being delayed as a red flag was deployed to stop the race. The race came to a halt because a power-outage around the track made it impossible for the officials to keep track of the race. Any delay can disrupt a flow. The lengthy delay caused by the loss of power around the track would only cause greater stress.
Once the race resumed, the Felbermayr Porsche, number 77, picked up where it left off, as though nothing had happened. Even the number 88 Porsche would continue its charge toward a good result.
With relatively clear track in front, the number 77 Felbermayr-Proton pulled away and would take the victory in GT2. The pace the 4.0-liter, 6-cylinder 997 was able to achieve was strong enough to finish 15th overall, and only one lap down from one of the struggling LMP1 prototypes.
Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz drove so strong over the course of the 124 laps they were even able to beat out the GT1 contenders in overall position at the end. Second-place would go to AF Corse Ferrari number 96 driven by Bruni and Melo. They would finish one lap down to Lieb and Lietz. Unfortunately for Felbermayr-Proton, its second car, number 88, could not score another podium finish as 3rd place would go to AF Corse Ferrari number 95 driven by Fisichella, Alesi and Vilander, also one lap down. Felbermayr-Proton number 88 would finish three laps down to its teammate and would end up 8th in class and 26th overall.
That was it. The next race for the team during the 2010 season would be the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After its first two races, Felbermayr-Proton proved it was ready to battle it out over 24 hours in an attempt to help Porsche return to the top-step at a place it has had great success throughout its career.
The last time Porsche had taken victory in LMGT2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was back in 2007. In its preparation for its assault on Le Mans, Felbermayr-Proton changed its driver line-up over its two cars.
Felbermayr founder, Horst, would race with his son along with Miro Konopka in the number 88 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Patrick Long, who had driven the number 88 Felbermayr Porsche through the first two rounds would rejoin fellow GT2 Porsche competitor IMSA Performance Matmut. Interestingly, Patrick Long drove with IMSA Performance Matmut in 2009, but also, when IMSA Performance scored Porsche's last victory in GT2 at Le Mans. German, Wolf Henzler would join Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz in the number 77 Felbermayr Porsche.
In addition to having to face the Ferrari F430s, which had won in GT2 over the course of the past two Le Mans races, Felbermayr-Proton also had to contend with the reigning GT1 champion Corvette Racing. Corvette Racing had switched to the competitive GT2 category at the end of 2009. However, its C6.R was proving throughout practice, and into qualifying, it still had the pace to compete in GT1.
Throughout practice and qualifying the Ferrari F430s and Corvette C6.Rs were proving to be much faster down the long straights. It was noticed throughout practice and into qualifying Felbermayr's Porsche were consistently half a second slower than the Ferraris and Corvettes. The performance gap would become very noticeable over the two days of qualifying.
Over the course of the two days of qualifying the number 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 would record the fastest time. Car 82 covered the 8.46 mile road course in three minutes and fifty-nine seconds. This placed the car, provisionally, on the grid 36th overall. Corvette Racing's 64 would record the second-fastest time with a lap just two tenths slower than the Risi Competizione Ferrari. The second Corvette, number 63, recorded the third-fastest time with a lap only three tenths slower than its sister car.
The fastest lap any Porsche would be able to record in qualifying came courtesy of Felbermayr's number 77. The car was pushed hard and recorded a lap of four minutes and one second. This time was over two seconds slower than Risi Competizione's pole time. The second Felbermayr-Proton Porsche was a bit off the pace. Its fastest time was four minutes and ten seconds. This time would lead the number 88 Felbermayr Porsche to qualify second-to-last on the 56 car grid. However, Risi Competizione's highest qualifier would come back and join them.
Controversy would surround Risi Competizione after qualifying. Risi's number 82 failed scrutineering after qualifying. The Ferrari's rear wing came under serious doubt. The infractions led to car 82 losing its pole-position and being sent to the back of the field.
