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Porsche Confirms 911 RSR Customer Program, Increased GT Focus

Porsche confirms 911 RSR GTE customer cars for 2018…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche’s mid-engined 911 RSR will be made available to customers beginning next year as part of the German manufacturer’s increased focus on GT racing, according to Porsche’s R&D chief Dr. Michael Steiner.

Steiner, a member of the Executive Board for Research & Development at Porsche AG, has confirmed that its race-winning GTE model is set to race in the hands of customer teams, in an move that will ultimately result in additional Porsches on the grid.

“Our most modern 911 RSR will be available for customer teams,” Steiner told Sportscar365.

“We have plans to widen up but also take care of all entry levels, like the next GT4 [car] and things like that. So the whole community should benefit.”

The refocused approach, which sees Porsche bring an end to its LMP1 program in favor of entering Formula E beginning in 2019, will also see additional GT efforts, according to Steiner.

Porsche’s factory GT involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is set to continue, with other series now under consideration. 

“We’ll closely watch, mainly in Europe, championships we do not attend,” Steiner said. “There is some potential. We’ll also intensively think about what we could do to make customer racing more attractive.”

Steiner also has not ruled out seeing increased factory efforts around key endurance races in the future as well.

“You could expect maybe with some races that we add another car,” Steiner said. “But it’s not only about factory racing; it’s the whole racing business.”

The manufacturer will have a surplus of factory drivers for next year, with all six of its current LMP1 pilots expecting to remain under contract in 2018, former GT aces Timo Bernhard, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber expected to shift their focus back to the production-based ranks, at least in the short-term.

Further details and decisions on Porsche’s expanded GT focus are expected to be confirmed in the next few months.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Tarek R

    August 7, 2017 at 9:44 am

    It would be nice to see Proton Competition with the new car in both FIA World Endurance Championship (GTE-Am) and European Le Mans Series (GTE).

    I want to see an IMSA team doing the same, but let’s be honest GTLM is a home of monstrous full factory teams. I don’t see a single privateer Porsche squad there next year.

    • Andy Flinn

      August 7, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      Tarek, let’s be honest.

      IMSA GTLM is just like FIA World Endurance Championship GTE-Pro.

      They’re BOTH “home of monstrous full-factory teams.”

      The privateer Porsche racers in IMSA compete – and win (Alegra, Park Place) – in IMSA GTD.

      Core Autosport, who runs the factory Porsche IMSA GTLM program, runs their own Porsche in GTD.

      GTD is IMSA’s version of WEC GTE-Am, only with a LOT more teams and cars.

      • Guest

        August 8, 2017 at 12:01 am

        If there is any chance of a new privateer team in GTLM, it’s with a Porsche.

    • Jeff Wagner

      August 7, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      WHY would they do that when E.S.M. goes to all of the IMSA races with the two P2 cars? They can run them in GTD and share resources and save millions not going all over Europe!

  2. GR88

    August 7, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Proton are said to have a deposit for four new RSR’s for WEC and ELMS. When they get the however is a different matter,

  3. Tim

    August 7, 2017 at 11:04 am

    It would be nice to see Porsche add factory cars to Lemans, Daytona, Sebring, petite like ford has done

    • Tarek R

      August 7, 2017 at 11:24 am

      You mean racing the big classics with both IMSA and WEC squads?

      • Tim

        August 7, 2017 at 11:26 am

        Exactly

        • Tarek R

          August 7, 2017 at 11:34 am

          I hope so, but tbh I only see Le Mans for that with the IMSA team doing the French classic.

          It will be hard to see the GTE-Pro team racing in Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

          But wait and see.

          • Andy Flinn

            August 7, 2017 at 1:14 pm

            Tarek, for the same reason, it would be hard for me to see a Porsche privateer team racing a car in WEC GTE-Pro.

    • Toni

      August 7, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      I am a massive Porsche fan, but I think it is not the right way forward, so I hope they won’t! I think it serves no purpose, other than pushing others. Either to do so as well, or to go away. Two factory cars is a perfectly fine number.

      • clg

        August 7, 2017 at 10:01 pm

        I am a Porsche owner and the more GT cars (GTE/GTLM/GT3/GTD/GT4) the better.

    • Jeff Wagner

      August 7, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      That would be FANTASTIC!

      • Jeff Wagner

        August 7, 2017 at 11:28 pm

        My reply above was to what Tim said: It would be nice to see Porsche add factory cars to Lemans, Daytona, Sebring, petite like ford has done.

        • Toni

          August 8, 2017 at 1:40 pm

          Could you please explain how Le Mans or Daytona has benefitted from having four Ford GTs on the grid??

          I would love to see an increased effort for the N24 or spa 24, but 2 cars per team for GTE pro/GTLM is perfect. For GTE am or GTD it can be as much as possible.

          • Andy Flinn

            August 12, 2017 at 3:38 pm

            Toni, fans like myself got to watch four Ford GTs (instead of two) at Daytona and three (instead of two) at Sebring this year compared to 2016. CGR also had more “bullets.”

            Please explain how two cars per team (fewer cars for fans to watch and fewer “bullets”) in GTLM is perfect.

          • Toni

            August 22, 2017 at 9:09 am

            @Andy; I did watch it as well and it annoyed me. Especially during the last minutes when the Ford (with Scott Dixon if I recall correctly) was pointlessly blocking Patrick Pilet and he also ran into his door when Patrick passed him. That is what you get when you regard them as ‘bullets’. Where is the fighting spirit, where is the engineering? You just send them all out and if one of the cars breaks down, well, you just fix it and let it circulated you shift your focus to another car. It almost turns into a lottery and the team with the most tickets has the biggest chance of winning.

