Porsche pilots on the podium

porsche_gtepro_shanghaiA successful first outing in China for the Porsche 911 RSR. At the six-hour race on the Shanghai International Circuit, the penultimate round of the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC, Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) scored third place in the GTE-Pro class with the GT racer from Weissach fielded by Porsche AG Team Manthey. For the Porsche works drivers, this marked the fourth podium result of the season after Le Mans, Sao Paulo and Fuji. Their factory pilot colleagues Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) saw the flag in sixth at the wheel of the second 911 RSR.

The sports car race on the Formula 1 circuit in the megacity delivered gripping action to the flag. It was only shortly before the finish that Joerg Bergmeister managed to overtake the third-running Ferrari and defend this position over the last laps. No such happy end, however, for Le Mans winners Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz: After a strong qualifying performance, they headed into the race from a promising second grid row of the GT field, but ultimately had to settle for sixth place.

A keen observer of the race in Shanghai was gymnastics star and Porsche driver Marcel Nguyen. As a guest of Porsche AG Team Manthey, the double silver medallist from the 2012 Olympic Games watched the action from the pits, after previously having Marc Lieb give him a detailed explanation of the 911 RSR. Marcel Nguyen also enjoys huge popularity in China and signed just as many autographs before the race as the race drivers themselves.
Marco Ujhasi, Product Manager 911 RSR: “The race was just like the qualifying. The Aston Martins dominated again, behind them we battled hard with Ferrari for the podium spot. We certainly deserved to come out on top at the end. It was the best we could achieve on this track.”
Patrick Pilet (#91): “Third place is a good result. Joerg and I did everything we could and we drove a perfect race. We didn’t make the slightest mistake. It was really difficult with the tyres which deteriorated badly on this track. We lost five-tenths per lap in the final fast sector and it’s easy to calculate what that adds up to over 168 laps.
Joerg Bergmeister (#91): “We can be satisfied with third today. At the beginning of the race we experienced hefty handling problems, but with increasing grip and lower temperatures our car got better. Ultimately, we were able to match the pace of our rivals.”
Marc Lieb (#92): “When you start from position three and finish on sixth it’s of course rather disappointing. Early on in the race we were clearly not fast enough. But later it got better. It would be nice if everything ran perfectly at a race.”
Richard Lietz (#92): “We went really well in qualifying. Over four, five laps we were able to match the pace of the competition, but then we lost too much ground. The tyres deteriorated too much. Now we have to see if that was due to the set-up or the high temperatures. I’m sure that we’ll know this by Bahrain, draw our conclusions and then do better at the season finale.”
Marcel Nguyen (gymnastics star and Porsche driver): “It was a fantastic experience to witness such a race right up close from the pits. Most impressive were the pit stops and the sound of the engines. Before the start of the race, Marc Lieb explained everything about the Porsche 911 RSR to me and how a driver prepares for such a race. I really didn’t want to get out of this great car.”

The eighth and final round of the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC is held on 30 November in Sakhir (Bahrain).

Race result
GTE-Pro class
1. Turner/Mücke (GB/D), Aston Martin Vantage, 169 laps
2. Stanaway/Lamy/Senna (NZ/P/BRA), Aston Martin Vantage, 169
3. Bergmeister/Pilet (D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 168
4. Bruni/Fisichella (I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 168
5. Kobayashi/Vilander (J/SF), Ferrari F458 Italia, 167
6. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 167

GTE-Am class
1. Potolicchio/Aguas/Rigon (I/P/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 166 laps
2. Narac/Vernay/Palttala (F/F/SF), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 165
3. Hall/Campbell-Walter/Adam (GB/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 165
4. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 165
5. Bornhauser/Canal/Rees (F/F/BRA), Chevrolet Corvette, 164
6. Gerber/Griffin/Gioci (ZA/IRL/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 164

Points standings after 7 of 8 races
World Cup for Manufacturers GTE
1. Aston Martin, 232.5 points
2. Ferrari, 215
3. Porsche, 199.5

World Endurance Cup for GT drivers
1. Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke (Aston Martin), 125.5 points
2. Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni (Ferrari), 120
3. Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz (Porsche), 110
4. Bruno Senna (Aston Martin), 94
5. Kamui Kobayashi, Toni Vilander (Ferrari), 83
6. Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet (Porsche), 81.5

FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE-Am drivers
1. Jamie Campbell-Walter, Stuart Hall (Aston Martin), 119 points
2. Jean-Karl Vernay, Raymond Narac (Porsche), 114
3. Rui Aguas, Vicente Potolicchio (Ferrari), 110
4. Julien Canal, Patrick Bornhauser (Chevrolet), 85
5. Christoffer Nygaard, Kristian Poulsen (Aston Martin), 78.5
6. Christian Ried, Paolo Ruberti, Gianluca Roda (Porsche), 76.5

FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE-Pro teams
1. Aston Martin Racing (Aston Martin), 128.5 points
2. AF Corse (Ferrari), 120
3. Porsche AG Team Manthey (Porsche), 113

FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE-Am teams
1. Aston Martin Racing (Aston Martin), 123 points
2. 8 Star Motorsports (Ferrari), 118
3. IMSA Performance Matmut (Porsche), 114
4. Larbre Competition (Chevrolet), 91
5. Proton Competition (Porsche), 84.5

(Text: Porsche/Image: Porsche)