• Daunting Debut. Porsche 911 RSR-19 to Make North American Race Premiere in Daytona. • Perfect Timing. Porsche GT Team Announces TAG Heuer Watch Partner for 2020. • Chile Weekend. TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Out of Luck Early in Santiago.
Event Story Lines.
Daunting Debut. Porsche 911 RSR-19 to Make North American Race Premiere in Daytona.
The new Porsche 911 RSR race car, designated as 911 RSR-19 for its 2019 unveiling, readies for its first competition run in North America at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The January 25 – 26 race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida is the season-opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The two 515-hp, 2019-generation GT racers are set to run in the professional GTLM class by the Porsche factory team’s North America arm.. IMSA’s 2020 season begins at the most challenging race on their schedule, 24-hours of racing on the 3.56-mile high-speed road course and high-banked oval. Porsche looks to defend its 2019 manufacturers’, drivers’ and team championships with a strong start. The marque is also well represented in the Pro-Am style GTD class with three programs running the customer-specific Porsche 911 GT3 R race car.
The Porsche 911 RSR-19 flagship race car has already made a successful debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), securing two, one-two finishes and three pole positions in four races.
At the 911 RSR-19’s first public appearance on this continent, during the three-day official IMSA test known as the “ROAR Before the Rolex 24” earlier this month, the new Porsche showed well running at or near the top of the timesheets of the world’s most intensely competitive GT series. Led by all-factory driver lineups, the No. 911 Porsche GT Team cockpit is shared by full-season drivers Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) with Matt Campbell (Australia) joining for the endurance races. In the identical number 912, 2019 IMSA GTLM Drivers Champions Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) have Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet as their third.
The GTD class brings the best GT3-category cars of the world together to compete in a Pro-Am style competition with factory drivers being joined by less experienced drivers. Pfaff Motorsports enters drivers Dennis Olsen (Norway) and Zach Robichon (Canada) in the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R. In 2019, the successful duo scored the maiden GTD-class win for Pfaff in the WeatherTech Championship at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. Porsche development driver Lars Kern (Germany) and Porsche “works” driver Patrick Pilet (France) round out the line-up. After winning three-times in the GTLM class in 2019 with the Porsche factory squad, Pilet is making his GTD class debut at Daytona. Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) joins forces with Ryan Hardwick (Atlanta, Georgia) and Anthony Imperato (Brooklyn, New York) at the wheel of Wright Motorsports’ No.16 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Porsche specialist Klaus Bachler (Austria) supports the team as the fourth driver. Daytona starts a season-long celebration of 20-years of competition for the John Wright-owned team. The No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 R campaigned by Black Swan Racing tackles the season-opener with Porsche works driver Sven Müller (Germany), Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) and two Americans: owner/driver Timothy Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts) and 2018 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama champion Trenton Estep (San Antonio, Texas).
Porsche is the most successful sports car manufacturer at Daytona. The German marque has notched 18 overall wins as a constructor and four more as an engine partner. The impressive track record also includes 78 class victories. With five overall victories and one class win, American racing legend Hurley Haywood (St. Augustine, Florida) is tied for the most Rolex 24 Hour wins; all in a Porsche.
The Porsche 911 RSR-19 produces approximately 515 hp depending on the series mandated air restrictor. The race car is based on the high-performance 911 GT3 RS road-going sports car. Compared to its extremely successful predecessor model, the car received improvements, most notably to areas such as drivability, efficiency, ergonomics and serviceability. 95 percent of all components are new. A 4.2-liter, six-cylinder, normally aspirated boxer/”flat” engine powers the 911 RSR-19.
Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport.
“The new Porsche 911 RSR makes its US debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona. With two one-two results and three pole positions, the new racing-911 has already impressively underlined its huge potential in the FIA WEC. We now want to build on these successes at the start of the North American season and win the long-distance classic in Florida.”
Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19.
“I’m looking forward to kicking off the North American season at Daytona with the new Porsche 911 RSR. I want to climb to the very top of the podium there. The Daytona International Speedway is one of my favorite circuits. The track layout is special and I’m expecting a close and exciting race.”
Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19.
“The Daytona 24-hour race is one of the most important endurance events in the world – a high-speed circuit with long full-throttle passages. We started from pole position last year but were unable to defend our spot in wet conditions during the race. We want to do better this year and achieve a good result at our first US outing with the new Porsche 911 RSR. I have two fast teammates with Nick and Matt. Combined with our team and the new 911, we have a perfect package. We have to quickly find our rhythm, then we can go for victory.”
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19.
“To contest my first race as a Porsche works driver at Daytona and compete in a team with Nick and Frédéric is a huge step in my career. I hope to learn a lot from these two seasoned drivers and be amongst the frontrunners with them at the famous Daytona 24 Hours.”
Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19.
“I’m looking forward to the start of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. Laurens and I achieved great results in the series last year and won the drivers’ championship. We now want to defend that. We are keen to make our intention clear right from the outset with a good result at Daytona.”
Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19.
“Daytona is a really important race for me. I’ve always dreamed of winning the four major 24-hour classics: Le Mans, Spa-Francorchamps, Nürburgring and Daytona. I’ve achieved the first three, just Daytona is missing. We were close last year with third-place, but this time we want to win. Another goal this season is to defend the championship title with Earl. A win at Daytona would be the perfect start to the season.”
Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19.
“It’s a great feeling to open the US season at Daytona with the title defenders Earl and Laurens. It’s my second time at this prestigious race. The new Porsche 911 RSR has already underlined its huge potential in the FIA WEC, we’re definitely one of the favorites and want to fight for victory at Daytona.”
Patrick Pilet, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Daytona is a very special racetrack with a combination of steeply banked curves and a tight infield. Anything can happen here, but with our strong driver crew and experienced team we can be at the forefront. I’d like to kick off the 2020 racing season successfully and bring home my first win in the competitive GTD class.”
Patrick Long, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“The competition in the GTD class is brutal. We prepared ourselves well at the official “Roar” test and the team is feeling highly motivated. I’m looking forward to contesting the new season with Wright Motorsports. Our strategy for Daytona is to survive the night and when the sun comes up go for victory. We have a strong crew in our cockpit and we’ll push hard.”
Sven Müller, No. 54 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Daytona has always been a highlight at the start of the season. My drive for Black Swan Racing came at late notice, so I’m really thrilled to be there and put in a strong drive with a super team and great teammates.”
Perfect Timing. Porsche GT Team Announces TAG Heuer Watch Partner for 2020.
The Porsche GT Team will have a new partner TAG Heuer for the 2020 race season. The collaboration with the Swiss luxury watchmaker will run for several years. Both manufacturers can look back on many joint successes in motor racing including the legendary “TAG-Turbo made by Porsche” engine program. The high-horsepower turbocharged Porsche engine powered McLaren Formula 1 cars in the 1980s and won two constructors’ world championships (1984 and 1985) as well as three drivers’ world championship titles (1984 – 1986). TAG Heuer has been the title and timing partner of the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E team since 2019.
Chile Weekend. TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Out of Luck Early in Santiago.
After a strong podium finish at the season-opening round in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team was denied another top result in the third race of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 season in Santiago (Chile). The No. 18 Porsche 99X Electric of Neel Jani (Switzerland) was forced to retire from the January 18 race after just a few laps. Teammate André Lotterer (Germany) crossed the finishing line at the Santiago E-Prix in 22nd-place in his No. 36 Porsche 99X Electric, but was later disqualified having exceeded the maximum permitted energy amount.
Having started the race twelfth on the grid, Jani was involved in a racing accident through no fault of his own on the first lap and had to pit for repairs. He was able to return to the 1.42-mile (2.287-km) street circuit, but the damage to his car was too severe to continue racing. Lotterer had qualified in 14th-place but was involved in an incident in the race and also had to make a pit stop for repairs. He did manage to continue gaining valuable development laps for the new team and race car.
Following the race in Chile, Lotterer is in ninth-place in the drivers’ standings; Neel Jani is currently in 23rd-position. After three races, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is ninth in the team standings. The fourth race of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 will take place on February 15, 2020 in Mexico City.
Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E.
“It was one of those difficult Formula E races with a few incidents. Unfortunately, the opening phase saw one of our cars damaged so severely that we had to make an early stop. Thanks to some great work from our mechanics, André was able to rejoin the race. It was an unlucky day for us, however moments like this are part of motorsport. Despite the result, there are some positive aspects, as the pace was there. We will go back on the attack in Mexico.”
Neel Jani, Driver, No. 18 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric.
“We certainly had the potential to score some points. However, at the end of the first lap I was hit by another car as I turned in, which pushed me into the car next to me. That broke the front suspension on my car. Now we are looking ahead. If we continue to work hard until the next race we have a good chance of being competitive again. I remain positive despite the result. I only missed out on Super Pole by 0.15-seconds. We want to build on that in Mexico.”
André Lotterer, Driver, No. 36 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric.
“Unfortunately, the race finished early for me and Neel after our collisions. It's a shame but it's part of racing sometimes. Starting the race from 14th-place means that it can get a bit chaotic in the middle of the field. It was important that we were able to repair the car and return to the track. That allowed us to chalk us some more kilometers, to help us take another step forward in the next race.”
Porsche GT Team (North America). @PorscheNARacing
Porsche Motorsport – GT Cars. @PorscheRaces
Porsche Racing. @PorscheTeam
Porsche Motorsport North America. @PorscheMotorsportNorthAmerica (Instagram)
Porsche Formula E. @PorscheFormulaE (Twitter)
@porsche.formulae (Instagram) Porsche Newsroom. @PorscheNewsroom (Twitter)
Porsche 99X Electric. #99XElectric
Porsche 911 RSR. #911RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R. #911GT3R
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. #911Cup
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. #GT4Clubsport
Porsche 935. #Porsche935
Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport. #GT2RSClubsport
Rolex 24 At Daytona #Rolex24
Series Hashtags and Handles.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3Canada
Pirelli Trophy West USA. @PirelliTrophy (Twitter)
@PirelliTrophyWestUSA (Instagram) IMSA @IMSA
SRO America @SROAmerica
SRO GT4 America #GT4America
FIA World Endurance Championship. @FIAWEC
Intercontinental GT Challenge. @IntercontGTC
FIA ABB Formula E Championship. @FIAFormulaE