Porsche GTLM Program Says ‘Thank You’ and Farewell

November 10, 2020

Porsche GTLM Program Says ‘Thank You’ and Farewell

November 10, 2020

All good things come to an end and after seven years, the Porsche GT Team will run its final IMSA GT Le Mans class race at this weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Porsche will still continue in IMSA, both with customer GT Daytona and MICHELIN Pilot Challenge GS programs and with the new Porsche Carrera Cup North America series that launches in March 2021.

Porsche ran three different generations of 911 RSR cars. The first generation car raced from 2014 through 2016. Then Porsche made a significant change to place the engine in front of the rear axle ahead of 2017. That model ran for three years. The new Porsche 911 RSR-19 made its U.S. racing debut at the 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona, and has served Porsche well this year.

SEBRING OUTLOOK:

At this weekend’s Sebring race, they’ll have a couple changes to their lineup with usual third drivers Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet unavailable on other racing assignments. Prototype veteran Neel Jani makes his GT debut as third driver in the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR-19 alongside Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor. Bamber will pull double duty in the race, as he’ll also share the No. 911 car with Nick Tandy and Fred Makowiecki.

Tandy and Makowiecki are shooting for a personal three-peat of wins at the Sebring 12-hour race, while Porsche as a whole seeks a pair of three-peats. They’ve not only won the last two 12-hour races here, but also the last two GTLM races this season.

The Sebring 12-hour race will be the CORE autosport-run team’s 76th IMSA start. They have 20 wins and a pair of driver and manufacturer championships (2015, 2019). For more on the program’s final race, check out this week’s Michelin IMSA Insider on Sportscar365 and the team’s livery release and pre-race press release.

A new special “thank you” message and livery will adorn the two cars, as well.

“After seven very successful years, we’re wrapping up our works program in North America with the upcoming race at Sebring,” said Pascal Zurlinden, director, factory motorsport, Porsche. “With this special vehicle design, we want to underline our connection to this tremendous racing series and also want to say a big thank you to the loyal fans. While racing the 911 in the GTLM class, we experienced firsthand the excitement that our brand inspires in the USA. The spectators were always full of passion, they love the 911 RSR and they were unfailingly supportive. We’d also like to thank everyone involved from Porsche AG, Porsche Cars North America, our motor racing colleagues in the USA, the operations team Core autosport and, last but definitely not least, our loyal partners. The huge successes over the last seven years would not have been possible without their trust and dedicated cooperation.”

WINS BY THE NUMBERS:
  • 20 program wins:
    • 2014 (2): Daytona, Sebring
    • 2015 (4): CTMP, Road America, VIR, Petit Le Mans (overall)
    • 2016 (2): Long Beach, COTA
    • 2017 (1): Lime Rock
    • 2018 (3): Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Petit Le Mans
    • 2019 (6): Sebring, Long Beach, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, CTMP, VIR
    • 2020 (2): Petit Le Mans, Monterey
  • Winning drivers include:
    • 2014: Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet, Richard Lietz (1), Patrick Long, Joerg Bergmeister, Michael Christensen (1)
    • 2015: Tandy, Pilet (4), Lietz (1)
    • 2016: Tandy, Pilet (1), Earl Bamber, Fred Makowiecki (1)
    • 2017: Pilet, Dirk Werner (1)
    • 2018: Tandy, Pilet, Makowiecki (2), Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor (1)
    • 2019: Tandy, Pilet (3), Makowiecki (1), Bamber, Vanthoor (3)
    • 2020: Tandy, Makowiecki, Matt Campbell (1), Bamber, Vanthoor (1)
  • Total driver wins:
    • Tandy 12, Pilet 12, Bamber 6, Vanthoor 5, Makowiecki 5, Lietz 2, Long 1, Bergmeister 1, Christensen 1, Werner 1, Campbell 1
LIVERY LEGACY:

Porsche has run several tribute or historic liveries over the last three years. For a look down memory lane, here’s the team’s three previous special liveries:

2018 Petit Le Mans, a tribute to the Porsche 911 GT1-98 that ran at the inaugural Petit Le Mans in 1998.

2019: The “Brumos” livery ran at most first half races throughout the 2019 season, when Porsche captured the driver and manufacturer championships.

2019 Petit Le Mans, with the Coca-Cola livery car to pay tribute to a historic Porsche 935 livery.

2020: The final livery, with “Thank You” messaging and an American-themed car.

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