Porsche’s new FIA GT3-spec contender will make its race debut sometime in the first half of 2015, likely as a two-car factory effort, it has been revealed.
Speaking to Sportscar365, Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser confirmed the new-gen Porsche 911 GT3 R is under development and has been testing, with the target of selling cars to customers by the second half of next year.
“We are working on this program,” Walliser told Sportscar365 during last weekend’s FIA WEC race in Bahrain. “We need the feedback from the FIA for the final judgement.
“At the moment, we’re making the introduction plan of when the car will race for the first time and at what event. After a successful event, we will start selling the car.”
Walliser said the car will debut as a factory effort, with the Porsche-owned Team Manthey squad being “one of the closest possibilities.”
A two-car program appears to also be the likely route, although a final decision has not yet been made.
“If you’re running in a race and you have an incident… you should have two cars,” Walliser said. “Definitely, the car needs to get some track time and some real racing before we start selling it.”
Walliser would not confirm if they have decided on a particular race for the 911 GT3 R’s debut but said it would be in Europe, leaving only a few likely options.
He downplayed a potential debut in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Other events such as VLN and/or the Nürburgring 24 could be a possibility, given the timeframe.
The car was recently spotted testing on the Nordschleife.
“In GT3, you need a closer look on what series because the Balance of Performance is different between all the series,” he said.
“Even if it’s FIA homologated, they have different weights and restrictors than the international GT series. Blancplain is doing their own Balance of Performance tests. It’s a tricky category.
“That’s why it’s open to which event [it will debut]. Because it will also depend on the Balance of Performance for next season.”
Walliser confirmed the car took part in the FIA’s 2015 BoP test at Ladoux in France, although it has yet to receive its final homologation.
The new 911 GT3 R’s official launch is not expected to come until early next year, with Walliser ruling out it breaking cover during Porsche’s Night of Champions celebration in Weissach next month.