Friday, December 25, 2015

Understanding the Porsche Model Number and Letter System

Some dreams are difficult to capture in words because they have such long names. One example is the Porsche 356 A 1500 GS Carrera, which in 1955 conjured up a blissful smile on the faces of automobile enthusiasts all over the world. At that time, the top model from Zuffenhausen looked as if it came from a different world. But in technical terms too, the elegant sports car was absolutely fantastic: “Look, there goes the Porsche three hundred and fifty-six A one thousand, five…” and it had already zoomed past with its top speed of 200 km/h.
Admittedly, names can be complicated. Often, however, there is a logical explanation for the model designations: the 1955 model, for example, originated on the basis of the Porsche 356 and was part of the refined A series. It impressed with its engine capacity of 1500 cm³ and was labelled as especially swift by the suffixes of GS (Grand Sport) and Carrera (Spanish for “racing”).
Confirmed Porsche devotees juggle skilfully with abbreviations and codes: 356 and 911, 964 and 993, GTS, GT and S, Carrera, Spyder, Speedster. They are all part of the Porsche cult – and every cult has its own code. Yet for many an innocent car enthusiast, the Porsche typology is a rather confusing business. How can a car be called a 911 and a 991 at the same time? Is that a Boxster there or a 987? Or is it a 981? And what do the 4, the S or the Executive stand for on the current models? Here are two practical aids to help you crack the Porsche code.

One number for each order

You have to go back to the year 1931 to understand the beginnings of the in-house numbering method. Every order, every project of the newly founded engineering design office Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH of Ferdinand Porsche was given a consecutive number, the in-house type number. In the beginning it was the number 7: the design of a saloon car for the German car manufacturer Wanderer. Number 22 became the legendary Auto Union Grand Prix racing car and the Type 60 was the Volkswagen. The numbers therefore rose with each new order, with each engine designed, with each drawing for an axle, a gearbox or a tractor. On 8 June 1948, by which time the project numbers had climbed to 356, a novelty came about: for the first time an automobile was made under the official brand name of Porsche. The Porsche 356.
This not only marked the birth of a legendary brand, but also a legendary model and one with a memorable design. The 356 underwent further development with each new model year. Substantial advances in development were indicated by adding the letters A, B and C.

901 or 911?                                               

The engineers in Zuffenhausen and Weissach then went on to retain this system. Order receipts were good – test engines, naturally aspirated engines, water turbines, racing cars – and the internal numbers were rising faster and faster. In some of the new sports car types, Porsche again used the internal plant code for the official model name, as was the case in 1953 with the Porsche 550 Spyder, the spirited mid-engine car.
Yet, it was precisely the successor to the 356 that led Porsche to abandon the customary typology. In view of possible future cooperation with the VW plant, the new Porsche was to be compatible with the number ranges used there. As the 900 numbers had not yet been allocated in Wolfsburg, the decision-makers at Zuffenhausen chose 901 for the six-cylinder version and 902 for a subsequent four-cylinder car. However, an unexpected problem arose: the company Peugeot stated that they had been using three-digit numbers with a zero in the middle since 1929 and therefore owned the legal rights to all similar number sequences in France. The 0 was therefore quickly replaced by a 1 – the already existing typeface 1 simply had to be doubled for the brochures and type name on the rear of the vehicle. A legend was born, officially baptised with the name 911. In 1964, no one could have guessed that this 911 stopgap solution would one day become world-famous.

