The 911 RSR, which the Porsche GT Team also campaigned in this year’s Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC, is a completely new development. The key new feature is the positioning of the engine in front of the rear axle. Thanks to this, the weight distribution was improved and at the same time, space was freed up to fit a larger diffuser at the rear which generates significantly more downforce.
The development of the new 911 RSR began in early 2015. Initially, a small team with representatives from individual divisions was engaged in analysing the lessons learnt from the predecessor model, as well as studying the sporting and technical regulations. From their findings, a new vehicle concept was then tailored to the requirements of modern long-distance racing. Race drivers were also included in the development process earlier than ever before. “The drivers have to feel comfortable in the car,” said Marco Ujhasi. “Only a driver who still feels fresh at the end of a gruelling stint will be able to give the top performance that is needed to be successful in such a tough competitive environment.” See our full interview with Marco Ujhasi.
Engine tests on test benches and race tracks
Thanks to the outstanding baseline engine development for the 911 GT3 R, the RSR engine ran for the first time on the test bench after about seven months, with full-scale endurance runs in less than a year. The test programme for the 911 RSR engine included two 70-hour long runs under different weather conditions, and altogether, the engine withstood over 300 hours of endurance runs. But despite the sophisticated engine test benches, testing on a race track is still critical.
“On the test beds, we simulate maximum stress situations, such as a particularly fast qualifying lap on circuits with maximum full-throttle passages such as Daytona and Le Mans,” said Marco Ujhasi. “Special racing situations, like caution phases or a sudden exit from the pit lane, cannot be simulated on a test bench. These insights as well as impacts on the entire vehicle can only be gained on the race track.”
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