The new Porsche 911 RSR is looking very promising at the 24 Hours of Daytona. The 510 hp GT racer, which Porsche Motorsport developed from scratch at Weissach, celebrates its race debut at the Daytona International Speedway. The Porsche GT Team campaigns two 911 RSR in the particularly strongly represented GTLM class of the world famous long distance classic in Florida.
The 911 RSR with the starting number 911 shared by Patrick Pilet (France), Dirk Werner (Germany) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) took up the race on Saturday afternoon from the third grid row. Although at one point punctures and a drive-through penalty relegated the vehicle to the back of the 55-strong field, once rain set in after six hours of racing it made up ground and even took the lead. After a third of the season-opening round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the #911 racer was running in 8th position. The second 911 RSR with the number 912 also led the GTLM field for several laps. Kévin Estre (France), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Richard Lietz (Austria), who were also hampered by tyre damage, are currently in 6th place.
The best 911 GT3 R fielded by customer teams in the GTD class is the vehicle run by CORE Autosports with Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) in second position. Two of the 500+hp customer sports racers, which were designed by Porsche on the basis on the 911 GT3 RS production sports car, have already retired: The 911 GT3 R of Manthey Racing was sidelined with a technical problem; the vehicle run by Park Place Motorsports became the victim of an accident. Before being shunted out of contention by a prototype, the vehicle had at times held the lead and looked good for a podium result.
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “We didn’t quite start the race as we’d planned, with both 911 RSR experiencing difficulties with the right front tyre. All in all we had to change the tyres six times. Afterwards we tweaked several things on the car and in the meantime had no problems. We could then re-establish our rhythm. At times we even led the race. The drivers’ feedback is positive. We still have 16 hours to go, but so far everything looks okay. We had a bit of bad luck in the GTD class when one of our hot-favourite 911 GT3 R cars got caught up in an accident and we lost another one through a technical defect. But the other three are still in the race. Let’s see how things go during the night.”