«  World premiere: the new Audi A4 DTM <- Back to: Races & Rallyes Audi factory drivers at winter...  »

European premiere of the Porsche RS Spyder in Le Castellet


Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, LMS Test in Le Castellet

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, LMS Test in Le Castellet

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team IMSA Performance Matmut

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team IMSA Performance Matmut

Porsche RS Spyder, Team ESSEX John Nielsen, Casper Elgaard

Porsche RS Spyder, Team ESSEX John Nielsen, Casper Elgaard

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team ESSEX John Nielsen, Casper Elgaard

Porsche RS Spyder, Team ESSEX John Nielsen, Casper Elgaard

Porsche RS Spyder, Team ESSEX John Nielsen, Casper Elgaard

Porsche RS Spyder, Team ESSEX John Nielsen, Casper Elgaard

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team IMSA Performance Matmut

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team IMSA Performance Matmut

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team ESSEX John Nielsen, Casper Elgaard

Porsche RS Spyder, Team ESSEX John Nielsen, Casper Elgaard

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team IMSA Performance Matmut Richard Lietz, Raymond Narac

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team IMSA Performance Matmut Richard Lietz, Raymond Narac

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team IMSA Performance Matmut Michel Lecourt, Richard Balandras, Jean Philippe Belloc

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team IMSA Performance Matmut Michel Lecourt, Richard Balandras, Jean Philippe Belloc

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton Marc Lieb, Alex Davison

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team Felbermayr-Proton Marc Lieb, Alex Davison

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team IMSA Performance Matmut Richard Lietz, Raymond Narac

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Team IMSA Performance Matmut Richard Lietz, Raymond Narac

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

Porsche RS Spyder, Team van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen, Peter van Merksteijn, Jeroen Bleekemolen

 

Le Mans Series: European premiere of the Porsche RS Spyder

At the official test of the Le Mans Series (LMS) in Le Castellet
(France), the Porsche RS Spyder celebrated its European premiere. Here, the
two sports prototypes of the Team Essex (Denmark) and Van Merksteijn
Motorsport (Netherlands) met their opponents in the fiercely-contested LMP2
class for the first time. The Swiss Horag Racing team was not present for
the test as it is already in Florida where it will contest the Sebring 12
hour race on 15 March. The main purpose in southern France was for teams
and drivers to familiarise themselves with the new sports prototype. For
both race teams the RS Spyder represents new territory.

Sharing driving duties in the Porsche RS Spyder of the Dutch team for the
2008 season is a high-profile trio. Joining team-owner Peter van Merksteijn
and ex-DTM pilot Jeroen Bleekemolen to contest the LMS is Jos Verstappen.
The ex-Formula 1 driver, who recently took a two-year break, is totally
enthusiastic about the 476 hp sports prototype. “The Spyder has amazing
grip in the fast corners. It’s incredibly stabile under braking and we
haven’t experienced one technical problem. This is simply a fantastic car
which is great fun to drive.”

The Danish Essex team also takes up the race with a well-known line-up of
swift drivers. John Nielsen brings with him successes in sports car racing.
He was world sports car champion and won, amongst others, the Le Mans 24
hour race in 1990. Nielsen doubles as team manager and driver. Casper
Elgaard, the second Essex driver, is multiple Danish touring car champion.
Aside from finding a suitable set-up for the circuit, the team is also
practicing its pit stops in preparation for the season. John Nielsen: “Good
pit stops can mean the difference between winning and losing a race. For
this reason we tested our pit stops here in the narrow pits under stressful
conditions. My boys are extremely ambitious. They want to be the best at
pit stops.”

Also putting the tests to good use are the Porsche teams competing in the
near-standard GT2 class with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. For the IMSA
Performance Matmut team, works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) and his
French team mate Raymond Narac travelled to Le Castellet. Competing for the
German Felbermayr team are Porsche works driver Marc Lieb, 2007 winner of
the 24 hour race on the Nuerburgring-Nordschleife, and Australia’s Alex
Davison.

Five races make up the LMS calendar in 2008, each run over 1,000 kilometres
on traditional European race tracks like Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and the
Nuerburgring. Additionally, the Essex and VW Motorsport teams will contest
the sportscar highlight in Le Mans on 14/15 June. The first Le Mans Series
race takes place on 6 April in Barcelona (Spain).


Facts and Figures

This is the Le Mans Series

Contested for the first time in 2004, the Le Mans Series (LMS) offers fans
exciting sportscar racing. The regulations are based on the rules of the Le
Mans 24 hour race. Five championship rounds will be contested this season
on traditional circuits throughout Europe. The races run over a distance of
1,000 kilometres. The LMS is the European counterpart to the American Le
Mans Series (ALMS) in the USA and Canada.

The starting field consists of two different sports vehicle categories:
Sports prototypes and standard sportscars. They are divided into four
classes:

LMP1 class: Sports prototypes with up to 750 hp and a minimum weight of 900
kilograms (in the ALMS: 750 hp/925 kilograms).

LMP2 class: Sports prototypes with around 475 hp and an 825 kilogram
minimum weight (in the ALMS: 475 hp/800 kg). The Porsche RS Spyder competes
in this class.

GT1 class: Heavily modified standard sportscars with up to 650 hp and a
minimum weight of 1,125 to 1,325 kilograms (in the ALMS: 650 hp/1,125 to
1,325 kilograms)

GT2 class: Slightly modified standard sportscars with between 450 hp to 470
hp and a minimum weight of 1,125 to 1,325 kilograms (in the ALMS: 450 to
470 hp/1,125 to 1,325 kilograms). The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR competes in this
class.

All race cars start together but are classified separately according to the
class. This system ensures diverse and gripping racing with many overtaking
manoeuvres. Points are only allocated for placings in each class.
Championship titles are awarded for drivers, manufacturers and teams in all
four classes. Porsche works driver Marc Lieb won the driver title in the
GT2 class in 2005 and 2006.

For the RS Spyder, 2008 marks the first season in the Le Mans Series.