Even with the Ferrari gone, Felbermayr still had to contend with other Ferrari F430s and Corvette C6.Rs, which were hitting speeds down the straights as fast as it was the previous year in GT1.
At the start of the race at three, on the afternoon of the 12th, the number 77 Felbermayr Porsche was pushing, but was holding a comfortable pace. The Ferraris and Corvettes raced on out ahead. Unable to keep pace with either the Ferraris or the Corvettes, the Felbermayr Porsche concentrated instead on sticking to their race strategy and letting the race come to them. That is exactly what would happen.
After 116 laps, the Risi Competizione Ferrari was out of the race due to gearbox-related problems. As the late evening turned into the very early morning hours, the number 63 Corvette dropped out of the race with engine failure. However, the second Corvette, car 64 was running strong and looking very good.
So many different classes, with such varying speeds, on the same track can lead to some very dangerous situations. While leading, and looking very comfortable doing so, the number 64 Corvette got squeezed too wide by one of the Peugeot LMP1 prototypes through the Porsche curves. Because of the speed carried through the Porsche curves the number 64 Corvette had no chance to save itself without damage being done. The back-end of the car hit the concrete barriers heavily. The team tried to repair the damaged car, and did manage to get it back out on track. However, its race would also come to an end after engine-related issues finally finished off the wounded GT2 car. This promoted Felbermayr-Proton's number 77 Porsche into the lead.
The number 77 team of Lieb, Lietz and Henzler had focused on sticking to their race plan and allowing the 24 hour race sort out the running order. The fast, but steady, pace was rewarded with the lead with only hours remaining. The team only needed to continue what it had done all through the late evening the day before and through the night and it would earn the victory.
The attrition throughout the field also promoted the number 88 Felbermayr Porsche. The number 88 team focused on running fast, but smart. Though not as fast as other GT2 cars, the team managed to stay out of trouble.
By three, on Sunday afternoon, it was clear that endurance was better than speed at the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. Felbermayr-Proton Porsche number 77, having completed 338 laps, took the victory in LMGT2. The team had a very comfortable two lap lead over the 2nd place finishing Hankook Team Farnbacher Ferrari F430. Felbermayr's number 77 would not merely take the victory in GT2, its 11th place finish overall meant the team also beat the best GT1 finisher. After two years, Porsche had finally returned to the top-step of the podium at Le Mans in GT2.
Felbermayr-Proton Porsche, number 88, would also make it to the finish. The team, consisting of the Horst Felbermayr and Horst Felbermayr Jr, would end up finishing 24th overall and 8th in class.
After the elation of Le Mans, it was back to the Le Mans Series season. One month after Le Mans, the Le Mans Series season resumed with the 1000km of Algarve.
Completed in 2008, the 2.90 mile road course has been considered the finest facility in Portugal and one of the best in all of Europe. The facility was first used by the Le Mans Series (LMS) in 2009.
While many of the LMP1 prototypes were absent from the race one month after Le Mans, the GT2 class was filled. Felbermayr-Proton fielded two cars for the race. The driver line-up heading into the event was similar, but also changed.
Le Mans champions Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz were behind the wheel of the number 77 Porsche as would be expected. In the number 88, the line-up included Wolf Henzler, Martin Ragginger and Christian Ried.
Throughout practice, both of the Felbermayr Porsches were near the top of the time charts in GT2. However, the AF Corse Ferraris continued to show great pace. In fact, during qualifying the two AF Corse Ferraris would out-pace the fastest GT1 Saleen S7-Rs of Atlas FX-Team FS. Both of the AF Corse Ferraris would record laps of one minute and forty-three seconds around the 2.90 mile road course. Another Ferrari F430, of CRS Racing would end up starting 3rd in GT2. Felbermayr-Proton Porsche number 88 would end up getting the better of its stable-mate and would qualify 4th in class with a lap one second slower than the AF Corse Ferrari on pole. The number 77 Felbermayr Porsche was two tenths slower than its sister car and would start 6th in class and 24th overall.
