Porsche will be hoping to add another chapter to its rich motor racing history next weekend, with eight works drivers set to compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 24th-25th.
The German manufacturer has won the Floridian endurance classic 22 times, including 76 class victories stemming back to 1968.
This year, Porsche are entering two Porsche North America 911 RSRs in the GTLM category, with works drivers Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Marc Lieb piloting the #911 car and Jörg Bergmeister, Earl Bamber and Frédéric Makowiecki sharing the #912 sister machine. The #911 crew will be hoping to repeat their 2014 class triumph (albeit with an adjusted line up) while New Zealander Earl Bamber is set to make his debut as a Porsche factory driver.
Porsche customer teams will also have a strong influence on the GT class battles, with the Team Falken Tire 911 RSR boasting two works drivers in Wolf Henzler and Patrick Long, alongside American Bryan Sellers. In addition, nine Porsche 911 GT America entries are set to compete for GTD honours, including the #19 Muehlner Motorsports car that includes Porsche’s Californian development driver Connor De Phillippi.
The Porsche factory team are heading into the Rolex 24 on the front foot, having excelled in the Roar Before the 24 curtain raiser last weekend. Earl Bamber set the fastest GTLM time of the event in the #912 car, giving a strong indication that the works Porsche entries will be fighting for the top spot at the main event. Having only joined the factory operation in mid December, Porsche Supercup champion Bamber is looking to make an immediate impression on the Tudor United Sportscar Championship.
“To contest my first race as a Porsche works driver in Daytona is brilliant. It’s a dream come true,” Bamber said.
The 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona will take place on the 5.7 km infield configuration of the world-famous Daytona International Speedway. As well as being a highly prestigious and challenging race in its own right, the Rolex 24 also forms the first stage of Porsche’s assault on the Tudor United Sportscar Championship and the North American Endurance Cup.
“The Daytona race is a sports car classic with fans all over the world,” said Porsche Head of Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser. “Porsche has celebrated some of its greatest victories at this famous race. To continue this streak of unforgettable successes is truly motivating for our drivers and teams.”
James Walther, President and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America added, “The 24 Hours of Daytona is the longest and most traditional sports car race in North America. It’s a real classic that lures many of the world’s best race car drivers to Florida every year.”