you're reading...

Ready to Roar: Porsche GT Team Returns to Daytona for Rolex 24 Test

The Roar Before the Rolex 24 is the first true opportunity of the new season for the Porsche GT Team to compare themselves to other programs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. The January 5 – 7 test session at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) mandates cars run to full IMSA regulations and, therefore, there is little hiding what each manufacturer brings to the table for the most competitive GT racing series in the world.

The traditional benefit of the test on the 3.56-mile track, which utilizes both the famous oval and its infield road course, is the head-to-head comparison and preparation for the 24-hour classic. However, in 2018, the stakes are even greater as a qualifying session on the final day of the pre-season event will set the garage and pit lane locations for each team when the competitors’ return for the 56th Running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27 – 28. The site in which you prepare – or make repairs – and make any of the nearly two-dozen pit stops at the IMSA opener can have a major impact on your finishing position. Therefore, this qualifying session can have a direct impact on a team’s final finishing position for the race itself.

Porsche’s factory program returns to the Rolex 24 – where it finished in second-place last season in the car’s international competition debut – with two 911 RSRs: Nos. 911 and 912. The pair of innovative 911s – which has the 510-horsepower flat-six normally aspirated engine positioned ahead of the rear-axle – has an all-star driver lineup of six Porsche factory aces. Sharing the No. 911 will be 2015 Le Mans victor Nick Tandy (Great Britain) in his full-time return to IMSA competition with 2017 IMSA Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup champion Patrick Pilet (France). Frédéric Makowiecki (France) will round out the team in the endurance events beginning here at Daytona. Two-time Le Mans winner (2015, 2017) and 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMP1 champion Earl Bamber (New Zealand) makes his return to the No. 912 with Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) for the season. Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) will reprise his role in the car but only at the long-distance events.

All six “works” drivers have experience at Daytona. Pilet and Makowiecki finished on the podium in the No. 911 at DIS last January. Pilet and Tandy teamed in the No. 911 to take the Rolex 24 GTLM victory in 2014.

Michael Harvey, Team Manager, Porsche GT Team.

“We are very optimistic heading to the ROAR. As always, the importance of this test cannot be under estimated as we head into a new season. Daytona is a very unique event with challenges not seen elsewhere so it really is a great way to test man and machine straight out of the gate. This year, IMSA has adjusted the format a little to include a qualifying session on Sunday to determine pit and garage allocations for the race. This alters our strategy a little, although our focus remains completely on winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona.”

GTD Roar. Porsche Customer Teams Test For Opening IMSA Daytona Round.

The GT Daytona (GTD) class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship remains one of the most hotly contested GT3-specification categories around the globe. In 2018, eight different manufacturers will contend for top-honors in the Pro-Am style class. Three Porsche customer programs will bring the 911 GT3 R to the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway (DIS) to test the road car-based entry during the three day Roar Before the Rolex 24, January 5 – 7.

The No. 58 Wright Motorsports 911 GT3 R might be new to the IMSA GTD class but is far from an endurance racing novice. Wright, who won the Pirelli World Challenge Overall and Sprint GT Championships with Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) in 2017, has an extensive history of preparing endurance race winners. Team principal John Wright has brought together an impressive driver lineup of Long, North America’s only Porsche works driver, and Christina Nielsen (Denmark), announced as a Porsche Select Driver for 2018. Nielsen is a two-time defending champion of the class. Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France) and 2016 Porsche Cup winner – 2017 runner-up – Robert Renauer (Germany) will join the two full-time aces when the series opens with the Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27 – 28.

Manthey Racing returns to Daytona for the second year with the No. 59 Porsche 911 GT3 R. The team is closely connected to the German marque in Europe and took on the Daytona challenge for the first time in 2017. This year they return with vital information added to their database and a strong driver lineup that includes Porsche factory driver Sven Müller (Germany). Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (France), Steve Smith (Germany) and Harald Proczyk (Austria) are entered to join Müller.

The final Porsche customer is one of its strongest GTD competitors since the creation of the class in 2014. Park Place Motorsports brings its No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 R with multi-year driving partners Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California). Bergmeister, one of Porsche’s most successful factory drivers, is a three-time winner of the Rolex 24 including the overall title in 2003. The pairing won the class at Lime Rock Park in 2017. Longtime Porsche customer driver Timothy Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts) is the third driver in the car backed by the largest Porsche dealer in Texas.

Wright Team.  Jaminet and Renauer Complete No. 58 Rolex 24 Lineup.

