Porsche heads to round two of the season leading the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC. After clinching a class win at the season opener in Sebring (USA), the factory squad now aims to follow up with another victory at the six-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps.
The latest generation of the ca. 378 kW (515 PS) Porsche 911 RSR remains unbeaten on the Formula 1 racetrack in Belgium. In the 2019/2020 and 2021 seasons, the 911 dominated the GTE-Pro class on the Ardennes circuit. Porsche is eager to continue this streak this coming weekend.
“After our big win recently in Sebring, where we clinched first and third place, and last year’s victory at Spa, our goal is clear: We want to win there again. Our greatest desire this year is to secure the title with the 911 RSR. To do this, we have to earn maximum points this weekend,” declares Alexander Stehlig, Director Factory Motorsport FIA WEC. “We started the season well in Sebring, but there’s still room for improvement. Most notably, we want to keep working on our pit stops. If we manage this, and everything runs smoothly in the race, we should be able to bring home a one-two result. That would be the perfect rehearsal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is coming up in June.”
The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps lies in the far east of Belgium, not far from the German border. The racetrack, which opened in 1921, measures 7.004 kilometres – the longest permanent circuit on the FIA WEC calendar. Featuring 21 corners and several long straights, the storied racetrack rolls uphill and down dale through dense forest – hence its nickname the “Ardennes rollercoaster”. The fast passages like Raidillon/Eau Rouge and Blanchimont are as notorious as the famous La Source hairpin. For the 2022 season, the venue has undergone extensive renovations and expansions. While new gravel beds and grandstands have been installed at several corners, nothing has changed in terms of the length and layout of the circuit.
The Porsche GT Team drivers
Richard Lietz from Austria and Italy’s Gianmaria Bruni join forces in the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR, with Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen sharing the sister car. In March, the race drivers from France and Denmark won the season-opening round in Sebring at the wheel of the No. 92 car and currently lead the championship. Porsche heads to round two of the season at the top of the manufacturers’ classification.
The customer teams
The accomplished German customer teams Project 1 and Dempsey-Proton Racing each field two Porsche 911 RSR racers at the second WEC round of the season. Matteo Cairoli from Italy competes for Project 1. At Dempsey-Proton, team owner Christian Ried joins forces in the No. 77 car with the two British racing drivers Harry Tincknell and Sebastian Priaulx. The No. 88 sister car is shared by Americans Fred Poordad and Patrick Lindsey with Belgium’s Jan Heylen. The British GR Racing outfit relies on the British drivers Michael Wainwright and Ben Barker as well as Riccardo Pera from Italy.
An overview of teams and drivers
Porsche GT Team #91 – Richard Lietz (A) / Gianmaria Bruni (I)
Porsche GT Team #92 – Kévin Estre (F) / Michael Christensen (DK)
Team Project 1 #46 – Matteo Cairoli (I) / Mikkel Pedersen (DK) / Nicolas Leutwiler (CH)
Team Project 1 #56 – Brendan Iribe (USA) / Oliver Millroy (GB) / Ben Barnicoat (GB)
Dempsey-Proton Racing #77 – Christian Ried (D) / Harry Tincknell (GB) / Sebastian Priaulx (GB)
GR Racing #86 – Michael Wainwright (GB) / Riccardo Pera (I) / Ben Barker (GB)
Dempsey-Proton Racing #88 – Fred Poordad (USA) / Patrick Lindsey (USA) / Jan Heylen (B)
The schedule (all times CEST)
Thursday, 5 May
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Free practice 1
Friday, 6 May
9:05 am – 10:35 am: Free practice 2
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Free practice 3
6:20 pm – 6:30 pm: Qualifying GTE
Saturday, 7 May
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Race