PORSCHE Digital Presskit

PORSCHE Digital Presskit

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

The most important sports car racing series in North America has a new name: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In other respects too, interesting changes have been initiated in the series formerly known as the Tudor United SportsCar Championship, which was created from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Series: While the successful Porsche 911 RSR returns to defend the GTLM class title, the new Porsche 911 GT3 R will race for GTD class honours in its maiden season in the USA and Canada.

In 2015, Porsche won all championship titles for manufacturers, drivers and teams with the 911 RSR in the GTLM class. Now, the Porsche North America squad is determined to continue their winning ways this year. The outfit again fields two 911 RSR, which have received significant modifications for the 2016 season in accordance with the new regulations. Sharing the cockpit of the #911 contender is the reigning GT Champion Patrick Pilet and Le Mans outright winner Nick Tandy. Kévin Estre supports the pair at the four long distance classics at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans. The regular crew in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR are Frédéric Makowiecki and Le Mans overall winner Earl Bamber. For the endurance events, Michael Christensen joins them as the third driver.

In the GTD class, which is run this season under the universal FIA GT3 regulations, Porsche sends its factory squad to field the new 911 GT3 R racers at Daytona and Sebring. Customer teams such as Alex Job Racing will contest other races with the new customer racer from Weissach.

The races in Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen as well as Petit Le Mans again count towards the North American Endurance Championship. In 2014, Porsche also secured the manufacturers’, drivers’ and team titles in the GTLM class of this championship.

140,000 fans at Sebring

The enthusiasm of American motor racing fans for sports car racing is unwavering. With classics such as the 24 Hours at Daytona, the Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans, as well as tradition-steeped circuits like Watkins Glen and Road America, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the most important sports car racing series on the North American continent, which is the most important sports car market for Porsche in the world. Last year, around 140,000 fans made the pilgrimage to Sebring. The Petit Le Mans event on the storied Road Atlanta circuit attracted more than 120,000 spectators, and the same number travelled to witness the race on the famous Long Beach street circuit.

The huge interest for exciting sports car racing is underlined in the TV figures. TV channel FOX alone, which enjoys a reach of 115 million households in the USA, broadcasted a total of almost 70 hours of the fiercely-contested championship in 2015 on its main channel as well as on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. Live broadcasts and highlight programmes produced by FOX were viewed in 154 countries around the globe, equivalent in theory to a reach of more than 310 households. Sports car fans in Europe were able to witness the action live on Motors TV as well as online at

The classes

In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, sports prototypes and sports cars start in four different classes. All classes start together at the races in Daytona, Sebring, Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, Bowmanville, Road America, Austin as well as Petit Le Mans. The GTLM class is contested at all races except Detroit.

GTLM (GT Le Mans): Open to heavily-modified GT vehicles that are based on production sports cars, including the Porsche 911 RSR. Internationally, this is the equivalent of the GTE-Pro class.

GTD (GT Daytona): This class consists of near-standard GT vehicles complying with the FIA GT3 regulations, like the new Porsche 911 GT3 R.

P (Prototype): The class for Daytona prototypes from the former Grand-Am Series and the LMP2 prototypes from the former American Le Mans Series. The experimental Deltawing is also eligible.

PC (Prototype Challenge): This class is reserved for the Oreca prototypes powered by Corvette engines.

A driver and team champion is determined from each class. Moreover, in the GTLM class, championship titles for the most successful automobile manufacturer and the most successful tyre manufacturer are awarded, with championship titles also handed out in the P class for chassis and engine manufacturers.

The classifications

At each race and in each class, points are awarded to the 30 top-placed finishers according to the following system:

PlacingPointsPlacingPoints

1st place3516th place15

2nd place3217th place14

3rd place3018th place13

4th place2819th place12

5th place2620th place11

6th place2521st place10

7th place2422nd place9

8th place2323rd place8

9th place2224th place7

10th place2125th place6

11th place2026th place5

12th place1927th place4

13th place1828th place3

14th place1729th place2

15th place1630th place1

An additional point will be awarded to every driver and team for participating in a race. One driver can be entered for a maximum of two cars in a race. A competitor who is entered to drive two vehicles in the same class can only earn points with one of the vehicles, which must be nominated at least one hour before the first official practice session.

The calendar

1.30/31.01Rolex 24 at Daytona, Daytona International Raceway, Daytona/Florida *

2.19.03.Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring/Florida *

3.16.04.Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach, Long Beach/California

4. 01.05.Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix, Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey/California

5.04.06.Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, The Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Detroit/Michigan

6.03.07.Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen/New York *

7. 10.07.Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville/Ontario

8. 23.07.Northeast Grand Prix, Lime Rock Park, Lime Rock/Connecticut,

9.07.08.Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, Road America, Elkhart Lake/Wisconsin

10. 28.08.VIR Oak Tree Sports Car Championship, Virginia International Raceway, Danville/Virginia

11.17.09.Circuit of the Americas, Austin/Texas

12. 01.10.Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Braselton/Georgia *

* The races count towards the North American Endurance Championship.

