Walliser: Mid-Engined Porsche 911 RSR Within GTE Rules

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser has revealed that its new mid-engined Porsche 911 RSR is within the 2017 GTE rules, with no waivers granted despite the engine relocation.

The car, featuring a four-liter normally aspirated flat-six powerplant, was unveiled Wednesday at the LA Auto Show.

“The actual rules in GTE allow to optimize the position of the engine,” Walliser told Sportscar365. “No production car with this layout is planned and no waiver was granted.”

Porsche’s decision to move the engine forward provides an improved weight balance, something the rear-engined 911s have recently struggled with, particularly with the arrival of the mid-engined GTE cars in recent years.

While the turbocharged Fords and Ferraris dominated this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the decision to remain with a normally aspirated engine was made well before that, according to Walliser.

“We finally opted for a normally aspirated engine exactly one year ago,” Walliser said. “The final go was a meeting between Dr. Blume [Porsche CEO] and myself in Bahrain.

“For the 911 concept, considering our actual engine lineup, a normally aspirated engine gives us more freedom in the car concept, e.g. weight distribution.”

However, Walliser doesn’t see it as a disadvantage, thanks to variable boost levels for turbocharged engines implemented by the FIA, ACO and IMSA that now provides a near-identical power curve for both normally aspirated and turbocharged engines.

“The rules are written in a way that gives turbos and normally aspirated engines the same power and torque behavior,” he said.

With more than 21,000 miles of testing having been completed since the car’s first rollout in March, including extensive running at Sebring, Walliser is confident in the car’s ability right out of the box when it debuts in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“The target for a race is to win, no question,” he said. “But realistically we know how difficult it is to survive 24 hours in Daytona.

“So a clear run with no major technical issues is the most important goal.”

Walliser confirmed only two of the new 911 RSRs will be entered in the WeatherTech Championship season opener, both run by the CORE autosport-operated Porsche North America squad.

34 Comments

  1. Andres

    November 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Seriously no waivers??? how we need to call the engine relocation??? if that is not a waiver, what means a waiver??? please be a little more serious mr. Walliser

    “The actual rules in GTE allow to optimize the position of the engine” hahahaha where is that written??? NOWHERE, everyone knows it, in previous releases in this site, it was said the same thing i’m now posting, neither the FIA-ACO nor the IMSA allows a relocation of the engine, they allowed Porsche to do that via waivers, it is said in posts in THIS site

    • el_gordo

      November 16, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      Location : As original.
      Position : Free.
      Orientation : Free, but the engine must remain
      longitudinal (or transverse) if originally
      longitudinal (or transverse).

      Local modifications are permitted for :
      – the replacement and/or the moving of the engine supports
      – the addition of mountings for new engine supports

      • Bob

        November 16, 2016 at 3:31 pm

        I was just gong to post this. I would assume that Porsche has verified with the FIA.

      • Andres

        November 18, 2016 at 6:10 pm

        Location: is where you place the engine
        Position: means the same that “Location”
        so, the thing you are posting means that i’m right, there actually IS a waiver allowing porsche make this

    • What Regulations?

      November 16, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      The regulations really arent clear on this, they state the location must remain original but it also states the position is free.

      So the way i read it, as long as the engine is still towards the rear of the car it can be moved freely.

      • Bakkster

        November 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        Yes, location is defined as relative to the centerlines of the car. So as long as it remains in the back of the car they can move it forward or back along the centerline, the same way that the front-engine cars move their engines toward the rear but still remaining in front of the cockpit.

      • StueyB83

        November 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

        Simply put, as long as the engine is still within the original engine bay its position can be moved.

        • gtgianlu

          November 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm

          The engine bay of a 911 is beyond the back axle,now the engine sits where the back seats are,and this is not is actual position.The Vantage simply moved backwards an engine still well beyond the front axle as did the Conti in Gt3.Ferrari lowered the engine but is the range of ‘free’ position.