Expansion of the model range

Yet the 911 was not to remain the only model line within the Porsche company. The 914 marked the addition of a smaller, lighter mid-engine sports car, and over the years models such as the 924, 928 and 944 were to join their elder brother. They also received their internal number as model names – using the first version in each case. By now, at the latest, the three-digit number starting with a 9 had established itself worldwide as synonymous with the reliable sporting character from Zuffenhausen.
Soon, though, the 900 numbers were running out and competing with each other. Nevertheless, for reasons of tradition, the engineers stuck to their system. In addition to the various street-legal models, pure racing cars also had to be allocated internal type numbers. One example is the legendary 917: unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show in 1969, the extreme athlete secured overall victory in Le Mans one year later – the first of many further racing successes in the first half of the 1970s under the 917 code.
Flexibility therefore became increasingly in demand when naming all the Porsche models. The 911 is a clear illustration of this: in the 1968 model year, the series received the internal designation of “A Series” for the first time. In 1969, the “B Series” followed, then in 1970 the “C Series”, up until the substantially redesigned “G Series”, which was presented in 1973. However, special models within the series also received their own type number from time to time, as was the case with the internal Type 930, called the 911 Turbo or the Type 954 (911 SC/RS). 
In 1988, a major break occurred in the 911 history with the introduction of the completely redesigned 964 model series. The 993 followed in 1993. Then the 996, 997 and, in the current model, we return to the 991. Between the internal numbers of the 911, there are still further models to be found, with examples being the Carrera GT (internal 980), the Boxster (986 first generation, 987 second, 981 third) and the Cayenne (955). The tradition of the three-digit type numbers is being maintained – albeit with a certain degree of creative freedom.
In addition to the official designations and the in-house type numbers, the Porsche employees also give some models affectionate nicknames: one model of the 356, for example, was known as the “Dame” (=Lady), the 917/20 version of the Le Mans racing car is remembered as the “Sau” (=Pink Pig). But that is another story entirely.
Apart from the official model names, there are also various suffixes to describe the numerous different model versions. Below you will find an overview.
Current models
An artificial name used since 1993 and derived from Boxer (engine) and roadster
Carrera (e.g. 911 Carrera)
Originally, “Carrera” was the name of the Type 547 four-camshaft engine designed by Dr Ernst Fuhrmann. Porsche later used this suffix for the most powerful engine versions, such as the 356 A 1500 GS Carrera or the 911 Carrera RS 2.7. However, Carrera has almost become established as a synonym for the 911 model series. The name comes from the Carrera Panamericana, a Mexican endurance race in which Porsche secured major successes with the 550 Spyder.
E-Hybrid (e.g. Cayenne S E-Hybrid)
Apart from the combustion engine, the E-Hybrid models also have an electric motor on board, which provides more thrust while simultaneously emitting less CO2.
Executive (e.g. Panamera 4S Executive)
The Executive models of the Panamera have a body extended by 15 cm, which primarily benefits the passengers sitting in the rear.
GTS (e.g. Cayman GTS)
GTS stands for Gran Turismo Sport and is originally a homologation class from motor racing. The 904 Carrera GTS received this epithet for the first time in 1963. In 1991, the 928 GTS revived the tradition. The GTS suffix is currently used to designate the especially sporty and exclusive models of a Porsche model series.
RS (e.g. 911 Carrera RS 2.7, model year 1972)
The RS (stands for RennSport[=racing sport]) and is a street-legal model that has been derived from the motor racing version. The designation is, however, also used for particularly sporty models, e.g. the 911 RS America.
RSR (e.g. 911 Carrera RSR 2.8 model year 1973)
The RennSport Rennwagen (RSR) [literally: racing sport racing car] is a purely competition version and is not street legal.
S (e.g. 928 S, model year 1979; Macan S)
S for “Super” or “Sport”: a version with a more powerful engine. Today the S consistently stands for “Sport” and, in addition to the extra-sporty engine, additionally includes enhancements to the equipment compared with the basic model.
Spyder (918 Spyder)
The designation originally comes from the coach-making term for lightweight, open carriages for two people. In a similar way to the term Roadster, Spyder at Porsche designates open mid-engine sports cars. The 918 already has a legendary predecessor in the 550 Spyder from 1953.
Targa (e.g. 911 Targa 4)
The 911 Targa is an open version of the 911, characterised by its distinctive roll-over protection bar and its fixed roof section. The name comes from the legendary Sicilian road race Targa Florio and means “plate” in English.
Turbo (e.g. Cayenne Turbo)
These models have an engine with exhaust gas turbocharger, which produces a powerful boost in performance. All Porsche models have had an exhaust gas turbocharger since 2015.
4 (e.g. 911 Carrera 4)
Models with all-wheel drive
Historic models
CS (968 CS, model year 1992)
Available from 1992, the Club Sport (CS) version of the 968 had the same engine but had undergone streamlining for extra sporting character: without window lifts, rear seating and air conditioning, it may have been less comfortable but was significantly lighter and therefore faster than the 968.
GT (e.g. 924 Carrera GT, model year 1980)
Similar to GTS, the suffix Gran Turismo (GT) signifies a sportier version of the basic model; the designation has its origins in motor sport since it was possible to homologate vehicles for the GT class. Used for the first time in 1955 with the 356 A 1500 GS Carrera GT, Porsche returned to the designation in 1989 for the 928 GT.
GT-Cup (e.g. 911 GT3 Cup, model year 1998)
Near-production racing version not street legal, used for example in the Porsche Carrera Cup.
L (911 L, model year 1967)
L for “Luxury”: the third version of the original 911 received this suffix in 1967.
SC (.e.g. 356 C 1600 SC, model year 1963)

