Following a race win and a successful test in a VLN race last month Porsche's 911 GT3 R Hybrid will lead the manufacturer's teams at the Nurburgring 24 Hours.
The car will be driven by a quartet of Porsche works drivers – Joerg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Patrick Long and Marco Holzer – and is a further developed version of the Hybrid machine that led eight hours of last year's 24 Hours around the formidable Nordschleife.
Organisers of the race significantly reined in the car for 2011, and though the six-cylinder combustion engine now only produces 448hp, after work to create a 20% decrease in weight and improve the efficiency of the hybrid system Porsche's engineers are optimistic of this year's car matching the lap times of its predecessor.
The hybrid set-up remains the same with two electric motors attached to the front axle recouping the energy that would normally be lost under braking. The energy is stored as kinetic energy by a flywheel spinning at up to 40,000rpm that is housed in a carbon fibre safety cell positioned on the passenger side of the cockpit.
Last year's hybrid system delivered 60 kilowatts, increased this year to 75, giving the drivers the option of nearly 200 extra horsepower that can either be delivered automatically under acceleration, or manually when the driver wants a burst of additional speed.
As well as the hybrid car Porsche will have numerous well supported cars at the race.
Multiple winners Manthey Racing have two cars in their distinctive yellow and green colours – one GT3 R and GT3 RSR. Both cars will be driven by another quartet of Porsche works men in Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Lucas Luhr.
Wolf Henzler – another Porsche works driver – will share the Falken Motorsport GT3 R with Peter Dumbreck, Martin Ragginger and Sebastian Asch. Richard Westbrook, Christian Menzel, Mike Stursberg and Hans Guido Riegel share the Haribo Manthey Racing entry.