• New Porsche 911 ‘Type 991’ RSR race car makes its debut in World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Silverstone, 13-14 April
• Powered by a 460 hp rear-mounted 4.0-litre flat-six engine, the 911 RSR is characterised by its lightweight design and sophisticated aerodynamics – and a special livery to celebrate 50 years of the 911
• The Porsche AG Team Manthey works team exclusively runs two 911 RSR race cars in the 2013 season – including the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours
This weekend, at the 6 Hours of Silverstone race in Northamptonshire, the new Porsche 911 RSR ‘Type 991’makes its competition debut in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). At the same time, the livery of this exceptional version of the 911 honours a very special anniversary – 50 years of the Porsche 911.
Based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports coupe, the RSR follows in the footsteps of its successful predecessor, the 911 GT3 RSR (‘Type 997’). The new race car exploits significant lightweight design technology and sophisticated aerodynamics. As with the latest ‘Type 991’ 911 road car, the wheelbase is longer by 100mm. New wishbone front suspension replaces the McPherson struts used previously. Another new development from Porsche Motorsport is the particularly lightweight racing transmission, whose six gears are selected via paddles on the steering wheel. The rear-mounted, 460 hp, 4.0-litre six-cylinder ‘boxer’ engine has been taken from the predecessor and further optimised in detail.
One of the priorities in the development of the new 911 RSR was more evenly balanced weight distribution. The centre of gravity is also significantly lower than that of the prior model. Carbon fibre played a crucial role in the new design. The front and rear wheel housings, front and rear lids, doors, underbody, wheel arches, rear wing, dashboard and centre console are constructed from this very light and strong material. Moreover, all windows are made of particularly thin and light polycarbonate. Also contributing to the weight reduction is the lithium-ion battery, pioneered in the 911 GT3 and RS road-going sports cars.
The appearance of the new 911 RSR is dominated not just by its distinctive livery but also by the flared wheel arches and the deep cooling air intakes at the front. With the new air ducting, the radiator is now centrally-located in the nose and more effective than that of the previous model. At the same time, the cockpit air conditioning has become more efficient. The quick-change concept of the body panels was especially adapted for endurance racing, allowing for easier maintenance and shorter repair times. The front end, front lid and rear panel are fitted with quick release systems and can be replaced within seconds.
The Porsche Drivers
Factory drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) are at the wheel of the number 91 RSR in the GTE-Pro class. At Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans, the duo is joined by Timo Bernhard (Germany).
Competing in the RSR with starting number 92 are Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria), who already shared a cockpit together in the 2012 WEC. At the first two races of the season in Silverstone and Spa (4 May), as well as at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (22 June), they receive support from their works driver colleague Romain Dumas (France).
Two customer teams tackle the GTE-Am class with last year’s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (‘Type 997’). Driving the Proton Competition entry is Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian team-mates Paolo Ruberti and Gianluca Roda, with an all-French line-up of Raymond Narac, Christophe Bourret and Jean-Karl Vernay competing for IMSA Performance Matmut.
The six hour Silverstone race starts on Sunday, 14 April, at mid-day (13.00 hrs CET). Satellite TV channel Eurosport 2 will broadcast the start of the race live at 13.00 hours (30 minutes) and returns to a live broadcast at 15.00 hours (30 minutes). The final hour is aired live from 18.00 hours on Eurosport 1. The race can be viewed live on the internet under www.fiawec.com.
Porsche Motorsport team comments ahead of the race
Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “The whole team is ready and raring to tackle the first race with the 911 RSR. Our squad has worked extremely hard over the last months to make our new car competitive right from the start.”
Joerg Bergmeister (# 91): “I’m looking forward to my premiere in the WEC – in the most beautiful and spectacular 911 ever.”
Patrick Pilet (# 91): “To share the cockpit with such successful Porsche drivers like Joerg and Timo is a great and exciting challenge.”
Timo Bernhard (# 91): “I felt great at the tests in the 911 RSR. We have a good chance to win our class with this car.”
Marc Lieb (# 92): “The new 911 RSR is a significant step forward. I hope that the good test results can be confirmed at the first race.”