Introduced in the model year 1964, the 95 hp 356 SC (Super C) was intended to mark the end of the series. In a similar way to this, the 911 SC (Super Carrera) was introduced in 1977, and was initially also intended to be the last 911 model. However, the series ended up being continued with the 911 Carrera 3.2.
Speedster (e.g. 356 Speedster model year 1954)
In the Speedster models, the windscreen was significantly lower when compared with the basic model, which gave the car a more streamlined silhouette. In return, the driver had to sacrifice comfort in the equipment provided.
T (911 T)
Although it was also available as a Targa version, the T in the 911 T from 1967 stood for “Touring” – and hence for a less expensive entry-level version of the classic vehicle with a weaker engine.
Consumption data
911 Carrera: Combined fuel consumption: 8.3-7.4 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 190-169 g/km
Cayenne S E-Hybrid: Combined fuel consumption: 3,4 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 79 g/km; Electricity consumption: 20.8 kWh/100 km
Panamera 4S Executive: Combined fuel consumption: 9,0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 210 g/km
Cayman GTS: Combined fuel consumption: 9,0 – 8,2 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 211 – 190 g/km
Macan S: Combined fuel consumption: 9,0 – 8,7 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 212 – 204 g/km
911 Targa 4: Combined fuel consumption: 9,5 – 8,7 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 223 – 204 g/km
Cayenne Turbo: Combined fuel consumption: 11,5 – 11,2 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 267 - 261 g/km
911 Carrera 4:  Combined fuel consumption: 9,3 – 8,6 l/100 km;  CO2-emissions: 218 – 200 g/km

Thursday, December 17, 2015

1956 Ford Customline Victoria Advertisement: the advent of the 2 car family in 1950s America

Cars, suburbs, isolation and the 1950s in America.  The ad is self explanatory, and powerful evidence of how the suburbs took Americans even further down the path of autmobile dependency.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Harry Truman and his Cars: a Tidbit from Ed Garten

I seem to be obsessed with Harry Truman and his cars, but found this tidbit on the Internet.  The bill of sale for not one but two new  1941 Chrysler cars that he purchased only a month before Pearl Harbor.  And he traded in two cars against the two new ones with one of them only being a year old.  The man truly loved his cars.


MASERATI TROFEO 2010 - 2015 From Monza to Abu Dhabi: six years of the Maserati Trofeo

Spa, 2014

Modena, 16 December 2015 - From Monza 2010 to Abu Dhabi 2015. The Maserati Trofeo journey lasted six years and ended only last week at the Yas Marina circuit in the United Arab Emirates with Frenchman Romain Monti taking the last ever title. The single-make series kicked off with an Italian taking the championship, Pietro Zumerle in 2010. He was followed by another Italian, David Baldi (2011), before a Belgian claimed two successive crowns Renaud Kuppens (2012 and 2013). In 2014 it was the turn of Swiss driver Mauro Calamia.
As well as scoring a historic double title, Kuppens holds a few other firsts in this Maserati series. The Belgian claimed the most victories (15) in the Trofeo and tops the special classification for the most wins on the same circuit (4 at Sonoma in the United States), the number of podiums (23) and pole positions (17). Calamia was the driver who claimed the most consecutive wins(4), the number of wins in a season (9) and is the youngest driver to have won the Trofeo (at 22 years old).
Another talented young driver was the Dane Mikkel Mac. As well as taking second spot behind Kuppens in 2013, he will be remembered for winning a race at the age of 20 (at Paul Ricard). Maserati's single-make series, as well as being a launchpad for young talent, is also appreciated by more experienced drivers. This is partly because of the special classification reserved to Over 50s, won this year by Australian Richard Denny. Among the more seasoned drivers, Riccardo Romagnoli was one that stood out as he was the oldest driver to win a race (at 48 when he triumphed at Jarama in 2012).
Andreas Segler holds the record for having disputed the greatest number of Trofeo races since 2010, a total of 45. The German has not missed a single round and has lined up on every grid over the past six years. He has collected a few podium finishes along the way and used 816 tyres, covering over 19.000 km in racing on 25 circuits in 14 countries.
The Maserati Trofeo has touched down at most important European tracks and circuits further afield. In the USA, it has been run in California at SonomaRoad America in Wisconsin, and in Virginia at the VIR’ circuit where, in 1957, Carol Shelby's Maserati 450S was victorious in the inaugural race. The list of Formula 1 circuits visited includes Shanghai in China, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Suzuka in Japan, a track where Maserati had never race before.
The impressive figures prove that the championship was a popular one. It has always had a high number of competitors with an average that topped 21 Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeos at each round. There have been almost 200 drivers (from 31 countries) who have taken part in the championship. Eight women drivers have raced over the past six years, including a mini-series at Budapest, Hungary, in 2013 where four Lady Racers appeared: Adrienn Dansco teamed with Edina Bus and Adrienn Vogel pairing up with Anita Toth,
The fascination of the Maserati marque has drawn drivers from around the globe to race, as well as celebrities and motor-racing personalities. Among the drivers who have got behind the wheel of the Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo, are ex-Formula 1 men Ivan Capelli and Japanese Shinji Nakano, Maserati MC12 stars Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels, and the sons of greats from the past like Derek Hill and Freddie Hunt. Also from the world of motorsport came engineer Adrian Newey, film star Patrick Dempsey, and stuntman Greg Tracy.
The GranTurismo MCs will be back on the track in 2016, run by private squads. They will mainly be competing in international GT4 series in Europe and in the USA. The teams have taken delivery of the cars and will make the modifications needed to bring them into line with GT4 regulations. Maserati will provide the teams with technical support and replacement parts, transferring all the experience and know-how picked up in the past six Maserati Trofeo seasons.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Keroauc -- On the Road: Character "Terry" died at age 92, August, 2013

Beatrice Kozera, left, and her sister Angie in Selma, Calif., in 1947. (Beatrice Kozera Estate )

Beatrice Kozera, the Los Angeles-born woman whose fleeting relationship with novelist Jack Kerouac was chronicled in 'On the Road,' - the book that defined a generation - died in August 2013. 

