The new Porsche 911 GT3 R completed a successful maiden outing, with Nick Tandy and Fred Makowiecki taking the GT3 contender to a podium finish in Saturday’s VLN round at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The Porsche factory drivers enjoyed a relatively trouble-free run in the four-hour race, finishing third overall in a development version of the 2016-spec car that does not yet feature its new direct-injection engine.
“Our new car is already at very high level of development,” Tandy said. “Even though the result from our test run wasn’t in the foreground, I am very happy being on the podium. I had great fun with this car.”
Makowiecki added: “Our overall balance was good and it was fun to drive on this unique race track. Sure, there are a couple of areas that need optimizing but that’s completely normal when developing a new racing car.”
The test race, operated by Nordschleife veterans Manthey Racing, was deemed a good step forward in development, according to Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser.
“The first test outing of our new 911 GT3 R was promising,” he said. “Pure performance was not the only priority today.
“We are also looking at being able to offer our customers a reliable car that runs well in all conditions.
“The Nürburgring Nordschleife is excellently suited to put the chassis, body and systems under a stress test. And this works best under race conditions.”
Customer deliveries of the new 911 GT3 R are expected to begin in December, despite the new engine still undergoing dyno and track testing.
The car’s first major race will come in January’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.