Porsche paid tribute to the worldwide achievements of teams and drivers during the 2017 season at its ‘Night of Champions’ motorsport gala in Weissach. During the evening, a huge expansion of Porsche’s worldwide GT programme was announced for 2018.
Porsche’s campaign in the 2018 WEC
In the 2018/2019 season, Porsche will again send its factory Porsche GT Team to contest the GTE-Pro class of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). In the #91 Porsche 911 RSR, Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz fight for the world championship, with Michael Christensen and Kévin Estre manning the #92 vehicle. In the GTE-Am class, a number of customer teams have applied for a starting spot with the 2017-spec 911 RSR. In total, Porsche has sold seven 911 RSR to customers for the WEC, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the European Le Mans Series.
Porsche plans to campaign four factory vehicles at the 86th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours. The two Porsche GT Teams from the FIA WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech Championship each field two ca. 510 hp GT racers from Weissach. The cockpit of the #91 car will be shared by Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki. The #92 vehicle is to be manned by Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor. Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber will drive the #93 car, with the #94 Porsche 911 RSR earmarked for Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Sven Müller.
Strong commitment in the USA
One of the most successful driver pairings in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship join forces again in 2018. Just as in their 2015 championship winning year, Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet will share the cockpit of the #911 Porsche 911 RSR. In the #912 sister car, the two-time Le Mans overall winner Earl Bamber and the Intercontinental GT Challenge and Blancpain Series champion, Laurens Vanthoor, will drive together.
911 GT3 R customer sport racer receives an upgrade
The successful 911 GT3 R customer racing model undergoes an upgrade for the 2018 GT3 season. The parts kit, which can be used to update all 2016 and 2017 models, will include amongst other things, a new front bonnet for the optimisation of thermal management and side flicks to improve the aero-balance.
Firm commitment to worldwide GT3 sport
At each round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, Porsche will lend its support to at least one local team in their 911 GT3 R pro-class campaign. The works driver trio Dirk Werner, Romain Dumas and Frédéric Makowiecki will contest all races and fight for the drivers’ championship. In the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, the three also share the cockpit of a 911 GT3 R. This will be fielded at all races by Manthey Racing. In many other international and national GT series such as the European Le Mans Series, the Pirelli World Challenge, the Japanese Super GT series, the IMSA WeatherTech Championship (GTD class) and the Nürburgring Long Distance Championship, Porsche will support customer teams with engineers and drivers.
Porsche further expands its youth development programme
In the 2018 season, a total of four top young pilots will compete around the world as Porsche Young Professionals. After their successes in Porsche’s one-make cup series, Dennis Olsen and Matt Campbell have taken the next career step. Matteo Cairoli and Mathieu Jaminet also gave convincing performances in their first season as young professionals in GT racing and will continue to receive support in 2018. The proven support scheme will be supplemented for the first time by Porsche Selected Drivers in the coming year. Porsche also provides these pilots with training, which includes fitness tests. So far, Christina Nielsen from Denmark is the first driver to be chosen.
911 GT3 Cup sets a new record
The new 911 GT3 Cup, which celebrated its premiere in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, the Carrera Cup Deutschland as well as in North America in the 2017 season, will be fielded in the majority of Porsche’s 21 one-make cup series around the world in 2018. Up until spring 2018, a total of 339 units of the 485bhp one-make cup racer will roll off the assembly line at Porsche’s main facility in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Never before have so many racing vehicles of one type been manufactured for one season. Hence, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup remains the world’s top selling race car.
919 Hybrid goes on a worldwide farewell tour
A second field of activity will be the operational implementation of a farewell tour for the three-time Le Mans winning Porsche 919 Hybrid car. Outside the events of the FIA WEC and thus outside the regulations of usable energy amounts, the innovative race car will be campaigned at many individual events throughout the year. A precise programme will be announced early in 2018. At the end of 2018, the era of the ca. 900 hp hybrid prototype will come to a close. The 919 will then make its last trip to the Porsche Museum.
Porsche Cup: Christian Ried is the most successful private driver of 2017
This year’s winner of the Porsche Cup, the trophy for the world’s most successful private Porsche driver, goes to Christian Ried. The racing driver/owner of the Dempsey Proton Racing squad was awarded the coveted trophy by Dr Wolfgang Porsche, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG. In addition, Ried takes home a Porsche valued at 120,000 Euro. Thanks to his successes in the FIA WEC and the European Le Mans Series, he earned 8700 points over the past season at the wheel of the Porsche 911 RSR. Second-placed Robert Renauer, last year’s Porsche Cup recipient, can look forward to prize money totalling 30,000 Euros. For third place, Switzerland’s Daniel Allemann wins 25,000 Euro. The Porsche Cup has been awarded since 1970 and is based on an idea of Ferry Porsche.
Works drivers for 2018
|Earl Bamber (27)||New Zealand|
|Jörg Bergmeister (41)||Germany|
|Timo Bernhard (36)||Germany|
|Gianmaria Bruni (36)||Italy|
|Michael Christensen (27)||Denmark|
|Romain Dumas (39)||France|
|Kévin Estre (29)||France|
|Brendon Hartley (28)||New Zealand|
|Neel Jani (34)||Switzerland|
|Richard Lietz (33)||Austria|
|Patrick Long (36)||USA|
|André Lotterer (36)||Germany|
|Frédéric Makowiecki (37)||France|
|Sven Müller (25)||Germany|
|Patrick Pilet (36)||France|
|Nick Tandy (33)||Great Britain|
|Laurens Vanthoor (26)||Belgium|
|Dirk Werner (36)||Germany|
|Matteo Cairoli (21)||Italy|
|Matt Campbell (22)||Australia|
|Mathieu Jaminet (23)||France|
|Dennis Olsen (21)||Norway|
|Julien Andlauer (18)||France|
|Thomas Preining (19)||Austria|
|Porsche Selected Driver 2018|
|Christina Nielsen (25)||Denmark|
Race series overview
|FIA World Endurance Championship|
|911 RSR #91||Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz|
|911 RSR #92||Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre|
|Le Mans 24 Hours|
|911 RSR #91||Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz, Frédéric Makowiecki|
|911 RSR #92||Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor|
|911 RSR #93||Earl Bamber, Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy|
|911 RSR #94||Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Sven Müller|
|IMSA WeatherTech Championship|
|911 RSR #911||Patrick Pilet, Patrick Pilet, Frédéric Makowiecki (only North American Endurance Cup)|
|911 RSR #912||Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor, Gianmaria Bruni (only North American Endurance Cup)|
|Intercontinental GT Challenge|
|911 GT3 R #911||Romain Dumas, Frédéric Makowiecki, Dirk Werner|
|Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup|
|911 GT3 R #911||Romain Dumas, Frédéric Makowiecki, Dirk Werner|
Edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale & John Mountney, and Porsche Motorsport