The 911 RSR, which contests the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the new United SportsCar Championship in the USA and Canada, follows in the footsteps of its successful predecessor, the 911 GT3 RSR. It is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car. As with the production vehicle, the wheelbase grew by about ten centimetres. A new wishbone front suspension replaces the previously used McPherson struts. Another new development from Porsche Motorsport is the particularly lightweight racing gearbox. The six gears are selected via paddles on the steering wheel. The 470 hp, 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine was taken from the predecessor and extensively optimised.
One of the priorities in the development of the 911 RSR was an evenly balanced weight distribution. The centre of gravity is also significantly lower than that of its predecessor. Carbon fibre played a crucial role in the new design. The front and rear mudguards, front and rear lids, doors, underbody, wheel arches, rear wing, dashboard and centre console are made of the very light and strong material. Moreover, all windows are made of particularly thin and light polycarbonate. Also contributing to the weight reduction is the lightweight lithium-ion battery known from the GT road-legal models.
The look of the 911 RSR is dominated by the flared mudguards and the deep cooling air intakes at the front. With a new air ducting, the radiator is now centrally-located in the front, which is even more effective than in the previous model. At the same time, the cockpit air-conditioning became more efficient. The quick-change concept of the body parts was specially 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.
Low positioned static cornering lights provide improved vision and enhanced safety during the night. The reflective labelling and anti-glare lighting of the control elements in the cockpit ensure optimal legibility in the dark. The arrangement of the switches on the new steering wheel and the pilot-oriented centre console were designed in co-operation with the Porsche works drivers. From the outset, all works drivers took part in the design of the 911 RSR, contributing their vast experience in GT racing.
Ongoing improvements have been made on the 911 RSR for the 2014 season. The revised front end and the new rear wing provide an optimised aerobalance, which allows greater stability in fast corners. Through optimising the front axle kinematics, a more precise steering sensitivity and hence better control of the vehicle in slow and medium speed corners were achieved. The further improved structural stiffness ensures more precise handling. Another new feature is the extensively optimised engine air-intake thanks to improved air filter geometry that contributes to reducing loss of performance due to contaminants. The new FT3 safety fuel tank with a lowered centre of gravity makes it easier to refuel under race conditions.
In order to keep the engineers in the pits up-to-date with all relevant vehicle data, the live telemetry transmits more than 200 different measurements straight to the pit wall stand via an antenna on the roof. Additionally, all data are stored on a memory card onboard the vehicle.
“The most spectacular 911 ever”
“The 911 RSR was optimised in many areas. Thanks to the wider rear wheels and the sophisticated aerodynamics, the car has become more consistent over a stint,” says Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister. “This is without doubt the best 911 I’ve ever driven. It still feels like a 911, but it’s better than the predecessor in almost every way. And on top of that, in my view it’s the most beautiful, spectacular 911 there has ever been.” His teammate Patrick Pilet added: “We constantly worked on improving the vehicle over the last season. The improved weight distribution in particular has had a positive effect on performance. The 911 RSR is now even more stable at the rear and gives you as a driver more confidence. And this allows us to go to the limit quicker.”
Body: Self-supporting body in steel aluminium hybrid design (base 911 Carrera 4, type 991); welded-in safety cage; removable roof hatch; body widened and aerodynamically optimised with carbon parts; front underbody aerodynamically optimised; PC side and rear windows; adjustable rear wing; steering wheel with shift paddles; six-point safety belt; racing bucket seat; FT3-safety tank with fast filling function; air jack; fire extinguisher.
Engine: Six-cylinder aluminium boxer engine in the rear; bore 102.7 mm; stroke 80.4 mm; capacity 3,996 cm³; power output approx. 345 KW (470 hp) with restrictor; four valve technology; water cooling, dry sump lubrication, multi-point fuel injection; weight optimised modular race exhaust system, twin-branched muffler with centred exhaust pipes.
Transmission: Porsche six-speed sequential dog-type gearbox with pneumatic shift mechanism; oil/water heat exchanger; hydraulic disengagement lever; single mass flywheel; three-plate carbon clutch.
Brake system: Brake system with balance bar control and optimised cooling air ducting.
Front: Monobloc six-piston aluminium fixed callipers; steel brake discs internally-vented, 380 mm diameter; racing brake pads.
Rear: Monobloc four-piston aluminium fixed callipers; steel brake discs internally-vented, 355 mm diameter; racing brake pads.
Rims and tyres: Front axle: 12.5J x 18, central bolt, Michelin racing 30/68-18.
Rear axle: 14J x 18, central bolt; Michelin racing 31/71-18.
Electrics: Cosworth colour display with integrated data recording and gear shift point display; Cosworth electrical system control; lightweight lithium-ion battery 12 V, 18 Ah; 140 A alternator; air conditioning.
Weight: 1,245 kg (minimum weight in compliance with regulations).