The joint IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) weekend at Sebring International Raceway, March 14 – 16, will see the single largest gathering of Porsche 911 RSRs in North America. Eight of the third-year 911-based race cars will contest three classes across Friday’s 1,000-miles of Sebring WEC race and Saturday’s headlining 67th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. With the addition of the Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Pro-Am style GTD class of the WeatherTech Championship in the 12-Hours, the German-brand will have eleven opportunities to add to its record-setting career tally of class victories on the iconic 3.74-mile race course.
In its unprecedented 65-consecutive starts in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Porsche has earned 89 victories – 56 more than its nearest rival – including a record 18-overall wins and 71 class titles. This year, eleven Porsche 911-based race cars will contest four different classes in the two separate endurance events, by far the largest number of entries of any manufacturer contesting the two major enduros.
Friday, March 15, will see the WEC’s first appearance at Sebring since it shared the track with IMSA’s top race in 2012. This will be the only stop for the WEC in the United States this season. The sixth-round of the eight-race “Super Season” will see two Porsche 911 RSR “works” cars in the LMGTE-Pro class (Nos. 91 and 92) carrying the traditional corporate red and black markings on a white-base. The No. 92 of Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France) currently lead the Driver, Team and Manufacturer standings in the GTE-Pro category. The No. 91 of Richard Lietz (Austria) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) find themselves in third-place in the title chase which will end at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 15 – 16. Four of the mid-engine 911s are also in the LMGTE-Am category. Leading the way in the Pro-Am style class is the current championship-leading Team Project 1 Porsche with Santa Barbara, California’s Patrick Lindsey, factory driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Norway’s Egidio Perfetti racing the No. 56. The Nos. 77 and 88 entered by Dempsey-Proton Racing and the No. 86 Gulf Racing car fill-out the category.
Saturday’s classic Sebring event will see Porsche with five opportunities to pad the 12-Hours’ record book. Two Porsche 911 RSR are entered in the WeatherTech GTLM class. The pair of Porsche GT Team factory cars will carry the same retro Brumos Racing commemorative liveries they did at the IMSA season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January where the No. 912 of Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) took a third-place finish. The No. 911 team car will be shared by 2018 Sebring GTLM class winners Patrick Pilet (France), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France).
The three remaining Porsche customer entries will be the GTD class 911 GT3 Rs. The No. 9 PFAFF Motorsports entry has been readied to continue its rookie IMSA season after a race-ending accident in the rain at Daytona. The No. 73 Park Place Motorsports car – the highest finishing 911 GT3 R at Daytona – continues its full-season assault on the class while the No. 99 Via Italia Racing machine will again be fielded in conjunction with NGT Motorsports.
The World Endurance Championship makes its return to Florida with a Friday, March 15 start at 4:00 p.m. ET. The 1,000-mile race is expected to take the checkered flag before midnight. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will take the green flag at 10:40 a.m. ET start on Saturday, March 16.