Porsche is set to start the 2022 motorsport season with ambitious goals and extensive programs around the world. The prime factory focus will be on the two “works” entries in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The expansion of customer sport activities and intensive preparation for the new LMDh program have now been added to the schedule of activities as well.
“Motorsports have always had a special role to play in Porsche’s corporate strategy, and for more than 70 years now we have used the racing stage as the testing grounds for our latest technologies. We face great challenges today – in both sporting and organizational terms. We are determined to play an active role in shaping the future, while ensuring we retain our motorsports DNA,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG at the digital Porsche Night of Champions, December 18, 2021.
“We place sustainability and electrification very high on our list of priorities,” added Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development. “This is something that will also be reflected in motorsports of the future. As you can see from the development of eFuels in partnership with ExxonMobil, in addition to our Mission R concept car, the first major steps in this direction have now become visible.”
The all-electric Mission R racing car study caused a sensation when it was unveiled at the IAA MOBILITY 2021 in Munich. This spectacular all-wheel drive racing car that delivers up to 800 kW (1,088 PS) is the vision of a potential customer sports car of the future.
TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team: Aiming for First Race Wins
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship Series will be starting its eighth season in 2022. The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team has set itself an ambitious goal for the next 16 world championship events: the Porsche 99X Electric race car is expected to turn its great potential into a series of successes.
“There is absolutely no doubt that we have what it takes to win races. The highlights of the past season have made this very clear,” says Thomas Laudenbach, who took over the management of Porsche Motorsport from Fritz Enzinger on October 1 this year. “Over the past few months, our development team in Weissach [Germany] has made all the modifications permitted by the regulations and we are firmly convinced that the Porsche 99X Electric will be capable of leading the pack in the coming season.”
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is putting its faith on continuity in the cockpit. Factory drivers André Lotterer (No. 36) and Pascal Wehrlein (No. 94) will return to the grid for the team in 2022. Reserve drivers Simona de Silvestro and Neel Jani also return to lineup prepared to do test and race duty as needed. The new season is scheduled to start on January 28, 2022, with two races in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.
FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Two Factory Porsche 911 RSR Entered to Contest for World Titles.
In the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Porsche will again field two 911 RSR race cars in the 2022 season. The two machines will enter the upcoming six races under the leadership of Alexander Stehlig, Overall Project Manager and Head of Operations, and will field a slightly different driver crew than in 2021. The Italian Gianmaria Bruni and Austrian Richard Lietz will again share driving duties in the No. 91 car. In the No. 92 sister car, Kévin Estre (France) will swap seats with Michael Christensen (Denmark). The duo had taken a class victory competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans three years ago as well as picking up the 2018/2019 title. The first race of the new season is scheduled for March 18 at Sebring International Raceway in Florida. The race is the precursor to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. On June 11 – 12, 2022, the two Porsche 911 RSR will compete in the 90th edition of the French endurance classic, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The two driver crews will be supported by works drivers Frédéric Makowiecki (France) in the No. 91 and Belgian Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 92 at Le Mans.
LMDh Rollout: Cameron and Nasr Added to Driver Line-Up.
Californian Dane Cameron (Glen Allen, California) and Felipe Nasr (Brazil) will be included in Porsche Motorsport’s factory driver line-up in 2022. Cameron, the 33-year-old American, won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi title in 2016 and 2019, while Nasr, the 29-year-old ex-Formula 1 driver, secured the championship in the North American endurance racing series in 2018 and 2021. The two new works drivers are to be involved intensively in the further development of Porsche’s LMDh prototypes. The management of these ground-breaking endurance racing activities for Porsche will be in the capable hands of the experienced Swiss national, Urs Kuratle. The 500 kW (680 PS) hybrid racing car is scheduled to complete numerous test runs in 2022. Cameron continues a long streak of factory drivers hailing from the United States.
Beginning in 2023, the LMDh prototype will be entered by Porsche Penske Motorsport in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. For the first time in 30 years, it will be possible to compete for overall victories in the endurance classics at Le Mans, Sebring and Daytona with cars of identical construction.
“We are working all-out with our partner Penske on the development of the new LMDh prototype and collaborate closely with the chassis manufacturer Multimatic at all times,” explains Thomas Laudenbach. “In January, we will begin intensive testing to ensure that we are optimally prepared for our 2023 competition debut.”
Customer Racing: Strong Presence in North America, DTM and at the Classics.
