Porsche customer teams prepare ahead of 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona

by Vince Pettit

With the 2017 ROAR Before the 24 approaching, the five Porsche customer teams are preparing their Porsche 911 GT3 R’s ahead of the season.

In it’s fifth full-season as Porsche customers, Park Place Motorsports returns with factory driver Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey; Matt McMurry will be joining them for the endurance rounds in the #73 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

CORE Autosport returns to the Porsche fold with factory driver Patrick Long and Nic Jönsson who will join the full-season drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun in the #54 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

TRG also returns to the Porsche brand looking to emulate their 2003 success of an overall victory at Daytona in the #991 Porsche 911 GT3 R. Factory driver Wolf Henzler heads up the line-up with Jan Heylen, Derek DeBoer, Santiago Creel and Pablo Sánchez sharing duties.

“Everyone at TRG is eagerly anticipating this weekend’s shakedown of our new Porsche 911 GT3 R.” said Kevin Buckler, Team Principal at TRG. “We purchased the very first customer 911 GT3 R available in North America through Porsche Motorsport in December 1999 and began campaigning full-time in 2000 so this has come really full-circle.

This weekend sees the first official outing of the new Porsche 911 GT3 R – Credit: Porsche

“The new car is absolutely beautiful with every conceivable option and detail and the team has been readying the car for our first laps this coming Friday.

“We’re looking forward to reuniting with our partners and friends at Porsche and Porsche Cars North America for a strong and collaborative effort at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and are also looking for our fifth victory.

“This has got to be the most competitive GT class I have ever seen with nearly all the manufacturers here supporting. But as I have said many times… I would never bet against a Porsche at this race.”

Manthey Racing return for a one-off challenge with the #59 Porsche 911 GT3 R running as a customer entry. The works World Endurance Championship team will have Harald Proczyk, Steve Smith, Nils Reimer and Reinhold Renger with them for the 24 hour epic.

Alegra Motorsports have previously taken class victory plus a number of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge titles, for 2017 they will be running the #28 Porsche 911 GT3 R with a variety of GT3 Cup frontrunners taking on the driving duties. Daniel Morad, Jesse Lazare, Michael de Quesada and team principal Carlos de Quesada.

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