911 in Motorsport: Blancpain Endurance Series preview
The final round of the 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series, a six-hour race around the Nürburgring, will provide the Porsche 911 GT3 R racers with a last chance to take an overall win in the series.
So far this season, the Weissach cars have been outclassed by machinery from Mercedes, BMW, Ferrari, Nissan, and McLaren. With such a varied grid, the Blancpain Endurance Series is one of the most competitive GT championships in the world.
In the Pro Class, Porsche’s only hope for victory is the number 75 entry from Prospeed Competition. The Belgian team will be looking forward to returning to the Nürburgring, the scene of their only win of 2012.
Marc Hennerici will be joined at the helm of the Prospeed car by Maxime Soulet and perennial Porsche racer, Xavier Maassen.
Hennerici, racing in his home round of the Blancpain Endurance series, believes that after a tough season, the Porsche will be able to shine at the final round.
“It is looking like another terrific event for a great end to the season. There is no doubt that it has been tough in stages for us this season but we believe we can really deliver on all the promise next weekend”, he said.
“The Porsche showed how strong it was in 2012 and in the 50th year of the 911 design it will be very satisfying to get a top result once again.”
The unpredictable Eifel Mountains’ weather can always put a spanner in the works though, as Total 911 found out on the way back from the Frankfurt Motor Show. Sun can turn to hail in as little as 20 minutes!
The Pro-Am Class (where driver line-ups are a mixture of top pros and amateurs) sees the highest number of Porsche 911 GT3 R’s lining up.
Prospeed will be fielding the all American number 48 car, while Pro GT by Almeras will also be in attendance, with sometime single-seater driver, Franck Perera leading their driver line-up.
The standout entry in this class though, is the number 8 car, fielded by Haribo Racing Team. This German equipe is a regular competitor in the Nordschleife-based VLN series.
On top of their familiarity with the circuit, the team will be led by Porsche 911 ace, Richard Westbrook.
Westbrook, a former factory Porsche driver, is a twice a champion in the Mobil 1 Supercup, proving his credentials in these rear-engined machines.
Sharing the driving duties with the Brit throughout the 1000km race will be Mike Stursberg and Hans Guido Riegel.
The ARC Bratislava Porsche 911 GT3 R is the only example from Stuttgart to have won a race in the Blancpain Series this year.
The partnership of British GT racer Ahmad Al Harthy and Miro Konopka triumped in the Gentleman Trophy at Silverstone in June.
They will be joined in the class by the blue Delahaye Racing car, piloted by Daniel Desbrueres and Christian Kelders.
Qualifying will get underway at 1650 CET on Saturday, with the six-hour race starting at 1145 CET on Sunday. All the action can be watched live on the Blancpain Endurance Series website.