Thirty-two cars prepared to start the race in the evening of the 16th. At the start, the pole-sitting number 96 slipped and dropped down to 17th overall. But after the slip, the team would do nothing but climb the running order. The main challenge for Felbermayr was to see if it could go with the AF Corse team and pull off the victory at the end. This would be a much harder challenge since the number 95 AF Corse Ferrari did nothing but improve throughout the course of the race.
Felbermayr Porsche 77 proved after the first couple of laps AF Corse would have to contend with the 997 if it wanted to taste victory. By the end of the first 20 laps, number 77 was inside the top-twenty. The problem was, that at the very same time the AF Corse Ferraris were battling to get up inside the top-fifteen overall.
Felbermayr-Proton number 88 would truly have an up and down race. Though slipping at the very beginning, the number 88 Porsche was running right behind the AF Corse Ferraris throughout the first 20 laps. Though its trend throughout the race was upward, the team would have too many moments of having to fight to regain lost positions.
By the mid-point of the race, AF Corse number 96 was sitting just outside the top-ten overall. The number 95 AF Corse Ferrari would flirt with the top-ten, but would be too erratic and would have to fight hard to recover positions lost, just like the Felbermayr number 88. At the same point in the race, the Felbermayr cars were running just inside the top-fifteen and were finding it difficult to sustain movement up the order.
In the last third of the race, the battle in GT2 became joined as Felbermayr-Proton's two Porsches had made it up behind the AF Corse Ferraris in running order. AF Corse Ferrari 96 of Bruni and Melo had been able to garner a lap advantage over its sister car and the number 77 Porsche. The second Felbermayr Porsche, car 88, was right behind car 77 in the running order, but was also one lap further in arrears. Therefore, the only battle throughout the remaining laps of the race came down between AF Corse Ferrari 95 of Fisichella, Alesi and Vilander and the number 77 Felbermayr Porsche.
Lietz would battle with Vilander through the final laps. Vilander would push and would not put a foot wrong as the race came to an end in the early morning hours of the 17th.
The small prototype classes allowed the AF Corse's 96 Ferrari F430 GT to earn a 7th place finish overall as it took the victory in LMGT2. One lap down to Bruni, the battle between Vilander and Lietz would come right down to the final lap of the race. Toni would be able to hold by two seconds over Lietz in the Felbermayr Porsche. Felbermayr's number 77 would finish the race 10th overall. Another lap down, Felbermayr-Proton's number 88 would finish 12th overall and 5th in class.
For Felbermayr-Proton's team of Lieb and Lietz, they had managed to stand on the podium at every single race to that point in the season. This fact helped the number 77 remain at the top of the championship through to that point in the season. In Hungary, the amazing performances continued unabated.
The fourth round of the Le Mans Series would be a truly remarkable event and one in which any class could have scored the overall victory. The historic race would go down in racing history for many reasons.
The 1000km of Hungaroring was the first time ever Le Mans Series racing had ever taken place on the 2.72 mile road course in Mogyorod, Hungary. The field would consist of thirty-eight cars.
Throughout practice, the Strakka Racing LMP2 prototype was routinely capable of running with the LMP1 diesel-powered Peugeot 908 of Team Oreca Matmut. This was a mere glimpse of what the race would hold.
In GT2, Felbermayr's Porsches were within a second of the Ferraris of AF Corse and CRS Racing. In the final practice session, Felbermayr's Porsches were well intermixed with the Ferrari F430s. The incredibly tight pace of the GT2 field would end up hurting Felbermayr during qualifying, however.
AF Corse would take the first two spots in GT2, with car 96 taking the pole. A third AF Corse Ferrari would start 4th in GT2. The best qualifying Porsche would be the 997 of Prospeed Competition. Their best time was a second slower than the 96 Ferrari sitting 23rd overall. Prospeed qualified 7th in class and 30th overall. The first of Felbermayr-Proton's Porsches, car 77, would also set a time a second slower than the 96 of AF Corse and would start 8th in class and 31st overall. The second Felbermayr Porsche, number 88, set a time over a second slower and would start 10th in class and 33rd overall. Felbermayr-Proton would enter a third car for the race. Car 86 struggled with its pace and would start last on the grid and 13th in class. In a bigger surprise, the LMP2 Strakka Racing entry would start from the overall pole having beat out the diesel-powered Team Oreca Peugeot.
