Porsche targets “36 hours of Florida”

March 10, 2014

Porsche targets “36 hours of Florida”

March 10, 2014

porsche_3_10_14Porsche’s return to North American motorsport with a factory team in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship has got off to a brilliant start. Victory at Daytona and fastest in Sebring testing – the next step for the team will be the 12 Hours of Sebring.

This week’s event is the second leg of the “36 hours of Florida” kick off for the new combined championship which brings together the American Le Mans Series and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series.

2014-01-26 at 14-07-36Porsche returns this year with CORE autosport acting as the manufacturer’s competition partner – running the cars from the team’s Rock Hill, SC base.

“Sebring is obviously a long distance race which means that a car has to be completely overhauled and meticulously prepared before going into the event. This is especially true after coming off another endurance event, the Rolex 24 at Daytona,” said Owen Hayes, Director of Operations, Porsche Motorsport North America.

“The two Porsche 911 RSRs are stripped down to a bare chassis, not a component remaining on the cars, which will then be inspected in minute detail and built up again

“For the Sebring race event the cars will need: new suspension, new coolers, a new engine and a new gearbox. This is all done at the shop before we bring the car back to Florida. The basic philosophy is to fit the car with as much new equipment as possible to ensure reliability over this arduous race.

“As Sebring is a very bumpy circuit, it is a very hard endurance test for any racecar. The amount of input energy that the suspension experiences will be at a level of approximately four-times that of a “normal” European FIA circuit. This means that although the race is “only” 12 hours long, the suspension will experience four-times the mechanical loading compared to other “normal” circuits. In effect, from a suspension mechanical loading point of view, you are attempting to complete 48 hours of mechanical loading on the car within a 12-hour race duration!

“The wheel loadings due to the bumpy Sebring circuit do not, however, just stop at the suspension. The loadings and vibrations are transferred further through the gearbox, the engine, the chassis and, finally, into the driver. This is what makes Sebring such a unique survival challenge, not only for all of the components in the car, but also for the driver.”

nick_tandy1-550x366.jpgThe new partnership with Porsche kicked off in the best possible way at Daytona with Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Richard Leitz successful in the No.911 entry.

“Since Daytona, as a team we’ve been out doing some solid testing with the Porsche North America 911 RSR,” Rolex 24 at Daytona winner, Nick Tandy said (pictured right).

“I’m confident we’ll have a strong package at Sebring. Porsche, on both sides of the Atlantic, has been putting a huge effort into 911 RSR. We haven’t been resting on our laurels since the result in January.

“Sebring, along with the Nürburgring Nordschleife, is probably the most physically demanding racetrack on our calendar. With the uneven road surface and constant working at the wheel it’s quite a ride inside the car.

“But this is exactly the sort of thing that we prepare and train for at Porsche. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is a true endurance race. But unlike, for example, Daytona and Le Mans, overtaking at Sebring, even if you have a pace advantage, is difficult so track position is very important from the start.”

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