Porsche unveil 911 RSR 2019 at Goodwood Festival of Speed

by Vince Pettit
Porsche 911 RSR 2019 - Goodwood Festival of Speed

Porsche have unveiled their brand new 911 RSR 2019 model which will be used in defence of their FIA World Endurance Championship title in the 2019/20 season and the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

From the outside the most visible change for the new model is the exhausts outlets are now positioned on the side of the car, just in front of the rear wheels. With this change there is now a new optimised diffuser at the rear of the car amongst other aerodynamic tweaks.

A new livery for the 911 RSR was also unveiled during the first public run of the car at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of speed featuring a predominantly white base along with a light grey accent and a red stripe running down the centre of the car and along the sills. The sister car in the WEC will feature the white and grey colours reversed plus a black rear wing and mirrors to help fans differentiate the two cars.

“Ninety-five percent of the car is new”

Porsche 911 RSR 2019
Credit: Hoch Zwei / Juergen Tap

“Since 2017 the 911 RSR has yielded us more than 20 class wins in the world championship as well as at long-distance series in North America and Europe. Our job in the development was to make a very good car even better. The engineers at Weissach have perfectly implemented this in every aspect,” said Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Porsche Motorsport.

“We never rest on our laurels,” explained Pascal Zurlinden, Director GT Factory Motorsport. “We’ve extensively analysed all factory and customer campaigns with the Porsche 911 RSR.

Our engineers noticed room for improvement in a number of areas. We have made significant progress in the development of our car for the next three-year homologation period, especially in the complex areas of driveability, efficiency, durability and serviceability.”

While at a glance it may not look like much has changed from the 2017 RSR, but there has been a whole host of changes across the car.

Porsche 911 RSR 2019
Credit: Hoch Zwei / Juergen Tap

Ninety-five percent of the car is new. The only components that we’ve kept unchanged from the predecessor are the headlights, brake system, clutch, driver’s seat and parts of the suspension. Tests so far have run excellently. We’re already looking forward to the first races of the 2019/2020 FIA WEC season.” added Zurlinden.

A new six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine is at the heart of the car, delivering 515 hp from 4,194cc power plant, the largest ever boxer engine to be mounted in a Porsche 911 as standard.

A new weight-optimised six-speed constant mesh gearbox delivers the power and presents a faster gear-shift time.

Inside the new 911 RSR 2019

Porsche 911 RSR 2019
Credit: Juergen Tap

Porsche engineers have been hard at work in the cockpit of the car, with a focus on better usability for the driver, aided by feedback from the drivers that have been using the 2017 version of the car since its launch.

While usability was a priority there has been further developments in active and passive safety features including an optimised roll cage and additional impact protection for the legs in the event of an accident.

The collision warning system helps to alert drivers of incoming prototype cars early enough to avoid a potential accident.

From CAD to racetrack

Porsche 911 RSR 2019
Credit: Hoch Zwei / Juergen Tap

“We’ve been working on the concept of the new Porsche 911 RSR since 2017. The first designs were created using CAD software. In August 2018, the best racing nine-eleven to date completed its first kilometres on the factory’s own test track in Weissach,” explained Pascal Zurlinden.

Since the wheels turned at the first test a number of Porsche works drivers have taken to the wheel of the new 911 RSR whilst engineers worked in parallel to fine-tune the aerodynamics in the Porsche wind tunnel

“Another milestone was our long-run in March 2019 at Le Castellet, where we included the works teams from both the WEC and IMSA. We covered more than 6,000 kilometres over 30 hours without any technical hiccups. The drivers and engineers were very satisfied. The car received its racing homologation on 1 July,” added Zurlinden. 

UK home to the world premiere of the Porsche 911 RSR 2019

Porsche 911 RSR 2019
Credit: Porsche

Presented to the public at the Goodwood Festival of Speed yesterday (6 July), the 911 RSR 2019 will also get its race debut on UK shores when it takes part in the season opening FIA World Endurance Championship race at Silverstone on 1 September.

Before the race they Porsche factory team will head to Barcelona for the two-day prologue in Barcelona on 23/24 July.

For the 2019/20 season Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre, Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz will feature as the main drivers of the two-car entry with additional driver to be confirmed for the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans nearer the time.

The Porsche North America factory team will switch to the new 911 RSR to fight for the fight for the GTLM category for the 2020 season.

Customer teams will be able to use the car from the start of the 2020/21 FIA WEC season.

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