Event:  53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona
Dateline:  Daytona Beach, Fla.
Circuit:  Daytona International Speedway
Track Length/Turns:  3.56-miles/12-turns
Round:  One of Ten, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
Next Round:  Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, March 21

Porsche Event:
TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
Date:  Saturday-Sunday, January 24-25, 2015
Race Duration:  24 Hours
Classes:  GT Le Mans (Porsche 911 RSR), GT Daytona (Porsche 911 GT America)

Porsche Motorsport 2015 Daytona 24 preview:  GTLM and GTD

Porsche Profile – Event Story Lines:

Porsche In Two Classes – 12 Seventh-Generation Porsche 911s Entered for 53rd Rolex 24

Porsche is the most successful sports car manufacturer at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) since the inception of the first Daytona Continental race in 1962, and the first 24 Hours of Daytona in 1966.  In that time, the German marque has captured a record 22 overall victories, the first in 1968 and the most recent in 2010. Over half, 12, of those overall titles have come with another Porsche giving chase and finishing second.

As recently as 2014’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory for the No. 911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche has won 76 class victories.  The venerable entry with the rear-engine layout has 12 opportunities to add a 77th and 78th title in 2015 with three Porsche 911 RSR racecars in the top GT category, GTLM, and nine Porsche 911 GT America racecars in the GT Daytona (GTD) class that will fight for the pair of GT victories available.

GTLM Triad – Three Porsche 911 RSRs Look for Repeat GTLM Victory at Rolex 24

In 2014, Porsche North America, the first factory team in recent memory to focus on this continent, debuted at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.  The pair of then-new Porsche 911 RSRs ran at or near the front throughout the 24-hour race with both in contention deep into the night. It wasn’t until the No. 912 suffered a rare mechanical issue that it would be left to the No. 911 to take Porsche’s 76th career class victory at Daytona.

Porsche Motorsport 2015 Daytona 24 preview: Porsche North America's No. 912 911 RSR undergoing pit-stop practice during Daytona testing, 2015.

Now, the duo of Porsche works 911 RSRs return to Daytona International Speedway joined by a third privateer entrant, Team Falken Tire. Porsche North America is back with 2014 winners Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Patrick Pilet (France) teamed with Porsche 919 Hybrid driver Marc Lieb (Germany).  The No. 912 has one of the veteran Porsche works drivers, Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), joined by sophomore factory driver Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and first-year works man Earl Bamber (New Zealand).

Porsche Motorsport 2015 Daytona 24 preview: Patrick Long testing at speed in the Falken Tire 911 RSR on the Daytona banking, 2015. Source: PMNA

The third entry, the No. 17 Team Falken Tire car, is shared by longtime Falken teammates Wolf Henzler (Germany) and Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Georgia).  They will gain the immense talent and experience of the United State’s only factory driver, Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) for Daytona.  The triad of the most iconic sports car in motorsports will face a field of 10 mostly factory entries in the ultra-competitive class.

It’s a Small World – Second-Year GB Autosport Draws Drivers from Around the Globe

GB Autosport was started in 2014 by Tully’s Coffee principal Michael Avenatti.  He got his first taste of racing in 2011 with Bob Faieta’s Competition Motorsports in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup competition, scoring a breakthrough podium finish at Laguna Seca in 2012 and then moved on to American Le Mans Series GTC competition.  After recovering from back surgery last fall, Avenatti re-joins the team as a driver for its sophomore season.

Porsche Motorsport 2015 Daytona 24 preview: The No. 81 Porsche 911 GT America testing on the Daytona banking, 2015

Scotland’s Rory Butcher (Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain), Poland’s Kuba Giermaziak (Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup), Ireland’s Damien Faulkner (Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain and returning GB driver) will join Americans Mike Skeen (Pirelli World Challenge) and Avenatti to make up the strongest lineup the team has ever had in its short existence for the No. 81 Tully’s Coffee Porsche 911 GT America.  Team Manager Cole Scogham had the GB Porsche in contention for a podium finish in the GT Daytona class at several races last season, but bad luck and some on-track incidents prevented more top finishes.  Still, the GB Porsche has had podium pace for most of the events, with a season-high fourth-place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park last July.

Porsche Race History:

Overall Wins – 22 (first in 1968; most recent in 2009 and 2010) (Record)
– From 1977 to 1987, Porsche had compiled 11 consecutive overall wins (Record)
– Initial Overall Win: 1968
– Finished 1-2 overall in 12 Daytona 24-Hours (Record)

Class Wins – 76 (includes Daytona Continental races starting in 1962; 24 hour races that started in 1966; most recent in GT Le Mans class in 2014)
– GT Class Wins: 27 (Record)
– SGS Class wins (class ran only in 2004): 1
– GX Class wins (class ran only in 2013): 1

Porsche 911 Wins – 40 Overall and Class Victories (Record)
– 20-Race-Winning Streak (overall or class): 1966-1987 (Record)
– GT class winner finishing second overall: 2001, 2004
– GTX Series Winner: 1978-1981
– GTP Series Winner: 1982-87, 1989, 1991

