- New Champion Contender. 2019 Porsche 911 RSR Announced at Goodwood.
- Five Drive. Porsche 911 RSR Earns Fifth Consecutive IMSA Win.
Event Story Lines.
New Champion Contender. 2019 Porsche 911 RSR Announced at Goodwood.
Porsche will put its faith in an all-new 911 RSR (2019 model year) to defend its FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) titles and continue the German marque’s ongoing success in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship here in North America. The race car, which complies with all FIA LMGTE regulations, is a completely new development over the present generation car which has raced since 2017. The machine has undergone improvements in all areas and will replace the successful 911 RSR with which Porsche won the manufacturers’ and drivers’ world championship in the FIA WEC, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and eight IMSA races including major endurance events at Sebring and Road Atlanta (Petit Le Mans) during its platform life.
In developing the new Porsche 911 RSR, substantial insights were garnered and adopted from the extremely successful race outings of its predecessor.
New Flat Engine with Larger Displacement.
In terms of the drivetrain, Porsche remains faithful to its chosen path. The latest 911 is also powered by a six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine. The highly efficient boxer unit positioned in front of the rear axle has a capacity of 4.2-liters (256 cubic in / 4,194 cc) and – depending on the size of the air restrictor mandated by each sanctioning body – produces approximately 515 hp. The new power unit is the largest boxer engine to be mounted in a Porsche 911 to-date, and offers stronger drivability over a wider rev-band compared to the predecessor’s proven four-liter unit. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a weight-optimized, sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox which has been made more rigid for the new model. The new powertrain in the Porsche 911 RSR ensures faster gear-shift times and increased efficiency. Two exhaust pipes now exit on each side of the iconic 911-shape in front of the rear wheels. The new exhaust gas ducting saves weight and is aerodynamically advantageous over previous generation 911 race cars which had exhaust pipes that exited at the rear of the car.
With the repositioning of the tailpipes, space has been made for an aerodynamically optimized rear diffuser. The distinctive component at the rear of the Porsche 911 RSR now generates more downforce from the airflow under the car. Thanks to the optimization of airflow at the front and the sides, aerodynamic efficiency and stability have increased significantly, thereby further improving the use and durability of the Michelin tires during racing.
Focus On the Work of Drivers and Technicians.
Drivability and serviceability are critical factors in long-distance racing. For this reason, Porsche placed particular emphasis on these aspects when developing the new 911 RSR. The cockpit has been reworked with the focus on better usability for drivers and technicians alike. In this regard, extensive feedback from the Porsche drivers proved invaluable. Like with its predecessor, the body made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic can be swapped out quickly and thus ensures efficient pit processes in long-distance racing.
To give drivers further added protection, the active and passive safety elements in the Porsche 911 RSR have been further updated. The proven collision warning system introduced on the previous generation 911 RSR, allows drivers a better overview to detect approaching prototype vehicles earlier to minimize incidents during overtaking. The optimized roll cage, the FIA side impact panel in the door and cage as well as additional impact protection for the legs improve the passive safety in the event of an accident. Other features include the removable roof hatch and the rigidly-mounted racing seat featuring a six-point safety harness for the driver.
World Premiere at Goodwood.
The newest 911 race car made its world premiere on July 6 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Great Britain. The Porsche 911 RSR will also celebrate its race debut on the British Isles at the season-opening round of the 2019/2020 WEC schedule at Silverstone on September 1. Prior to this, the vehicle will face rival manufacturers contesting the FIA WEC GTE-Pro class for the first time at a two-day “Prologue” in Barcelona, Spain on July 23 – 24. The Porsche GT Team will field two works cars in eight rounds of the 2019/2020 calendar with 2018/2019 FIA World Champions Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France) as well as Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria).
In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the switch to the latest model will take place for the 2020 season as the two-car program fights for the GTLM title. The first public laps of the car in North America will be at the 2020 IMSA “Roar Before the Rolex 24” at Daytona International Speedway in early January. The first competition laps will come later in the month at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. For customer teams, the vehicle will be available from the 2020/2021 FIA WEC season.
For the remainder of the 2019 IMSA season, the North American-arm of the factory team will continue to run the current generation of the 911 RSR. The two-car effort currently leads the Manufacturer points standings in the GTLM class of the WeatherTech Championship. The No. 912 – driven by Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) – leads the Team standings while Bamber and Vanthoor are at the top of the Drivers’ points as a result of a class win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on July 7. Their teammates Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) in the No. 911 are a close second-place. Porsche has earned victory in five of the six IMSA GTLM races held thus far with the No. 911 – shared by Pilet, Tandy and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) – winning at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen while Bamber/Vanthoor raced to the top at Long Beach, Mid-Ohio and CTMP.
