Once upon a time, to experience the unique thrill of driving a Porsche you had to buy or lease — or steal — a Porsche. Not anymore.
October 2018 Porsche USA sales numbers are in: Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) reports retail sales of 4,817 automobiles.
These figures translate to a 2.2 percent increase year-over-year — an all-time record for the month of October. Total sales for the first 10 months of 2018 were 47,443 units. This amounts to a 3.2 percent increase, compared to the same timeframe last year.
“Porsche is having an exciting year as we find new ways to connect with customers,” announced Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of PCNA.
Three Porsche model lines drove the October surge. Chief among them was the Porsche 911. The brand’s iconic 911 spearheaded the charge with increased sales of 14.2 percent year-over-year.
The runner-up Macan increased its sales by 9.9 percent. The new-generation Cayenne rounded out the “podium” with an increase of 1.1 percent.
Mr. Zellmer goes on to say, “Whether it is the powerful new Cayenne or the expanded selection of enthusiast-focused 911 variants, we are thrilled that more drivers and their families want to add a Porsche crest to their lives.”
Yet another way for buyers to connect with Porsche and park a Porsche crest in their garages is the Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program.
Also in the USA in October, Porsche Approved CPO sales added up to 1,715 vehicles, and yet another increase, this time at 3.5 percent year-over-year.
Porsche wins 2018 WEC Fuji 6 Hours today, the fourth round of the 2018 World Endurance Championship (WEC). Taking care of business at Japan’s historically treacherous Fuji Speedway, the Porsche GT Team emerged victorious at the end of the 6-hour race.
The No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR whooshed cross finish first in class, GTE-Pro, at the drop of the checkers.
Porsche also scored a “double play” of sorts: newbie Project 1 team secured the top of the podium in GTE-Am class at the 2018 WEC Fuji 6 Hours this afternoon. The No. 56 Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR garnered the win for both the team and for Porsche.
Porsche Dominates the GTE-Pro Class at the 2018 Fuji 6 Hours
The GTE-Pro class this date consisted of ten vehicles offered up by five manufacturers vying for victory under shifting weather conditions; Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche.
Sharing the No. 92 510-hp Porsche 911 RSR and qualifying last in their classification, Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kevin Estre (France) scrambled all the way up to the top of the podium in their GTE-Pro class – with impeccable class:
- Track conditions were not ideal initially. Drizzle fell on and slimed the 2.84-mile / 4.563-kilometer racetrack in the first hour of the race. Finally, a 30-minute safety-car event gradually dried the track.
- Then the Porsche GT Team’s optimal set-up and clever pit-stop strategy allowed the Danish-French dynamic duo to get down to serious business after changing wets to slicks.
- Methodically the No. 92 RSR picked off the frontrunners, one by one by one. With about an hour and a half left on the clock, Christensen finally muscled his way up to P1.
- The crew shoehorned-in a driver change during the last pit stop, Estre anchoring the final stint. Once again, the Porsche GT Team’s timing was sheer perfection – with Estre finishing in first place.
“I’m incredibly happy about our victory,” gushed Estre in the afterglow of the awesome win. “Our set-up was simply fantastic and the good braking performance was an important aspect of our success at Fuji.
“After we changed to slicks during the safety car phase early on in the race, our car set-up allowed us to brake later than the others and thus gain positions. Our pit stop strategy also ran perfectly.”
Christensen seconded that emotion, and further elaborated on it: “The changing weather and track conditions were a challenge, but we mastered them very well. We changed to slicks earlier than the others and that was very probably a key factor for our success.”
Richard Lietz (Austria) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) traded piloting duties in the No. 91 sister car. By heartbreaking contrast, though, a fumbled pit stop and degrading tires in the latter laps took their toll. The result was a dispiriting fifth-place finish.
Lietz, however, graciously put the whole weekend in philosophical perspective: “First and foremost I’d like to congratulate the winners in the GTE-Pro and -Am categories here, and of course at the Petit Le Mans in the USA – a great weekend for Porsche, but unfortunately not for our car.
