Porsche names new motorsport chief

Filed under: Motorsports, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Porsche

Hartmut Kristen and Frank-Steffen Walliser

Though it may have expanded into crossovers and sedans, Porsche is still a company with racing at its heart. You might even argue that Cayenne and Panamera sales only serve to fund the company’s motorsports activities. Competition-spec 911 coupes still make up a large portion of the grid in any GT racing series, and those activities are presided over by the Porsche GT division (separate from its LMP1 program), which has just announced a changing of the guard.

Porsche’s GT unit – which is responsible both for racing models like the 911 RSR and road-going models like the 911 GT3 – has until now been steered by Hartmut Kristen (pictured above, left) in his capacity as Vice President of Motorsport at Porsche AG. During his ten-year tenure, Kristen gave birth to the RS Spyder that competed in the American Le Mans Series and the pioneering 911 GT3 R Hybrid. He also fostered what Porsche characterizes as “arguably the most comprehensive youth development program in motor racing” and saw the marque return to Le Mans last year with a dominant 1-2 class victory.

Kristen, now 59 years old, is leaving the German automaker, but will remain an advisor to the company’s R&D department. Taking over as VP of Motorsport will be Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, who has until now been head of the 918 Spyder project (a responsibility he will continue). Walliser (pictured above, right) was previously Porsche’s general manager for motorsport strategies and will now be responsible for Porsche’s GT projects on and off the track, while Fritz Enzinger continues at the helm of the LMP1 program in pursuit of better results next year than the 919 Hybrid achieved at Le Mans last month.

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Porsche names new motorsport chief originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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