Wright Motorsports team principal John Wright believes Porsche has “responded” in delivering several key customer-requested enhancements to its new 911 GT3 R.
The new-for-2019 GT3 car, unveiled during last weekend’s Nürburgring 24, will become the German manufacturer’s latest customer racing offering, replacing the first-generation 991-based model that debuted three years ago.
For Wright, who attended last weekend’s launch in Germany, the longtime Porsche entrant feels the new car is a significant step forward.
“We had some inside information on some of the changes but to see it in person… Porsche has responded to what we need for the product to be competitive in North America, and I guess worldwide,” Wright told Sportscar365.
“A lot of the modifications they implemented are fantastic. It’s a really nice piece.
“It’s not just one thing, it’s the whole package. We have more adjustability in the car. The ease of endurance racing with removing the body panels and how modular the car is, is going to help us in the endurance arena.
“It appears the aerodynamics are more efficient as well. And the motor has been improved.
“It’s not just an evolution kit; It’s clear that Porsche realized they needed to make a big change and they have obviously have put the effort into it.”
Development of the car, based on the new road-going Porsche 911 GT3 RS, began 18 months ago, and not only incorporates new design elements but also improved serviceability for customer teams.
According to Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, the runtime for the car’s 4.0-liter flat-six engine and upgraded gearbox, has been increased to 60 hours.
Wright said that’s just one of the benefits the new car provides to customers.
“It’s expensive to go endurance racing,” he said. “Being able to extend the life of the product we race is important to the amortized size of the budget.
“Any of that helps us being able to sell programs to come into the endurance market.
“Everything from the driver ergonomics to the aero to the modular side of the car to the amortized side of the budget, Porsche has responded to.
“They’ve obviously taken their notes, as Porsche does, and realized what they needed to do, and we made it happen.”
Expansion to Two-Car GTD Entry a “Big Step”
Wright said he’s been pleased with his team’s return to endurance racing this year and recent expansion to a two-car Porsche GT Daytona class effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The Ohio-based squad debuted its second Porsche 911 GT3 R for Michael Schein and Wolf Henzler in the recent round at Mid-Ohio, with the car slated to complete the remainder of the two-hour and 40-minute races this year.
“It always tests us as a team and the human resource it takes,” Wright said. “Mid-Ohio was a big step for us because it was the first time we had the whole product at the track, being two GT3 Rs and four [Porsche 911 GT3] Cup cars.
“There’s only three key personnel that does crossover from Cup to R on the engineering side. We’re expanding that department to be able to make each program self-sufficient.
“It just shows the depth of what we have right now. We are the only team that is doing it at this level.”