“We had several problems, which we now need to analyze and, of course, fix,” Mr. Lietz continued. “There was certainly nothing wrong with the performance of the drivers or the speed of the 911 RSR.”
No matter. Their Fuji result also earned the No. 91 crucial championship points – points that have extended Porsche’s lead in both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championship classifications.
“We almost always made the right decisions during the race and the car was good and fast,” asserted Alexander Stehlig, Program Manager of Factory GT Motorsports. The No. 92 car drove a flawless race.”
“Our No. 91 unfortunately had problems during the pit stop. On top of that, the balance wasn’t great in the last stint. But all in all, we’re very satisfied.”
Stehlig ought to be quite content on balance. The Porsche GT Factory Team not only put in a strong performance in spite of circumstances, but the entire field of Porsche GTE-Am privateer teams also demonstrated even grander Porsche excellence.
Porsche Also Rules the GTE-Am Class at the 2018 Fuji 6 Hours
The Project 1 Team, new to WEC, scored its maiden first-place win in GTE-Am. Pilots Patrick Lindsey (USA) and Egidio Perfetti (Norway) shared the No. 56 Porsche 911 RSR with all-around nice guy and veteran Porsche Works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) (l-r above).
Bergmeister drove the win home, crossing the finish line under checkers.
“At first the race ran like the entire weekend: Not so satisfactorily,” Bergmeister confessed. “We had contact, a spin and had to change the door. But midway through the race the tide turned in our favor, and we brought home a pleasing victory.
“It’s the first WEC win for me and also for Project 1. That’s a great step for us in terms of collecting points. We’re all happy with this and it’s going in the right direction.”
Dempsey Proton Racing’s No. 88 Porsche 911 RSR and its pilots enjoyed their first podium. Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Satoshi Hoshino (Japan) and Giorgio Roda (Italy) were all thrilled – and thrilling – in their runner-up triumph – contributing to Porsche’s one-two punch in GTE-Am.
“A good result for us. The first podium in the WEC season,” Cairoli celebrated. “I very much enjoyed driving the 911 RSR here. It felt really great – especially the overtaking maneuvers and duels out on the track. I was particularly impressed by my teammate Hoshino. This was only his second time in the RSR and he was really fast.”
The Gulf Racing Team and its No. 86 Porsche 911 RSR also put in a fine effort. Sharing driver’s duties with Michael Wainwright (Great Britain) and Ben Barker (Great Britain), Porsche Junior Thomas Preining (Austria) stinted the car last in his debut. He finished in fifth place.
Preining summed it all up: “That was a good first experience in the WEC. At one point we were even leading with our team, and my teammates did a fantastic job. At the end I drove a double stint and managed to work my way up to fifth place with our RSR.”
Dempsey Proton Racing’s second car, the No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR, finished in eighth place. Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), Christian Ried (Germany) and Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France) piloted the No. 77 RSR.
An unscheduled repairs pit stop tumbled the racecar down through the field. Hence the 8th-place finish.
Nonetheless, the No. 77 car and team garnered critical championship points. Therefore, they retain their lead position in the GTE-Am class championship.
“I’m a bit frustrated,” confided Campbell. “In the middle of the race we were looking promising, we were fast and within striking distance of the leaders. Unfortunately an electrical problem cost us 25 laps.”
Andlauer picked up the story on that critical aspect of their race: “I could only rejoin the race 25 laps later. The car then felt good again – the balance and the speed were excellent.
“It’s a pity because no one made a mistake; it was the technology that hampered us. There’s nothing you can do about that. I think we could have won, but that’s racing.”
Round five of the FIA WEC World Sports Car Championship is next up, this time in Shanghai, China, on November 16, 2018.
- Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 207 laps
- Blomquist/da Costa (S/P), BMW M8 GTE, 207 laps
- Priaulx/Tincknell (GB/GB), Ford GT, 207 laps
- Pier Guidi/Calado (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 207 laps
- Lietz/Bruni (A/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 207 laps
- Mücke/Pla (D/F), Ford GT, 206 laps
- Sorensen/Thiim (DK/DK), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 206 laps
- Tomczyk/Catsburg (D/NL), BMW M8 GTE, 206 laps
- Lynn/Martin (GB/B), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 206 laps
- Rigon/Bird (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 202 laps
- Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, 201 laps
- Hoshino/Roda/Cairoli (J/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 201 laps
- Yoluc/Adam/Eastwood (TR/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 201 laps
- Dalla Lana/Lamy/Lauda (CDN/P/A), Aston Martin Vantage GTE, 201 laps
- Wainwright/Barker/Preining (GB/GB/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 201 laps
- Flohr/Castellacci/Fisichella (CH/I/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 200 laps
- Mok/Sawa/Griffin (MAL/J/IRL), Ferrari 488 GTE, 200 laps
- Ried/Andlauer/Campbell (D/F/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 176 laps
- Ishikawa/Beretta/Cheever (J/MC/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 14 laps
All results can be found at the following site: http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com
Today Porsche wins 2018 Petit Le Mans, the final round of the 2018 IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship. In Braselton, Georgia, at famed Road Atlanta, the Porsche GT Team emerged victorious at the end of a grueling 10-hour endurance marathon.
The No. 911 crossed the finish line first in class at the checkers to win the 2018 Motul Petit Le Mans. This clinched the Porsche GT Team’s third GTLM class win of the season.
Piloted by Frédéric Makowiecki (France), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Patrick Pilet (France), the No. 911 510-hp Porsche 911 RSR began the race P5 in class. Then to all Porschephiles’ delight, the No. 911 RSR methodically worked its way up through the field.
Although, No. 911’s steady advance was like swimming against the raging current of brutal competition in the GTLM class, both today as well as throughout the entire neck-and-neck season. This was fierce determination to just win, baby — in tandem with perfect team tactics. Result: A near-flawless race.
“It was a gripping race with highs and lows,” conceded Pascal Zurlinden, Director of GT Factory Motorsport. “Minor errors on the racetrack cost us some time, but with perfect strategies and tire choices, we made it to the front of the field.
“After victories in Sebring and at Le Mans and now Petit Le Mans — the entire team simply did a perfect job,” Mr. Zurlinden continued, “and today we extended the contract with the squad for another three years. Now we’ll prepare for next season.”
The No. 911 racecar was clad in legendary blue, red and orange Mobil 1 livery stripes (as was the sister No. 912 car). This livery was chosen to evoke fond memories of the famed and fierce-looking 1998 911 GT1-98 from 20 years earlier. We’re glad the result lived up to the nostalgic image.
So the third act of the 21st Don Panoz-originated Petit Le Mans cast the No. 911 in the role of grand-finale hero of this perennial epic. That is when Makowiecki asserted Porsche’s dominance. With about three hours left in the race’s countdown, Makowiecki scaled the podium’s precipice to a provisional P1 and never looked down from there.
Then Tandy grabbed the baton for his anchor stint to glory — ultimately rocketing across the finish line to win his GTLM class, with a cozy 11.443-second margin down to the second step of the podium.
“What a crazy race!” Nick Tandy called out. “We were relegated from the front to the back and then came back to the front. When you’re a lap down and still manage to win, it shows just how brilliantly the entire team worked. Our focus was on ensuring that the car was still fast in cool temperatures at the end. And it worked perfectly. And that was the key to victory.”
Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President of Motorsport and GT Cars, voiced his own excitement: “Patrick laid the foundations for this success with a strong double stint. Nick and Fred then brought it home… Petit Le Mans was a huge race. This victory fits perfectly with the successes that came just in time for Porsche’s 70th anniversary.”
Shared by Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and newcomer Mathieu Jaminet (France), the No. 912 racecar commenced the race as a serious contender for victory across the first 71 laps.
However, an early puncture threw a monkey wrench in it all. Then a drive-through penalty sounded the death knell, tumbling the trio headlong down the field. The No. 912 racecar tried every angle. All for naught.