Richard Lietz (# 92): “We face very strong opposition from the works teams from Ferrari and Aston Martin. In Silverstone we’ll see where we stand.”
Romain Dumas (# 92): “I’m looking forward to racing the new 911 RSR with Marc and Richard and I’m confident that we’ll make a good start into the season.”
The World Endurance Championship
In the World Endurance Championship, sports prototypes and GT vehicles start in four different classes: LMGTE-Pro, LMGTE-Am, LMP1 and LMP2. They all compete together in one race but are classified separately.
The Porsche 911 in motorsport
Porsche can claim more than 28,000 race victories in almost every motor sports series worldwide, and while many of these successes have been achieved with immensely powerful specialist race cars like the evocative 917 and 956, the iconic 911 sports coupe is the bedrock on which the peerless racing reputation of the Stuttgart marque has been built.
Porsche is the world's largest manufacturer of racing cars; the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car competes in the Mobil1 Supercup, the world’s fastest international one-make Championship, which supports Formula One Grands Prix. The 911 GT3 Cup also entertains spectators around the world racing in the many domestic Carrera Cup Championships in Germany, Asia, France, Italy, Japan, Scandinavia and Great Britain.
The 911 GT3 R is designed to be the first step for drivers moving up to GT racing. The GT3 R celebrated 41 wins from 131 starts in a range of GT3 racing series worldwide. For the 2013 season, Porsche offers teams an upgrade package which will position the GT3 R even better in the performance window as defined by the FIA.
At the pinnacle of the 911 motorsport pyramid sits the RSR, the standard-bearer for Porsche in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and international blue riband events like the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Return to Le Mans: 2014
With 16 overall victories, Porsche is the most successful manufacturer in Le Mans history. In 2014, Porsche will return to the world-famous venue with a works-run sports prototype race car in the top LMP1 category.
At the Porsche Motorsport headquarters in Weissach, near Stuttgart, Germany, preparations for the running of the new LMP1 sports prototype in the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours and the sports car World Endurance Championship are progressing at high revs.
To support this programme, the infrastructure at the Research & Development Centre has been considerably expanded with a new workshop building and an office complex completed. The first roll-out of the new LMP1 car is planned for mid-2013.
Following a re-structuring, the LMP1 project is realised by a new department headed by Fritz Enzinger. With his well-established organisational structure, Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport, continues to be responsible for all other motorsport programmes worldwide.
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For five decades, the 911 has been at the heart of the Porsche brand. Few other cars in the world can look back on such a long tradition and continuity as the Porsche 911. It has been inspiring car enthusiasts around the world since its debut as the model 901 at the IAA International Automotive Show, Frankfurt, in September 1963. Today it is considered by its many devoted fans as the quintessential sports car, the benchmark for all others. The 911 is also the central point of reference for all other Porsche series. Every Porsche is the most sporting automobile in its category, and each one carries a piece of the 911 philosophy.
Over 820,000 Porsche 911s have been built, making it the most successful sports car in the world. For each of its seven generations the engineers in Zuffenhausen and Weissach have reinvented it, time and time again demonstrating to the world the innovative power of Porsche. Like no other vehicle, the 911 reconciles apparent contradictions such as sportiness and everyday practicality, tradition and innovation, exclusivity and social acceptance, design and functionality.
In addition to its classic yet unique lines, the Porsche 911 has always been distinguished by its advanced technology. Many of the ideas and technologies that made their debut in the Porsche 911 were conceived on the race track. The 911 was committed to the performance principle from the start, and motor racing is its most important test lab. From the very beginning the car has been at home on circuits and rally stages all over the world, earning a reputation as a quick and dependable winner. In fact, two thirds of the 30,000 race victories achieved by Porsche to date have been recorded by the 911.
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* The latest Porsche models are designed to operate on fuels with an ethanol content of up to 10%. Data determined for standard specification and in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) in accordance with the Euro 5 and Euro 6 (715/2007/EC and 692/2008/EC) measurement method. The figures do not refer to an individual vehicle nor do they constitute part of the offer. They are intended solely as a means of comparing different types of vehicle. You can obtain further information about individual vehicles from your Porsche Centre.
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