2017 Porsche 911 RSR development

Could we see a mid-engined 911 racing in 2017?  According to this story in Sportscar365, it a possibility.  Porsche apparently is taking 2016 off from the full factory GTE support in the FIA WEC series to get working on the 2017 911RSR model.  Development has already been underway with on-track testing targeted for the middle of 2016.  20150926-26211645248

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the article is the acknowledgement that Porsche has looked seriously at a mid-engined concept and has spoken with the FIA about the idea of moving the engine more forward than the road version of the car.  There surely will be a vigorous discussion and debate about the rules and the Balance of Performance.  Recent experiences with the BMW Z4 and Ford GT will either help Porsche’s case or give ammunition to argue against waivers.

Presumably, Porsche is wedded to the rear-engine platform of the 911 for marketing purposes which makes moving the engine forward for racing purposes a bit tricky. The Cayman mid-engined platform appears to be reserved for customers and club racers rather than a full factory platform.

Rumors have circulated for years about a Ferrari figher non-hybrid 918 type platform, known as the 960 or 961.  Early 2013 was really the last time anyone made noise about such a prospect.     Could the end result be a resurrection of the GT1 platform?  Stranger things have happened.  If the crowds surrounding the GT1 and GT1-98 at the Rennsport Reunion are any indicator, there still is an incredible aura around those platforms.

WEC Works Porsche 911 GTE program done?

Motorsport-Total.com out of Germany reports that the Porsche works WEC 911 GTE program run by Olaf Manthey will not continue into 2016 and Manthey will retire from active motorsports activities.  The decision is based, in part at least, on the Volkswagen diesel emissions matter.  Sportscar365 has published a similar story with some additional speculation.  The GTE program has been “under review” prior to the VW matter, and there is some speculation that the pull-back is really more about focusing on a mid-engined solution for 2017.  Porsche has not yet confirmed anything, so stay tuned…

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The Manthey Racing garage and Olaf Manthey at LeMans, June 2014.

Random 919 and 911RSR demo run photos from Rennsport Reunion V

Porsche brought its 919 and 911RSR to the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September.  Friday saw leisurely parade laps behind a camera car, but Nick Tandy (919) and Fred Makowiecki (911RSR) put in several laps at speed on Saturday.  The 919 was stunningly fast, but rumor suggested that it wasn’t even making use of its hybrid electric power.  The 911RSR was positively brutal – particularly launching off of the last turn onto the front straight. How important was it for Porsche to have the LeMans winning 919 and the 911RSR (and their drivers) at the Rennsport Reunion event?  After announcing the event, Porsche moved the date to accommodate the WEC schedule.  Judging from the fan reaction at the track and on social media, it was the right decision.

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Canon 5D Mark III, 200mm, ISO100, 1/1250 sec, f/3.2
September 26, 2015
Porsche Rennsport Reunion V, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Exhibition laps from Nick Tandy (Porsche 919) and Fred Makowiecki (911RSR)
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Canon 5D Mark III, 200mm, ISO100, 1/160 sec, f/10
September 26, 2015
Porsche Rennsport Reunion V, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Fred Makowiecki in the Porsche 911RSR for exhibition laps20150926-26211946252 Canon 5D Mark III, 70mm,  ISO100, 1/500 sec, f/8
September 26, 2015
Porsche Rennsport Reunion V, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Pit lane following exhibition laps of the 919 (Tandy) and 911RSR (Makowiecki)