GT – Pretest 24 Hours of Le Mans, France
The countdown for the Le Mans 24 Hours is on: At the official pretest on the 13.629-kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures, the Porsche GT Team has entered the critical phase in preparing for the world’s toughest automobile race. Sixty cars and 180 drivers will take up the prestigious pursuit around the clock on 17 June, which marks the 85th running of the French classic. Two of these contenders are the new 911 RSR. The 510 hp race car, which Porsche Motorsport developed in Weissach based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sportscar, celebrates its much anticipated debut at Le Mans in the fiercely contested GTE-Pro class.
In changeable conditions and pleasant temperatures of just over 20 degrees Celsius, all six GT works drivers, who will drive the 911 RSR at the long-distance Le Mans classic in France, worked on the setup of the new cars and on testing tyre options. Richard Lietz (Austria) and the Frenchmen Patrick Pilet and Frédéric Makowiecki share driving duties in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR. During the two four-hour test sessions, the trio covered a distance of 1,185.723 kilometres and drove the fastest lap in the GTE-Pro class. The sister car with the starting number 92, driven by Michael Christensen (Denmark), Kévin Estre (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany), covered a distance of 981.288 kilometres and posted the second quickest time. The 24-hour circuit with its legendary corners like Mulsanne and Tertre Rouge as well as its almost five-kilometre-long Mulsanne straight is unusual in its mix of racetrack and normal roads. This, too, throws special challenges at the pilots and their cars.
At the pretests, the focus for the three Porsche customer teams fielding four 2015-spec 911 RSR in the GTE-Am class was on the setup and tyres. The spotlight was on the #77 nine-eleven run by Dempsey Proton Racing with the Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) who celebrates his debut at the world famous long-distance classic. Patrick Long (USA), as another Porsche factory driver, competes for the Proton Competition customer team, fielding two 911 RSR. The third customer squad is Gulf Racing.