ATLANTA – Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) have announced the factory drivers who will compete for the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the Porsche North America CORE autosport-prepared Porsche 911 RSR GT-Le Mans class entries.
Car no. 911 will be driven by Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Richard Lietz (Austria), while car no. 912 will compete with Patrick Long (USA) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) at the helm, with two additional Porsche factory drivers – Patrick Pilet (France) and Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) – joining the teams for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The no. 911 Tandy/Lietz/Pilet Porsche and the no. 912 Long/Christensen/Bergmeister entry will make their on-track debut at the ROAR Before the Rolex 24, Jan. 3 – 5. The effort will utilize the new Porsche 911 RSR, the same as the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans LM GTE-Pro class-winning entries. The headquarters for the program will be at Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) in Santa Ana, Calif. CORE autosport, Rock Hill, South Carolina, will act as the competition partner for the program.
There is a wealth of endurance racing championship experience with this driver lineup, with Lietz scoring class wins at both the Rolex 24 (2012) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2010, 2013); and Patrick Long winning his class at the Rolex 24 (2009), 12 Hours of Sebring (2005), 24 Hours of Le Mans (2004, 2007), and Petit Le Mans (2005, 2006, 2007). Christensen, in his first year as a Porsche Junior in 2013, finished sixth in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup series season standings with one event win in addition to the Rookie of the Year title. Tandy finished the 2013 American Le Mans Series with a flare by co-driving the Team Falken Tire Porsche to the GT class victory at Petit Le Mans.
As for the Rolex 24 third driver additions, Bergmeister and Pilet are endurance veterans as well. Bergmeister has won the Rolex 24 (2002, 2003, 2009), 12 Hours of Sebring (2004, 2005, 2008), 24 Hours of Le Mans (2004), and Petit Le Mans 2003 – 2007). Pilet, a former Porsche Carrera Cup France champion, has a win at the 24 Hours of Dubai to his credit.
The 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona will take place Jan. 25 – 26.
The 2014 Porsche 911 RSR
The new 911 RSR is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car and follows in the footsteps of its successful predecessor, the 911 GT3 RSR. The new 911 RSR featured a win in its very first 24 Hours of Le Mans appearance in 2013. As with the production vehicle, the wheelbase grew by about four inches. A new development from Porsche Motorsport is the lightweight racing gearbox with the six forward gears selectable via paddles on the steering wheel. The 470 hp, 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine was taken from the predecessor and optimized for 2014.
One of the development priorities of the new 911 RSR was finding a better weight distribution balance. The center of gravity is also significantly lower than that of its predecessor. Carbon fiber played a crucial role in the new design. The front and rear aero components, front and rear lids, doors, underbody, wheel arches, rear wing, dashboard and center console are constructed from the very light and strong material. Moreover, all windows are made of particularly thin and light polycarbonate. Also contributing to the weight reduction is the lithium-ion battery now available on many GT road-legal models.
The look of the new 911 RSR is dominated by the flared aero components and the deep cooling air intakes at the front. With a new air ducting, the radiator is now centrally-located in the front and even more effective than in the previous model. At the same time, the cockpit air-conditioning became more efficient. The quick-change concept of the body parts was specially adapted for endurance racing, allowing for easier maintenance and shorter repair times. The front end, front lid and rear panel are fitted with quick release systems and can be replaced within seconds.
Low positioned static cornering lights provide improved vision and enhanced safety during the night. The reflective labeling and anti-glare lighting of the control elements in the cockpit help ensure optimal legibility in the dark. The arrangement of the switches on the new steering wheel and the pilot-oriented center console were designed in co-operation with the ten Porsche works drivers. All works drivers took part in the design of the 911 RSR contributing their vast experience in GT racing.
In order to keep the engineers in the pits up-to-date with all relevant vehicle data, the live telemetry transmits more than 200 different measurements straight to the pit wall stand via an antenna on the roof. Additionally, all data is stored on a memory card onboard the vehicle.