At the Circuit of the Americas in Austin/Texas, the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC picks up momentum again on 20 September.
After a long summer break, the series heats up for drivers and teams, starting with the race in Texas and continuing to the end of the November with rounds in Fuji/Japan, Shanghai/China, Sakhir/Bahrain and Sao Paulo/Brazil. Porsche Team Manthey fields a pair of 911 RSR in the most competitive GTE-Pro class and has reshuffled the driver pairings for the remainder of this challenging phase.
The Porsche drivers
Jörg Bergmeister’s (Germany) new teammate in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR is Richard Lietz (Austria), allowing Patrick Pilet (France) to join forces with his compatriot Frédéric Makowiecki in the 911 RSR with the number 92. Whether Richard Lietz is ready to race in time for the Austin round depends on how well he has recovered from his accident during a practice session at the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. As a precaution, Porsche Team Manthey has also entered Nick Tandy (Great Britain) for Austin as the third driver of the #91 vehicle. In the GTE-Am class, Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria) shares driving duties in the 911 RSR fielded by the Proton Competition customer team with Christian Ried (Germany) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi).
The Porsche 911 RSR
The Porsche 911 RSR is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. At its race debut last year, the 470 hp winning racer from Weissach scored an emphatic double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For 2014, the 911 RSR received improvements in many areas. In addition to winning the WEC season opener at Silverstone, this racer has also clinched victories at the long distance classics at Daytona and Sebring.
The six-hour race in Austin takes off on Saturday, 20 September, at 17.00 hrs local time (24.00 hrs CEST) and is broadcast live by TV station Eurosport.
Comments before the race
Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “It’ll be interesting to see how the teams get off the mark after the long break since Le Mans. With five races still on the calendar anything can happen. For tactical reasons we reshuffled the driver line-up in Porsche Manthey’s two 911 RSR and are now in a very good position for our title campaign. With the Tudor United SportsCar Championship and the American Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge also running championship races in Austin on that weekend, Porsche fans will be treated to a big turn-out of 911 RSR, 911 GT3 RSR, 911 GT America and 911 GT3 Cup and they’ll also witness many of our works drivers in action.”
Jörg Bergmeister (#91): “I can’t wait to get racing again after the long break and I hope that we’ll score our first victory soon. Austin will certainly be a full-on weekend because we’re also contesting the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. It’s a little unusual to do two races in one day but it’ll be an interesting experience.”
Richard Lietz (#91): “I hope my broken arm has healed well enough and I’m back up and running again in time for Austin. I’m thrilled to be paired up with Jörg in the Porsche Team Manthey for the rest of the WEC season, especially with five very interesting races ahead of us.”
Nick Tandy (#91): “The Austin circuit is very interesting and demanding, not least due to several extraordinary corner combinations. I’m looking forward to competing in a WEC race again.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (#92): “After my dream start as a Porsche works driver with victory at the season-opener in Silverstone, I’m now hoping to take home a top result from Austin. It’ll be a great experience to share the 911 RSR with Patrick for the rest of the season. He has already contested an entire WEC season for Porsche and this can only be beneficial for me.”
Patrick Pilet (#92): “The break after Le Mans was very long. I’m glad the season’s now continuing and I hope the whole team can get back into the swing of things in Austin. Because we’re also competing in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship the weekend will certainly be strenuous, but it promises to be a very entertaining event.”
The Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC
Sports prototypes and GT vehicles contest the WEC (Sports Car World Endurance Championship) in four classes: LMP1 (eg. Porsche 919 Hybrid), LMP2, LMGTE-Pro (eg. 911 RSR) and LMGTE-Am (eg. 911 RSR and 911 GT3 RSR). They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.