What better way to introduce a new race car model, than to do so as the 2018/2019 Super Season World Champions? This weekend, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Porsche launched the 2019 Porsche 911 RSR with 4.2-litre engine, the largest engine to power a 911 ever. With this car, Porsche will defend the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) title in 2019/2020, it will contest the Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as the IMSA races at Sebring and Road Atlanta (Petit Le Mans) amongst other events in 2019.
Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport expands, “We never rest on our laurels. We extensively analysed all factory and customer campaigns with the Porsche 911 RSR and our engineers noticed room for improvement in a number of areas. We have made significant progress in the development of our car for the next three-year homologation period, especially in the complex areas of driveability, efficiency, durability and serviceability. Ninety-five percent of the car is new. The only components that we’ve kept unchanged from the predecessor are the headlights, brake system, clutch, driver’s seat and parts of the suspension. Tests so far have run excellently. We’re already looking forward to the first races of the 2019/2020 FIA WEC season.”
Largest displacement 911 engine
The latest 911 is also powered by a six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine with a capacity of 4194 cc and, depending on the size of the restrictor, produces around 515 hp. The new power unit, mounted ahead of the rear axle, is the largest ever boxer engine to be fitted in a Porsche 911 factory car, and offers even better driveability over a wider rev-band compared to the predecessor’s proven 4-litre engine. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a more rigid sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox, ensuring even faster gear-shift times and increased efficiency. The two exhaust pipes now exit on each side in front of the rear wheels, thus saving weight while also offering aerodynamic advantages.
The repositioning of the tailpipes in this manner has allowed further optimisation of the rear diffuser, resulting in even more downforce. Thanks to the optimisation of airflow at the front and the sides of the new 911, aerodynamic efficiency and stability have increased significantly, thereby improving the use and durability of the tyres during racing.
Silverstone 2019 debut
“We’ve been working on the concept of the new Porsche 911 RSR since 2017. In August 2018, the new 911 completed its first kilometres on the factory’s own test track in Weissach,” Pascal Zurlinden said. Over the months that followed, the factory team conducted numerous tests and Porsche works drivers took turns at the wheel of the new 911 RSR. Parallel to this, the aerodynamics were fine-tuned in the Porsche wind tunnel.
“Another milestone was our long-run in March 2019 at Le Castellet, where we included the works teams from both the WEC and IMSA. We covered more than 6000 kilometres over 30 hours, without any technical hiccups. The drivers and engineers were very satisfied. The car received its racing homologation on 1st July (2019),” Zurlinden added. The Porsche 911 RSR will celebrate its race debut at the season-opening round of the FIA/WEC at Silverstone on 1 September. Prior to its race debut, the new 911 RSR will face rival manufacturers contesting the FIA WEC GTE-Pro class for the first time at a two-day prologue in Barcelona (Spain) on 23/24 July.
The Porsche GT Team will field two works cars at eight rounds of the 2019/2020 season for drivers Michael Christensen and Kévin Estre, as well as Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz. In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the switch to the latest model will take place in the 2020 season, where Porsche will contest that series with a two-car 911 RSR assault. For customer teams, the vehicle will be available from the 2020/2021 FIA WEC season.
New external livery
For the first time, the factory race cars from Weissach will be decked out in two different designs: The typical Porsche white will continue to be the dominating colour on the No. 91 car. Added accents include a centrally-placed red stripe extending from the front hood over the roof to the rear apron, as well as red side sills. Grey highlights on the side complement the clear and dynamic design. On the No. 92 car, the white and grey colours are reversed. The rear wing and the wing mirrors are black instead of white, so that fans can differentiate between the two.
The new 911’s race debut is a little more than six weeks away, when the new shortened Silverstone WEC race, now four hours, will kick off the 2019/2020 season. Porsche Road & Race will be keeping a keen eye on developments, so be sure to check back with us for updates.
Written by: Glen Smale
Images by: Porsche Werkfoto