Race win statistics for the Rolex 24 – a majority accomplished in Porsches

Most Overall Victories.
1. Hurley Haywood, 5 (1991, 1979, 1977, 1975, 1973)
Scott Pruett, 5 (1994, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013)

2. Peter Gregg, 4 (1978, 1976, 1975, 1973)
Rolf Stommelen, 4 (1982, 1980, 1978, 1968)
Bob Wollek, 4 (1983, 1985, 1989, 1991)
Pedro Rodriguez, 4 (1971, 1970, 3 hour races in 1964 and 1963)

7. Brian Redman, 3 (1981, 1976, 1970)
Derek Bell, 3 (1989, 1987, 1986)
Andy Wallace, 3 (1999, 1998, 1990)
Butch Leitzinger, 3 (1999, 1997, 1994)
Juan Pablo Montoya, 2 (2007, 2008, 2013)

10. Mauro Baldi, 2 (2002, 1998)
Wayne Taylor, 2 (2005, 1996)
Elliott Forbes-Robinson, 2 (1999, 1997)
A.J. Foyt, 2 (1985, 1983)
Al Holbert, 2 (1986, 1987)
Jan Lammers, 2 (1990, 1988)
Ken Miles, 2 (1966, 327-lap race in 1965)
John Paul Jr., 2 (1997, 1982)
Lloyd Ruby, 2 (1966, 327-lap race in 1965)
Didier Theys, 2 (2002, 1998)
Al Unser Jr., 2 (1987, 1986)

Most Consecutive Overall Victories.
1. Peter Gregg, 3 (1973, 1975, 1976 – No Event Held in 1974)

2. Al Holbert, 2 (1986, 1987)
Al Unser Jr., 2 (1986, 1987
Derek Bell, 2 (1986, 1987)
Hurley Haywood, 2 (1973, 1975 – No Event Held in 1974)
Pedro Rodriguez, 2 (1970, 1971)
Ken Miles, 2 (1966, 327-lap race in 1965)
Lloyd Ruby, 2 (1966, 327-lap race in 1965)
Pedro Rodriguez, 2 (327-lap race in 1964, 3-hour race in 1963)
Scott Pruett, 2 (2007, 2008)
Juan Pablo Montoya, 2 (2007, 2008)

Most Class Victories.
1. Scott Pruett, 10 (1987, 1988, 1992 – 94, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013)

2. Peter Gregg, 6 (1978, 1976, 1975, 1973, 1972, 1968)
Hurley Haywood, 6 (1991, 1979, 1977, 1975, 1973, 1972)

3. Hans Herrmann, 4 (1968, 1967, 1966, 1963)
Pedro Rodriguez, 4 (1971, 1970, 1964, 1963)
Rolf Stommelen, 4 (1982, 1980, 1978, 1968)
Amos Johnson, 4 (1988, 1987, 1986, 1985)
Bob Wollek, 4 (1991, 1989, 1985, 1983)
Peter Uria, 4 (1993, 1992, 1991, 1990)
Robby Gordon, 4 (1993, 1992, 1991, 1990)
Wally Dallenbach Jr., 4 (1993, 1992, 1991, 1985)
Dick Greer, 4 (2001, 1993, 1992, 1991)
Andy Wallace, 4 (2003, 1999, 1997, 1990)

Porsche Point of View

Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR

Porsche Motorsport 2015 Daytona 24 preview: A portrait of Earl Bamber, who was named newest 2015 Porsche Factory Driver. Source: PMNA
Earl Bamber

“It was a good way to kick things off for Team Porsche North America to be quickest at the Roar.  However, the lap times showed the whole field was within one second over the three days.  That is amazing and shows how competitive the series and the GTLM class are.  It means we are going to have to be pushing all the way right until the last minute in the race.  My favorite part about Daytona is the banking.  It is massively impressive and you don’t notice how steep it is until you follow the safety car and you feel like you’re going to fall down.  It was great to have my first race for Porsche North America at Petit Le Mans last year.  It makes it easier to come to Daytona as I know the team and they know me.  My teammates are two of the most experienced and highly rated GT drivers in the world so it’s great to be with them and learn as much as I can.  It’s a very long race so I hope we can be there in the last two hours fighting for the win.”

Jens Walther, President/CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America

Porsche Motorsport 2015 Daytona 24 preview: A portrait of Jens Walther, President of Porsche Motorsport North America
Jens Walther

“We are entering the second season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with a lot of positive momentum with the Porsche 911 RSR and the Porsche 911 GT America.  The test provided both our factory and customer teams, as well the Porsche Motorsports engineers, a valuable opportunity to see where we stand.  We left with a good sense of what we needed to do before we returned and what we need to do this week as well.  The competition has never been so close which is great for the fans.  Our teams are well prepared and have secured strong driver line-ups for the 24-hour race.  We are looking forward to a good start and exciting racing in both classes throughout the season.”

