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Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton

Qualifying

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Flying Lizard Motorsports
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Flying Lizard Motorsports
FIA World Endurance Championship, WEC / American Le Mans Series, round 1 in Sebring, USA , Qualifying
Green light for new World Endurance Championship

With the qualifying session for the tradition-steeped twelve hour race on the Sebring International Raceway in Florida/USA, both the new World Endurance Championship and the American Le Mans Series took off into the new season. The long distance classic, at which the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR makes its race debut, marks the only time that the two series run together.

In the GTE Pro class of the World Endurance Championship, Porsche works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) planted his Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on the fifth grid spot. At the wheel of the second Felbermayr-Proton Porsche, Paolo Ruberti (Italy) posted fourth in the GTE Am class. “My lap was perfect and our car feels very good,” said Richard Lietz. “Still, the gap is too big. We’ll be analysing this and trying to close that gap as quickly as possible.”

In the American Le Mans Series, Porsche factory pilot Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) also posted the fifth best time in the GT class with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Flying Lizard Motorsports. “That was a decent lap,” he said, “but it was all that was possible today.” His works driver colleague Wolf Henzler (Germany) clocked the eighth quickest time in Falken Tire’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. “We have to get more familiar with our new car,” he said. “It handles the bumps extremely well, but we still experienced way too much oversteer.” Sascha Maassen (Germany) posted the new 911 run by Paul Miller Racing on ninth and commented, “We turned our fastest lap of the weekend during qualifying and that’s exactly how it should be. But we’re still in the process of familiarising ourselves with the tyres of the new car. And there’s a great deal of potential there.”

Several pilots from the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup are using the GTC class, which they contest with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, to gain experience in international long distance racing. The seasoned Supercup and Carrera Cup pilot Sean Edwards (Great Britain) clinched pole position with Damien Faulkner (Ireland) posting second. Reigning Supercup rookie champion Kévin Estre (France) put his 911 on position five. Nicki Thiim (Denmark), who contests the world’s fastest international one-brand series for the 2012 season, qualified on sixth. “That was an exciting qualifying. We are all very close,” said Sean Edwards. “My team has done a great job in preparing the 911. Last year an accident before the qualifying prevented us from competing in the race. Now we’re back with a vengeance.”

The race starts on Saturday, 17 March, at 10.30 hrs local time (15.30 hrs CET) and is broadcast live on www.alms.com.

Qualifying result

World Endurance Championship
GTE Pro class
1. Gianmaria Bruni (I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 1:58.427 minutes
2. Jaime Melo (BRA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.286 seconds
3. Olivier Beretta (MC), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.611
4. Stefan Mücke (D), Aston Martin Vantage, + 1.697
5. Richard Lietz (A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.779

GTE Am class
1. Dominik Farnbacher (D), Ferrari F458 Italia, 2:00.258 minutes
2. Niclas Jonsson (S), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 0.745 seconds
3. Pedro Lamy (P), Chevrolet Corvette, + 1.456
4. Paolo Ruberti (I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.603

American Le Mans Series
GT class
1. Jan Magnussen (DK), Chevrolet Corvette, 1:58.996 minutes
2. Oliver Gavin (GB), Chevrolet Corvette, + 0.011 seconds
3. Joey Hand (USA), BMW M3, + 1.031
4. Johannes van Overbeek (USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, + 1.098
5. Jörg Bergmeister (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 1.123
8. Wolf Henzler (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 2.636
9. Sascha Maassen (D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 3.154
10. Seth Neiman (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, + 8.358

GTC class
1. Sean Edwards (GB), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2:06.674 minutes
2. Damien Faulkner (IRL), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, +0.023 seconds
3. Leh Keen (USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, + 0.037


This is the World Endurance Championship
Sports prototypes and GT vehicles race in the new World Endurance Championship. They are divided into four classes that start together but are classified separately:
LMGTE Pro class: This class is reserved for slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
LMGTE Am class: Like the LMGTE Pro, but the regulations stipulate that there must be no more than one professional driver per vehicle.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with around 440 hp and a 900 kilogram minimum weight.

This is the American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was created in 1999 for sports prototypes and GT vehicles. At the season-opener in Sebring, the field is divided into five classes that start together but are classified separately:
GT class: This most popular class amongst car manufacturers traditionally receives the most support: Slightly modified standard sports cars with 440 to 500 hp and a minimum weight of 1,245 kilograms (e.g. Porsche 911 GT3 RSR).
GTC class: This class is reserved for vehicles from one-make race series like the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 550 hp and a minimum weight of 900 kilograms.
LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with ca. 440 hp and a 900 kg minimum weight.
LMPC class: Prototype brand trophy series for the ORECA FLM 09.