That’s because the sickly relentless GTLM competition thwarted all noble attempts. Despite this tenacious resistance, though, the No. 912 racecar persevered to finish only one minute behind the winning No. 911 sister car.
Kudos. Not bad. Not bad at all.
“We definitely had a winning car today. That’s why it was extremely disappointing to receive a drive-through penalty,” vented Bamber, with some understandable emotion. “It ruined our chances of winning.”
Porsche Finishes Just Shy of the Podium in GTD Class at the 2018 Motul Petit Le Mans
Meanwhile, Porsche in the GTD class experienced similarly mind-blowing melodramas.
Veteran sole-American Porsche Works driver — as well as all-around good guy and family man — Patrick Long (USA) fought the good fight in GTD alongside Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen from Denmark and Germany’s Robert Renauer.
Not unlike the Factory No. 912 team, the trio in their No. 58 Wright Motorsports 500-hp Porsche 911 GT3 R also suffered a drive-through penalty. It too spelled curtains for the team, which finished a hair off the podium in fourth place.
But the worst luck of all befell the No. 73 GTD-class Porsche 911 GT3 R. Fielded by Park Place Motorsports for the 2018 Petit Le Mans, the No. 73 car grudgingly retired early in the fray after only 122 laps. Wolf Henzler (Germany) shared the grief with Americans Timothy Pappas and Spencer Pumpelly.
- Tandy/Pilet/Makowiecki (GB/F/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 419 laps
- Milner/Gavin/Fässler (USA/GB/CH), Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, 419 laps
- Krohn/Edwards/Mostert (FIN/USA/AUS), BMW M8 GTE, 419 laps
- Sims/De Phillippi/Auberlen (GB/USA/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 419 laps
- Briscoe/Westbrook/Dixon (AUS/GB/USA), Ford GT, 419 laps
- Vanthoor/Bamber/Jaminet (B/NZ/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 419 laps
- Hand/Müller/Bourdais (USA/D/F), Ford GT, 418 laps
- Magnussen/Garcia/Fässler (DK/E/CH), Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, 417 laps
- Vilander/Molina/Bertolini (FIN/E/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 416 laps
- MacNeil/Serra/Jeannette (USA/BRA/USA), Ferrari 488 GT3, 407 laps
- Legge/Parente/Hindman (GB/P/USA), Acura NSX GT3, 407 laps
- Sellers/Snow/Lewis (USA/USA/USA), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 406 laps
- Long/Nielsen/Renauer (USA/DK/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 406 laps
- Henzler/Pumpelly/Pappas (D/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 122 laps
Full results are available on: http://results.imsa.com
Retail sales of 5,102 Porsche vehicles in September 2018 were just reported by Porsche Cars North America (PCNA). This represents a very modest increase of 0.8 percent over September of last year.
However, in contrast, retail sales for the first nine months of 2018 registered a respectable increase of 3.4 percent, over the same period in 2017. This translates to total sales of 42,626 vehicles for this year’s first three quarters.
Consumer demand for two specific model lines drove September sales numbers.
Sales of Porsche’s flagship mainstay, the iconic 911, continue strong as usual. 911 purchases increased last month by a robust 37.8 percent.
Secondly, the latest generation of the Cayenne just arrived in U.S. showrooms. This new arrival spawned a spike in sales of 26.9 percent year-over-year.
“The new 2019 Cayenne is an exciting addition to a Porsche product range that continues to fascinate people,” stated Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of PCNA. “Our sales in the first three quarters of this year are a powerful testament to the quality and customer experience we offer.”
September USA sales of Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles amounted to 1,826 units. This translates to a healthy increase of year-over-year sales of 18 percent.
Porsche unveils official Rennsport Reunion VI poster, the artwork of which Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) commissioned for the upcoming rare, spectacular motorsports event in September.
Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI — The Event
Once again hosted by PCNA with support and assistance from the Porsche Club of America, Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI (as its “VI” implies) is the sixth iteration of “the world’s largest gathering of all generations of Porsche racecars and their drivers,” touts the PCNA announcement.