Connor De Phillippi, Driver, No. 18 Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT America

Porsche Motorsport 2015 Daytona 24 preview: Connor de Phillippi, America's only junior Porsche factory driver. Source: PMNA
Connor de Phillippi

“2014 marked my first major win with Porsche in Europe, but also a difficult second half of the season with many hard lessons learned.  I’ve grown stronger over the winter and I’m really looking forward to competing in the most coveted Porsche championship in the world, the Porsche Mobil 1 SuperCup.  Coming from more of a sprint race format, the driving mentality for the Daytona 24 Hour will be a lot different due to the length and the fact that there are several different classes of cars on track at the same time.  The Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT America I’ll be driving has several different performance upgrades compared to my 2014 Porsche Cup car, which will create new limits for me to explore and make the Rolex 24 Hour a very valuable experience for me!”

Where to Watch.
TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
Television Race Broadcast:
Saturday, January 24
2-4 pm FOX Network
4-8 pm FOX Sports 2
8-10 pm FOX Sports 1
10 pm-7 am IMSA TV on IMSA.com (live video streaming and commentary)
Sunday, Jan. 25
7 am-2:30 pm FOX Sports 1

Re-Air of Race Highlights Package:

Live Race Streaming:
FOX Sports Go
Live Qualifying Streaming:
Audio Streaming
Live Timing and Scoring:
IMSA Scoring

Social Media.
Porsche Cars North America. @Porsche
Porsche North America. @PorscheNARacing
Porsche AG and Porsche Team Manthey Twitter. @PorscheRaces

Race Weekend Schedule. (All times ET)
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Garages Open – 7 a.m.
TUDOR Championship Practice Session 1 – All Classes – 9:25 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.
TUDOR Championship Practice Session 2 – All Classes – 1:20 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.
TUDOR Championship Qualifying Session – GTD Class – 4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
TUDOR Championship Qualifying Session – GTLM Class – 4:25 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.
TUDOR Championship Practice Session 3 – Night Practice – All Classes – 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Garages Close – 9:30 p.m.

Friday, January 23, 2015
Garages Open – 7 a.m.
TUDOR Championship Practice Session 4 – All Classes – 11:25 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.
Garages Close – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 24, 2015
Garages Open – 7:30 a.m.
TUDOR Championship Autograph Session – Sprint FANZONE – 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
TUDOR Championship – Grid Cars – 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
TUDOR Championship – Driver Introductions – 12:40 p.m.
TUDOR Championship – Pre-Race Ceremonies – 12:45 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.
TUDOR Championship – 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona – Race Start – 2:10 p.m.

Sunday, January 25, 2015
TUDOR Championship – 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona – Race Finish – 2:10 p.m.
Garages Close – 6 p.m.

Porsche Entries.
TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
GT Le Mans Class (3) Porsche 911 RSR
No. 17 Team Falken Tire Wolf Henzler (Germany), Bryan Sellers (Braselton, Georgia), Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California)

No. 911 Porsche North America Nick Tandy (UK)/Patrick Pilet (France)/ Marc Lieb (Germany)

No. 912 Porsche North America Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)/Frédéric Makowiecki (France)/ Earl Bamber (New Zealand)

GT Daytona Class (9) Porsche 911 GT America
No. 18 Muehlner Motorsports America Darryl O’Young (Hong Kong)/Matteo Beretta (Italy)/Marc Besseng (Germany)/Connor De Phillippi (San Clemente, California)

No. 19 Muehlner Motorsports America Jim Michaelian (Seal Beach, California)/Matteo Beretta (Italy)/Connor De Phillippi (San Clemente, California)

No. 22 Alex Job Racing Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.)/Leh Keen (Atlanta)/Andrew Davis (Athens, Georgia)/Shane van Gisbergen (New Zealand)

No. 23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Ian James (Phoenix)/Mario Farnbacher (Germany)/Alex Riberas (Spain)

No. 28 Konrad Motorsports Klaus Bachler (Austria)/Christopher Zoechling (Austria)/Christian Engelhart (Germany)/Lance Willsey (Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts)/Rolf Ineichen

No. 44 Magnus Racing John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah)/Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.)/Marco Seefried (Germany)/Martin Ragginger (Austria)

No. 58 Dempsey/Wright Motorsports Madison Snow (Lehi, Utah)/ Jan Heylen (Tampa), Patrick Dempsey (Malibu, California)/Philipp Eng (Austria)

No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California)/Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta)/Jim Norman (Tampa)/David Ducote (Houston)/Kevin Estre (Austria)

No. 81 GB Autosport Damien Faulkner (Ireland)/ Michael Avenatti (Sacramento, California)/Mike Skeen (Charlotte, North Carolina)/Kuba Giermaziak (Poland)/Rory Butcher (Scotland)

Porsche North America Livery Delineation.
No. 911 White windshield banner with red lettering, white rear wing

No. 912 Black windshield banner with red lettering, black rear wing

Porsche North America Race Team Site.
Porsche North America Racing


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Source:  Kind courtesy of Porsche Motorsport North America