She was 92. The woman also known as Bea Franco and to readers as 'Terry, the Mexican girl' died in August, 2013, in Lakewood of natural causes, family friend Tim Hernandez said on Monday.

Kozera learned only a few years before her death that her 15-day relationship with Kerouac in the farm-worker labor camps of Selma in 1947 was featured in his famous Beat Generation novel and eventually a Hollywood movie, in which actress Alic Braga played her, Hernandez said.

Hernandez tracked down Kozera while he was researching her story for the book  “Manana Means Heaven.”

He said he interviewed Kozera several times after finding letters and a postcard she had written to Kerouac at the New York Public Library. He showed them to her family, who recognized her handwriting.

'As far as she was concerned she was a normal, ordinary person who at one point in her life met a man,' Hernandez said. 'She never knew that this gentleman Kerouac ever became anything.'

Kozera spent most of her early years following her farmworker family in California’s fields and eventually settled in Fresno.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Two New Additions to the Mercedes - Benz Museum in Stuttgart: The 2014 MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W05 Hybrid and the gooix Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

Lewis Hamilton und Ola Källenius unveil the championship-winning Formula 1 car from 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Photo dated December 12, 2015

They are the latest additions to the banked curve at the Mercedes-Benz Museum – the 2014 MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W05 Hybrid and the gooix Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM. Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein unveiled their cars today on the Races and Records banked turn in the presence of many famous racing drivers and the media. Many visitors followed the proceedings and then continued on to the autograph-signing session with Sir Stirling Moss, David Coulthard, Mika Häkkinen and Bernd Mayländer. The Mini DTM Family Programme and the hands-on Fascination Design exhibition also drew the attention of lots of visitors, but why were so many motor racing greats in the Mercedes-Benz Museum? They were there for the main event, Stars & Cars 2015, in the Mercedes-Benz Arena which gets under way at 14:00 CET. By the end of the day, more than 5,500 visitors had come through the doors of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
From home straight to banked turn. As of December 12th, 2015, two new cars will join the displays in the Races and Records area at the Mercedes-Benz Museum and bear witness to Mercedes-Benz’ highly successful motor racing years in 2014 and 2015. The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W05 Hybrid is the world championship-winning Formula 1 car from 2014, with which Lewis Hamilton secured a total of 11 wins. The Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM is the vehicle that brought Mercedes-Benz racing driver Pascal Wehrlein success in the 2015 DTM, the German Touring Car Championship. Both cars were unveiled at a press conference in the Mercedes-Benz Museum to mark the end of the 2015 motor racing season, while Head of Motorsport Toto Wolff and Ola Källenius, member of the board at Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz Car Sales & Marketing Division watched on along with many famous racing drivers.
Many visitors took advantage of the free invitation to look around the Mercedes-Benz Museum. They arrived hours before the actual start in order to secure the best view for the unveiling and see motor racing drivers Lewis Hamilton, Pascal Wehrlein, Luca Ludwig, Sebastian Asch, Felix Rosenqvist and Esteban Ocon take the floor. Another highlight of the event was the autograph-signing session with Sir Stirling Moss, David Coulthard, Mika Häkkinnen and Bernd Mayländer. Guided tours of the recently opened Safety Cars exhibition with Bernd Mayländer, setting out the history and story behind the safety car, were also possible (Safety Cars exhibition ends 17th April, 2016). Visitors could steer radio-controlled model vehicles around the in-house race track in the Mini DTM and design and build racing cars in the Fascination Design interactive exhibition for children. By late afternoon, the Mercedes-Benz Museum had already clocked up 5,500 visitors.
Trophy Wall is a reminder of most successful motor racing season for 60 years 
From Friday, 18th December 2015, the Trophy Wall, featuring the major championship trophies from the 2015 season, will serve as a reminder of the most successful Mercedes-Benz season in the company’s history, which includes winning the Formula 1 World Championship (constructors’ and drivers’ championships), the DTM Championship (driver and team standings), the Formula 3 Championship (drivers’ championship) and the ADAC GT Masters Championship (drivers’ championship). The showcase will be displayed on Level E2 at the end of the tour through the Mercedes-Benz Museum until January 6th, 2016.
Lewis Hamilton: “I’m very proud to be here, to be a part of Mercedes-Benz history. Now it’s like this huge iconic brand. Growing up, seeing Mercedes-Benz Cars – I always wanted a Mercedes car when I was young, and it’s just crazy to think that, after watching numerous races, I’m now part of the evolution – the evolutional road of development and success of Mercedes-Benz. Even when my time has passed, my cars will always be here. So, you can never get rid of the Hamiltons.”
Pascal Wehrlein: “It’s a great honour for me to see the car I drove in this year’s DTM on display here and to have now become part of Mercedes-Benz history. It’s actually quite hard to put into words. To be immortalised here makes me proud, and my whole team can feel the same way because we did this together. No-one can ever take that away from us. It’s great to win championships, but when you also have the privilege of seeing your car exhibited in the museum, it fills you with pride, because you realise what you’ve achieved.”

