Porsche’s 911 RSR flat out across IMSA, WEC this weekend

May 3, 2018

Porsche’s 911 RSR flat out across IMSA, WEC this weekend

May 3, 2018

This could be a very big weekend for Porsche and its GTE specification contender, the Porsche 911 RSR. No less than eight of the cars are vying for victory in two continents and two different series this weekend.

Now in its second season of worldwide competition, the new 911 RSR is the most popular car on the grid in the FIA World Endurance Championship. There are six Porsche 911 RSRs competing at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, with the two factory GTE-Pro class entries and four customer entries in GTE-Am.

Meanwhile in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the two-car Porsche GT Team effort has an important weekend ahead at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The team was unlucky to lose both the pole and win at Long Beach after dominating there. Now, they head to a track where only one of its four drivers – Patrick Pilet – has past race experience.

Porsche has tested the 911 RSR at Mid-Ohio in an attempt to gather data that will help in advance of this race weekend. That being said, testing was affected by colder than normal spring temperatures.

“A new track presents teams and drivers with new challenges,” explained Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport.

“That’s why we tested the 911 RSR in Mid-Ohio before the race. The primary goal was to work out a baseline setup for this demanding racetrack and to trial different tire specifications. With the insights we’ve gained, I’m confident that we’re well prepared for the race weekend. We’re looking forward to this new challenge.”

With Porsche now out of LMP1 competition, its primary focus in the FIA WEC is on its factory GT efforts.

“Our Porsche GT Team is facing a long and exciting season,” said Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars. “The Prologue in Le Castellet underlined that we’re ready for this task. Together with the three customer teams, the fans can look forward to seeing six Porsche 911 RSR in action at the first race in the Ardennes. For all the drivers and motorsport enthusiasts, the racetrack is a very special place. This huge interest motivates us even more to fight for victory in both categories and to show them what potential our 911 RSR has. It’s important for us to make a good start into the Super Season before we tackle Le Mans with ten of our 911 RSR.”

The Porsche GT Team reveals a slightly revised lineup for the 2018-’19 FIA WEC “Super Season.”

Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz share the No. 91 Porsche, with Bruni replacing Fred Makowiecki. Bruni, who joined Porsche midseason last year, now has a full campaign ahead of him. Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen will be in the No. 92 Porsche.

“I can hardly wait to return to the WEC after a year’s break,” Bruni said. “The Spa racetrack is one of the most beautiful in the world. We’d like to hit the ground running at the first race and start with a good performance. The competition we want to win against is fierce.”

Lietz added, “A new driver pairing always takes a bit of getting used to. But this went really quickly with Gianmaria at the test. Our work together has been very promising so far and we complement each other excellently.”

Porsche’s customer entries in GTE-Am include two cars from the Dempsey-Proton Racing team and one car apiece from Project 1 and Gulf Racing.

From an American interest standpoint, Project 1’s lineup features Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Lindsey sharing their No. 56 Porsche, with third driver Egidio Perfetti.

Porsche has also placed Young Professionals Matt Campbell (No. 77) and Matteo Cairoli (No. 88), along with Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (No. 77), at Dempsey-Proton.

These three names might not be known that well now, but keep an eye on them as the season progresses. Porsche’s eye for young talent generally creates eventual factory stars who can quickly rise within the Porsche brand.

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