The Organisation

The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is contested with the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) as the governing body.

International Motor Sports Association

One Daytona Blvd.

Daytona Beach, FL 32114

USA

Tel. +1 386 310 6500

Fax +1 386 310 650

E-Mail

Internet

Press contacts

Nate Siebens

Senior Manager Communications

Tel. +1 386 310 6568

J.J. O’Malley

Manager, Communications

Tel. +1 386 310 6588

David Baltazar

Coordinator, Communications

Tel. +1 386 310 6082

Round 1 – Daytona, 30/31 January

Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, FL

Rolex 24 at Daytona

Press contact

Andrew Booth

Tel.+1 386 547 4390

E-Mail

Circuit length: 5.729 km (3.56 mi)

Race duration: 24 hours

Competing classes: GTLM, GTD, P, PC

Internet:

Review 2015

At the 53rd edition of the long distance classic in Florida, the best 911 RSR driven by Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Marc Lieb yielded fifth place in the GTLM class. The second 911 RSR with Jörg Bergmeister, Earl Bamber and Frédéric Makowiecki concluded the eventful race in seventh. Porsche’s customer teams in the GTD class proved more successful: The 911 GT America of Alex Job Racing crossed the finish line in second, with third place going to Patrick Dempsey and his teammates in the 911 GT America fielded by Dempsey Racing/Wright Motorsports.

Round 2 – Sebring, 19 March

Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, FL

Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

Press contact

Ken Breslauer

Tel.+1 863 655 1442

Fax+1 863 655 1777

Mobile+1 727 415 0992

E-Mail

Review 2015

At the wheel of the Porsche 911 RSR run by Falken Tire, Wolf Henzler, Patrick Long and Bryan Sellers finished third in the GTLM class. The strong performance of the Porsche North America 911 RSR factory entry remained unrewarded. With an hour of racing left, the trio were in the lead but were unable to repeat Porsche’s victory from the previous year. Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Richard Lietz took the flag in fifth place, with Earl Bamber, Jörg Bergmeister and Frédéric Makowiecki claiming seventh. GTD class victory went to the 911 GT America of Seattle/Alex Job Racing.

Circuit length: 6.018 km (3.74 mi)

Race duration: 12 hours

Competing classes: GTLM, GTD, P, PC

Internet:

Round 3 – Long Beach, 16 April

Long Beach, CA

Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach

Press contact

Chris Esslinger

Tel.+1 562 490 4514

Fax+1 562 981 2632

Mobile+1 310 505 6189

E-Mail

Circuit length: 3.167 km (1.968 mi)

Race duration: 1:40 hours

Competing classes: GTLM, P, PC

Internet:

Review 2015

Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet were just two-tenths of a second off claiming a podium spot at the famous street circuit. Their spirited pursuit over the entire distance earned the pair fourth place in the GTLM class. After a collision in the first corner after the start, the 911 RSR of Richard Lietz and Jörg Bergmeister sustained heavy damages. After the repairs, the duo returned to the race action 15 laps down and ultimately saw the flag in eighth place.

Round 4 – Laguna Seca, 1 May

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA

Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix

Press contact

David Hart

Tel.+1 831 242 8225

Mobile+1 831 277 3044

E-Mail

Circuit length: 3.601 km (2.238 mi)

Race duration: Separate 2-hour races for P/GTLM und PC/GTD

Competing classes: GTLM, P, GTD, PC

Internet:

Review 2015

Putting in a sensational charge through the field in the 911 RSR, Patrick Pilet and Michael Christensen secured third in the GTLM class and the first podium of the year for Porsche North America. The second RSR of the works team, shared by Michael Christensen and Jörg Bergmeister, occupied fifth place. Patrick Lindsey and Spencer Pumpelly celebrated their first win of the season in the GTD class with the 911 GT America.

Round 5 – Detroit, 4 June

The Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Detroit/MI

Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

Press contact

Merrill Cain

Tel.+1 313 748 1842

Fax+1 313 748 1777

Mobile+1 704 677 9200

E-Mail

Circuit length: 3.798 km (2.350 mi)

Race duration: 1:40 hours

Competing classes: GTD, P, PC

Internet:

Review 2015

The GTLM class with the Porsche 911 RSR was not contested in Detroit.

Round 6 – Watkins Glen, 3 July

Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen/NY

Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

Press contact

Elizabeth Mayer

Tel.+1 607 535 2486 Ext. 261

Fax+1 607 535 8918

E-Mail

Circuit length: 5.472 km (3.4 mi)

Race duration: 6 hours

Competing classes: GTLM, GTD, P, PC

Internet:

Review 2015

Porsche celebrated a one-two win in the GTLM class on the storied race track. Victory went to Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers in the 911 RSR of Falken Tire. With the 911 RSR fielded by Porsche North America, Earl Bamber and Jörg Bergmeister netted second place. Starting from fifth in his class, Patrick Pilet put in a catapult start on a wet track and snatched the lead with a sensational overtaking manoeuvre in the first lap. Due to an unscheduled pit stop shortly before the end, he and Nick Tandy finished on sixth. The “DEKRA Green Challenge Award” also went to Porsche: The 911 RSR of Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy was the most efficient, fast and environmentally clean GT contender.

