Fielding two new Porsche 911 RSR racers, the Porsche GT Team tackles Round Nine of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) on August 27. The 510 hp racecar, which faces strong competition in the fiercely contested GTLM class, was completely redesigned by Porsche Motorsport in Weissach, Germany based on the high-performance 911 GT3 RS sports car. On July 22 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, the 911 RSR scored its maiden victory worldwide.
Porsche’s customer teams are also strongly represented on the tradition-steeped 3/27-mile, 17-turn racetrack in southern Virginia, campaigning four 911 GT3 R in the GTD class. Like at Lime Rock, the prototypes will not contest the third to last race of the season, which means that overall victory will definitely go to a GT vehicle.
Porsche legends Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg occupy a very special place in the eventful history of the Virginia International Raceway. When the first IMSA GT race was contested on the circuit in 1971, they won in the Porsche 914-6 GT.
The winners of the Lime Rock race, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany), share the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR at VIR. Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) finished in second-place at both Lime Rock and Road America – the most recent round of the WeatherTech Series – in the second 911 RSR, the No. 912.
Four customer squads will campaign the 911 GT3 R. The No. 73 Park Place Motorsports entry shared with Porsche factory driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) won the class at Lime Rock. North America’s sole representative on the Porsche “works” squad, Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) returns to the No. 28 Alegra Motorsports 911 GT3 R. He and co-driver Daniel Morad (Canada) shared the Alegra entry at Lime Rock, finishing in third-place. The Tampa, Florida-based program won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona. The No. 54 CORE autosport entry will be driven by Jon Bennett (Charlotte, North Carolina) and Colin Braun (Harrisburg, North Carolina) while the No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R races with Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) and Gunnar Jeanette (Salt Lake City, Utah) as it did at Road America.
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars.
“Gripping races with innovative racecars on a storied racetrack such as in Virginia, which has retained its charm and character over the years, are what make the IMSA SportsCar Championship so incredibly appealing. And fans really get their money’s worth, especially with the GT classes. After a heart-stopping sprint to the finish at Road America recently, our 911 RSR was only six-tenths of a second off claiming our second win of the season. The fight for honors in Virginia will definitely be just as tough. However, this time we’re aiming for a better ending for us.”
Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports.
“Precision is what’s needed on the Virginia International Raceway. The drivers are advised not to stray from this beautiful, typically American racetrack onto the grass of the run-off areas, because it’s really difficult to save the cars. Normally at this time of year it’s very hot with high humidity. This makes things even more demanding for everyone. It’s not easy finding a perfect setup for this track, but we’re confident that we’re well prepared for this race.”
Sebastian Golz, Project Manager GT Customer Motorsport.
“There are no paved areas next to the track. One minor error and two wheels over the white line at the Virginia International Raceway means you’ll very likely take a trip into the greens. There’s a very fine line between a fast lap time and losing traction. The 911 GT3 R won at Lime Rock and came second at Road America. Our customer teams are fully prepared to continue this series of successes in Virginia.”
Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“I have fond memories of this storied racetrack deep in the heart of America. In 2015, we celebrated one-two finish there with Porsche. It’s an old school circuit with many fast curves where you can’t afford to make one mistake. If you end up on the grass, you might as well drive straight back to the pits to get the radiator cleaned. And you won’t be able to make up the time you’ve lost. I’m keen to see how our new 911 RSR performs on this demanding track.”
Dirk Werner, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“In Virginia things get really serious in the fight for the championship. At this stage you can’t give away any points, otherwise you lose contact with the frontrunners for the final stage. We’ve never race the new 911 RSR in Virginia. For this reason, we’ll start with a baseline setup, which we’ll then modify from session to session. And the tire choice on this unforgiving racetrack will also play a decisive role.”
Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“Racing the new 911 RSR on this fantastic racetrack will definitely be great fun. I’m very much looking forward to it and to build on our good performances from Lime Rock and Elkhart Lake, where we finished second at both events. Perhaps we’ll manage to bring home our first win of the season from Virginia.”
Gianmaria Bruni, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“This is a new race for me. I’ve never competed on the Virginia International Raceway, but I’ve heard a lot of positive things about this demanding racetrack from my teammates. It would be awesome if we could perform strongly there like we did recently at Lime Rock and Road America.”
Patrick Long, Driver, No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“It is great to be back in the car at VIR after racing there in Pirelli World Challenge earlier this season. I am looking forward to rejoining Alegra and Daniel [Morad] after a successful race together at Lime Rock. We are hoping the twist-and-turn nature of VIR will complement the 911 GT3 R. This season the GTD class in IMSA has been very, very competitive and we will do our best to continue forward with the momentum for the team and manufacturer championships.”
Jörg Bergmeister, Driver, No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“The Virginia International Raceway is one of the racetracks in the United States that I particularly enjoy. It’s fast and challenging and every tiny mistake costs you time. I love such tracks. The team at Park Place Motorsports was elated with our win at Lime Rock Park. I hope that this euphoria will buoy us along to clinch another podium result in Virginia.”
Porsche Entries at VIRginia International Raceway.
A total of 33 Porsche Motorsport-built racecars across three series: the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series, IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge are racing at VIRginia International Raceway this weekend and the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Total Car Count: Six (6) Porsche entries will be competing in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship at the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR.
GTLM Class – Two (2) Porsche 911 RSR.
No. 911 Porsche GT Team Patrick Pilet (France)/Dirk Werner (Germany)
No. 912 Porsche GT Team Gianmaria Bruni (Italy)/Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium)
GTD Class – Four (4) Porsche 911 GT3 R.
No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Daniel Morad (Canada)/ Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California)
No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois)/ Gunnar Jeanette (Salt Lake City, Utah)
No. 54 CORE autosport Jon Bennett (Charlotte, North Carolina)/ Colin Braun (Harrisburg, North Carolina)
No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)/ Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California)
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
Total Car Count: Six (6) Porsche Motorsport-produced entries will be competing in the Biscuitville Grand Prix.
All – Six (6)
GT4 Spec – Three (3) Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
Grandfathered GS Spec – Three (3) Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
No. 4 Team TGM Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
Guy Cosmo (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida)/ Hugh Plumb (Unionville, Pennsylvania)
No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Cameron Cassels (Canada)/ Trent Hindman (Wayside, New Jersey)
No. 28 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
Dillon Machavern (Burlington, Vermont)/ Dylan Murcott (Ancram, New York)
No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Till Bechtolsheimer (New York City, New York)/ Marc Miller (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
No. 35 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Russell Ward (Seabrook, Texas)/ Damien Faulkner (Ireland)
No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
James Cox (Nokomis, Florida)/ John Tecce (Gladwyne, Pennsylvania)