Eyes on the prize for Porsche in Monza
The GT team aims to reclaim the WEC lead this weekend
Round three of the World Endurance Championship arrives at the famous Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy this weekend, with Porsche’s factory team keen to re-establish a lead in the title GTE-Pro title fight.
The high-speed circuit north of Milan is hosting the series for the first time with a six-hour endurance race that will see Porsche try to overturn the points advantage built by class rivals Ferrari at the previous race in Portugal. Porsche fields two 911 RSR in GTE-Pro while customer teams Project 1, Dempsey-Proton Racing and GR Racing campaign a total of five further 911 cars in GTE-Am.
“At the last race in Portimão, we struggled to find the right use of the tyres,” explains Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport. “The team looked at the causes and took appropriate measures to avoid something like this happening again. We firmly believe that we’ll find our way back to our former competitiveness in time for the Monza race and that we’ll reclaim the championship lead at the home race of our main rival Ferrari in Italy.”
Monza has a long and rich history, starting back in 1922, as an oval circuit. The modern track, which has hosted 70 Formula 1 Grand Prix since 1950, is some 5.8 kilometres in length, with famously long straights making for high speeds and hard braking.
“We’re all excited, but we’re still, we’re facing a major challenge,” says Alexander Stehlig, Head of Operations FIA WEC. “Our Porsche 911 RSR is particularly strong in the semi-fast and fast corners. Unfortunately, there aren’t many of these passages at Monza. The focus is not on downforce or aerodynamic efficiency, but rather on the sheer top speed and braking performance of the cars. We have to respond to this with a special setup. I’m confident that we’ll be competitive in Monza and score many world championship points.”
Sharing driving duties in the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR are Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni who will be racing on home turf in the FIA WEC for the first time. The pair currently rank fourth in the drivers’ championship, two behind Kévin Estre and Neel Jani in the No. 92 car. The French and Swiss pairing won the season opener in Belgium and have so far claimed pole position at all GTE-Pro qualifying sessions in 2021.
Qualifying for round three take place at 18:00 CEST on Saturday, with the race scheduled to start at 12:00 on Sunday.