Porsche has a new race-ready 911 ready for the track.
Why it matters
The 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours will embrace GT3-class cars, and Porsche is ready.
If there's one constant in the world of endurance racing, it's change. And with a big push for production-based GT3 racing both here in North America and in Europe, Porsche's showing its readiness with a new race-ready 911. The 911 GT3 R borrows a lot of learnings from the
The new Porsche 911 GT3 R is based on the current-generation road-going 911, the 992. But, as this thing is destined only for the track, it naturally received extensive modifications. It has a 4.2-liter flat-six non-turbo engine, like that in the RSR, here producing up to 565 horsepower. However, since that'll be reduced based on each series' playfield-leveling Balance of Power regulations, the focus on the new GT3 R is actually on driveability.
That engine is rear-mounted in traditional 911 fashion but has been tilted forward by 5.5 degrees, making room for a new downforce-generating rear diffuser. By rearranging other components the entire underfloor of the car has been smoothed and optimized, producing yet more downforce without drag. That, plus a new swan-neck rear wing and longer wheelbase, should extend rear tire life, crucial for endurance races like the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Revised suspension too has a focus on driveability, with five-way adjustable KW dampers plus new brakes from AP. Inside, the driver's seat was moved towards the middle of the car, improving weight distribution, safety and ergonomics. That seat is now bolted to the chassis, the steering wheel and pedals move to adjust for different drivers, and the 911 GT3 Cup's 10.3-inch display is used here to keep the driver in the know.
Speaking about the new car, Sebastian Golz, 911 GT3 R Project Manager at Porsche Motorsport, said: "Our task was less about making the new 911 GT3 R even faster -- the classification within performance windows set by the BoP quickly cancels out this advantage. For us, it was primarily about our customers being able to drive the racing car fast for longer."
Where will they be able to drive it? Well, the 911 GT3 R, which costs $567,210 by the way, will make its racing debut at the 2023 Daytona 24 Hour endurance race and will continue on in other IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races. In 2024, the FIA World Endurance Championship will fully embrace the GT3 template, meaning the car will be at Le Mans in another two years' time. It has some big shoes to fill: Porsche's 911 RSR won the GTE Pro category there just last month.