Porsche is expecting to have between five to seven of its new 911 GT3 Rs on the grid in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona for the car’s North American race debut, according to Head of Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener will serve as the first official race for the German manufacturer’s new-for-2019 GT3 contender, which has already completed test races in VLN and 24H Series competition this year.
Walliser said the first batch of cars are due be delivered to North American customers in mid-December ahead of the mandatory Roar Before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 4-6.
“We’re working like hell to finish everything,” Walliser said. “Finishing the car means to have also the spare parts ready and this is ongoing.
“Production has started and I think we are on time.”
When asked how many cars he expect for the season-opener, Walliser said up to seven could take part, although is dependent on entry confirmations for what could end up being an over-subscribed field.
While yet to be announced, Wright Motorsports is expected to return to GT Daytona competition next year with the new car, while Park Place Motorsports is likely to take part in at least the season-opening round.
Sportscar365 understands that GMG Racing has also ordered the new Porsche, with confirmed orders for Pfaff Motorsports and Moorespeed, which have announced IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup programs for 2019.
“I think we will have a big move in IMSA to the sprint format,” Walliser said.
“If they get an entry for the long distance races, maybe they can refinance some of [the Sprint Cup costs] and run with a [different] lineup. I think this is the move at the moment.”
Walliser said more than 30 cars have already been sold globally, with the delivery cycle set to run until the end of March.
He ruled out the car making it official debut in January’s Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai, which occurs two weeks prior to Daytona, largely due to logistics.
“Dubai is too close, and then we decided what is more important? I think Daytona,” he said.