For the first time, the factory race cars will be campaigned in two different and distinct liveries. The traditional Porsche white will continue to be the dominating color on the No. 91 car in WEC. Added accents include a centrally-placed red stripe extending from the front hood over the roof to the rear apron, as well as red side sills. Gray highlights on the side complement the clear and dynamic design. On the No. 92 car, the white and grey colors are reversed. The rear wing and the wing mirrors are black instead of white so that fans can differentiate between the two works cars easily. Liveries for the North American entries will be announced at a later date.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Porsche Motorsport.
“Since 2017, the 911 RSR has yielded us more than 20 class wins in the world championship as well as at long-distance series in North America and Europe. Our job in the development was to make a very good car even better. The engineers at Weissach have perfectly implemented this in every aspect.”
Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport.
“We never rest on our laurels. We’ve extensively analyzed all factory and customer campaigns with the Porsche 911 RSR. Our engineers noticed room for improvement in a number of areas. We have made significant progress in the development of our car for the next three-year homologation period, especially in the complex areas of drivability, efficiency, durability and serviceability. Ninety-five percent of the car is new. The only components that we’ve kept unchanged from the predecessor are the headlights, brake system, clutch, driver’s seat and parts of the suspension. Tests so far have run excellently. We’re already looking forward to the first races of the 2019/2020 FIA WEC season.”
“We’ve been working on the concept of the new Porsche 911 RSR since 2017. The first designs were created using CAD software. In August 2018, the best racing nine-eleven to date completed its first kilometers on the factory’s own test track in Weissach. Another milestone was our long-run in March 2019 at Le Castellet, where we included the works teams from both the WEC and IMSA. We covered more than 6,000 kilometers (3,728-miles) over 30 hours without any technical hiccups. The drivers and engineers were very satisfied. The car received its racing homologation on July 1.”
Five Drive. Porsche 911 RSR Earns Fifth Consecutive IMSA Win.
In winning its fifth-consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM class race of 2019, the Porsche GT Team set a new series record for most consecutive race wins by a manufacturer. The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Canada) was the third win of the year by factory drivers Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), the fifth in six races by the two-car Porsche works team with the 2018 Porsche 911 RSR. Their sister car, the No. 911, with Patrick Pilet (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain), rounded off the outstanding team result with third-place at the historic track in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
Thanks to this fifth win in the first six rounds of the 2019 IMSA season, Porsche further extends its lead in the manufacturers’ point standings. Bamber and Vanthoor, popularly known as #Bamhoor, have taken the top points position from their works driver colleagues Pilet and Tandy, who now rank second.
In the GTD class, the Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California) and driver/owner Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, California) narrowly missed the podium earning a fourth-place finish in the Pro-Am style class. The pair, sharing the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, was only 0.373-seconds from their second podium result of the year. The identical 500+hp GT3 car fielded by the local customer squad Pfaff Motorsports brought home fifth-place. The two Canadians, Porsche Selected Driver Scott Hargrove and Zacharie Robichon, had raced as high as second-place at their home race, but dropped down the running order after being handed a drive-through penalty.
Steffen Höllwarth, Program Manager, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
“First of all, I’m really pleased that nothing serious happened to the driver in the terrible accident involving the prototype car. That’s the most important thing. As far as our race result is concerned, I’m simply proud of everyone. We very deliberately implemented two different strategies to be prepared for all eventualities. In terms of the team and the drivers, the race was perfectly executed. Five wins in a row is the well-deserved reward for the great work over these intense weeks.”
Earl Bamber, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“Porsche is the first manufacturer to achieve five straight wins – an incredible record considering the tough competition. The path to victory was paved not only by our perfectly set-up 911 RSR but, above all, by implementing optimal strategies. The sprint at the end was not for the fainthearted. We headed into the final ten laps with cold tires, and we needed to turn qualifying laps. It was intense, exciting, exhausting and ultimately successful – simply perfect!”
Laurens Vanthoor, Driver, No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“The best thing about this victory is that we fought hard for it and the team and drivers did a perfect job. That was the key. Again we didn’t have the fastest car on the track, but again we made the most of what was possible. Five straight wins from six races so far this season is an incredible record. In the drivers’ championship, we’ve taken over the lead again. The duel against our colleagues will certainly continue to be intense over the coming weeks.”
Patrick Pilet, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“It’s another banner day for Porsche. The team implemented different strategies for our two cars. While we had luck on our side with the tactics at the previous round at Watkins Glen, this time we were behind. Perhaps we could switch roles again at the next race. We’re happy with third-place, and five wins in a row for Porsche is simply sensational.”
Nick Tandy, Driver, No. 911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“Scoring five victories in a row, which are divided almost equally between the two driver crews, clearly underline that Porsche has two irons in the fire at each race. It’s always the details that make all the difference. Today our strategy was slightly worse, and the tires on our car deteriorated a little more than those on the sister car. It’s great that the No. 912 car was in the right spot to win.”