          • StueyB83

            November 16, 2016 at 5:54 pm

            If the homologated base road car is the GT3-RS – there are no back seats and potentially this is the grey area where Porsche has exploited for more room.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if the engine is hard up or directly mounted to the existing firewall, and placed above the rear axle – instead of behind it. Also the provision for a bespoke racing transmission means that a new item may have been done in such a way to free up the space. That, and the compactness of the flat 6 has allowed to be squeezed further up the front.

            That said I doubt the engine barely sits forward of the rear axle at all!

          • Andres

            November 18, 2016 at 6:13 pm

            The Aston and the Chevy Corvette are built with their respective engines placed immediately behind the front axle of the car, so they do not change the position ofthe engine at all, if you want to confirm that, just search some photos of the engines of the two cars

    • Larry

      November 16, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      Where is that written, huh. Two subsequent posts point out where it is written which are not “NOWHERE”.

      Maybe you should educate yourself before making outrageous remarks.

      • Andres

        November 18, 2016 at 6:16 pm

        Bro, i’m saying that in a report earlier this year in this site, it was pointed that the 2017 Porsche car will be allowed by a waiver to relocate their engine

        • Larry

          November 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm

          That’s what was thought at the time but, as it turned out, no waiver was required.

          You, very boldly, claimed there is no such rule.

          There is.

  2. pierre

    November 16, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    what are those side mirrors??

    • tracer

      November 16, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Nearly identical to the solution on the Aston Martins.

      I for one am ecstatic that Porsche seems to have finally gone away from the livery design of the last couple years. My only qualm is that if they carry over the same motif to the 919 (as has been the case in recent years), then we’d only have red-white-black liveries in P1.

  3. N8

    November 16, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Then why even start with a road car?

  4. Luna

    November 16, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Porsche, with ACO / FIA / IMSA closing their eyes, has played with the rules as much as Ford did. The GTE/GTLM category is a joke. Those are prototypes.

    • Andres

      November 18, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      Prototypes??? you call the Corvette and the Aston a prototype?? maybe you must rethink it, the only prototype running in GTLM/GTE this year is the Ford GT, well maybe next year the Porsche will race its prototype too

  5. mvez

    November 16, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    BMW, Corvette, and Aston all have rear mounted transaxles, so it gives them tons of room to move the “front” engine WAY behind the front axle…..BMW and Aston get waivers to rear mount the tranny beyond the “center line” of the car. Porsche did the same thing, but because the tranny is still behind the centerline of the car, they should be able to flip the orientation without any waivers, and within the rule set, as I read it.

    In reality, Porsche and Ferrari are really the only two manufacturers who have been racing what most closely resembles the homologation cars.

    Porsche finally decided to the aero advantage could not longer be overcome, and had to do it. There is nothing to bitch about here people.

    This is also why I love GT3, they are so much more closely related to their road car siblings. None of the GTE/LM car remotely resemble the homologation vehicles, but they are still badazz.

    I’m just happy they stuck with NA. In this world of crappy turbos, this is a sweet spot.

    • StueyB83

      November 16, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      There are a number of front engined GT3 cars (Bentley, for example) with transaxle transmissions just like the GTE cars – all in the pursuit of 50/50 weight distribution.

      The Reiter Camaro keeps it up front, though – because pretty much only because its the most value oriented FIA GT3 of the bunch.

      GT3 cars USED to be based more of road cars – but not since maybe 2012.. Now, only the base chassis and engines are from the road car – and everything else is fair game.

    • Tonie

      November 17, 2016 at 4:30 am

      Very well said, nothing to bitch about here. Designing by the rules is called engineering and this is brilliant example. It makes no sense to only allow for extreme aero packages. I have seen other things in sportscar racing that I would classify as acting or cheating.

