Ready for Daytona history
Porsche ready to race the biggest evolution in GT cars at track that made Kreepy Krauly famous
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.