Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell is preparing the an almighty challenge – his first taste of the 24 Hours of Daytona on January 26-27 aboard Porsche’s brand new 911 GT3 R.
Australian Matt Campbell will race in the #73 Park Place Motorsports 911 GT3 R alongside American trio Patrick Long, Nicholas Boulle and Patrick Lindsey in the fight for GTD class honours. Three other customer teams will also be the first to race Porsche’s latest generation GT3 racer.
“I’m not really sure what to expect,”said Campbell.
“This is my first time contesting the Daytona classic. During the test I familiarised myself with the new car, with my Park Place Motorsports team and the racetrack, so I’m not expecting any difficulties. We want to do the best possible job. If we manage to do this, then let’s see what result comes out in the end.”
Meanwhile, Porsche will also field a pair of 911 RSR entries in the GTLM class in the hope to write another chapter in the success story at the season opener of this year’s IMSA SportsCar Championship.
About the race
The 24-hour race on the Daytona International Speedway is contested on a 5.73-kilometre-long combination of the tri-oval and a tight and twisty infield section. The storied event in Florida has been held every year since 1966. The endurance classic marks the start of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season and counts towards the North American Endurance Cup (NAEC).
The Porsche drivers
For the start of the 2019 motor racing year in North America, regular drivers Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) share the No. 911 car, and like last year will be supported by Frédéric Makowiecki (France). In 2018, the trio won the long-distance races at Sebring and Road Atlanta. Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Mathieu Jaminet from France share the cockpit of the No. 912 sister car campaigned by the Porsche GT Team. Works driver Patrick Long (USA) takes the wheel of the 911 GT3 R with the starting number 73 with his compatriots Nicholas Boulle and Patrick Lindsey as well as Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia). In the identical No. 9 car sit Porsche development driver Lars Kern (Germany), Young Professional Dennis Olsen (Norway) and the two Canadians Scott Hargrove and Zacharie Robichon. The No. 99 Porsche 911 GT3 R is manned by works driver Sven Müller (Germany) and Klaus Bachler (Austria) as well as the Germans Steffen Görig, Alfred Renauer and Jürgen Häring. Sharing driving duties in the No. 540 vehicle are works driver Dirk Werner (Germany), Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Marco Seefried (Germany) and Timothy Pappas from America.
Porsche’s Daytona successes
In the long history of the 24 Hours of Daytona spanning more than 50 years, no other manufacturer has enjoyed as much success as Porsche. 18 overall victories, four more as engine partner, and a record-setting 77 class wins remain unrivalled. Five outright victories in the years 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979 and 1991 and a class win in 1972 make US racing legend Hurley Haywood the most successful Porsche driver at Daytona.
The Porsche vehicles
For its third race season, the Porsche 911 RSR has undergone further optimisation primarily in the setup. Depending on the size of the restrictor, the engine, which is positioned in front of the rear axle, puts out around 375 kW (510 hp). The large rear diffuser combined with a top-mounted rear wing provides aerodynamic efficiency and significant downforce. The 911 GT3 R was newly developed for the 2019 season. Improvements in the areas of aerodynamics and kinematics were systematically implemented from the insights garnered from the many race outings of its predecessor. The six-cylinder engine in the rear of the GT3 customer racer produces over 368 kW (500 hp).
The schedule & live stream
The race gets underway on Saturday, 26 January, at 20:40 hrs CET (Sunday, 27 January at 06:40 hrs AEDT). The race can be watched live outside the USA and Canada at www.imsa.com.
Comments from Porsche
Fritz Enzinger (Head of Motorsport): “The season in North America always takes off with this great classic at Daytona. The race is a highlight that we definitely want to win this year with our superbly-engineered 911 RSR. Porsche is the most successful manufacturer at the 24-hour race in Florida. We sincerely hope that we can continue this success streak. The tests were promising. The entire team is well on track.”
Sebastian Golz (Project Manager 911 GT3 R): “We have high expectations. We’ve finished developing the new car, the first four customer teams tackle Daytona with the new 911 GT3 R. The pit crews and driver pairings are very good, so we can head into the race feeling optimistic. We all made good progress during the tests. If this trend continues, then I’m confident that we’ll ultimately see a strong result.”