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Porsche Racing Plans, 2016

Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team: Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber (l-r)

Motorsport 2016
Porsche remains the strongest marque at Le Mans
Stuttgart. Porsche has recognised outstanding achievements over the 2015 season at the Night of Champions motorsport gala in Weissach. On this occasion, the Porsche CEO, Dr Oliver Blume, provided the first prospects for the upcoming season. “On the racetrack we have experienced one of the most successful years in our company’s history. For 2016, we are placing emphasis on consistency and will again shift up a gear. We will be the only manufacturer to tackle three of the four classes at Le Mans,” he outlined in his speech.  

919 Hybrid: Title defender in the WEC with the starting numbers one and two 
In 2016, the Porsche squad enters its third WEC season as the title defenders. Two 919 Hybrid racers will take on the nine rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC, with the starting numbers one and two. The 919, which has undergone conceptual refinements in many areas, constitutes the technical evolution of the 2015 vehicle. Its new look will be unveiled at the WEC Prologue at Paul Ricard, France, on 25 March. The hybrid system of the 919 combines cutting-edge downsizing turbo technology with efficient fuel direct injection for the two-litre, four-cylinder combustion engine and uses a lithium-ion battery to store electricity from two different energy recovery systems. The 919 Hybrid produces a system power of almost 1,000 hp and provided Porsche with many important impulses for the development of future road-going sports cars, for example, with regard to the 800-volt technology for the Mission E concept, which will go into production at the end of the decade. Two instead of three 919 Hybrid will contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans – the highlight of the 2016 WEC. Porsche and the VW-sister company Audi have agreed to reduce their effort by one LMP1 racing car each for maximum cost efficiency. All six current regular drivers in the Porsche 919 Hybrid will compete again in 2016. Sharing driving duties in the LMP1 racing car with the starting number one are the winners of the Drivers’ World Championship, Timo Bernhard (34), Brendon Hartley (26) and Mark Webber (39), with Romain Dumas (37), Neel Jani (32) and Marc Lieb (35) driving the sister car with the starting number two.  

Kévin Estre signed as Porsche factory driver
Another racing professional who earned his stripes in Porsche’s one-make cup series will become a Porsche works driver: Kévin Estre (27) from France has notched up many successes over six years at the wheel of 911 GT3 Cup vehicles, including the titles of the Porsche Carrera Cup France and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. In 2015, he supported the Porsche Manthey squad in the 911 RSR at the WEC round at Spa and scored third place in the GTE-Pro class with Porsche Junior Sven Müller (23). With Kévin Estre, Porsche now has 16 works drivers under contract for the 2016 season in the LMP1 and GT categories. 

Porsche rearranges WEC GT programme 
In addition to the LMP1 commitment, Porsche again contests both GTE-Pro and GTE-Am categories in 2016. Driver champions Richard Lietz (31) and Michael Christensen (25) aim to defend their title in the professional category. The pair will be supported at Le Mans by Wolf Henzler (40). Proton Dempsey Racing fields the 911 RSR of the Porsche factory pilots. American actor Patrick Dempsey (49) continues to follow the WEC races in 2016 as partner of the team. Whenever his filming commitments allow, he will also tackle selected races in the GTE-Am class. 

Two additional 911 RSR at the Le Mans 24 Hours
Porsche also plans to campaign another pair of 911 RSR at the Le Mans 24-hour race. Sharing the cockpit of one vehicle are Patrick Pilet (34) and Kévin Estre with Britain’s Nick Tandy (31). The sister car has been earmarked for Earl Bamber (25), Frédéric Makowiecki (35) and Jörg Bergmeister (39). “We would be very pleased to receive confirmation from the ACO for two GTE-Pro grid spots at Le Mans,” said Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser.

Porsche aims to defend title in the USA with two 911 RSR
In the third season of the most important sports car championship in the USA, the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship, Porsche again sends a works squad to take up the challenge. The Porsche North America team will again field two 911 RSR, which have been significantly modified to comply with the new regulations. The cockpit of the number 911 vehicle is shared by Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy. At the longer races (24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans), the pair receives support from Kévin Estre. The regular crew in the number 912 car consists of Frédéric Makowiecki and Earl Bamber. These two will be joined by Michael Christensen at the four long distance classics. The season gets underway with the 24 Hours of Daytona on 30 January

New 911 GT3 R celebrates race debut at Daytona
On the tradition-steeped circuit in Florida, the production version of the new 911 GT3 R for customer teams, mounted with the new four-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine with direct fuel injection, celebrates its race debut. Four teams field five vehicles at the season-opening round. Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler supports the Alex Job Racing squad. Jörg Bergmeister competes for Park Place Motorsports, with Patrick Long driving for Black Swan Racing. Due to the strong response from customer teams around the world, Porsche has decided to increase production of the 911 GT3 R and supply nearly 40 cars. 

