Wed, 07 Aug 2013 17:02:00 EST
No doubt, Porsche has produced some of the best endurance racecars around, such as the turbocharged, slant-nose 935 of the 1970s and the ground-effects-enhanced 956 and 962 of the 1980s. But the company's most famous racecar, its first overall winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was the 917.
Thu, 23 May 2013 12:46:00 EST
The 917 embodied many of Porsche's technological achievements up to that point, such as the company's first 12- and 16-cylinder engines (the flat-16 was never used in competition), fiberglass bodies that implemented early aerodynamic practices and the use of new, exotic materials, such as magnesium and titanium.
The racecar was commissioned by the head of Porsche Motorsports, Ferdinand Piëch, to win overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970, after he realized a loophole in the rules that allowed cars to compete with engines up to five liters in the Sport category if they were also production models. Piëch saw opportunity: the top prototype class was restricted to three liters; the production minimum to compete in Sport was 25 cars. And so, with much effort, Porsche assembled 25 "production" 4.5-liter 917s and had them parked in a neat line for the race inspectors to verify their legitimacy. It didn't take long before people realized the new Porsches were much faster than the prototype racers, with a top speed approaching 250 miles per hour.
American race driver Connor de Phillippi was recently added to the roster of Porsche Juniors, the arm of Porsche's factory racing program that develops new talent. The 20-year-old is contesting the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland series with FÖRCH Racing by Lukas Motorsport, and last weekend, he raced the series round at the Nürburgring. Starting 15th on the grid, de Phillippi would cross the line in ninth out of 32 finishers.
Mon, 19 Aug 2013 15:30:00 EST
Courtesy of his in-car camera, you can watch his entire first lap in the video below - there's no music added, just engine whine during nine minutes of crests, turns, bumpy straights and that wicked Carousel. Enjoy.
Just weeks before he was supposed to become CEO of Porsche Cars Australia, Infiniti has apparently offered Porsche COO and Executive Vice President Michael Bartsch a deal he couldn't refuse. Thus, Bartsch has join the company as Vice President of Infiniti Americas, the luxury marque's top North American post. Bartsch replaces Ben Poore, who has been with the automaker since 2008, having led both a 22-percent sales surge in 2012 and the brand's current sales slough, Automotive News reports.
Bartsch, Porsche's No. 2 US executive, has held the COO and Executive Vice President positions at Porsche since 2005 and was scheduled to become CEO of Porsche's Oz division on September 1. Infiniti has experienced a number of recent personnel changes in the past week: it named Vincent Gillet, formerly an executive for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, to lead its marketing efforts worldwide and Simon Cox, a former designer for automakers including Ford and Peugeot, to head a new design studio in London.
Poore reportedly will pursue other interests outside of the auto industry. Read more about the personnel change in the press release below.