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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Porsche has “rating to settle” in final Le Mans GTE Professional outing

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The German producer has clarified that the World Endurance Championship showpiece occasion on 11-12 June would be the final time its Manthey Racing-operated 911 RSR-19s compete on the Circuit de la Sarthe, because it prepares to change its focus to its LMDh programme in 2023.

Porsche will as soon as once more be represented by its pair of full-time WEC entries, the #91 automotive of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki, and the #92 machine of Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor.

Since switching to the current-gen RSR-19 for the 2020 version of Le Mans, the Stuttgart agency has struggled for competitiveness towards rival marques Ferrari, Corvette and Aston Martin.

However Porsche Motorsport’s vp Thomas Laudenbach says the producer has all the things it must exit GTE Professional on a excessive this time.

“We’re tackling the 24 Hours of Le Mans properly ready, with big dedication and because the leaders of the WEC rankings,” stated Laudenbach. “That is the final time the works crew will contest the tradition-steeped basic with the 2 911 RSR.

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“We nonetheless have a rating to settle there: because the debut in 2019 [post-Le Mans], our automobiles have received on virtually all racetracks on the FIA WEC calendar – solely the GTE-Professional class win at Le Mans is lacking from our checklist of successes.

“We wish to change this. There’s little doubt that our RSR, the six works drivers and the crew are able to this.”

Porsche’s manufacturing facility WEC entries ran in retro liveries in 2018, with the ‘Pink Pig’ #92 automotive main a 1-2 forward of the Rothmans-themed #91

Picture by: Marc Fleury

Estre, Christensen and Vanthoor claimed Porsche’s most up-to-date GTE Professional triumph in 2018 with the previous-generation 911 RSR.

The marque’s first outing with the present automotive in 2020 was marked by myriad technical points regardless of Bruni scoring pole place, and ended up occupying the underside two locations in school.

It improved to 3rd and fourth final yr, however nonetheless did not have the tempo to actually threaten Ferrari or Corvette.

“Up to now two years, we haven’t achieved the outcomes that do our 911 RSR justice,” stated Estre. “We’re extremely motivated to alter this on the automotive’s remaining Le Mans begin within the GTE Professional class.

“The primary two races of this yr’s FIA WEC season went properly for us: we’re main the championship. We’re bringing all the things we have now to the desk to attain a category victory. However at Le Mans, you all the time should be ready for something, as a result of the monitor has its personal particular traits.”

Bruni added: “After the disappointments of the previous two years, we lastly wish to get again to the highest. We now have all the things it takes to make that occur.

“Motivation is at an all-time excessive as a result of everybody desires to crown the ultimate outing of our manufacturing facility RSR in Le Mans with a category win. I’m trying ahead to driving the primary laps, however I’m simply as excited for the massive crowds which can be anticipated.”

Learn Additionally:

It is unclear whether or not the GTE Professional class will even proceed in any respect subsequent yr, because the WEC’s rulemakers have acknowledged {that a} minimal of 4 entries from two producers will probably be wanted to maintain the class alive for yet one more yr earlier than the introduction of a brand new pro-am GT3 class in 2024.

Ferrari can be poised to change its full focus to the highest Hypercar class subsequent yr with the introduction of its new LMH contender.



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