Porsche works drivers compete worldwide in the 911 GT3 R in 2016
Porsche continues the tradition of supporting 911 GT3 R customer teams with works drivers. Accordingly, Jörg Bergmeister will contest rounds of the Japanese Super GT, Patrick Long will tackle the Pirelli World Challenge for Effort Racing. At the 24 hour race on the Nürburgring, Wolf Henzler again competes for the Falken Motorsports squad. 

Factory campaigns two 911 GT3 R at the Nürburgring 24 Hours
With the experienced Manthey Racing team, Porsche tackles Germany’s most popular automobile race in 2016, the Nürburgring 24 Hours, with two new 911 GT3 R each manned by four works drivers. The GT3 racer, based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, was unveiled as part of last year’s 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, and underlined its Nordschleife capabilities by clinching third place at its first test race as part of the VLN Long Distance Championship in October. 

Porsche extends youth development programme 
Porsche further extends its successful youth development scheme in 2016. Germany’s Sven Müller (23) and the Italian Matteo Cairoli (19) will receive 200,000 Euro each to contest another season of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. New onboard are two talented young aspirants: Dennis Olsen (19) from Norway contests the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland as the first step in his training to become a professional racing driver. The Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet (21) managed to beat the other talented young candidates from one-make cup series worldwide. The vice-champion of the Carrera Cup France tackles the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as a Porsche Junior. As in previous years, the former Porsche works driver Sascha Maassen coaches the four Porsche Juniors on and off the racetrack. 

Ryan Dalziel wins the Porsche Cup
The winner of this year’s Porsche Cup, the trophy for the most successful Porsche privateer, is a racing driver from Scotland. Ryan Dalziel (33) received the coveted trophy from Dr Wolfgang Porsche, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Porsche AG. In addition, Dalziel takes home a 400 hp Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabrio valued at over 165,000 Euro. Thanks to his successes in the Pirelli World Challenge, in which he finished third overall at the wheel of the Effort Racing 911 GT3 R, he earned 5,580 points over the 2015 season. Second-placed Klaus Bachler can look forward to prize money of 30,000 Euro. In third place, Marco Seefried wins 25,000 Euro. The Porsche Cup has been awarded since 1970 and is based on an idea of Ferry Porsche.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Prelude to the Detroit Auto Show: Classic Drive from Tacoma to Detroit, starting December 27

From the Detroit News:

The 2016 North American International Auto Show is expanding its reach in an effort to draw more interest leading up to Detroit’s signature car event.
Starting on Dec. 27 — roughly two weeks before the show’s press days begin — the auto show will host “The Drive Home,” a first-of-its-kind promotional tour in which three classic cars from America’s Car Museum will drive from Tacoma, Washington, to Detroit. A 1957 Chevrolet Nomad, a 1961 Chrysler 300G two-door hardtop and a 1966 Ford Mustang will make the 11-day journey that will include stops and enthusiast club rallies at roughly 10 cities.
The event will culminate Jan. 8 with a drive down Woodward and a final rally outside Quicken Loan’s headquarters downtown.
“The goal is, how do we extend the moment in the sun for the city of Detroit and the show, too?” said Max Muncey, public relations manager for NAIAS. “We’re definitely going to look to do some more events downtown to build the enthusiasm.”
The 2016 Detroit auto show is open to the public from Jan. 16-26.
At Cobo Center, about 1,500 union employees have been working for weeks to prepare the automakers’ elaborate displays. This year, about 75 percent of the show floor will be all-new or significantly redesigned for more than 40 expected worldwide vehicle premieres.
Organizers want to make the show more interactive. They’ll have apps that allow show-goers to check in at various booths and show where they’ve been. And organizers have re-vamped the show website — — to include links to places to eat, drink and visit before and after the show.
“We’re really looking to promote the city more,” Muncey said.
This year’s show is expected to have a roughly $425 million economic impact on Metro Detroit — nearly double the $260 million the region received from hosting Super Bowl XL in 2006.
Roughly 5,000 media members are expected to be in town for the show’s press days. Last year, news media from 60 countries came to the show. This year, journalists from three new countries, including Kazakhstan, have been given credentials, organizers said.
MGM Grand Detroit will once again host The Gallery on Jan. 9 to showcase the most expensive ultra-luxury, performance and exotic cars on the market. The black-tie Charity Preview, which last year raised $5.3 million for eight Metro Detroit charities, will take place Jan. 15.
The number of reveals during the show’s press days are on par with previous years, but a handful of brands have chosen to not come to NAIAS.
Already, MiniJaguar Land RoverBentleyTesla and Maserati have said they’ll skip the show. But organizers say it’s more about where they are in their product life cycles as opposed to an indication the Detroit show is losing its luster.
“I think it’s less about whether it’s Detroit or not, and more about the economics of those particular high-end brands,” said Sam Slaughter, NAIAS vice chairman.

