At the six-hour race on the Fuji International Speedway in Japan on 12 October, Porsche Team Manthey fields a two-car entry with the Porsche 911 RSR.
In 2012, Porsche won on the demanding circuit at the foot of Mount Fuji. Last year, however, torrential rain saw the race stopped early after several attempts to restart behind the safety car. The works-entry at round five of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC is the first outing with the new Porsche Motorsport boss Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser at the helm.
The Porsche drivers
In the cockpit of the #91 Porsche 911 RSR, Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) join forces for the first time in the hotly-contested GTE-Pro class. Frenchmen Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet share driving duties in the number 92 car. In the GTE-Am class, two customer teams run the Porsche 911 RSR, with Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria) competing for Proton Competition.
The Porsche 911 RSR
The 470 hp Porsche 911 RSR is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. At its race debut in 2013, the winning car from Weissach scored an emphatic double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For 2014, the vehicle received improvements in many areas. In addition to winning the WEC season-opener at Silverstone, the 911 RSR has also clinched victories at the long distance classics at Daytona and Sebring.
The six-hour race on the Fuji International Speedway takes off on Sunday, 12 October, at 11.00 hrs local time (04.00 hrs CEST). The TV station Eurosport airs a one-hour wrap-up at 10.30 hrs CEST.
Comments before the race
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “I’m looking forward to the first race in my new role. At Austin recently, the team put in a strong showing and I hope we can turn that good performance into a top result in Fuji. In any case we’ll do our very best to keep improving our position in this exciting fight for the title.”
Joerg Bergmeister (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “Last year our attempts were thwarted by heavy rain. Hopefully the weather will be better this year, although some light rain would suit us very well – as we witnessed again at Austin. I’m very much looking forward to Japan. I contested several races there in this year’s Super GT Series.”
Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “After having to stand down in Austin due to my arm injury, I’m now fighting fit and I can’t wait to tackle the WEC again. In the past, Fuji has proved excellent turf for us. In 2012 we won, and last year we put in a strong performance in practice. Unfortunately the stormy weather during the race put a spoke in the wheel, so to speak.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “Our 911 RSR is constantly improving over the season. Moreover, my teammate Patrick is seriously fast. We held the lead in Austin for quite some time but had to settle for second shortly before the flag. I hope we see the finish line first at Fuji. I actually won last year’s unusual race there. Perhaps that’s a good omen.”
Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “Fuji is a very interesting race track, but it’s not easy to drive. There are a couple of very fast corners where you need to be very careful, and some slower passages, as well. We’re on the right track with our 911 RSR, and that makes me feel optimistic for an excellent result at Fuji, and to earn vital points for Porsche.”
The Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC
Sports prototypes and GT vehicles contest the WEC (Sports Car World Endurance Championship) in four classes: LMP1 (e.g. Porsche 919 Hybrid), LMP2, LMGTE-Pro (e.g. 911 RSR) and LMGTE-Am (e.g. 911 RSR). They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.