In the 2022 season, Porsche will again support numerous customer teams that will be competing with the 911 GT3 R race car on major international stages.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
In the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the customer teams will again be competing for victories. In 2021, Porsche privateers earned seven championships in an extremely successful year. In the new-for-2022 GTD Pro class, Pfaff Motorsports will be fielding a Porsche 911 GT3 R with works drivers Matt Campbell (Australia) and Mathieu Jaminet (France). Nasr will join the “Plaid Porsche” squad at the endurance races. More GT3 cars fielded by customer teams are planned for the GTD category. These announcements will be made by the teams.
Chris Pfaff, President & CEO, Pfaff Motorsports.
“2022 will be just our third full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and in that short time, I’m incredibly proud of what the whole Pfaff Motorsports team has accomplished, winning four races and the GTD championship in 2021. We’re excited to be taking the next big step and are grateful for the confidence that Porsche has shown in us. With an amazing driver lineup and a great team behind them, all of the ingredients are in place for a successful season.”
Steve Bortolotti, General Manager, Pfaff Motorsports.
“Our move to GTD Pro signals Pfaff Motorsports’ commitment to become an elite privateer effort, worthy of factory consideration for future opportunities. We are appreciative of Porsche’s support with factory drivers Matt, Mathieu, and Felipe. They have a proven track record of success individually, and we look forward to working with them and seeing how they gel this season.”
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“Firstly, I’m really excited to be joining the team once again, but this time for a full season. They have proven after winning the championship that we will be a force to be reckoned with in 2022. Having driven with the team previously, it will be an easy step already knowing the majority of them, which has a great group of characters. Mathieu and I have been driving together for two years now in most championships we compete in – we like the same things in the car and have the same feedback, so I expect our partnership to only grow further with the team.”
Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I’m super happy to be joining Pfaff in GTD Pro. It was really my priority to race full time in the USA in 2022, and to be racing with the reigning GTD champions is a privilege. The team showed great performances this season and I can’t wait to get it started at Daytona. Matt and I know each other really well and we’ve already had some good success. This should help us to perform straight away. We like the same things on the car and have the same feedback to push the team. He also knows the team so this will help me integrate quicker with everyone. “[For the season] our goal is clear; we’ve got all the ingredients to be up front, so the target is to try and win the championship. Obviously, we are always looking at the big races, so Daytona and Sebring are also on top of my list. Let’s see what the year has got for us.”
Felipe Nasr, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Porsche family and team Pfaff ahead of the 2022 season. I always love going to Daytona and having a shot of winning the Rolex 24; this time will be completely new to in the GTD Pro class. Hopefully it will a smooth transition and a fast learning process with the help of my well-experienced teammates Matt and Mathieu.”
European Endurance Classics.
For the European endurance classics at the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps, Porsche team partners will be sending numerous 911 GT3 R race cars into the fray. Team Manthey – defending champion and record winner at the Nürburgring 24 Hours – will once again be competing with a formidable crew. Works drivers Kévin Estre (France), Michael Christensen (Denmark), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) will be sharing the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 R, affectionately known as “Grello”. The entry of four more versions of the 500+ Hp machine at this German classic has now been confirmed.
ADAC GT Masters and DTM
In Germany, Porsche will primarily focus on the ADAC GT Masters and also, for the first time, the DTM, where experienced partners will do battle for an entire racing season. Team SSR Performance has been extremely successful in the ADAC GT Masters to date and will be fielding two Porsche 911 GT3 R racers. Team 75 Bernhard will be sending an identically constructed car delivering over 500 Hp in accordance with FIA GT3 regulations into what will probably be eight events in the coming year. Works driver Thomas Preining (Austria) will be behind the wheel for the team owned by two-time overall Le Mans winner and Porsche brand ambassador, Timo Bernhard. Porsche will be supporting the two DTM customer teams based on its tried and tested concept, consisting of engineers, spare parts service and drivers from the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer’s squad.
Customer teams competing in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the GT World Challenge, the FIA WEC, the European Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series, among others, will receive the same support from Porsche as last year. In the numerous GT4 racing series taking place around the world, which includes the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and SRO GT4 America and SRO GT America series in North America as well as the German DTM Trophy, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, which was unveiled in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will line up on the starting grid for the first time in 2022. The homologated racing car develops 500 Hp (368 kW), significantly more powerful than its predecessor. During the development of the new GT4 racer, the focus was also on drivability and even more efficient aerodynamics. Porsche customer teams won SRO and IMSA titles with the outgoing model in 2021.
Porsche Carrera Cup North America: Second-Season Featuring All Type 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Race Cars.
The second season of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands will feature a full field, all classes, utilizing the type 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car. Having debuted the 510 Hp (375 kW) Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car internationally in March 2021 at Sebring International Raceway, the premier one-make series in North America will again start the year with two rounds at Sebring. The 2022 championship, the top level of one-make racing on the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid on the continent, will feature 16 rounds at eight venues across the United States and Canada.
