Ready for Day­tona his­tory

Porsche ready to race the big­gest evo­lu­tion in GT cars at track that made Kreepy Krauly fa­mous

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

IN 1984, South Africa’s Kreepy Krauly pool cleaner be­came fa­mous across the U. S. af­ter an all-South African team won the 24hours Day­tona race in a March 83G- Porsche.

Ever since then lo­cal en­durance race fans have been keeping an eye on the Ger­man brand’s per­for­mance in other en­durance races, and our na­tional soc­cer and rugby coaches can only wish for a track record achieved by Porsche this year.

The Porsche teams — again — took home all the sil­ver­ware from around the world, from win­ning Le Mans in France; the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ world cham­pi­onship in Shang­hai and the driv­ers’ world cham­pi­onship in the FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship ( WEC) at last week­end’s fi­nale in Bahrain.

With Audi hav­ing an­nounced it will pull out of en­durance rac­ing to fo­cus on the new For­mula E, the coast is now also clear for its VW sta­ble­mate to record a third con­sec­u­tive clean sweep around world en­durance tracks.

While its VW sta­ble­mate fo­cuses on race- test­ing full elec­tric mo­tors, Porsche will in­stead fo­cus on rac­ing its hy­brids.

Next year’s teams

In the 2017 sea­son, the fac­tory is ex­pected to run the new 911 RSR at 19 out­ings, which equates to more than 140 hours of rac­ing.

Two fac­tory- en­try Porsches will tackle the FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship ( WEC) in­clud­ing the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as the Amer­i­can Imsa Weathertech Cham­pi­onship.

The new racer will cel­e­brate its de­but un­der the tough­est con­di­tions at the Imsa sea­son opener in Day­tona on Jan­uary 28- 29.

“We’re very well pre­pared for this,” says Marco Ujhasi, head of GT Works Sport.

“Since its first roll­out in Weis­sach in March this year we’ve cov­ered 35 000 test kilo­me­tres on race­tracks in Europe and North Amer­ica — that’s more than in the de­vel­op­ment of any other Porsche GT racer.”

All- new GT planned

The com­pany said in a state­ment it will tackle next year’s rac­ing sea­son with a com­pletely re- de­vel­oped GT racer.

The new 911 RSR makes full use of the breadth of the Le Mans 24 Hours GT reg­u­la­tions and, in ad­di­tion to sys­tem­atic light­weight de­sign, fea­tures an ul­tra­mod­ern, flat- six unit po­si­tioned in front of the rear axle.

The four- litre, ex­tremely light ag­gre­gate fea­tures di­rect fuel in­jec­tion as well as a rigid valve drive and is char­ac­terised by out­stand­ing ef­fi­ciency.

The new 911 RSR will make its de­but at the Day­tona 24- hour race in Jan­uary 2017. “This is the big­gest evo­lu­tion by now in the his­tory of our top GT model,” says head of Porsche Mo­tor­sport Dr Frank- St­ef­fen Wal­liser in a state­ment. “For the 911 RSR, we de­lib­er­ately fo­cused on a par­tic­u­larly mod­ern and light nor­mallyaspi­rated en­gine, as this gave our en­gi­neers im­mense lat­i­tude in de­vel­op­ing the ve­hi­cle,” ex­plains Dr Wal­liser. “Apart from that, in prin­ci­ple, the LM- GTE reg­u­la­tions stip­u­late the ab­so­lute equal­ity of var­i­ous drive con­cepts, as the torque char­ac­ter­is­tics of turbo and nor­mally as­pi­rated en­gines are aligned.”

De­pend­ing on the size of the re­stricter, the new nat­u­rally- as­pi­rated unit de­liv­ers around 375 kW. Shift pad­dles on the steer­ing wheel ac­tu­ate the se­quen­tial six- speed gear­box with a mag­ne­sium hous­ing, which de­liv­ers power to the the foot- wide ( 31 cm) rear wheels.

Col­li­sion avoid­ance sys­tems

While the nor­mal process is for tech­nol­ogy to be race- tested and then be de­ployed into street cars sold to mere mor­tal com­muters, next year will see the process re­versed as safety tech will for the first time be used in a Porsche GT race car.

The tech fea­tures state- of- theart as­sis­tance sys­tems, as the new 911 RSR is equipped with the radar- sup­ported “Col­li­sion Avoid Sys­tem”. Now in the dark, faster LMP pro­to­types are de­tected early enough, there­fore pre­vent­ing ac­ci­dents. But note, airbags still do not fea­ture in race cars.

In­stead, a new safety cage con­cept and a rigidly- mounted rac­ing seat en­hance driver safety. With the seat fixed to the chas­sis, the ped­alry can now be moved and ad­justed to fit the driver.

The new 911 RSR’s ser­vice­abil­ity has also been sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved. En­tire el­e­ments of the car­bon- fi­bre body can be ex­changed com­pletely in a very short time thanks to clever quick­re­lease fas­ten­ers. More­over, changes to the sus­pen­sion set- up can be per­formed much more quickly and eas­ily.

With the look of the body wrap­ping, the 911 RSR is strik­ing out in a new di­rec­tion. For the first time, the GT racer bears the new fac­tory de­sign that has fur­ther de­vel­oped the clear and dy­namic de­sign lan­guage of Porsche Mo­tor­sport.

From a bird’s- eye view, a hint of the Porsche em­blem sil­hou­ette can be seen. The ba­sic colours re­main white, red and black.


THE NEW AND THE OLD: Left is one of the Porsche GT rac­ing cars that made a clean sweep in the 2016 World En­durance Cham­pi­onships ( WEC) for the se­cond year run­ning; above is very sim­i­lar March 83G- Porsche in which Sarel van der Merwe, Tony Martin and Gra­ham Duxbury won the Day­tona in 1984.

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