The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman – these will be the new names of the two-door mid-engine sports cars from Porsche effective with the 2016 model changeover.

The new model series is named after the 718

In 2014, Porsche returned to the top category of the famous endurance race in
Le Mans and the WEC world endurance championship with the 919 Hybrid race car. The LMP1 vehicle, which was designed for extreme efficiency, is the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built. It serves as a platform for fundamental technology research for future production models – combining two different energy recovery systems with a two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine
The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman are showing more similarities – both visual and technical. In the future, both will have equally powerful four-cylinder flat engines with turbocharging. The Roadster will be positioned at a higher price level than the Coupé – as is done for the 911 models. Porsche will introduce the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman over the course of 2016.
The 718 model series is a continuation of the proven four-cylinder concept and the history of distinguished Porsche sports cars. The latest example is the
919 Hybrid LMP1 race car, which also has a highly-efficient, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with just 2 litres of displacement. So, not only did Porsche finish first and second in the 24 hours of Le Mans, but most recently it also won the manufacturer’s and driver’s championship titles in the WEC World Endurance Championship. With these victories, the 919 Hybrid has opened up the prospects for the performance potential of future sports car engines from Porsche.

History of the 718

Four-cylinder flat engines have a long tradition at Porsche – and they have enjoyed incredible success. In the late 1950s, the 718 – a successor to the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder – represented the highest configuration level of the four-cylinder flat engine. Whether it was competing at the 12-hour race in Sebring in 1960 or at the European Hill Climb Championship that ran between 1958 and 1961, the Porsche 718 prevailed against numerous competitors with its powerful and efficient four-cylinder flat engine. The 718 took first place three times between 1959 and 1960 at the legendary Italian Targa Florio race in Sicily. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans race 1958, the 718 RSK with its 142-hp four-cylinder engine scored a class victory.

A 1966 Mustang 2+2 used at a Wedding in Passau, Germany

From Ed Garten, taken from a recent trip to Germany --- Attached are two photos of a 1966 Mustang 2+2 we saw in front of a hotel in Passau, Germany.  The car was there for a wedding and a quick get-away by the bride and groom.


Sernagiotto takes the final Maserati Trofeo win with Monti again on the podium 
Abu Dhabi (Uae), 11 December 2015 – Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit played host to the final round in the sixth Maserati Trofeo World Series season. Frenchman Romain Monti was crowned champion as the series that began at Monza in 2010 came to an end. 
The last race was won by Giorgio Sernagiotto, making a return to drive for Team Red Dragon, flanked by Emanuele Smurra.  Sernagiotto, from Veneto, headed a pack of four drivers who applied the pressure to the very end. The other contenders were Monti, Riccardo Ragazzi and Adrien De Leener.  Monti, fresh from his title win, managed to climb to second spot after starting on tenth and with a 50kg weight handicap on board. This grid position was assigned as the Race 1 finishing order is inverted for Race 2. Another driver who made a solid comeback was Ragazzi: he came home third despite lining up in ninth. 
Some way down on the front four was Lino Curti. Behind him came an Alessandro Iazzetti who failed to make the most of his pole position. Dutchman Mathijs Bakker came in seventh, Giuseppe Fascicolo eighth and Andreas Segler ninth.
In the close battle for the Over 50 title, Richard Denny’s 14th place finish was enough to see him edge it from rival Barrie Baxter.
In the Maserati Trofeo Hall of Fame, Monti joins Mauro Calamia (2014 winner), Renaud Kuppens (2013 and 2012), David Baldi(2011) and Pietro Zumerle (2010).
Giorgio Sernagiotto: “It was tough holding off Ragazzi and Monti towards the end. I wasn’t as quick as them and, most importantly, I am used to driving prototypes. It was hard but I pulled it off. It felt good to top the podium again. I am really pleased because I left my mark on the last Maserati Trofeo race and that means a lot”.
The GranTurismo MCs will be back on the track in 2016, run by private squads. They will mainly be competing in international GT4 series in Europe and in the USA. The teams have taken delivery of the cars and will make the modifications needed to bring them into line with GT4 regulations. Maserati will provide the teams with technical support and replacement parts, transferring all the experience and know-how picked up in the past six Maserati Trofeo seasons.
Race 2 results:
1 Giorgio Sernagiotto – 42:27.162
2 Romain Monti – 42:27.968
3 Riccardo Ragazzi – 42:28.691

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Monti wins the 2015 Maserati Trofeo World Series : Abu Dhabi (UAE) -- December 10, 2015

Monti wins the 2015 Maserati Trofeo World Series 
Abu Dhabi (Uae), 10 December 2015 – Romain Monti has claimed the 2015 Maserati Trofeo World Series. The Frenchman held a comfortable lead going into the race and got the better of second-placed Riccardo Ragazzi. He did so in the best way possible: taking Race 1 in this final round at Yas Marina, the circuit in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). 