Troy Bundy Joins Porsche Motorsport North America.
Volker Holzmeyer, who officially began his role as president and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) on December 1, announced Troy Bundy as Motorsport One Make and GT Sports Manager for PMNA. Bundy will assume responsibility for series oversight of all one-make operations, including the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands and the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama, as well as multiplatform GT programs in IMSA and the SRO effective January 1, 2022.
The addition of Bundy will allow Brian Blocker (Series Manager, Porsche Carrera Cup North America Presented by the Cayman Islands), Ralph Hollack (Manager, SRO America) and Erik Skirmants (Series Manager, Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama) to return to their primary positions within PMNA. Blocker and Skirmants launched their respective one-make championships in 2021, growing each to record entries. Hollack led an incredibly successful SRO season where Porsche earned championships in each category in which the German sports car manufacturer was entered.
Blocker – whose principal role within the sole importer of Porsche race cars in the United States and Canada is Manager, Finance and Business Development – guided the creation and launch of the premier one-make series in North America to international acclaim in 2021. Blocker’s focus will now return entirely to overseeing all PMNA business activities. Having steered the most successful season of SRO competition in North America to-date, Hollack returns full attention to his primary responsibility as Parts Sales & Logistics Manager overseeing the large and diverse inventory and logistical efforts of PMNA. Skirmants helped craft the step just below the Carrera Cup, the Sprint Challenge, as well as forge a relationship with the United States Auto Club (USAC) who manages the series for Porsche. He now returns solely to his position as Modern & Historic Workshop Manager of the fast-growing internal PMNA rebuild and restoration facilities in Carson, California.
Volker Holzmeyer, President and CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America.
“We are very pleased to bring someone with the motorsport experience of Troy Bundy to PMNA. He has helped build Porsche race series in other markets and has the knowledge base in forging relationships with teams, drivers, marketing partners and race tracks, which will be vital in his new role.
Under the watch of Brian and Erik, we launched two incredibly successful race series and strengthened the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid in North America. I wish to thank both for their guiding light and commitment that few could equal. Ralph returned to the road to support our SRO customers and returns with the most successful season of racing there we have ever had. The expertise each has in his primary role, added to the experiences of this year, will benefit our entire operation. Because of their leadership in 2021, Troy, working with our entire PMNA team, has the tools to take our one-make and GT race series to the next stage in the coming years.”
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup: 30th season will Focus on New Porsche Junior.
The international focus in the coming year will once again be on the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. The Porsche one-make cup is run as part of Formula 1 and will also achieve a special milestone in 2022. This will be the Supercup’s 30th season. From the ranks of the Porsche squad, expectations are high for German driver Laurin Heinrich, as he prepares for the competition, which will comprise a total of eight events. At a scouting session in November consisting of twelve participants, the 20-year-old put on a convincing display and, as a new Porsche Junior, will now receive extensive support from Porsche Motorsport.
Porsche Cup: Jan Heylen Wins Annual Award for Private Porsche Driver.
The traditional Porsche Cup, which has been awarded annually to the most successful private Porsche driver since 1970, will go to Jan Heylen in 2021. Together with works driver Patrick Long (Westlake Village, California) and his American compatriot Trent Hindman (West Long Branch, New Jersey), the experienced Belgian now living in Tampa, Florida, won the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup last season at the wheel of the Wright Motorsports-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 R. The championship within a championship recognizes success in the four major North American endurance races: the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Six Hours of The Glen and Petit Le Mans.
Heylen, who was announced for a full season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD-class ride in the Wright Porsche 911 GT3 R with Ryan Hardwick (Atlanta, Georgia) on December 7, was a regular in the Ohio-based race team’s multiple series entries in 2021. Heylen added the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS class Driver Championship behind the wheel of a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. He shared the GT4-spec machine with Hardwick and Maxwell Root (San Diego, California) during the season. Additionally, the popular driver co-drove with Fred Poordad to the SRO GT World Challenge America Pro/Am Drivers Championship with a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The 41-year-old cycling enthusiast, who has lived in the USA for many years, will receive a new Porsche sports car worth 150,000 euros (approximately $169,000 USD), in addition to the coveted trophy. The award for successful amateur drivers, which has been presented for 52 years, is based on an idea suggested by Ferry Porsche.
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup: Joshua Rogers Celebrates Second Title.
At the digital Porsche Night of Champions on December 18, Australian Joshua Rogers was honored for a second time as the champion of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. The 22-year-old from the Coanda Simsport team secured the title in the racing series, which is held on the iRacing platform, for a second time this year after receiving the title in 2019. The 2022 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup starts on February 5 on the virtual version of the GP circuit in Hockenheim.