At the start of the 1000km race, Felbermayr's Porsche's were on the move up through the field. Through the course of the first couple of laps each one of the team's cars improved their position. Meanwhile, the AF Corse Ferraris would not be able to improve all that much and would have to rely on attrition to help them ascend the running order.
Over the course of the first 20 laps, Felbermayr's car 77 was able to ascend the running order from almost dead-last to 17th overall, a gain of twenty places! Over almost the same amount of time, the number 88 Porsche would improve over ten places.
Halfway through the race, car 77 of Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz, was running 15th overall. Car 88, of Romain Dumas, Martin Ragginger and Christian Ried, was running right there with car 77 in 17th by the mid-point of the race. The 86 car, driven by the Felbermayr father and son combination, along with Marco Seefried, had also improved. By the mid-point they were around 25th overall.
Despite being totally dominated by the Ferraris in qualifying, the Felbermayr-Proton number 77 Porsche would end up dominating the Ferraris throughout the last third of the race. Lieb and Lietz would compete 192 laps and would take the victory in GT2. They would finish only ten seconds behind one of the LMP2 prototypes by the end in 10th place overall. They would also beat the Ferrari F430 of CRS Racing by ten seconds. The Porsche 997 of IMSA Performance Matmut would finish on the podium in 3rd.
The Felbermayr 88 sister car would improve to finish two laps down to number 77. They would end up 7th in class and 16th overall. The third Felbermayr-Proton Porsche would also make it to the end completing 174 laps and finishing 27th overall and 11th in class. While an extremely exciting event in GT2, overall, the race saw history as the Strakka Racing LMP2 not only qualified on the pole, but also won the race. Six LMP2 cars would finish before the first of the LMP1 prototypes.
In September, one month after the wild 1000km of Hungaroring, the Le Mans Series set to wrap-up at the fifth and final round of the series. The final round of the Series took place at Silverstone, in England, and on the new 'Arena' circuit.
The 1000km of Silverstone was the final round of the Le Mans Series for 2010, but was also the first round of the brand-new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, which was formed with the intention of making Le Mans a global competition as it would tie together prototype and GT class racing from series around the world. New to 2010, the new ILMC was only three rounds but it spanned the globe. Felbermayr-Proton was one of six GT2 teams that qualified for the new series.
After the victory at Hungaroring, the Felbermayr-Proton number 77 had a commanding lead and needed merely to make a good showing at Silverstone to ensure the championship would be theirs. The beginning of the ILMC would, however, push Felbermayr-Proton to keep seeking the best results possible.
Throughout practice, both of the Felbermayr Porsches were near the top of the time sheets. Then, in qualifying, both the Porsches and Ferraris were upset. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage of JMW Motorsport wowed the British crowd and would grab the pole after lapping the new 3.66 mile 'Arena' circuit in two minutes and three seconds. AF Corse number 95 Ferrari was close to the Aston Martin's time. Toni Vilander was only five-hundredths of a second slower but was still relegated to 2nd in GT2. Marc Lied also did his best in the number 77 Felbermayr. He would turn a lap only three tenths of a second slower but would start 3rd in class and 31st overall. The second Felbermayr Porsche was only a half a second slower but would start 7th in class and 35th overall. In all, the top-ten GT2 qualifiers were separated by less than a second!
As usual, the competition in GT2 was tight. Over the first ten laps, the number 77 Porsche would slip down the order, while the number 96 AF Corse Ferrari was ascending. Despite losing some places during the first lap, the number 88 Felbermayr would recover and begin challenging.