Wright Motorsports has confirmed the addition of German standout, Robert Renauer (Jedenhofen, Germany) and Porsche Young Professional, Mathieu Jaminet (Woippy, France) for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. The two will join the full-season driver pairing of Porsche Factory Driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and Porsche Select Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark) in the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R entry for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Jaminet, one of four Porsche Young Professional drivers, will team up with the Ohio-based squad for his first Rolex 24. A graduate of the Porsche Junior program, Jaminet holds the 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup France title. The Frenchman also carries a vast amount of Porsche 911 GT3 R experience, having spent the last year driving the car to success in the ADAC GT Masters series, the Blancpain GT series, the Nürburgring 24 and the Pirelli World Challenge.

Though new to Daytona, Jaminet took part in two IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events in 2017. The 23-year old made his mark after turning the fastest race lap in both events and claiming the pole position in his series debut at Circuit of the Americas.

A veteran of Porsche competition, Renauer will bring a wealth of experience to Wright Motorsports for his fourth Rolex 24. Hailing from Germany, the 32-year-old has seen victories driving Porsche 911 machinery across multiple platforms. His résumé includes stops in ADAC GT Masters, the VLN 24 Hour Series, the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Blancpain GT Series. Amongst his accomplishments, Renauer is also the winner of the 2016 Porsche Cup, an award designated annually to the most successful privateer Porsche driver, and was runner-up for the prestigious award in 2017.

Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“I am very excited to take the start of my first ever Rolex 24. My dream has always been to win this race one day. I know that Wright Motorsports is a very talented race team and I’ll have top drivers at my side. I’m sure that we will be able to fight for a successful result in the front, but like every 24-hour race, especially Daytona, you never know what can happen. I can’t wait to go on track!”

Robert Renauer, Driver, No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

“I’m very proud to be teaming up with Wright Motorsports. I followed the Pirelli World Challenge last year and saw how successful the team was with Porsche and Patrick Long. I’m really looking forward to driving for what I consider to be one of the most successful Porsche teams in the US.

“It’s also amazing to be able to share a racecar with two of last year’s champions. I drove against Patrick in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany when he became a Porsche Junior driver in 2003 and against Christina in 2013 when she participated in the ADAC GT Masters. I’m excited to get started.”

Porsche Entries at Daytona International Speedway.

A total of 10 Porsche Motorsport-built race cars across two series – the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series and IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge – are entered to test at Daytona International Speedway this weekend.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Total Car Count: Five (5) Porsche entries will test for the Rolex 24 in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship at the ROAR Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

GTLM Class – Two (2) Porsche 911 RSR

No. 911 Porsche GT Team

Patrick Pilet (France)/Nick Tandy (Great Britain)/ Frédéric Makowiecki (France)

No. 912 Porsche GT Team

Earl Bamber (New Zealand)/ Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium)/ Gianmaria Bruni (Italy)

GTD Class – Three (3) Porsche 911 GT3 R

No. 58 Wright Motorsports

Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California)/ Christina Nielsen (Denmark)/ Mathieu Jaminet (France)/ Robert Renauer (Germany)

No. 59 Manthey Racing

Sven Müller (Germany)/ Matteo Cairoli (France)/ Steve Smith (Germany)/ Harald Proczyk (Austria)

No. 73 Park Place Motorsports

Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)/ Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California)/ Tim Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts)

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge

Total Car Count: Five (5) Porsche Motorsport-produced entries will be competing in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge test at Daytona International Speedway.

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR

No. 4 Team TGM

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
Ted Giovanis (Highland, Maryland)/ Hugh Plumb (Unionville, Pennsylvania)/ Guy Cosmo (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida)

No. 5 Bodymotion Racing

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
Stevan McAleer (Monticello, New York)/ Joe Robillard (Short Hills, New Jersey)

No. 18 RS1

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia)/ TBD/ TBD

No. 28 RS1

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
Dillon Machavern (Burlington, Vermont)/ TBD/ TBD

No. 38 BGB Motorsports

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
James Cox (Nokomis, Florida)/ John Tecce (Gladwyne, Pennsylvania)

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Event: Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway

Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida

Date: Friday – Sunday, January 5 – 7, 2018

Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn

Race Duration: Official Test Session

Class: GTLM (Porsche 911 RSR) GTD (Porsche 911 GT3 R)

Round: GTLM. NA


Next Round: 56th Running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway,
January 27 – 28, 2018

IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge

Event: Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway

Dateline: Daytona Beach, Florida

Date: Friday – Sunday, January 5 – 7, 2018

Track Length: 3.56-miles, 12-turn

Race Duration: Official Test Session

Class: GS (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR)

Round: GS

Next Round: BMW Endurance Challenge At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway, January 26, 2018

Source. Porsche


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: