Porsche has just held its Night of Champions awards party, and the good news is the commitment to motorsport is stronger than ever.
So, to start off with the big one: Le Mans. Porsche plans to enter four works 911 RSRs in next year’s race – two from the WEC campaign and two from the IMSA WeatherTech Championship. Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frédéric Makowiecki share the 91 car, and Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor take the 92 seat. 93 is hopefully going to be driven by Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, with the 94 car earmarked for Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Sven Müller.
There are four, yes four, overall Le Mans winners in that squad – Bamber, Bernhard, Dumas and Tandy. Safe to say, then, that Porsche at Le Mans is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Elsewhere, the RSR is again fighting for the world championship in the FIA WEC, this time with Estre, Christensen, Bruni and Lietz racing two cars. It’s also worth pointing out that there will be a number of customer cars out in 2018, with seven cars sold to teams competing in the WEC, Le Mans and European Le Mans Series.
Tandy and Pilet are heading off to North America, competing in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship, and they’ll be joined by Bamber and Vanthoor.
On the car front, the 911 GT3 R has been given an upgrade for 2018. There’s a new front lid for better heat management and new side flicks to help improve the aero balance. The good news is that you can retro fit these upgrades to the 2016 and 2017 cars, so older cars can remain current. Dumas, Werner and Makowiecki are having a tilt at the Intercontinental GT Challenge title in a brand new GT3 R.
The list keeps going: Timo Bernhard is going to compete in the ADAC GT Masters in his own Team 75 Bernhard squad; there will be a total of nine GT3 R cars at the Nürburgring 24-Hour; there are cars out in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, the Pirelli World Challenge and the Japanese Super GT series. Onto the Cup cars, where the world’s best-selling racing car, the GT3 Cup, continues its impressive run as Porsche has now sold an amazing 339 cars to 21 one-make series around the world. And, Porsche has expanded the youth development programme so that four drivers are now getting help and support as part of the Porsche Young Professionals programme.
Manic doesn’t cover it - can we breathe now?
So don’t forget to keep checking back to your Tribe for all the news on the latest motorsport successes.
After three championship titles and three Le Mans wins on the bounce, the awesome 919 Hybrid is off on a farewell worldwide tour. More details will be announced in early 2019