This year, Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI will be expanded from the three-day duration of past Reunions to an unprecedented four-day “family reunion.” Once again, this historic event is set at world-renowned WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, just off the Monterey Peninsula, from September 27 through 30, 2018.
In 2015, Rennsport Reunion V attracted close to 60,000 fans from all over the world to Laguna Seca Raceway.
As was the case then, Rennsport Reunion VI will be another aforementioned family reunion of the largest gathering of vintage as well as contemporary Porsche racecars, their drivers past and present, their engineers, and, of course, thousands of Porsche fans from around the globe.
Rennsport Reunion VI is one of many events taking place this year to commemorate and celebrate Porsche’s 70th anniversary of its very first sports car.
Here are some links that you need to bookmark to stay up to date on the latest developments about Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI:
The official Parade Lap registration link (to purchase Parade Laps which went on sale on July 11, 2018, at noon EDT — supplies are severely limited and can be purchased only if you have already pre-purchased a PCA Corral Pass).
The official Laguna Seca Raceway website (to learn more about the event directly from the Raceway and to obtain tickets to the event).
The official Porsche website about all Porsche Rennsport Reunions (to learn about Reunions past, present and future).
The official Porsche Club of America website (to get the latest updates on PCA’s plans for and activities at Rennsport Reunion VI)
The official StuttgartDNA website (to learn about the latest general developments on Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI).
The official Monterey Peninsula lodging website (to help you secure lodging once room rates during the event become available. Also check out the usual travel websites to find lodging.)
Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI — The Official Poster
The official poster for Rennsport Reunion VI depicts three significant players in Porsche motorsport history (from top to bottom):
- The 1960 12 Hours of Sebring winner — the Type 718 RS 60 — Porsche’s first overall endurance race winner
- The 2008 RS Spyder which, to everyone’s amazement, from its LMP2 Prototype class won races overall ahead of presumably more dominant LMP1 cars in the American Le Mans Series, and
- The groundbreaking 959 Group B rally car, which not only won the punishing 6,200-mile 1986 Paris-Dakar off-road rally, but also subsequently evolved into the world’s fastest street-legal production car of its time.
The poster is a reproduction of the original painting by celebrated automotive artist Dennis Simon, the creator of four of the previous five Reunion posters. Here are descriptions of his previous Reunion works:
- 2004 Rennsport Reunion II poster — set at the 1968 24 Hours of Daytona as three 908s cross the finish line
- 2007 Rennsport Reunion III poster — depicts the formidable 917 and 962 in Gulf and Löwenbräu liveries, respectively
- 2011 Rennsport Reunion IV poster — adorned with Al Holbert’s 911 RSR from 1974 and the 1981 factory 935 long-tail, notoriously known as “Moby Dick,” in world-famous Martini Racing livery
- 2015 Rennsport Reunion V poster — rendered on this poster from the last Reunion are the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning 917 K, the now-retired Le Mans-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid and LMP1 WEC Champion, and the class-winning 356 SL at the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans
Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI — Ticket Availability
As of this writing, very few tickets and General Camping spots for Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI are still available — but they won’t last very much longer.
Grab them fast while you can by calling the Laguna Seca ticket office at 831-242-8200. Also call this number to inquire about the availability, if any at this late date, of Premier and Reserved Camping reservations.
You can also check availability and purchase any remaining tickets by clicking here on this link to the Laguna Seca / TicketMaster ticket portal.
Sadly, though, all Porsche Corral tickets are sold out, as are all Premier Pit Row Suites, and all Flagroom and Preferred Parking options.
Porsche wins both 2018 Le Mans 24-Hour GT classes – GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes – in the 86th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans classic.
This double win in both classes are Porsche’s 106th and 107th class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans is very special for Porsche – wonderful celebratory achievements coincidentally occurring during Porsche’s anniversary year of “70 Years of Porsche Sports Cars.”