Over the course of the race, the Ferrari of Jaime Melo and Bruni was too strong. The number 77 Porsche would get as high as 25th overall, but just could not battle with the AF Corse Ferrari. By the end of the race, the number 77 Porsche even began slipping down the order further.
At the end of the 1000km race, AF Corse had earned another victory. Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni would complete 147 laps and would win by thirty-six seconds over Prospeed Competition's Porsche 997. JMW Motorsport would hold onto a podium spot finishing 3rd fifty seconds to AF Corse. Team Felbermayr-Proton's car 77 would finish the race a lap down to AF Corse in 5th place and 27th overall. Felbermayr-Proton car number 88 finished 10th in class and 32nd overall.
Despite the mediocre result, Felbermayr-Proton car 77 cruised to the championship in GT2. They would end up with over a twenty point advantage over AF Corse at the end. The second Fembermayr-Proton Porsche would finish 4th in the Le Mans Series standings with 55 points. They had missed out on 3rd place in the standings by only four points.
With one championship decided, another one was just beginning. The first round had been completed. The next round would take place in early October and it would be the Petit Le Mans held at Road Atlanta in the United States. Felbermayr-Proton would not travel to the United States to take part in the second round of the ILMC, but, would head to Zhuhai, China for the final round in November.
Felbermayr-Proton was familiar with what was the final round of the inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. The team had competed on the track many times throughout the late 1990s and early into the new millennium.
Heading into the 1000km race, the team was 4th in the GT2 team championship standings. After qualifying, its number 77 997 was sitting 2nd on the grid behind the AF Corse Ferrari, number 95. The car had qualified only three tenths slower. The second Felbermayr-Proton car, of Ragginger, Ried and new-comer Gianluca Roda, sat 19th overall and 6th in class after recording a time less than four tenths of a second slower than its sister car.
The competition between the GT2 cars, as usual, was tight from the very beginning. The close lap times kept the cars very close together out on the track. Because of the closeness, the team that made a mistake, or even bobbled just a little bit, would end up losing. Add the presence of rain in the picture, and championship hopes could go up in flames really quickly. This would be exactly what happened to AF Corse. Despite having a points advantage over Felbermayr coming into the race, the team would struggle during the race. This enabled the number 77 Felbermayr to escape.
BMW Team Schnitzer would go on to win the race with their BMW M3 GT2 number 78 completing 202 laps. Felbermayr's number 77 Porsche would finish seconds behind in 2nd. AF Corse would finish 3rd, down two laps. The second Felbermayr, car 88, finished 4th another seven laps further down.
Given the team's results at Silverstone and Zhuhai, Felbermayr-Proton would go on the win the ILMC Championship for GT2. In just one year, Felbermayr-Proton scored victory at Le Mans, won the Le Mans Series Championship and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. The team didn't merely help Porsche return to its place of prominence at Le Mans, it helped Porsche return to a place of dominance the world over.
'Felbermayr-Proton brings Porsche back to top', (http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=372839. Motorsport.com. http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=372839. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
'Porsche, Felbermayr-Proton Start On A ‘Fabulous' High', (http://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2010/04/porsche-felbermayr-proton-start-on-a-fabulous-high/). TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk. http://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2010/04/porsche-felbermayr-proton-start-on-a-fabulous-high/. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, '2010 Le Mans Series season', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 February 2011, 00:04 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2010_Le_Mans_Series_season&oldid=413010065 accessed 16 February 2011
Wikipedia contributors, '2010 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 December 2010, 02:23 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2010_Intercontinental_Le_Mans_Cup&oldid=404922033 accessed 16 February 2011
Wikipedia contributors, '2010 24 Hours of Le Mans', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 January 2011, 13:59 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2010_24_Hours_of_Le_Mans&oldid=410962920 accessed 16 February 2011
'Races Review', (http://www.lemans-series.com/en/s55_stat_archive_courses/s55p01_classement.php?typecourse=6&id_course=44). Le Mans Series. http://www.lemans-series.com/en/s55_stat_archive_courses/s55p01_classement.php?typecourse=6&id_course=44. Retrieved 16 February 2011.By Jeremy McMullen
The Porsche 911 GTI won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998 and Porsche chose not to enter the '99 Le Mans due to not having a factory vehicle that was good enough to defend the overall win against the competition by major automakers. This was also due to an internal agreement again on less expensive GT racing classes at the Grand-Am Rolex racing series, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and started plans to update the new 996 generation of the 911. At the same time they produced a road-worthy variant, they developed a race car. In 1999 this car was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show before it went on sale.
