Thursday, July 9, 2015

Is Motorsport the essential Driving Force Behind New Automotive Technologies?

Hi folks -- what follows is a statement by the head of Porsche motor sports arguing that motor  sports is essential to automotive technological change.  This is an old argument that goes back to the be inning of the automotive age. Eddie Rickenbacker was a chief proponent of this view; driver Barney Oldfield came to argue against this after about 1916. What do you think?

“Motorsport is an essential driving force behind new technologies”
Stuttgart. Scoring a double victory under extremely challenging conditions on the historic Watkins Glen circuit in the USA, Porsche celebrated its greatest GT success so far this season. Heading to the next round of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship at Mosport/Canada on Sunday, Porsche’s Head of Motorsport Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser reflects on the triumph at the six-hour classic in an interview and talks about the importance of motorsport to Porsche, the technology transfer between motor racing and production, the success of Porsche’s junior development programme and customer racing around the world. 

Dr Walliser, how would you evaluate the success at the most difficult race of the season by now in the USA?

“Several factors came together at Watkins Glen. Falken Tire had a risky but clever strategy that worked. The freak weather with constantly changing conditions was in our favour. It’s not exactly a secret that our 911 RSR performs particularly well in the rain. Still, the drivers have to manage to keep the car on the track and not make any mistakes. But despite our victory, the race wasn’t entirely without mishap for us. Not every pit stop went perfectly. Although we’re very pleased, we certainly know we still have things to do.”

This coming Sunday it’s Mosport. What improvement can you make until then?  

“We can definitely focus on improving our pit stops and try to respond better to unexpected situations. That’s possible from race to race. Our drivers and teams are highly motivated after this double victory. I’m sure that they’ll do even better at Mosport.”

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