Sunday supplement: sports purpose
A memorable year affirms why Porsche will be back on track in 2020.
Another busy year for Porsche Motorsport has seen our GT teams chalking up multiple wins around the world. Also making headlines in 2019 was Porsche’s first foray into Formula E and some high-profile successes for our factory supported privateers.
Due to the calendar change in the World Endurance Championship, the 2018/19 Super Season concluded at Le Mans last June, with both manufacturer’s and drivers’ titles secured by Porsche in the GTE-Pro class with the 911 RSR. The sister team in the US also took the GTLM title in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, while the new 911 GT3 R claimed overall victory in the fiercely-contested Intercontinental GT Challenge. The titles and triumphs of the past year once again underline Porsche’s extensive commitment to motorsport, an ongoing tradition that constantly transfers technology into our road car programmes.
Making new traditions meanwhile, an incredible second place for works driver André Lotterer at the first race of the new season of Formula E saw Porsche striding into uncharted waters with equal assurance late this year. The 99X has entered its maiden season of the all-electric Formula series against a field of experienced works teams from eight other brands, but an intensive information exchange between Porsche’s development and motorsport departments over recent years has proven vital. Since 2010, insights from Weissach have flowed into the development of hybrid and electric drivetrains, and the shared knowledge gleaned from our 919 Hybrid and Taycan programmes has given Porsche a firm grasp on the complex new discipline of Formula E.
Another big part of our approach to motorsport is in closely supporting customer teams, and privately run 911 RSRs, GT3Rs and 718 GT4s have been frontrunners in almost all series this year, while taking major victories at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the Bathurst 12 Hour and in the GTE-Am class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Michael Steiner, R&D Board Member, sums up an impressive period on track for Porsche: “Using the 911 GT3 RS as the baseline, we’ve developed two racings cars, the 911 RSR and the 911 GT3 R, which have set the benchmark worldwide. Our works teams have held their own against the toughest competition in the FIA WEC and the IMSA SportsCar Championship. Porsche’s customer teams around the world have worked closely with us in the Intercontinental GT Challenge and have come out on top against 10 other automobile manufacturers. In Formula E, we’ve celebrated a sensational debut with second place at our race premiere. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
With so much to celebrate, it should come as no surprise that we’re aiming to do it all again in 2020. The new 911 RSR has already asserted itself in the current season of WEC, with two one-two finishes as well as three pole positions and podium results from three of the four races so far. Porsche now leads both manufacturer and driver titles at the midway point of the season and has confirmed that it will once again field four factory cars at the grand finale at Le Mans in June.
The new flagship works racer makes its debut in North America at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January. After winning both drivers’ and manufacturer’s titles this year with the previous generation 911 RSR, the aim is to consolidate on the success of 2019 in the IMSA SportsCar Championship with more poles and more class wins.
“With our iconic Porsche 911, we have won all titles in the world’s most important GT racing series,” says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Board. “This is a clear indication of the quality of our sports cars and the competence of our engineers. Right from the outset we’ve also proven that we’re competitive in Formula E and hence demonstrate our innovative ability in the field of electric mobility. Motorsport is part of Porsche’s DNA.”