We await Porsche's return to frontline LMP1 racing at Le Mans next year with bated breath but this year we've got something else to look forward to in the shape of
the all-new RSR
. The second racing car developed from the 991 following the
one-make Cup version
, the all-new RSR underlines how important GT and sportscar racing is to Porsche and throws the 991 into the fray in the headline GTE-Pro category. Meanwhile an updated version of the 997-based GT3 R will continue to fly the flag for the 911 in GT3 racing and its equivalent series around the world.
997-based GT3 R will remain the GT3 racer
If you're confused about these various GT racing categories and who and what can race in which then you're not alone. And we're working on the definitive PH guide for our mutual benefit right now!
In the meantime we can all feast our eyes on the RSR, the part it plays in the 50th anniversary of the 911 and delight in the fact it makes its racing debut this weekend at Silverstone in the opening round of the 2013 World Endurance Championships. The factory team, supported by lords of the 'ring Manthey Racing and merged into Porsche AG Team Manthey, will compete in the six-hour race with two cars. Two further RSRs - this time privateer 997-based versions which have been on the scene since 2004 - will be running in the GTE-Am class.
The factory RSRs benefit from the significantly longer wheelbase of the 991 ('about 10cm' for the racer according to Porsche) and will run a new wishbone front suspension set up rather than the MacPherson struts of the outgoing car.
All-new 991 RSR is a significant step forward
As raised by Chris Harris in his chat
with Porsche's Wolfgang Hatz
it keeps the iconic 'Mezger' flat-six from the previous RSR, tuned to 460hp and displacing 4.0 litres. Geeks will recall it was the crank from this engine that unleashed the extra capacity for the
GT3 RS 4.0 road car
. It drives through a new six-speed paddle-shifter-operated sequential gearbox, factory drivers Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Romain Dumas unavailable for comment on the topic of whether this means they'll feel
less involved in the driving experience
... Drivers for the other factory car will be Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet and Timo Bernhard.
Changes for the 991 RSR include a new centrally mounted radiator, improved air conditioning and quick-release body panels to enable rapid repairs in the pitlane. Porsche is also boasting of much-improved weight distribution and a significantly lower centre of gravity thanks to carbon fibre wheelarches, doors, dash and underbody.
An all-new factory RSR in frontline sportscar racing is, for any fan of the sport, an exciting development. And if you want to see it in action get yourself along to Silverstone this weekend.