GT Racing, FIA WEC World Endurance Championship, Round 5, Fuji (Japan). Photo: Porsche AG
The best Porsche 911 RSR finishes the 6 Hours of Fuji 2022 on the podium
- #Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche GT Team (#92), Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen
- Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen on the GTE Pro #podium
- Exciting stars at the world championship level
- The #final race of the season on November 12, 2022 in Bahrain
The two 911 RSR winners of the #Porsche GT Team finished the 6 Hours of Fuji 2022 (Japan) in 3rd and 4th place. Works drivers Michael Christensen from Denmark and Kévin Estre from France reached the podium at the wheel of car #92 In the manufacturers’ standings, Porsche is only one point behind before the final race of the #FIA Endurance #WEC #Endurance #Championship on November 12, 2022 in Bahrain and therefore has full chances for the title. No decision has yet been made in the World Drivers’ Championship either.
In a close battle for manufacturers in the GTE Pro class, Porsche started from first and third positions with high hopes for the long-distance race in Japan after a successful qualifying. However, it became clear early on that the competition on race day was not up to expectations. The most important factors in competition: tires and car classification.
“We were not perfect. But apart from that, we have to say clearly that today’s performance was not enough to beat Ferrari,” concludes Thomas Laudenbach, Head of Porsche Motorsport. “It is disappointing, but we need to ignore it and analyze it. Maybe we should revisit the issue of #Performance Balance. Our goal remains the same: We want to win the World Cup in Bahrain.”
“Was it about us today? Was it the balance of performance? We have to look at this very closely and then discuss. The competition was fair for our customers in the GTE Am class,” says Alexander Stehlig, Head of Motorsport Factory FIA WEC. ‘It was not a good day for us. We have a lot of work ahead of us and despite today’s events we are confident that we can fight in Bahrain and win the World Cup.”
With an air temperature of around 29 degrees and a strong sun, the pitch was heated to levels above 50 degrees in the early morning. This presented a particular challenge for the teams, as the conditions in the previous training sessions were always calm. The durability of the Michelin racing tires was considered to be an important factor in the competition. At the start of the race, the Porsche GT Team chose a soft compound (»hot line«). This specification only provided adequate grip for about half an hour, after which grip decreased significantly and cycle times increased.
Halfway through the first lap, the two Porsche 911 RSRs of the works team dropped from first and third to third and fourth. The change to a harder tire compound brought more stability, but still no advantage in fighting for the class win. Positions were established quickly, and the GTE Pro category offered static racing for a long time. There was no more change of position for the nine-eleven. #punishment 2 and colliding with a disabled person’s car threw the #91 car well behind its #sister car.
In the GTE Am category, the Dempsey #Proton Racing team celebrated a special anniversary: Car number 77 ran the 77th race in the FIA WEC. However, the 911 RSR of German team owner Christian Ried and two Englishmen Harry Tincknell and Sebastian Priaulx did not make it. The car retired after four and a half hours with a technical fault. The best nine-eleven finishers in the masters class were number 46 of the customer team Project 1 in sixth place. The sister car took eighth place. The number 88 Dempsey Proton Racing car crossed the finish line in ninth place, while the GR Racing team was in twelfth place.
In the overall standings, Porsche left the lead in the manufacturers’ championship. However, the gap to the top position is only 1 point. Estre and Christensen also still have title chances in the drivers’ #WM in 2nd. The season finale of the FIA WEC World Endurance Championship will take place on November 12, 2022 in Bahrain. The race near the capital Manama lasts over 8 hours and is the last factory outing with the successful Porsche 911 RSR.
Drivers’ comments about the race
Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “We tried everything, but that’s all we could do today. We lost a lot of pace. After starting from a #slow #position we managed to put the Ferraris behind us for a short time, but eventually they ran out. Then the distance increased. Only a good strategic decision in the possible safety car phase could have given us a chance, but the race went without any such incidents.”
Kévin Estre (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “Ferrari was too strong, we couldn’t keep up. For a long way, they were faster than us. We can never do that in the corners – there is no chance. Even though we worked flawlessly, there were shortcomings of more than 30 seconds at the end. That says it all.”
Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “We had a very good car and tightened everything. But it was not enough to be able to fight a real battle with the competitors today. Compared to the competition, we lacked top speed and acceleration. That was obvious. Unfortunately, Porsche could only finish third and fourth. In Bahrain we have to turn the tables again.”
Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “Obviously we were too slow. Something like that is not very fun if you’re just driving behind. But today it was no longer possible. #car was very good, our team did a great job.”
Race for results
GTE Pro Class
- Pier Guidi and Calado, Ferrari 488 GTE #51, 217 laps
- Molina and Fuoco, Ferrari 488 GTE #52, 217 laps
- Christensen and Estre, Porsche 911 RSR #92, 217 laps
- Bruni and Lietz, Porsche 911 RSR #91, 216 laps
- Milner and Tandy, Corvette C8.R #64, 215 laps
GTE Am #class
- Keating, Chaves and Sorensen, Aston Martin #33, 213 laps
- Frey, Gatting and Bovy, Ferrari 488 GTE #85, 212 laps
- Hoshino, Fujii and Fagg, Aston Martin #777, 212 laps
- Cairoli, Pedersen and Leutwiler, Porsche 911 RSR #46, 211 laps
- Kimura, Millroy and Barnicoat, Porsche 911 RSR #56, 211 laps
- Poordad and Lindsey and Heylen (US and US and B), Porsche 911 RSR #88, 211 laps
- Wainwright and Barker and Pera (UK and UK and me), Porsche 911 RSR #86, 193 laps
DNF, Ried and Priaulx and Tincknell (D and UK and UK), Porsche 911 RSR #77, 128 laps
all results here…