The GT3 came with an engine unlike any other 996 models, even though it shared the same basic 3.6 liter displacement of the standard 996 ‘integrated dry-sump' flat-six engine. This engine is based completely on the original air-cooled 911's versatile, true dry-sump crankcase with an external oil tank. Originally the GT3's engine had 360 PS, in comparison to the 300 PS of the original 996.
Quite similar to the completely water-cooled 962 racing car's engine, the GT3 engine configuration was a so called 'split' crankcase uses separate water jackets added onto each side of the crankcase to cool banks of three cylinders with water pumped through a radiator, rather than a fan and finned cylinders. This engine is also based on this same crankcase. This engine is different though because the 962 utilized 6 individual cylinder heads while the GT1/GT3 used 2 cylinder heads, each covering a bank of 3 cylinders. One could think of the GT3 engine as a similar to a 959 engine, but with water-cooled cylinders.
The basic casting utilized for the crankcase of the GT3, up until 2004, was virtually the same as the air-cooled engine. The '964' casting number on the bottom of the crankcase and areas could clearly be seen and were normally machined in the air-cooled application that are not machined for use in the water-cooled application. Halfway through the 2004 year, a '996' casting number crankcase to eliminate these external air-cooled remnants, while internally it remained virtually the same.
Dating back to the Porsche 904/6 of the mid-1960's, the engine gives the GT3 a distinct racing heritage all the way up the racing vehicles of today.
The GT3 utilized a manual gearbox that was also of air-cooled 911 heritage, due to the 911 air-cooled crankcase that used the Porsche 356 engine to transmission mounting flange configuration. The gear ratios were interchangeable on the gearbox and it was much more durable which makes it more preferable for racing over the standard 996 type 911 gearbox. The most ‘powerful naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine' in any production vehicle, was the 3.8 liter flat-six engine in the 997 GT3 and GT3 RS, rated at 435 hp.
The 2004 Porsche 911 GT3 is considered to be the most powerful non-turbocharged production vehicle that had ever been offered in North America. Considered to be a true sports vehicle that allowed you to achieve lap times on the racetrack, no one really expected it to also be a street-legal and non-turbocharged road vehicle. President and chief executive officer of Porsche Cars North America, Peter Scwarzenbauer is quoted as 'This is the fastest normally aspirated Porsche road car' and 'the sports car for the purist, through and through'.
Though the GT3 didn't come with a back seat, and other commodities drivers really preferred, it continued to be a car than can be driven on a daily basis. The GT3 also maintains the same fuel consumption ratios as other 911 models, though it produced more horsepower and torque. The '04 Porsche 911 GT3 is rated at 380 hp at 7,400 rpm and 284 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. In first, second, third and fourth gears, the engine revs to 8,200 rpm right before its computerized rev limiter is activated.
The 04 Porsche 911 GT3 could achieve 0-60mph in just 4.3 seconds and could hit 100 mph in just 9.4 seconds. The brakes were also bigger on the GT3 than the 911 Turbo's. The GT3 is also equipped with 13.78-inch front brake discs and six-piston fixed calipers that increase the contact area between the discs and the pads. In a carry-over of a Porsche tradition, the six-piston brake calipers are adorned with a red paint. By 40% these calipers enlarge the contact area between the brake lining and the brake disc in comparison to the first generation GT3. The front discs are also nearly an inch larger than those found on the '03 911 turbo. Much like the Turbo's, the rear discs are 13.00 inches. Patented by Porsche, the cooling ducts were inner-vented and cross drilled, while the front discs are 1.34 inches thick. The sickle-shaped ducts act like a turbine inside the discs which made a significant contribution to cooling behavior.
