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Porsche - New year, new start

New year, new start

This year’s World Endurance Championship (WEC) season is now under way. Here’s an overview of the most important facts.

Superlatives

The highest speeds are reached on the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans. In 2014, the Porsche 919 Hybrid did approximately 335 km/h there. Second place goes to the long straightaway on the track in Fuji, where our prototype reached 320 km/h. Third place goes to Spa-Francorchamps. If the Eau Rouge dip can be driven at full throttle in dry conditions, the Porsche LMP1 will hit 310 km/h in the Ardennes.

By comparison: For the Porsche 911 RSR, the top values of the season at these locations were 295 km/h, 268 km/h, and 265 km/h. In light of such differences in speed, looking out for other cars is an absolute must.

Driver team

Not only in the top class LMP1, but also in the GT class, Porsche is once again fielding a factory team. The Porsche Team Manthey 2015 will be starting with different drivers in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans.

At the opening race at Silverstone on April 12, Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Richard Lietz (Austria) will be sharing the 911 RSR with starting number 91. In the second 911 RSR with starting number 92, Frenchmen Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet will alternate in the cockpit as they did in the second half of the 2014 season. At Le Mans, Wolf Henzler (Germany) in car 92 and Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) in car 91 will join as the third drivers.

Starter field

The FIA World Endurance Championship will field a record 35 cars in 2015. In the top category LMP1, with the entry of Nissan there are now eleven prototypes registered for the entire season. Beyond the two Porsche 919 Hybrids, there are two cars each from Audi, Nissan, Rebellion, and Toyota, as well as a private prototype from the Austrian team ByKolles, formerly Lotus. At Spa and Le Mans, the competition will be stiffer yet, with Porsche, Audi, and Nissan all fielding a third car. At Le Mans, the maximum number is always 56 entrants.

In the second prototype class, LMP2, twenty cars have registered for Le Mans, but only half of them will compete in the other seven WEC races.

The GT class is broken down into professionals and amateurs, i. e., factory teams and private teams. In the LMGTE Pro class, the two Porsche 911 RSRs will face fierce competition from three Aston Martins and two Ferraris, as well as two Corvettes at Le Mans. The LMGTE Am class counts thirteen cars at Le Mans, and seven at the other WEC races.

Savings program

Notwithstanding the desire for unrestricted freedom in the rules, some limitations were brought in for the 2015 season to keep costs under control. First and foremost, a maximum of five engines per season will be allowed in the LMP1 class. This rule ensures that no one will get the notion to develop special engines for the shorter races or for qualifying.

Also for cost reasons, the number of allowed test days was reduced and a maximum number of team members will be allowed on the track.

Dates: 2015

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1 6 Hours of Silverstone - April 12
2 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps - May 2
3 24 Hours of Le Mans - June 13/14
4 6 Hours of Nürburgring - August 30
5 6 Hours of Austin - September 19
6 6 Hours of Fuji - October 11
7 6 Hours of Shanghai - November 1
8 6 Hours of Bahrain - November 21