The top six Porsche 911 racing drivers of 2016
2016 was the year that the outgoing 991 RSR struggled on the international stage, failing to defend its FIA World Endurance Championship and United SportsCar Championship crowns.
However, there were still a number of standout drives behind the wheel of various racing 911s, with Porsche’s Juniors stepping up to the plate and a number of impressive privateer performances. Here are our top six racing drivers of 2016:
6) Matthieu Jaminet
After winning the International Cup Scholarship and securing himself a Supercup berth for 2016, young French ace, Mathieu Jaminet repaid Weissach’s faith with some standout drives in the Porsche’s premier one-make series.
Although he had to wait until round seven at Spa for his first Supercup victory, Jaminet was always a major player at the front of the pack, keeping his more experienced competitors on their toes. His double victory in the season finale was imperious.
5) Dan Cammish
Having won the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup GB, a lack of budget forced Dan Cammish to return to the series this year, rather than progress full-time to the Supercup.
Under immense pressure (only a resounding title defence would suffice), the British racer was even more impressive in 2016, setting a new record for the number of PCCGB wins in a season and taking his second successive crown. He will be one to watch in the 2017 Porsche Supercup.
4) Matteo Cairoli
Winning more races than anyone else in the 2016 Porsche Supercup, Matteo Cairoli left no one with any doubts to his innate speed behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
Momentum appeared to suggest the Italian was on his way to a maiden Supercup title until bad luck intervened in Texas. Porsche were impressed enough though to sign him up to their new ‘Young Professionals’ programme for next season.
3) Ben Barker
By his own admission, Ben Barker didn’t perform in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, a brace of third places being his reward for four seasons of toil behind the wheel of the 991 GT3 Cup.
However, at the wheel of Gulf Racing’s 991 RSR in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Briton showed his class, regularly lapping as fast as the established pros. He may not be a factory driver, but he proved he was the next best thing in a top class 911.
2) Patrick Long
The consummate pro in 2016, Patrick Long was dropped into various drives during the season, helping the Abu Dhabi-Proton squad to two GTE-Am class victories in the FIA WEC.
It was in the Pirelli World Challenge – campaigning the new 911 GT3 R – where the Californian excelled though, bouncing back from the closure of the team he started the season with to come within a whisker of snatching the title for Wright Motorsports.
1) Sven Müller
In both the Porsche Supercup and the Carrera Cup Germany, Sven Müller was the man to beat this year, becoming just the fourth man to win the two titles in the same season.
The young German ace drove with both improved speed and, more importantly, increased maturity in 2016. It was a close to a flawless performance as possible and it is no surprise that he is now and fully-fledged factory driver at Weissach.