Exhilarating season finale in the desert
On the Bahrain International Circuit, this year’s sports car World Endurance Championship season concludes on 30 November. It marks the first race for the further-developed Porsche 911 RSR. The Porsche AG Team Manthey squad fields the GT racer from Weissach on the Formula 1 circuit in the desert featuring modifications that will be employed for the 2014 motorsport season.
The Porsche drivers
The Porsche works pilots and Le Mans winners Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz tackle the last race of the season in the 911 RSR with the number 92. In the fight for the World Endurance Cup for GT drivers, the pair currently ranks third. Their factory driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France), who recently clinched their fourth podium result of the season in Shanghai, share the cockpit of the number 91 Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class. In the GTE-Am class, Frenchmen Raymond Narac and Jean-Karl Vernay are still within striking distance of taking home the FIA Endurance Trophy. The Le Mans winners compete for IMSA Performance Matmut with the 911 GT3 RSR from last year, joined by Markus Palttala (Finland). Proton Competition fields a 911 GT3 RSR with team owner Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda.
The Porsche 911 RSR
The 470 hp Porsche 911 RSR is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. As the successor to the winning 911 GT3 RSR, with which Porsche customers scored many victories and title wins since 2004 in international endurance championships, it is characterised by its consequent lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics. The look is dominated by the flared fenders and the distinctive cooling air intakes at the front. The exceptional vehicle styling honours the anniversary “50 years of the 911”.
The six-hour race on the Bahrain International Circuit starts on 30 November at 15.00 hours local time (13.00 CET). Eurosport 2 broadcasts the race live from 18.00 to 19.00 CET live. Eurosport International televises highlights at 21.30 CET. The race can be viewed live on the internet website www.fiawec.com.
Quotes before the race
Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport: “An exciting WEC season draws to a close in Bahrain. It was the first for the new 911 RSR which immediately followed on from Porsche’s great long distance successes with a terrific double victory in the GTE-Pro class at the Le Mans 24 Hours. In Bahrain, the 911 RSR lines up in the spec homologated for 2014. This means that the season final will be an important test for us under competition conditions, and it will undoubtedly produce some interesting information with regard to next season.”
Joerg Bergmeister (# 91): “I’ve never been to Bahrain. We’re racing there for the first time with our 2014-spec Evo-Kit which will certainly be a very interesting experience. I hope we take a step forward.”
Patrick Pilet (# 91): “Bahrain is the fourth new circuit for me this season, after Sao Paulo, Austin and Shanghai. The temperatures there ensure that it’ll be a heated battle in the truest sense of the word. This means we’ll need to prepare the car perfectly – not to mention the drivers and teams, as well.”
Marc Lieb (# 92): “The fact that we’re driving our 2014-spec car in Bahrain for the first time makes it a very special race for us. I’m confident that we’ll do well there and manage to wind up the season successfully.”
Richard Lietz (# 92): “I hope that the improvements we’ve made on our car for Bahrain have a positive effect and things go better for us than they have at the last few races. The track is great and I’m looking forward to an interesting season finale.”
The Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC
In the sports car World Endurance Championship WEC, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.