The No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR led its GTE-Pro class through two-thirds of the Sarthe classic, and subsequently for most of the balance of the race. Their nighttime laps of the race were virtually flawless in defending their lead.
After a truly flawless 344 laps, the No. 92 factory Porsche 911 RSR whooshed cross the finish line first in GTE-Pro class on Sunday afternoon.
“An absolutely perfect weekend for Porsche,” noted Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. “You can’t wish for more than this in our anniversary year. It’s impossible to plan such a thing, but when it happens, it’s an indescribable feeling.
“Congratulations to the drivers, the teams and all the employees who made this success possible. It makes me very proud,” Dr. Porsche emoted.
In the “Pink Pig”-colored (aka the “Truffle Hunter”-liveried) No. 92 car, lucky dog Michael Christensen (Denmark) was behind the wheel to revel in the glory firsthand. Ecstatically his fellow No. 92 pilots Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Kévin Estre (France) cheered him on from the pits.
“Today is one of the most beautiful – no, the most beautiful day – of my career: I’ve won Le Mans,” gushed Laurens Vanthoor. “I can’t describe my emotions and I still can’t believe it. Kevin, Michael and I complemented each other perfectly. The entire team was just brilliant today.”
Kévin Estre chimed in: “It’s simply unbelievable. I just can’t describe my feelings. Today is the best day of my life. We have won the world’s most difficult and wonderful race. That can’t be put into words.”
“It was an incredible race. I don’t know what to say. The car was fast right from the start,” added Michael Christensen, summing it all up. “We had a little luck during a safety car phase, and we managed to pull clear of the field a little. From that point on, we focused on extending our lead.
“In the final third of the race we simply tried to avoid taking any risks and bring the car home safely. This worked perfectly.”
The Pink Pig’s marathon triumph represents the unprecedented 106th class win for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the 8.47-mile storied Sarthe race circuit.
Equally stunning after an entire 24 hours, the No. 91 sister car took the checkers next in second place, piloted by Frédéric Makowiecki (France), in the GTE-Pro class. Fellow No. 91 Factory drivers Richard Lietz (Austria) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) also cheered on Makowiecki in their garage.
“Today is a banner day for Porsche – this double win is a wonderful gift for the 70th anniversary,” declared Lietz. “It was a great race, and it doesn’t get much better than first and second place. This shows that GT racing is the future and we need to invest in it.”
As the veteran newcomer to the Porsche works drivers, Gianmaria Bruni had the following to say: “This double victory is fantastic – for Porsche and our team. We had a great race and a great fight with our No. 92 sister car. We tried everything but our team colleagues didn’t make any mistakes and they deserve this win.”
Makowiecki furiously contended non-stop with the No. 68 Ford GT for more than hour. The Frenchman totally kept his cool all the while in his the blue-and-white “Rothmanns”-liveried 911 RSR, hanging on to second place for the most precious last third of the race.
“Our car was very fast, but we simply couldn’t keep up with our sister car, which was incredibly consistent,” confessed Makowiecki.
“For over an hour, I battled hard with a competitor for second place. That makes my job as a race driver really fun, but we couldn’t make up ground in this phase. I’m thrilled for the team with our second place at Le Mans. We’ll be back next year to fight for victory,” Makowiecki vowed.
So how is it so momentously possible that Porsche wins both 2018 Le Mans 24 GT classes – seemingly with the greatest of ease?
For one thing, Porsche had history on its side – Porsche has “been there, done that” so many times before that Porsche seems unstoppable over time at this rate.
This is very reminiscent of all foregoing triumphant times in Porsche motorsport. (Parenthetically, we thank and love you eternally, Baron Fritz Huschke von Hanstein, Porsche’s original motorsports impresario, in effect for inaugurating this long, unprecedented legacy.)
This year’s GTE-Pro victory represents the extraordinary 106th class win for Porsche at Le Mans. Amazing. . .
