On its race debut in China the Porsche 911 GT3R Hybrid was comfortably the best placed GT car at the finish of the 1000km of Zhuhai, finishing three laps ahead of the winner of the GT2 category.
“The car contested the entire race without the slightest technical problem,” Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport. “The excellent pit stops by our factory squad from Weissach and an absolutely perfect performance from the drivers also contributed to this success. The development work on the hybrid system that we conducted since the last race in Road Atlanta has paid off.”
“Today, we showed impressively just what potential the hybrid technology has. This result is a great motivation for continuing our work on the project. This was definitely not the last race for the 911 GT3 R Hybrid.”
The car, driven my ALMS champions Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long, uses a pair of electric motors in conjunction with a standard petrol engine, allowing it to complete the race with one fewer pitstop compared to their rivals.
“Our car ran perfectly from the first to the last lap,” Bergmeister. “That was another super test of the hybrid system under race conditions – and the most successful conclusion I could think of.”
Fellow Porsche drivers Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz finished second in the GT2 class with Team Felbermayr-Proton teammates Christian Ried, Martin Ragginger and Gianluca Roda in fourth in class.
The result capped what Lieb called “almost a perfect year” for the team, he and Lietz already having retained their GT Le Mans Series crown.
The only other Porsche in the race – the GT2 Prospeed Competition car of Richard Westbrook and Darryl O'Young fell foul of clutch problems after completing 119 laps.
“It was a fabulous experience to drive on this track with the 911 GT3 RSR and to be cheered by so many fans,” said local hero O'Young. “I became more and more familiar with the car. Under normal circumstances we would have finished on the podium. That would have been a highlight in my career. What a shame it didn't work out.”