Porsche pilots keen to make headway in title fightSports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, round 6 in Shanghai/China – Preview GT
Stuttgart. Turning on to the finish straight of the season, the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC calendar picks up the pace for the final spurt. The final three six-hour races are contested within four weeks – with the Shanghai International Circuit hosting the first of these on 2 November. The Porsche Manthey team – winner of the season-opener at Silverstone – is strongly represented in China’s economic powerhouse, fielding a pair of Porsche 911 RSR racers in the intensely competitive GTE-Pro class. In the manufacturers’ classification, Porsche currently ranks second. After Shanghai, the WEC entourage then heads to Bahrain (15 November) and on to Sao Paulo for the season final on 30 November.
The Porsche drivers
Sharing the cockpit of the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR on the 5.451-kilometre Grand Prix circuit are works drivers Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria). Their French factory pilot colleagues Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet also contest the GTE-Pro class in the 470 hp number 92 car. Two customer teams tackle the GTE-Am class: Proton Competition with Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Prospeed Competition, both fielding the 911 RSR.
The Porsche 911 RSR
The Porsche 911 RSR campaigned in the Sports Car World Endurance Championship is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. At its race debut in 2013, the winning car from Weissach scored an emphatic double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For 2014, the vehicle received improvements in many areas. The 911 RSR also clinched victories at the long distance classics at Daytona and Sebring before going on to win the WEC season-opener at Silverstone.
The six-hour race on the Shanghai International Circuit takes off on Sunday, 2 November, at 11.00 hrs local time (04.00 hrs CET). TV station Eurosport airs the last 90 minutes of the race live from 08.30 hrs CET.
Comments before the race
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “We performed very well in Fuji recently and the 911 RSR ran without any problems. Still, we were unable to improve our position in the championship. With just three races left, this makes the fight for the title just that much harder. We’re well prepared heading into the final phase of the season. A challenging circuit awaits us at Shanghai, but we believe that our car and our tyres will work very well together there. This makes us very confident that we can go for victory.”
Jörg Bergmeister (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “I’m looking forward to returning to Shanghai. The circuit is very challenging and it’s great fun. Porsche has done very well there in the past. At my first race last year I came third, and Richard finished second two years ago. Perhaps this year we can win together.”
Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “In Fuji it was important for me to see whether my broken arm would be strong enough over the whole race distance. Now I’m looking forward to Shanghai. It will be a key race with Porsche focusing on getting ahead in the championship. We have to show that nothing is decided yet and we haven’t written off the manufacturers’ title.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “After our bad luck at Fuji where we became entangled in another competitor’s crash in the first corner, we now of course have a great deal to do in Shanghai. I’m convinced that our 911 RSR has good chances there and we can earn points for Porsche in the battle for the title.”
Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “We had to forget about the Fuji race after the accident at the start, but of course now the pressure is on at Shanghai. We must all do very well in qualifying and then play our strong cards in the race. The track suits us and the 911 RSR is definitely better than last year. This makes me very confident.”
The Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC
Sports prototypes and GT vehicles contest the WEC (Sports Car World Endurance Championship) in four classes: LMP1 (e.g. Porsche 919 Hybrid), LMP2, LMGTE-Pro (e.g. 911 RSR) and LMGTE-Am (e.g. 911 RSR). They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.
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