The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR have made a good start into the Le Mans 24 hour race. After the first five hours of the long distance classic on the Circuit des 24 Heures in the French Sarthe province, Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda are running in second place in the GTE Am class with Felbermayr-Proton’s 2011-spec 911. Nicolas Armindo, Raymond Narac and Anthony Pons improved their position thanks to a successful chase through the field to now rank fourth with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the IMSA Performance Matmut squad. After starting from pole position in their class and running at the front for quite some time, the 911 of Flying Lizard Motorsports piloted by Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet (France) and Americans Seth Neiman and Spencer Pumpelly left the track shortly before the five hour mark and fell back to eleventh place.
In the GTE Pro class, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Felbermayr-Proton, which recently celebrated its first win of the season at the World Endurance Championship in Spa, lies in fourth place. Sharing driving duties are Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Wolf Henzler (Germany). Their factory pilot colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Patrick Long (USA) and Marco Holzer (Germany) lost positions in the first race hour due to a broken shock absorber and tyre damage. They currently occupy position nine, seven laps behind the front-runners in their class.
Interim standings after five hours
GTE Pro class
1. Gavin/Milner/Westbrook (GB/USA/GB), Chevrolet Corvette, 74 laps
2. Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander (I/I/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, 74
3. Fernandez/Mücke/Turner (MEX/D/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 73
4. Lieb/Lietz/Henzler (D/A/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 73
9. Bergmeister/Long/Holzer (D/USA/D), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 67
GTE Am class
1. Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy (F/F/P), Chevrolet Corvette, 72 laps
2. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 72
3. Ehret/Montecalvo/Jeannette (D/USA/USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, 72
4. Armindo/Narac/Pons (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 72
11. Neiman/Pilet/Pumpelly (USA/F/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 67
This is the World Endurance Championship
Sports prototypes and GT vehicles contest the World Endurance Championship, for which double points are awarded in Le Mans. 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 only last year’s cars are eligible and 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.