Monti was focused and fast throughout and earned his success after first taking pole position. Behind him in the overall standings came Ragazzi. The Italian put on a fine display and even tried to take top spot but was out of luck. He only threw in the towel towards the end and tiredness could be a factor as he is also appearing in the Abu Dhabi 12 Hour. The two contenders slugged it out and had a lead of over 25 seconds on the rest of the field, one made up of 22 Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeos. Third across the line was Giuseppe Fascicolo who took the spot after overtaking first debutant Matteo Gonfiantini (fourth) and then Diego Romanini. Romanini's brake problems put paid to a certain podium finish and he was forced to retire.
In fifth came Lino Curti, ahead of Andreas SeglerAlexander West and Emanuele Smurra, paired at Abu Dhabi with Giorgio Sernagiotto for team Red Dragon. Ninth came Adrian De Leener and tenth Alessandro Iazzetti.

Race 2 will be held tomorrowFriday 11 December, at 13:25 (Italian time), marking an end to the Maserati Trofeo season and to this championship.
"It is a fantastic ending", commented Romain Monti. "I was quick in each session of free practice and qualifying and I also set the best lap time. Now it is time to celebrate the championship victory. It is the first title of my career and it comes with a marque like Maserati: I couldn't ask for more".
Race 1 result:
1 Romain Monti – 42:03.713
2 Riccardo Ragazzi – 42:09.923
3 Giuseppe Fascicolo – 42:38.275

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

MASERATI TROFEO WORLD SERIES - ABU DHABI (UAE) - 10-11 DECEMBER 2015 The 2015 Maserati Trofeo title to be decided at Abu Dhabi

The 2015 Maserati Trofeo title to be decided at Abu Dhabi  
Abu Dhabi (Uae), 8 December 2015 – For the third straight year, the Maserati Trofeo World Series will be wrapped up at Yas Marina (UAE). Round 6 will be held on 10-11 December and will not only mark the season’s end but also the conclusion of a series inaugurated at Monza in 2010. The past six years have seen the championship travel the globe, through Europe, North America and Asia. After Abu Dhabi, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeos will be tweaked to bring them up to the standards required for GT4 and GTS series. They will then be purchased by private squads.
However, there are still things to be sorted out before the curtain comes down on the Maserati series. Current leader, Frenchman Romain Monti, will probably go on to take the title. He holds a 40-point lead over the driver chasing him, Italian Riccardo Ragazzi. It has been a season to remember for Monti: he has made very few mistakes and not taken any unnecessary risks. His talent and determination have secured him four wins and untold podium finishes.
So, another runners-up spot awaits Ragazzi; he was also second in 2014 behind Mauro Calamia. Missing the Austria round, at Spielberg, has certainly cost Ragazzi. It was there that Monti turned the screw and built up a healthy points advantage. Even so, the Italian can console himself at having brought home two wins.
Though first spot seems a foregone conclusion, things are less clear further down the pack.  Lino Curti will be defending third with a 7-point lead over Adrien De Leener and one of 14 points over Giuseppe Fascicolo.
The other titles still up for grabs – which will be awarded at a ceremony held on Friday 11 December in Abu Dhabi – are the Pirelli Single Driver Cup, contested between Monti and Ragazzi; the Pirelli Twin Drivers Cup, with Mauro Trentin and Alessandro Prohcurrently leading; and the Trofeo Over 50, in which Richard Denny has 127 points and Barrie Baxter 115. The Trofeo Under 30 (won by Monti) and the Trofeo Maserati North America, claimed by Jeff Courtney, have already been decided. 
Dutchman Mathjis Bakker will be making a comeback at Abu Dhabi. He won the 2014 Pirelli Twin Drivers Cup with Andrea Cecchellero. Also returning is Swiss driver Gerhard Balbi for what will be his third appearance of the season; the first two coming in Europe.
Highlights of the Abu Dhabi round of the Maserati Trofeo will later be transmitted on Motors TV in Europe. In Italy, Odeon 24 (channel 177) and Rete Economy (Sky channel 512) will also be showing highlights of the races. Over in North America, the site will be the go-to place. These schedules will be published soon with Radio Monte Carlo providing trackside interviews with the drivers.
A video presentation of the round is available: 
ROUND 6 (local time)
Wednesday 9 December
Free practice 1: 15:30 – 16:10
Free practice 2: 18:00 – 18:40

Thursday 10 December
Pre-Qualifying: 10:00 – 10:40
Qualifying: 14:00 – 14:20
SuperPole: 14:40 – 15:00
Race 1: 18:00 – 18:42

Friday 11 December
Race 2: 16:25 – 17:07