Round 1 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the Daytona International Speedway will be with us this weekend. It has been fifty years since the #54 Porsche 907LH of Vic Elford, Jochen Neerpasch, Rolf Stommelen, Jo Siffert and Hans Herrmann took the chequered flag at the Daytona 24 Hours in 1968. This was the first of 22 overall victories, but Porsche also has a record 77 class wins at the world-famous endurance race in Florida. And so, it is for good reason that Porsche is celebrating this special anniversary at the 24-hour race as the most successful manufacturer in the history of this prestigious race. For the record, and to complete the picture, the #52 and the #51 Porsche 907s finished in second and third places, completing the Porsche whitewash.
The 24 Hours of Daytona is the first highlight of the 2018 motorsport year, and Porsche will once again be strongly represented at the 56th edition of this race at the 5.729km Daytona International Speedway. The GT Team will field two 911 RSRs at the opening round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship with the #911 and #912 cars in the GTLM class. Three 911 GT3 R cars will be run by Porsche customer teams in the GTD class.
Porsche has made some organisational changes to allow for the expansion of its global commitment to GT racing this season. To this end, Pascal Zurlinden takes over from Marco Ujhasi as the new Director GT Factory Motorsports. Marco Ujhasi will work closely with Porsche Digital GmbH in the future in his role as Project Manager Digitisation Motorsport. Sebastian Golz takes over project management of the 911 GT3 R, including works-assisted outings in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, Blancpain Endurance Series, and the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy & Frédéric Makowiecki
Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor & Gianmaria Bruni
911 GT3 R
Patrick Long, Mathieu Jaminet, Christina Nielsen & Robert Renauer
911 GT3 R
Sven Müller, Matteo Cairoli, Steve Smith, Randy Walls & Harald Proczyk
911 GT3 R
Park Place Motorsports
Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, Timothy Pappas & Norbert Siedler
Comments before the race
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars: “Starting the season with a 24-classic like Daytona is a very special challenge for the teams and drivers. However, we are as well prepared as possible to lay the foundation for a successful year of motorsport in 2018 at this iconic race.”
Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsports: “We have prepared well for the season-opener in Daytona. Even at the test, our drivers were able to take to the demanding track with another optimised set-up. After the long break from racing, we have also been able to run through the processes within the team under competitive conditions. Despite all the preparation, starting the season with a 24-hour race is still a huge challenge – but one we are looking forward to.”
Sebastian Golz, Project Manager 911 GT3 R: “After last year’s hard-fought win in the GTD class, our customer teams travel to Daytona with high expectations. We have developed an evolution package for the 911 GT3 R for them, which will be used for the first time in Daytona. The integration of flicks on the front axle allows a more stable aerodynamic balance in the set-up. The modified air routing in the engine hood ensures better heat management within the powertrain at high temperatures.”