Porsche has another busy sports car year ahead; here’s their lineups

Photo: Tony DiZinno

This weekend in Weissach, Germany, Porsche held its annual Night of Champions event. It was a phenomenal evening with a mix of celebrations, announcements, reflections and 2016 program confirmations.

With 16 works drivers split between Porsche’s LMP1 and GT programs, it might be easy to lose track of who is running where.

Porsche and sister brand Audi have scaled back their 24 Hours of Le Mans programs, with only two LMP1 cars apiece rather than three as both had this year.

Here’s a breakdown of who is set where, and for what events, for 2016 in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as it stands following the Night of Champions event:

FIA World Endurance Championship


1 – Porsche Team – Porsche 919 Hybrid – Timo Bernhard/Mark Webber/Brendon Hartley
2 – Porsche Team – Porsche 919 Hybrid – Romain Dumas/Neel Jani/Marc Lieb


Dempsey Proton Racing – Porsche 911 RSR – Richard Lietz/Michael Christensen, + Wolf Henzler (LM24 only)

Subject to ACO Approval for 24 Hours of Le Mans only:

Porsche Team Manthey – Porsche 911 RSR – Patrick Pilet/Nick Tandy/Kevin Estre
Porsche Team Manthey – Porsche 911 RSR – Fred Makowiecki/Earl Bamber/Joerg Bergmeister

At the moment, Patrick Long is the only Porsche works GT driver not placed with a team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, although Long co-drove with Dempsey Proton Racing in the GTE-Am class in 2015.

Proton is also expected to have at least one and potentially two cars as a GTE-Am component for the 2016 FIA WEC season.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

GT Le Mans

911 – Porsche North America – Porsche 911 RSR – Patrick Pilet/Nick Tandy, + Kevin Estre (NAEC)
912 – Porsche North America – Porsche 911 RSR – Fred Makowiecki/Earl Bamber, + Michael Christensen (NAEC)

GT Daytona (Rolex 24 at Daytona extra works drivers)

23 – Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 R – Wolf Henzler
73 – Park Place Motorsports – Porsche 911 GT3 R – Joerg Bergmeister
TBA – Black Swan Racing – Porsche 911 GT3 R – Patrick Long

At the moment, Richard Lietz is the only Porsche works GT driver not placed with a team for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The six LMP1 drivers are also not listed for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Pirelli World Challenge

Patrick Long will race with EFFORT Racing in its No. 31 Porsche 911 GT3 R this season, replacing Ryan Dalziel.

Dalziel, meanwhile, won the Porsche Cup on Saturday night, awarded to Porsche’s top privateer driver. For the award, Dalziel also wins a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabrio.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images

Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.