Not so happily amazing is what happened to the third factory Porsche 911 RSR, the No. 93 car. Piloted by Patrick Pilet (France), Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain), No. 93 lost 25 minutes due to repairs and ultimately finished eleventh.
No. 94, the fourth and final factory Porsche 911 RSR, suffered an even worse fate. Shared by factory teammates Romain Dumas (France), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Sven Müller (Germany), the No. 94 car retired after nightfall — the culprit: suspension failure.
“Obviously I’m really disappointed,” Dumas volunteered. Most of all I feel sorry for the team because the guys have worked hard and did a great job. But things like this can happen in motor racing.”
The second Porsche win came in GTE-Am, of course, memorializing the 107th class win for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The No. 77 Porsche of the Dempsey-Proton Racing customer team crossed the finish line first in its GTE-Am class. Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), Christian Ried (Germany) and Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France) shared driving duties in the No. 77 Porsche.
Julien Andlauer is now the youngest class winner at Le Mans, at just 18 years old.
“At 18 years of age,” enthused Andlauer, “I was given the chance to contest Le Mans for the first time, and then we won. I’m very proud of the whole team and I can’t really believe it yet. Now I’m the youngest Le Mans winner – incredible.”
Patrick Dempsey, co-owner of Dempsey-Proton Racing, had this to say about his team’s against-all-odds win: “I’m lost for words. Everyone did a fantastic job – it was a victory for the whole team. The race was incredible – we made no mistakes and our work was rewarded with this great success. I can’t tell you how incredibly proud and happy I am for Porsche, too.”
The No. 99 Porsche 911 RSR of the Proton Competition customer team finished just one place away from the third step on the podium. Finishing fourth in class, the No. 99’s All-American team consisted of Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California), Porsche veteran pilot Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia) and rookie Timothy Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts).
“It was great fun driving the car here,” Patrick Long mused. “I particularly enjoyed the night stints. The lights on the new 911 RSR are a great development. We’re very pleased about our sister car’s victory in the GTE-Pro class.”
Patrick Long’s WeatherTech teammate in the GT Daytona class and Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark) finished in sixth place in the No. 80 Ebimotors Porsche 911 RSR. Christina ran the race along with teammates Fabio Babini (Italy) and Erik Maris (France).
“Sixth place is a very good result, because this was our first time at Le Mans,” explained Christina Nielsen. “We worked hard and made very few mistakes. I’m very proud of the whole team. We will improve and hopefully be back next year to compete.”
Long and Nielsen will resume their IMSA competition during the Six Hours of The Glen on the July 1st. Both drivers will team up once again in their Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR finished in seventh place in GTE-Am class. Works driver Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Egidio Perfetti (Norway) and Park Place Motorsports principal / driver Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) shared driving duties in the No. 56 car.
Competing in the WEC during the 2018-2019 “Super Season,” Lindsey made his debut in the Sarthe 24-hour marathon.
“We experienced a race of mixed fortunes,” Jörg Bergmeister confessed. “At one point things looked really promising for us and we were within striking distance of second place.
“However, unfortunately we were hampered by brake problems towards the end of the race and fell back. But we’ve gained a lot of valuable experience, which will help us in the future.”
Bergmeister and Lindsey will return to North American shores (in their own Park Place GT3 R), as will Nielsen and Long, all four campaigning in their respective GT3 R cars at the six-hour endurance classic at Watkins Glen in two weeks.
Consisting of team pilots Mike Wainwright (Great Britain), Ben Barker (Great Britain) and Alex Davison (Australia), the No. 86 Gulf Racing customer team was on the receiving end of a punt by an errant car on the course. The accident knocked the No. 86 car all the way to the back of the field shortly after the race began.
The Gulf team’s pit crew fought tooth and nail to repair the car. Once the racecar got back out on track, the No. 86 Porsche clawed its way back up the leaderboard to finish in a very respectable tenth position – all things considered.
Speaking for the No. 86 team, Ben Barker asserted, “Unfortunately we couldn’t bring home the result we wanted after 24 hours. The car was very fast over the entire race distance, even after our accident. The team did a brilliant job and made no mistakes. The accident at the start was simply bad luck.”