Round 7 – Bowmanville, 10 July

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville/Ontario

Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix

Press contact

Ryan Chalmers

Tel.+1 905 983 9141

Mobile+1 905 260 1711

E-Mail

Circuit length: 3.957 km (2.459 mi)

Race duration: 2:40 hours

Competing classes: GTLM, GTD, P, PC

Internet:

Review 2015

Two weeks after clinching double victory at Watkins Glen, Porsche continued its top form in Canada and scored the second GTLM class win of the season with the 911 RSR. Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet celebrated an emphatic lights-to-flag victory. After 122 laps, Jörg Bergmeister and Earl Bamber finished on seventh in the second 911 RSR campaigned by Porsche North America.

Round 8 – Lime Rock, 23 July

Lime Rock Park, Lime Rock, CT

Northeast Grand Prix

Press contact

Rick Roso

Tel.+1 860 435 5000 x111

Fax+1 860 435 5010

Mobile+1 860 459 4138

E-Mail

Circuit length: 2.414 km (1.5 mi)

Race duration: 2 hours

Competing classes: GTLM, GTD, PC

Internet:

Review 2014

The GTLM class with the Porsche 911 RSR was not contested in Lime Rock.

Round 9 – Road America, 7 August

Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI

Continental Tire Road Race Showcase

Press contact

John Ewert

Tel.+1 920 893 4206

Mobile+1 317 363 4020

E-Mail

Circuit length: 6.514 km (4 mi)

Race duration: 2:40 hours

Competing classes: GTLM, GTD, P, PC

Internet:

Review 2015

Porsche continued its winning streak with a double victory on the storied racetrack: Repeating their result at Bowmanville, Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet won the GTLM class. Earl Bamber and Jörg Bergmeister finished second in the other winning racer from Weissach campaigned by Porsche North America. With three straight wins to the 911 RSR, Porsche took the championship lead.

Round 10 – Danville, 28 August

Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA

VIR Oak Tree Sports Car Championship

Press contact

Nicole Kypraios

Tel.+1 919 274-6370

E-Mail

Circuit length: 5.263 km (3.27 mi)

Race duration: 2:40 hours

Competing classes: GTLM, GTD

Internet:

Review 2015

With the fourth win in a row, Porsche extended its lead in the manufacturers’ classification of the GTLM class. Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet won in the 911 RSR. This marked the third straight victory for the pair. This victory put Patrick Pilet in the lead of the drivers’ classification. At the same time, Porsche North America claimed the top place in the team classification. Scoring second, Earl Bamber and Jörg Bergmeister rounded off the third double victory for Porsche in 2015. Porsche also won the “DEKRA Green Challenge Award”: The 911 RSR driven by Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy was again distinguished as the GT car with the best overall efficiency.

Round 11 – Austin, 17 September

Circuit of the Americas, Austin/TX

Tudor United SportsCar Championship

Press contact

Jarin Wadiwalla

Tel.+1 512 655 6256

Mobil+1 210 834 4920

Circuit length: 5.472 km (3.4 mi)

Race duration: 2:40 hours

Competing classes: GTLM, GTD, P, PC

Internet:

Review 2015

Until the very last lap it seemed as if Porsche would claim its fourth double victory. But the 911 RSR fielded by Porsche North America had to make a “splash and dash” pit stop. Nick Tandy und Patrick Pilet, the winners at Bowmanville, Road America and Virginia, finally crossed the finish line in third as the best Porsche pilots. Fifth place went to Earl Bamber and Jörg Bergmeister in the second 911 RSR campaigned by Porsche North America.

Round 12 – Road Atlanta, 1 October

Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA

Petit Le Mans

Press contact

Kelsi Nilsson

Tel.+1 770 967 6143

Fax+1 770 967 2668

Mobile+1 770 530 3709

E-Mail

Circuit length: 4.087 km (2.54 mi)

Race duration: 10 hours

Competing classes: GTLM, GTD, P, PC

Internet:

Review 2015

What a way to end the season: At Petit Le Mans, Porsche clinched its first overall victory at the long distance classic and secured all championship titles in the GTLM class with this historic victory. In at times torrential rain, Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Richard Lietz beat the significantly more powerful and lighter sports prototypes with their 911 RSR. This marked the first overall victory for a near-standard GT vehicle in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. After an inspired start off the line, Earl Bamber, Jörg Bergmeister and Frédéric Makowiecki lost four laps through various incidents and ultimately finished eighth in class.