            Also during two major events, Ford with their four entries was nearly beaten by a team with a single entry, which also proves that you don’t need four cars for exciting on-track battles. Regarding the Risi team, they might quit when the others all field four cars. I would rather see a race with nine cars from five manufacturers/teams compared to a race with 16 cars from four teams.

            GTE pro/GTLM is the best class to see very different cars competing against each other, which requires diversity, not simply more of the same.

  4. Juninho

    August 7, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    ELMS in 2018

    LMP2
    LMP3
    GTE-Pro
    GTE-Am

    • thomas

      August 8, 2017 at 11:07 am

      Except no. ELMS has made it abundantly clear that their series is for Pro-Am combinations only.

  5. David Chaste

    August 7, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    The WEC team does not have to race in GTE Pro. Core autosport can simply run more cars.

    Usually factory backed teams have no-compete clauses in their contracts. Meaning the manufacturer can not bring another factory team to run in their series. Like Manthey can not come run in IMSA and Core can not run in WEC, because they would be pitted against each other and make one of them look bad in the end. So to have more cars either Core or manthey can just run more cars for big races if needed.

    For Ford even though the european WEC is ran by multimatic it’s under the chip ganassi banner so when they run at lemans Chip still gets all the credit even if a multimatic cars does better so no one looses out.

  6. David Chaste

    August 7, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I wondered if any Porsche LMP1 drivers would want to drive a penske acura DPi. But then again the Penske project might be till 2020 only (3 years)

    But a driver can be a Porsche factory driver for the next 10 years. So long as you’re still fast. So if it was me I would ditch the thrill ride for a stable gig with Porsche. Honda simply does not have Porsche’s racing pedigree around the world. They don’t cross use their drivers around the world like Porsche does. So after a DPi gig it might be over.

  7. David

    August 7, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Porsche just get in the DPi game and call it a day!

    • Steve

      August 7, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Porsche does not need do spec series racing. If they do not have full control over engine AND chassis it serves no purpose for Porsche. They have shown they can pretty much crush any competition, Toyota, Audi etc. Beating Cadillac would not be challenge. Unless they can learn something from a series that applies to road cars, it is just advertising. Cadillac, Ford GT, and others race just for advertising. They hire teams to take all the risk and yet take all the credit when they win. They do not build their own cars. PORSCHE builds and TESTS and SELLS their cars to others.

      • David Chaste

        August 8, 2017 at 1:09 am

        Porsche fielded a factory backed team in 2009 with their 2 best drivers at the time for Penske. Grand Am severely restricted the car because they didn’t the top ALMS drivers to outshine any of their teams. But had they had a good season Porsche would have stayed. So they are interested in running even if it’s not their own chassis.

        • Andy Flinn

          August 12, 2017 at 4:06 pm

          David, did you actually WATCH Grand-Am races in 2009?

          Penske Racing led the early stages of the 2009 Rolex24 in their Porsche-powered Riley DP but lost to the #58 Brumos Racing Porsche-powered Riley DP.

          Hurley Haywood, who subbed for J.C. France, won the 2009 season finale at Homestead in the #59 Brumos Racing Porsche-powered Riley DP. The Penske Racing Porsche-powered Riley DP finished eleventh and on the same lap.

          So I’m not sure how you can blame Grand-Am for “restricting” the Penske car so the ALMS drivers wouldn’t outshine the GA regulars.

          In order for that to make a lick of sense, GA would have to have had team-specific BoP (since Brumos and Penske raced the same setup in 2009), which is absurd.

      • John

        August 8, 2017 at 5:31 am

        Porsche is on the short list of marques whose connection to racing is unimpeachable, but let’s not kid ourselves, they’re trading P1-HY for Formula E, a spec series that’s cheaper, and “greener,” but will still have one-design chassis and batteries for the foreseeable future. And a major goal of completing a race distance without a car change(!).

        A (different kind of) challenge, no doubt, but one that doesn’t quite press the right buttons to a lot of fans, nor quite fit the mantra set forth.

      • tracer

        August 8, 2017 at 10:26 am

        Steve, how on earth can you make an argument like that when Porsche is joining Formula E? I mean, c’mon man. Seriously.

      • Andy Flinn

        August 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm

        Porsche won the Rolex 24 TWICE (2009 and 2010) in a car not of their own design or construction (Riley DP) with two different engines (flat sic and Cayenne V8).

        Porsche also won the Rolex 24 in 1984 in a chassis not of their own design or construction (March 83G) after the factory Porsche 962 retired on debut.

        Fabcar, who built early Porsche-powered DPs for Brumos and others, and Daytona and Sebring-winning Porsche 935s for John Paul, Sr., was also a factory licensed constructor of Porsche 962 chassis for IMSA GTP

  8. vanillachinchilla

    August 7, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Good maybe we’ll actually see some good colors on this car

    • jason

      August 8, 2017 at 10:34 am

      I disagree with this. The livery on the Porsches this year is very good. Yes they have been bad in the past but the 2017 version makes up for it.

      Perhaps Porsche can consider a 4 car GTE Pro effort now. Since Ford has set the precedent.

  9. Silvia Odete Morani Massad

    September 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Actually when someone doesn’t know afterward its up to other
    viewers that they will assist, so here it takes place.

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