Former 991-class Teams’ champion Porsche Lorient Racing has registered a Porsche 911-II Cup for this weekend’s Hankook 24H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD, marking its first 24H SERIES race in over a year.
Porsche Lorient Racing will make its long-awaited return to the 24H SERIES at this weekend’s Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD, more than a year after its last competitive outing with CREVENTIC.
The Lanester-based outfit has been a 24H SERIES regular since 2015, and even finished an impressive 2nd in-class on its maiden outing at that year’s Hankook 12H MUGELLO. Porsche Lorient Racing is also a former series champion having secured the 24H SERIES Europe 991 Teams’ championship in 2018 and 2019 as well as the 24H SERIES Continents 991 Teams’ title in 2019.
This year’s Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD though will mark the first start for Porsche Lorient Racing since the 2020 Hankook 24H DUBAI, a hiatus due mostly to the outbreak and fall-out of the Covid-19 vaccine. The French team will return to competition on home turf with its #911 Porsche 911-II Cup. Philippe Polette, Frederic Lelievre, Lionel Amrouche and two-time class champion Frédéric Ancel will be on driver detail.
“For us and our drivers, 2020 was a complicated year because of COVID,” explained Porsche Lorient Racing team manager Aude-Marie Milton. “We didn’t have the chance to race because of the sanitary and economic situation. But we love endurance racing and we are very happy to be back on-track.”
Together with Amrouche, Dominique Bastien, Eric Mouez, and then-reigning 991-class Drivers’ champions Jean-François Demorge and Ancel, Porsche Lorient Racing finished a comparatively underwhelming 7th in-class at the rain-shortened Hankook 24H DUBAI in 2020. Prior to that though, the French team was already a seven-time class winner in the 24H SERIES, and between 2017 and 2020, secured a podium at each of the 15 races it started.
Unsurprisingly, despite its brief time away, the series stalwart expects to be at the sharp end of the 991-class at the Hankook 12H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD on 23-24 April, an event it won in 2019.
“[Paul Ricard] is a very nice circuit,” Aude-Marie continues, “and we have good memories of the 24-hour race, including a double podium [in 2016, when the French team finished 1st and 3rd in-class]. To be back, and hopefully at the front, I think we feel as fortunate as winning the European and Continent championships in 2019.”
After two championship rounds of this year’s 24H SERIES, DUWO Racing and PROFILDOORS by Huber Racing are now split by just one point at the top of the 991-class standings. DUWO Racing currently holds the advantage – 38 points to 37 – courtesy of its 2nd place in Dubai behind NKPP Racing by Bas Koeten Racing and a hard-fought 5th in-class in Mugello. Huber Racing meanwhile finished the Hankook 12H MUGELLO 3rd in-class and started the season off with 4th in-class in Dubai.
Images – Petr Frýba and Eric Teeken