The race on the Daytona International Speedway on 30-31 January is the traditional season-opener of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. The two 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche North America works team covered a total of 2,672 test kilometres on the legendary racetrack, which consists of fast banked turns and a tight and twisty infield. Porsche tackles the most important sports car championship on the North American continent as the reigning champions in the GTLM class. New regulations have been introduced for 2016 for the 911 RSR as well as the 911 GT3 R in the GTD class. In total, nine Porsche factory pilots and one Porsche Junior tested at Daytona.

Delayed and shortened first training session

Under changeable weather conditions with morning fog, light drizzle and sunshine with temperatures reaching 25-degrees Celsius, many fans came to watch the test outing of the new racing cars from Weissach from Friday to Sunday. Saturday morning, fog shrouded the storied racetrack, resulting in a delayed and shortened first training session of the day. As temperatures climbed to 23 degrees Celsius and the sun began to break through, teams were able to continue with their test programme from the previous day. Crewing the 911 Porsche 911 RSR was the reigning GT champion, Patrick Pilet (France), as well as his compatriot Kévin Estre and Britain’s Nick Tandy.

lightweight design, aerodynamic efficiency

The 911 RSR in its new factory finish underwent modifications, particularly to the aerodynamics. The position of the rear wing was moved further to the back, and the rear diffuser is now considerably larger. Moreover, the 470 hp 911 RSR, which was developed on the basis of the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, received a modified front spoiler lip as well as very wide side sills. The new 911 GT3 R, which will be campaigned by customer teams, was run at Daytona for the first time with the new ultra-modern four-litre flat-six engine with direct fuel injection. Porsche built the 500 hp racing car, based on the 911 GT3 RS production sports car, for GT3 series worldwide.

In developing the vehicle, the engineers at Weissach paid special attention to lightweight design, better aerodynamic efficiency, reducing consumption as well as improved handling. In addition, the safety features underwent further optimisation and the costs of servicing and spare parts are now lower for competing teams. From its 911 RSR big brother, the GT3 R has adopted the concept of the centrally-positioned radiator. By eliminating the side radiators, the position of the centre of gravity was improved, the venting of hot air through louvers in the front cover was enhanced, and the radiator is better protected against collision damage.

Porsche racing teams

At the wheel of the 911 RSR with the starting number 911, Patrick Pilet (France), the reigning IMSA GT champion, as well as his compatriot Kévin Estre and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) covered 1,229 test kilometres on the Daytona International Speedway. Their team colleagues Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Michael Christensen (Denmark) clocked up 1,443 kilometres in the second 911 RSR with the number 912. They not only contest the Daytona 24 Hours in this configuration, but also two other long distance races on the IMSA SportsCar Championship calendar – the Sebring 12-hour race and Petit Le Mans on the legendary Road Atlanta racetrack.

Their works driver colleagues Wolf Henzler (Germany), Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) as well as Porsche Junior Sven Müller (Germany) completed the official Daytona test in the 911 GT3 R run by various customer teams.

Porsche 911 GT3 R, Daytona, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, 2016, Porsche AG
The Porsche 911 GT3 R

Related Content