      Regarding the ‘GT racing’ aspect; I do see something like this on the street basically everyday…

    • gtgianlu

      November 17, 2016 at 5:40 am

      Mind this:Position-As original.And that’it.Moving backwards an engine still beyond the front axle is optimisizing,not actually change the dynamic behaviour of a car,and that’s Porsche has just done

    • Andres

      November 18, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      FALSE AS HELL, the cars that run the most closely resembling road cars are the Aston Martin and the Corvette, please llok where is the engine mounted in both cars, and where is all mounted, and then, come and ost some rational comment

    • Jae

      November 21, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      I to like GT3 over GTLM. I have a photo of the 911 GT3 race chassiss and you can see that the Cup and GT3 cars are virtually street standard with inner wheel wells and the GTLM chassis is hacked up both front and rear with no stock wheel wells. A lot of this is due to Covertte during the C5.R and C6.R developments and GM getting waiver upon waiver stating that the likes of Porsche and Ferrari carried unfair advantages in there roads that allowed for dominance on the track. I love race politics. Change manufacture names to political parties and get the same results.

  6. Dave Henrie

    November 16, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    How will this affect teams that have run Pugs all through the years. Suddenly every setup, every known handling quirk, everything will be different and teams will have to relearn how even the simplest adjustments affect the handling. (thinking Dyson never coming to grips with the RS Spyder that Penske ran so well)

  7. Chfrank

    November 16, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    I cannot buy a mid engined 911, but I can or could buy a Cayman. If the mid-engine is required for GTE why not race and promote are car already with the mid-engined layout the Cayman, and focus the 911 as a 2+2 GT and make the mid-engined car the ultimate performance oriented model below the 918. A 718RS 6 cylinder would be magic! Ferdinand proved mid-engine was the platform for ultimate performance with the Auto-Union and Cistitallia Grand Prix cars. I would buy a 718-GT4 RS in a heart beat.

    • StueyB83

      November 16, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      Nobody complained when the 911 GT1 was released.. There was a road car version of that too!

    • Jae

      November 21, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      I believe it’s the size of the car (718) that Porsche doesn’t like. Also they use racing to push the 911 sales. The 911 honestly probably cost Porsche not much more to build than the 718. With that said they make a larger profit on the 911.

  8. mvez

    November 17, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    The fact is, if they could have adopted the bigger rear diffuser, they would have likely kept the rear engine layout. It’s not like rear engine layout didn’t work. They swept championships in IMSA and WEC with the rear engine configuration, against “mid-engine” cars. It was the aero changes in 2016 that let the other cars outperform it.

    It’s the AERO limitation that pushed them to move the engine inboard.

    The GT3-R is an awesome piece of kit, and in the right hands, every bit as fast as any other GT3 car for sale today. The rear engine layout is just fine.

    If you guys want a mid-engine Porsche, then go buy a GT4. I had one, it’s brilliant, but it’s still no GT3. Just sayin.

    • Larry

      November 19, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      It’s no GT3 simply because Porsche will never give it the engine that the GT3 has.

      It has many of the suspension pieces and the steering, but not the engine.

      A street GT4 with the exact same engine as the GT3 would be a better car.

      Not knocking the rear engine, and I love the 911s, but I really do prefer my midengined Cayman.

  9. Rennsport4.4tV8

    November 17, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Man, that is one sick Cayman.

  10. Luna

    November 18, 2016 at 7:36 am

    The most illegal Porsche ever built.

  11. Keith

    November 18, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Wow people will just cry about any thing won’t you?

  12. Jae

    November 19, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Reading all the post is very eye opening that opinions verses what actually happens during homogation. Porsche has alot of political power with FIA/ACO and therefore can have a little bit of help when it comes to the rule book. Read previous years rules and see how verbiage changes. In order for Porsche to continue to compete and have a chance at winning the rules were left slightly open to allow the engine issue to be settle from previous protest Porsche have made in the past. Remember the 90’s when the 911 GT2 had to get increasingly larger air restrictiors because it was the only turbo car? That’s because the rules changed based off of Ferrari’s and BMW’s protest. Porsche has to keep the street 911 rear engine to keep the loyal fan boy crowd happy but that formula has become.. well rubbish. Just like what was said above about Aston moving the engine back Porsche did the same but opposite. The firewall issue isn’t one since it doesn’t say firewall anymore. For any of you guys that are worried about your said teams. Don’t. Porsche even with an increase displacement can’t compete with overboost from the other makes.

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