Porsche’s latest generation 911 RSR signs off in Atlanta

October 9, 2019

Porsche’s latest generation 911 RSR signs off in Atlanta

October 9, 2019

Porsche’s first all-factory effort in the U.S. run came with its rear engine 911 RSR from 2014 to 2016. The second year of the program in 2015 saw Porsche maximize its performance throughout the season, with a whopping six poles and five race wins en route to both the driver (Patrick Pilet) and manufacturer championships.

However in 2017, Porsche switched things up. Its new generation 911 RSR placed the engine in front of the rear axle, rather than as a traditional rear engine 911 as it has been for generations.

This car nearly took the win on debut at the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona but lost out to Ford following an epic battle between Dirk Mueller and Patrick Pilet. By midseason the car had its first pole, then first win. It has set the stage for greatness to follow.

Last year, Porsche won nearly all the endurance racing “majors” – sweeping the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Motul Petit Le Mans – with its 911 RSR. Its GT3 variant, the 911 GT3 R, also conquered the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring in Germany. However inconsistency dogged a potential title bid, and efforts were doubled down on ensuring those didn’t slip away in 2019.

#912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR, GTLM: Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor, #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R, GTLM: Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner

They haven’t, and Porsche has been the standard-bearer in class this season. Porsche has looked as dominant as they were in 2015. The team has won five poles and six races thus far, and after the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR were poised to secure the manufacturer championship provided at least one car started the last two races.

#911 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR, GTLM: Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Frederic Makowiecki celebrate the win in victory lane

All told, Porsche’s 2017-’19 iteration 911 RSR has won 10 of 32 races in IMSA since premiering, a nearly one-in-three strike rate. The wins this year have propelled the factory team to 18 wins over six seasons, which leads the GTLM category by two over Corvette.

Pilet and Nick Tandy have grown into Porsche’s more experienced pair of winners while the younger duo of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor have quickly blossomed into social media darlings off-track and consistent contenders on it. Fred Makowiecki (No. 911) and Mathieu Jaminet (No. 912) bolster the lineups as third drivers for the final race of the Michelin Endurance Cup.

While Porsche generally confirms further details of its 2020 program in December, it’s again set the mark for excellence so far with this car.

Not the Coke livery… Photo: Michelin North America

The Coke livery on display at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta figures to be a crowd favorite.

… The Coke livery. Photo: Porsche

“The anniversary season for IMSA comes to an end with a big highlight,” said Pascal Zurlinden, director, Porsche factory motorsport.

“It’s fantastic that two such strong brands like Porsche and Coca-Cola are working together. We definitely want to continue our shared success story that began in the 1980s. It would be a dream come true if we could secure the title with a top result – especially considering that it will be the last race outing for this version of the Porsche 911 RSR in the IMSA series.”

“This year has been one highlight after the other for us,” added
Steffen Höllwarth, Head of Operations IMSA Championship. “We’ve notched up many successes in the first half of the season with our cars finished in the Brumos livery. Last year we were successful at Petit Le Mans with our Porsche 911 RSR flying the Mobil 1 colors.

“These special designs have given us many outstanding moments. And this should also be the case with the red and white Coca-Cola paintwork at the season finale on the Road Atlanta racetrack.” 

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