On April 6, Porsche heads into the new season of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the two-day Prologue on the Circuit Paul Ricard.
On the racetrack in the south of France, which opened in 1970, the Porsche GT Team will simulate an entire race weekend with the two 911 RSR in order to tackle the 15-month Super Season perfectly prepared. Porsche’s factory driver Gianmaria Bruni celebrates his comeback to the world’s most important race series for sports cars.
Teams and drivers come face-to-face for the first time this year in Le Castellet, France, close to the port city of Marseille. On the 5.861-kilometre Circuit Paul Ricard, teams will run through the procedures of the WEC race weekends. The Porsche GT Team has opted not to participate in the first ever 30-hour nonstop test, which runs through the night, as the squad has collected extensive data and experience with the Porsche 911 RSR in 2017. A total of 35 vehicles take part in the Prologue tests.
The Super Season
The 15-month-long Super Season serves as a transition to a new FIA WEC format. This means that competitors will contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the challenging Spa-Francorchamps race twice. The calendar also includes Silverstone, Fuji, Shanghai and Sebring. With Porsche, Ferrari, Ford, BMW and Aston Martin, five manufacturers compete for victories and points in the drivers’ and manufacturer’s classifications of the GTE-Pro class. From 2019, the season begins after the 24 Hours of Le Mans and concludes a year later with the long distance classic in the Sarthe region.
The Porsche Drivers
Like last year, the Porsche GT Team fields two Porsche 911 RSR. A new driver pairing, Richard Lietz (A), last season’s vice-champion, and Gianmaria Bruni (I), shares driving duties in the cockpit of the GT racer with the starting number 91. Although this is the Rome-born racer’s first WEC season as a Porsche works driver, Bruni has already clinched two titles in the prestigious series. In 2015, Lietz took home the championship in the GTE-Pro category. In the #92 car, the regular crew of Kévin Estre (F) and Michael Christensen (DK) man the cockpit. Porsche will run four works cars at the Le Mans 24-hour race.