Porsche Motorsport around the worldNewsletter May 2009
This Newsletter regularly provides information on Porsche Motorsport around the world. More detailed information and additional photographs are available for accredited journalists from the international Porsche press database at presse.porsche.de.
FIA GT Championship Silverstone: Win for Collard and Westbrook
Porsche sports car ace Richard Westbrook, from London, and Emmanuel Collard turned their seventh place in qualifying into a clear victory at the first round of the FIA GT Championship in Silverstone (May 3) at the wheel of a 911 GT3 RSR of Prospeed Competition. The former Porsche juniors gave an impressive debut in the FIA GT; sixth for Marco Holzer in the second Prospeed Porsche, and eighth for Martin Ragginger after posting the second quickest time in qualifying with his BMS Scuderia Italia 911 GT3 RSR.
BF Goodrich Long Distance Championship: Two more Porsche victories
With an advantage of less than a second after four hours of racing, Marc Lieb and Marcel Tiemann won round three of the BF Goodrich Long Distance Championship Nürburgring (May 2) in a Manthey Racing 911 GT3 RSR. Thanks to this success, Tiemann now leads the Driver’s Championship. A Porsche team had already celebrated success at race two on April 18. Lance David Arnold and Christian Mamerow claimed the first win for a GT3 class homologated race vehicle with a 911 GT3 Cup S entered by Mamerow Racing. Marcel Tiemann and Romain Dumas took the flag in third.
International GT Open: Richard Lietz in hot pursuit
With 27 competitors, the International GT Open roared into the new season on April 18 in Imola (Italy). Raymond Narac and works driver Patrick Pilet claimed second in an IMSA Performance Matmut GT3 RSR ahead of Gianluca Roda and works driver Richard Lietz in third. For the spectators, Leitz was the hero of the day: The Austrian lost 35 seconds when his car didn’t restart after refuelling, but with one lap record after another he brought home a podium result.
German Rally Championship: First Porsche win in 26 years
Olaf Dobberkau and co-driver Alexandra Koenig won the Rally of Saxony, the fourth round of the German Rally Championship, with their Porsche 911 GT3. This was the first Porsche victory after 26 years in the German Rally Championship, which is usually dominated by four-wheel-drive cars.
Japanese Super GT: Win for Hankook-Porsche in Suzuka
The first victory of 2009 in the Japanese Super GT Championship was scored by Mitsuhiro Kinoshita and Masami Kageyam, who took off into the second round in Suzuka (April 19) from pole position with their Hankook 911 GT3 RS and crossed the finish line after 300 kilometres three seconds ahead of the second-placed car. At round three - a 400 kilometre race in Fuji (May 4) - last year’s winning team, UP Start Taisan, ranked fourth as the best Porsche driven by Haruki Kurosawa and Tsubasa Abe.
Belgian GT Championship: Second place for Verbist and Longin
Francois Verbist and Bert Longin concluded the first round of the Belgian GT Championship in Zolder in second place with their 911 GT3 Cup S run by First Motorsport. However, at the second 60-minute race of the weekend (April 25/26) the Belgian duo experienced bad luck; eighth after a drive-through penalty.
SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT: Second race, second Porsche win
James Sofronas from Newport Beach won the second of ten races of the SCCA Pro Racing Speed GT in Long Beach (USA, April 18) with the 911 GT3 of the Global Motorsports Group. After two wins from two races, Porsche leads the Manufacturers’ classification.
Porsche leads in the Grand-Am: After third place on the Virginia International Raceway (April 25) and fourth at the race in Millville, New Jersey (May 3), Brumos Racing pilots David Donohue and Darren Law lead the Drivers’ classification for Daytona Prototypes. In the GT class, Dirk Werner and Leh Keen lead in Farnbacher Loles Racing’s 911 GT3 Cup Grand-Am.
In Long Beach/California, Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long extended their GT2 class lead in a 911 GT3 RSR of Flying Lizard Motorsports after clinching their second win at the third round of the American Le Mans Series (April 18).
In preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Japanese NAVI Team Goh conducted tests in Fuji in the third week of April with a 440 bhp Porsche RS Spyder piloted by Seiji Ara, Keisuke Kunimoto and works driver Sascha Maassen.
One-make race series
The season takes off for eight Porsche brand trophy series on three continents:
The Porsche Mobil1 Supercup raced as support to Formula 1 in Bahrain, where reigning champion Jeroen Bleekemolen celebrated light-to-flag wins (April 25/26). At the third round in Barcelona (May 10) Briton Richard Westbrook beat Bleekemolen, who still retains a clear points’ lead.
Season kick-off for the Carrera Cup Asia at the Formula 1 in Shanghai. Tim Sugden won race one (April 18) in a Gruppe M Motorsport Porsche ahead of Christian Menzel. In the second race (April 19) Menzel dominated in the 911 GT3 Cup of the Star Chase team in front of Sugden. Rodolfo Avila from Macau turned heads when he set pole position and claimed third place twice at his first ever Porsche races.
Kevin Estre (Graff Racing), the reigning junior champion, won round one of the Carrera Cup France in Nogaro on April 12. Renaud Derlot dominated the second race in his 911 GT3 Cup run by IMSA Performance Matmut. Derlot travels to the next round in Dijon as points’ leader.
For races three and four (April 26), the Carrera Cup Great Britain travelled to Thruxton in Hampshire. On the swiftest track of the year, Tim Harvey (Oxford) narrowly beat Michael Caine (Newmarket) and Tim Bridgman (Stansted, Essex). Michael Caine joined the winners’ ranks after the fourth race, with Harvey and Bridgman finishing second and third. The Championship visits Donington Park in Leicestershire for rounds five and six on May 16/17.
Imola hosted the first two races (April 18/19) of the Carrera Cup Italia, where Alessandro Balzan (Ebimotors) won the opening round. Round two went to Stefano Comandini with a light-to-flag win.
A gripping opening round of the Carrera Cup Japan in Okayama (April 25/26). In the final lap of qualifying, Y. Shimuzu secured pole position and used it to claim wins at both races.
Points’ leader Constantino Júnior won rounds three and four of the GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil on April 18 and 19 on the Interlagos Grand Prix track near Sao Paulo.
The Nürburgring hosted the inaugural round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Deutschland on the last weekend in April. From second on the grid, Swen Dolenc outpaced pole-setter Stefan Wendt and defended his position until the flag.