The rotors at the rear measure 1.10 inches thick and are cross-drilled and inner-vented and feature four-piston calipers. Brake caliper pistons are separated by heat-insulating circonium ceramic inserts which reduced the transmission of temperatures from the brakes to the hydraulic fluid. The Porsche 911 GT3 came with enhanced aerodynamics, mainly due the streamlining of the vehicle's body that included a swept-back nose, a large rear spoiler, and sculpted side sills. All of these components together reduce lift forces on both rear and front axles. The improved aerodynamics along with the more powerful engine resulted in a top track speed of 190 mph. The aerodynamic nature also provides more flow that cooled the GT3's braking system. Directing air to the brake discs and calipers were spoilers that were integrated into the cars wheel wells.By Jessica Donaldson
|GREEN FLAG DROPS TO START HISTORIC ENDURANCE RACE|
|All the key elements were in place today when the green flag dropped for the 61st Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. Teams and drivers first enjoyed the attention of throngs of fans during the pit walk as national anthems were played in honor of the international drivers, and ceremonial pageantry completed the pre-race fanfare as the Sunshine State lived up to its well-deserved nickname. At the mid-point of the race, the two Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron Quattro cars looked unassailable in...[Read more...]|
|SPEEDS IMPROVE ON FINAL DAY OF SEBRING WINTER TEST MUSCLE MILK|
|Muscle Milk, BAR 1, Risi Competizione and Flying Lizard lead classes SEBRING, Fla. (Feb. 8, 2013) - The 2013 American Le Mans Series presented by Patrón Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway is now in the books, and the second day of the two-day session saw times come down in all classes. Defending ALMS P1 co-champion Klaus Graf posted the quickest time of the test on Friday morning, turning a 1:46.368 (126.579 mph) lap in the No. 6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX...[Read more...]|
|IT'S WINTER TEST TIME FOR THE ALMS: FIRST STEPS TOWARD THE 2013 SEASON-OPENER AT SEBRING|
|The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón will be in 'preview mode' next week as a significant group of teams participate in the annual Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón will be in 'preview mode' next week as a significant group of teams participate in the annual Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway. The Feb. 7-8 test comes a little more than a month out from the season-opening 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours ...[Read more...]|
|Epic Finishes Highlight The American Le Mans Road Race Showcase At Road America|
|Guy Smith and Dyson Racing were on the other end this time around at Road America. A year after missing out by 0.112 seconds to Muscle Milk Racing in the P1 class, Smith delivered victory for Dyson Racing on Saturday in the closest overall finish in the history of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón - 0.083 seconds. Despite starting next-to-last on the grid, Smith and Chris Dyson won the four-hour Road America Road Race Showcase in an epic finish. Muscle Milk Pickett Rac...[Read more...]|
|American Le Mans Series Kicks Off Mazda Raceway Season|
|Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca kicks off its 55th season with the American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patrón, an exhilarating six hour endurance race, May 11-12. Featuring multiple classes of high-tech sports cars competing together, the American Le Mans Series sees constant passing and on-track battles throughout each race. The six hour endurance race takes competitors from daylight, to dusk and into the darkness, pushing drivers' and crews' mental and physical abilities. The 2011 Americ...[Read more...]|
|2009 Porsche models|
|Porsche 911 GT2|
|Porsche 911 GT3|
|Porsche 911 GT3 RS|
|Porsche 911 Targa 4|
|Porsche 911 Turbo|
|Porsche Cayenne Turbo S|
|Porsche Cayman||2009 Porsche Concepts|
|Porsche Greenster Concept|
|Other models by Porsche|
550/718 Sports Racing Cars
956 and 962