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.