Porsche had a tough time this year in GT racing. While the LMP1 program has been dominant, the 911 has struggled against mid-engined, turbocharged rivalry from the likes of the Ford GT and the Ferrari 488. We recall sitting in a very emotional press conference at the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this year watching Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser in tears as he described the issues Porsche were having with the balance of performance. Whilst these issues have mostly been addressed by the FIA, the 2017 Porsche 911 RSR will aim to put Porsche back on the GT podium, where it rightfully belongs!
The 2017 car is the biggest revolution in 911 motorsport history. The 2017 Porsche 911 RSR will feature a four-litre, flat-six unit positioned in front of the rear axle, as far forward as Porsche are able. The RSR is completely new with a new suspension, body structure, aerodynamic package and modified engine and transmission.
The watercooled, four-litre, flat-six engine has been redesigned, in part to accommodate the huge rear diffuser. A massive, LPM1 inspired rear wing dominates the rear providing significantly improved downforce and aerodynamic efficiency. Weight is officially 1,243 kg as per the relevant FIA regulations while length is now 4.56 metres and width, 2.05 metres.
The engine is particularly lightweight with direct fuel injection and a rigid valve drive. Power is now 510 hp, instead of adding a turbocharged drivetrain, Porsche have stuck with the naturally aspirated unit, trusting that LM-GTE regulations have now addressed the balance of performance. A sequential six-speed gearbox is housed in magnesium and provides power to 31 centimetre-wide rear wheels.
Porsche have even addressed driver safety. They fit a radar-supported collision warning system, the so-called “Collision Avoid System”, which is said to assist in spotting faster LMP1 cars. A new safety cage and rigid racing seat further improve safety with adjustable pedals providing additional comfort.
Carbon fibre body components are quicker to change than ever before thanks to quick release fasteners. Suspension components are easier to access for quick modifications to setup. The basic colour scheme how resembles the factory design with its white, red and black colouring.
Expect the 2017 Porsche 911 RSR to debut at the Daytona 24-hour race in January 2017. Daytona is part of a 19-outing run for the 911 RSR with more than 140 hours of racing worldwide. Porsche will campaign the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) as well as the American IMSA Weathertech Championship. The test cars have covered more than 35,000 test kilometres on racetracks in Europe and North America.
We can’t wait to see it in action next year!