At the ten-hour Petit Le Mans race contested on the tradition-steeped Road Atlanta racetrack last Saturday, the new 911 RSR scored the first two championships. There, Patrick Pilet (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) won the prestigious North American Endurance Cup with the 510 hp GT racer from Weissach. The long-distance classics that count towards this performance and reliability competition in international GT racing are Petit Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen. The
“Winning the North American Endurance Cup has shown that we were always at the front at the right time at the major endurance races and, above all, we’ve also underlined the reliability of our new 911 RSR over the season. For a maiden season with a completely new car, this was a good performance,” said Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars. For Marco Ujhasi, Director GT Factory Motorsports, the first race victory for the new 911 RSR was “a particularly emotional moment. We’ve all worked towards this day with total commitment and absolute passion.”
Completely new development
The 911 RSR, which the
The development of the new 911 RSR began in early 2015. Initially, a small team with representatives from individual divisions was engaged in analysing the “lessons-learnt” potential of the predecessor model as well as studying the sporting and technical regulations. From their findings, a new vehicle concept was then tailored to the requirements of modern long-distance racing. And race drivers were included in the development process earlier than ever before. “The drivers have to feel comfortable in the car,” said Marco Ujhasi. “Only a driver who still feels fresh at the end of a gruelling stint will be able to give the top performance that is needed to be successful in such a tough competitive environment.”
50-hour endurance run on a bumpy track
All of the GT works pilots were given the chance to drive the first kilometres in the new 911 RSR at the rollout in March 2016 on
The new 911 RSR is powered by a cutting-edge, naturally aspirated, six-cylinder boxer engine. The displacement is 4,000 cc, with the output at around 375 kW (510 hp), depending on the restrictor. The motor features direct fuel injection as well as a rigid valve drive and is characterised by outstanding efficiency. The engine is a systematic evolution within the line of
Engine tests on test benches and racetracks
Thanks to the outstanding baseline engine development for the 911 GT3 R, the RSR motor ran for the first time on the test bench after about seven months. Full-scale endurance runs began after almost a year. The test programme for the engine of the 911 RSR included two 70-hour long runs under different weather conditions. All up, the engine of the 911 RSR withstood over 300 hours of endurance runs. Despite the sophisticated engine test benches, testing on a racetrack is still critical.
“On the test beds, we simulate maximum stress situations, such as a particularly fast qualifying lap on circuits with maximum full-throttle passages such as Daytona and Le Mans,” says Marco Ujhasi. “Special racing situations, like caution phases or a sudden exit from the pit lane, cannot be simulated on a test bench. These insights as well as impacts on the entire vehicle can only be gained on the racetrack.”
Extensive wind-tunnel tests
Early on in the development of the aerodynamics for the new 911 RSR, computer simulations CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) were carried out. These trials offered the chance to evaluate certain concepts and components without having to actually build a model. Afterwards, the concepts under consideration were tested in the model wind tunnel, in real airflow. After the model wind-tunnel trials, 80 per cent of the car was completed. The next step for the last 20 per cent was then to go testing in the large Weissach wind tunnel with a running belt. This simulates a racetrack almost identically; it can replicate entire corners to see how the car will behave on actual racetracks. These discoveries are then fed back into the computer simulation, with the help of which one can, for example, very accurately predict lap times the car would normally clock on the racetrack.
The new 911 RSR’s serviceability was significantly improved. Changes to the suspension setup can be performed much more quickly and easily, and, if necessary, entire elements of the carbon-fibre body can be exchanged completely in a very short time thanks to cleverly-devised quick-release fasteners. A door, for example, can be replaced within 15 seconds, and a front bumper with underbody can be swapped out in less than one minute. “Those who encounter these problems with a private road car,” said Marco Ujhasi, “would have to catch a taxi or a train for the day.”
The new 911 RSR is the first
Works drivers and teams involved in the development
The drivers are extremely pleased with the result of this very open cooperation. Richard Lietz, the 2015 winner of the FIA Endurance World Cup as the best GT pilot, sums it up this way: “The new 911 RSR is the best GT car that
Other facts and figures
The new 911 RSR consists of 5,342 individual parts in total. Of this, the vehicle is made up of 3,646 parts, with the engine containing 1,282 parts and the gearbox 414 parts. The largest single part is the body, with the smallest component a circlip in the door handle.
Seven 911 RSR were built by
Since the roll-out in March 2016 to its first race in January 2017 at the Daytona 24-hour race, over 35,000 test kilometres have been covered on various racetracks with the new 911 RSR – that’s more than in the development of any other
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Consumption figures were obtained on the basis of standard equipment. Special equipment may affect consumption and performance.