On the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the legendary race track in the Ardennes, the sports car World Endurance Championship (WEC) heads into round two. For the race in Belgium, the Porsche AG Team Manthey factory squad fields two Porsche 911 RSR under the direction of Olaf Manthey. The new GT racer from Weissach celebrated its successful race debut at the season-opener in Silverstone.
The Porsche drivers
At the wheel of the #91 Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Pilet (France) and Timo Bernhard (Germany) contest the GTE-Pro class. Sharing the cockpit of the number 92 vehicle are their works driver colleagues Marc Lieb (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Romain Dumas (France). In the GTE-Am class, two customer teams run the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from last year: Driving for Proton Competition are Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda, with the all-French line-up of Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret and Jean-Karl Vernay racing for IMSA Performance Matmut.
The Porsche 911 RSR
The Porsche 911 RSR delivers 470 hp and is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. As the successor to the winning 911 GT3 RSR, with which Porsche customers scored many victories and title wins since 2004, it is characterised by consequent lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics. The look is dominated by the flared mudguards and the deep cooling air intakes at the front. The exceptional vehicle styling honours the anniversary “50 years of the 911”.
The six hour race takes off on Saturday, 4th May, at 14.30 hours. Eurosport broadcasts the last hour of the race live from 19.30 hours. The race can be viewed live in full length on the internet website www.fiawec.com.
Comments before the race
Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “After the successful debut in Silverstone we are hoping to make another step forward in Spa with the 911 RSR. The track is interesting and very challenging for the drivers. The weather is usually very changeable and this plays an important role.”
Joerg Bergmeister (# 91): “Spa is virtually a home race for me. A good hour in the car and I’m there. I’m feeling very confident and hope for our first podium result with the new 911 RSR.”
Patrick Pilet (# 91): “Spa is one of the most beautiful race tracks in the world. I’m looking forward to racing the 911 RSR there. The vehicle is good in fast corners and Spa has plenty of those.”
Timo Bernhard (# 91): “As we saw at the first race in Silverstone, the 911 RSR has a really good basis and this gives us confidence. Driving in Spa is always a huge challenge.”
Marc Lieb (# 92): “Spa is super cool, it’s my absolute favourite race track. I look forward to this race the whole year. And with our new car it’s certain to be even more fun.”
Richard Lietz (# 92): “The many fast corners should suit our car. Marc feels right at home on this track, so I’m sure we’ll do well in qualifying. In the race, we have our sights set on a podium spot.”
Romain Dumas (# 92): “Whether the track is dry or wet – Spa is something very special. For the new 911 RSR, this race is the final rehearsal for its first Le Mans campaign.”
The World Endurance Championship
In the World Endurance Championship, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.