As Porsche wins both 2018 Le Mans 24-Hour GT classes, the triumphant Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen automobile manufacturer stretches further ahead of its competitors in the drivers’ and manufacturers’ classifications of the FIA WEC world championship.
“Victory in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am class underlines that we’re doing everything right at Porsche in both factory and customer sport,” declared Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport. “We were able to extend our lead in the manufacturers’ classification and we also moved into the lead of the drivers’ category. All in all, a perfect day.”
But perhaps Oliver Blume, CEO of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, summed up the double-victory result best by concluding, “…Porsche belongs to Le Mans and Le Mans belongs to Porsche.”
Aaaah, there is no substitute. . .
- Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor (DK/F/B), Porsche 911 RSR, 344 laps
- Lietz/Bruni/Makowiecki (A/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 343 laps
- Hand/Müller/Bourdais (USA/D/F), Ford GT, 343 laps
- Pilet/Tandy/Bamber (F/GB/NZ), Porsche 911 RSR, 338 laps
- Ried/Andlauer/Campbell (D/F/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 335 laps
- Flohr/Castellacci/Fisichella (CH/I/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 335 laps
- Keating/Bleekemolen/Stolz (USA/NL/D), Ferrari 488 GTE, 334 laps
- Long/Pappas/Pumpelly (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, 334 laps
- Babini/Nielsen/Maris (I/DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 332 laps
- Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, 332 laps
- Wainwright/Barker/Davison (GB/GB/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 324 laps
Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) recently announced its May 2018 Porsche USA sales figures — 5,005 customer deliveries.
This is the second month in a row that Porsche has delivered over 5,000 cars each month. It is also the fifth consecutive monthly record since January, yielding year-over-year growth of 4.2 percent.
When looking at the big picture, this translates to sales increasing by 6.4 percent for the first five months of the year with 24,529 vehicles, compared to last year’s sales of 23,052 units at the same time last year.
“This is a new level of Porsche fascination,” mused Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of PCNA. “May was the first time our dealers delivered more than 5,000 cars a month for two months in a row, after April’s all-time record of 5,570.
“The story of this year so far is the strong performance across our model lines, from the iconic Porsche 911 and 718 to our new generation Panamera and best-selling Macan.”
Once again, the growth leaders this month were the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, with a combined sales growth of 31.8 percent since last month.
The Macan also showed its characteristically consistent growth to date, coming in at 29.5 percent. Not far behind was the latest-generation Panamera, rising by 16.7 percent over May of last year. The iconic 911 grew by 6.7 percent.
Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) sales stateside amounted to 2,146 units this May 2018, a healthy increase of 37.7 percent year-over-year.
Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) just released its sales figures of 5,570 vehicles sold in April.
The announcement from Atlanta ballyhooed this news with some understandable excitement, as these numbers represent a new all-time single-month sales record for Porsche in the good ol’ U. S. of A.
This tops the previous record of 5,555 sales units set just this past November 2017.
This April’s figures translate to a 0.7 percent increase over April 2017. Year-over-year retail sales spanning the four months also trended with even greater upward mobility at 7.0 percent, at 19,524 units.
“The Porsche mix of two and four-door sports cars is getting a broad welcome from customers. We see this in the strong April demand that crosses model lines,” affirmed Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of PCNA. “Our 189 dealers are continually improving the customer experience, and this certainly is an essential factor for our mutual success.”
The 718 Cayman, which increased sales by 67 percent year-over-year, represented the greatest April growth. The Macan demonstrated its remarkable staying power with gains of 32.5 percent compared to April 2017.
Other model lines manifested their own upward sales trends. The 911 (+12.1 percent), the new generation Panamera (+71.5 percent), and the 718 Cayman (+67.0 percent) drove up double-digit year-over-year increases since January.
Porsche Approved Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) U.S. sales continued to show consistently respectable numbers: 1,807 vehicles rolled off dealership lots, an uptick of 11.9 percent year-over-year.