Newsletter Porsche Michelin N°5 - October
AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES - A top-five finish for Porsche at Petit Le Mans
The last round of the 2012 ALMS did not go well for the N°45 Porsche/Michelin which ended up fifth in the GT class after getting caught up in a tangle.
Had it not been for the Stop&Go penalty that was applied after the incident, the Flying Lizard Motorsport-run car of Jorg Bergmeister/Patrick Pilet/Patrick Long might well have been able to challenge for victory at Petit Le Mans.
In the end, however, fifth place eliminated the Californian outfit from 2012 GT runner-up honours despite big points finishes at the championship's last six races, including a win for the N°45 Porsche/Michelin at Lime Rock, plus three second places. Flying Lizard Motorsport's other Porsche 997 RSR (Neiman/Holzer/Tandy) was seventh at Petit Le Mans.
In the final standings, Bergmeister/Long were fifth in the GT Drivers' classification, while Flying Lizard Motorsport was fourth in the Teams' points table. Porsche was third in the fight for the Manufacturers' title, behind Chevrolet and BMW.
AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES - Porsche and Flying Lizard part company
After the last race of the season, Flying Lizard Motorsport announced that it will no longer run Porsches in the American Le Mans Series.
After an association that dates back nine years (more than 100 endurance races), and which has harvested a long list of wins and titles, the Seth Neiman-run team from California has announced that its adventure with Porsche has come to an end.
Flying Lizard's first ALMS campaign in 2004 saw its Porsche/Michelin come second in the GT2 Drivers' and Teams' championships in the hands of Johannes van Overbeek and Darren Law.
Its first GT2 Drivers' (Bergmeister/Henzler) and Teams' titles came in 2008, still with Michelin as tire partner. That achievement kicked off a sequence of three straight GT titles for Porsche, Flying Lizard Motorsport and Michelin in the American Le Mans Series.
The same three partners also collected a number of resounding results in the world's top endurance races: third in GT2 at Le Mans in 2005; second in GT2 at Sebring in 2006; GT2 victory at Petit Le Mans and a one-two finish in GT2 at Sebring in 2008. In 2009, Bergmeister and Long claimed five consecutive ALMS victories with the N°45 Porsche/Michelin.
EUROPEAN LE MANS SERIES - Porsche/Michelin secures LMGTE Am honours!
The 2012 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, USA, also served as the final round of the year's European Le Mans Series which saw the LMGTE Am crown go to the Imsa-Performance-Matmut Porsche/Michelin.
It was the experienced French team's first visit to Road Atlanta for the famous 10-hour race, but its drivers Raymond Narac, Anthony Pons and Nicolas Armindo produced a faultless run in the N°67 Porsche/Michelin 997 RSR.
They took the LMGTE Am spoils ahead of the AF Corse Ferrari, while Narac/Pons/Armindo claimed the 2012 ELMS LMGTE Am Drivers' crown. Imsa-Performance-Matmut and Porsche won the 2012 European Teams' and Manufacturers' championships.
CHAMPIONNAT DU MONDE ENDURANCE FIA (WEC) - Podium success for Porsche/Michelin in Shanghai
Felbermayr-Proton-run Porsche/Michelins finished second in both the LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am classes in the Six Hours of Shanghai, the last round of the 2012 WEC.
Despite spending the first four laps at the head of the LMGTE Pro field, Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb (N°77 Porsche/Michelin) were unable to match the N°97 factory Aston Martin, but they went on to finish second in China. The result also ensured a podium finish for Felbermayr-Proton in the 2012 LMGTE Pro standings, while Porsche was runner-up in the LMGTE Manufacturers' standings.
In LMGTE Am, Felbermayr-Proton was targeting the FIA Endurance Trophy in Shanghai. However, with a single Porsche 997 RSR against two Corvette C6.Rs, it faced a particularly tough challenge...
After qualifying the N°88 Porsche/Michelin on pole position, Paolo Ruberti got away to a tremendous start and still led after his first stint. The N°50 Corvette then eased ahead at the halfway point, however, and Felbermayr-Proton's Ruberti/Ried/Roda had to settle for second in Shanghai, as well as second place in the 2012 FIA LMGTE Am Endurance Trophy.
PORSCHE CARRERA CUP GB - Redline Racing and Meadows are 2012's champs
Redline Racing and Michael Meadows took the top prizes in the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Great-Britain. Michelin is the competition's exclusive tire supplier.
Only eight points split Redline Racing and Parker Racing at the top of the Teams' standings before the year's final clash at Brands Hatch.
Al Harthy and Meadows (who had already made sure of the Drivers' title) did their best in the difficult conditions to earn the Teams' crown for Redline which went on to claim its fifth title in 10 years (2004, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012) and take its record to 72 wins. The Cleveland-based squad is the championship's most successful team.
Michael Meadows, 25, is the first driver to have emerged from the Carrera Cup Scholarship to win the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. He clinched the 2012 Drivers' title at Silverstone on October 8 where he qualified on pole position and won in front of 30,000 spectators.
The 2012 Pro-Am 1 class was also won at Silverstone by another Redline Racing driver, namely Ahmad Al Harthy who travels to each round from his home in Oman! The Pro-Am 2 title went to 26-year old Will Goff.
PORSCHE CARRERA CUP FRANCE - Titles for Vernay and Sébastien Loeb Racing
Jean-Karl Vernay and Sébastien Loeb Racing were winners of the 2012 Porsche Matmut Carrera Cup at first attempt.
Vernay moved to the top of the order at Navarra and made sure of the laurels at the final round at Le Castellet where second place behind last year's champ Kévin Estre was enough to hand him the Drivers' crown.
Sébastien Loeb Racing's maiden season was a faultless affair, since the Alsace-based newcomers won not only the Teams' title, but also the 'A' and 'B' Drivers' crowns with Vernay and Christophe Lapierre respectively.
Jean-Karl Vernay and his closest threat Côme Ledogar have been invited by Porsche to attend a test at Vallelunga, Italy, with a view to being part of next year's Porsche Carrera Scholarship Program. Six drivers will take part in the selection process.
PORSCHE JUNIOR PROGRAM - Christensen rounds off 2012 with a win
Denmark's Michael Christensen, one of the 2012 Porsche Junior Program's two representatives, won the last race of the season at Hockenheim, Germany.
Michael Christensen rounded off his apprenticeship of the Porsche 997 GT3-Cup/Michelin in style by qualifying on pole and winning at Hockenheim. The program's second driver Klaus Bachler finished just shy of the podium. The two 'youngsters' proved a match for the far more experienced René Rast and Sean Edwards.
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