The pair of factory Porsche 911 RSRs will complete IMSA’s 50th anniversary season next month at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta with another throwback livery, this time paying homage to Bob Akin’s legendary Coca-Cola Porsche 962.
Announced Tuesday at Coca-Cola’s global headquarters in Atlanta, the historic partnership will see the two CORE autosport-prepared Porsches run in the red with white colors that Akin made famous in the 1980s on Porsche machinery.
Wearing the Coca-Cola red with white “Dynamic Ribbon” on the hood, flanks and rear bumper, the two factory entries will look identical with the exception of their number plate and windshield banner.
Like the popular 962 of its times, both cars will ride on white BBS wheels as well as feature the familiar and era-appropriate “Coca-Cola” on the hood and “Coke Is It!” on the rear quarter panel.
The tie-in shares a number of synergies between the manufacturer, company and track, with Porsche Cars North America headquartered in Atlanta and Coca-Cola’s entire corporate history spent in the Georgia capital.
Road Atlanta opened in 1970 in part due to the financing of Arthur Montgomery, Jr., then president of the Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Company, with the 2.54-mile circuit always having been a “Coke track” through the years.
“Last fall, we kicked off the IMSA 50th Anniversary celebration with the fan-favorite Mobil 1 livery at Petit Le Mans,” said Pedro Mota, Vice President of Marketing for Porsche Cars North America.
“We began the 2019 season by highlighting still another longstanding and successful relationship with the famous red, white and blue ‘sweeps’ of Brumos Racing and Hurley Haywood.
“Now, as one last tribute to honor IMSA on their Golden Anniversary, we are bringing back yet another memorable livery… a local favorite: Coca-Cola.
“As an added benefit, we get to fondly recall Bob Akin, the gentleman who first brought Coca-Cola and Porsche together with the customer 935 and 962 race cars he successfully campaigned.”
According to Porsche’s director of factory motorsport Pascal Zurlinden, it’s “fantastic” to see the two brands work together.
“We definitely want to continue our shared success story that began in the 1980s,” he said.
“It would be a dream come true if we could secure the title with a top result – especially considering that it will be the last race outing for this version of the Porsche 911 RSR in the IMSA series.”
Fred Makowiecki will return to the No. 911 Porsche alongside Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy, with Mathieu Jaminet back with GT Le Mans class championship leaders Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 entry.
Porsche will clinch the GTLM manufacturers’ championship by just starting the race, with Bamber and Vanthoor needing to score eighth-place points or higher to win the drivers’ title.
France “Couldn’t Think of Better Way” to Celebrate #IMSA50 with two “Iconic” Brands
IMSA chairman Jim France, meanwhile, has praised Porsche for helping bring back one of the most “unforgettable” liveries in the sanctioning body’s history.
“I can’t think of a better way for fans to celebrate the final race of IMSA’s 50th Anniversary season by seeing two of the most iconic brands in the world – Porsche and Coca-Cola – bring back an unforgettable livery,” France said.
“Bob Akin was one of a kind, much like Porsche and Coca-Cola, and to see this livery at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for this year’s Motul Petit Le Mans will certainly be exciting for everyone.”