IMSA: Porsche GT Team fields cars with legendary design at Road Atlanta

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Painted with the distinctive blue and red-orange stripes, the two Porsche 911 RSR racers evoke memories of the 911 GT1, which scored overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998. Twenty years ago, an identical model started from pole position in the famous Road Atlanta race. It was at the inaugural running of the event under the name “Petit Le Mans”. Facing Ferrari, BMW, Ford and Chevrolet, the Porsche GT Team now aims to build on those unforgettable successes with the two race vehicles from Weissach.

For many drivers, the 4.088-kilometre racetrack in the US state of Georgia ranks high in the popularity stakes. The so-called “esses” (turns 2 through 5) in the first sector pose a huge challenge for drivers. Courage and utmost precision combined with a perfect car setup are essential in this fast passage. At the 20 races (each over ten hours or 1,000 kilometres) contested here so far, Porsche has scored a total of 23 class wins. In 2015, the works team from Weissach beat even the prototypes to clinch overall victory. “Petit Le Mans” is also the final race of the North American Endurance Cup (NAEC). In this competition, which encompasses the races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta, the Porsche GT Team currently ranks second overall.

The Porsche drivers

Each of the two Porsche 911 RSR vehicles will be driven by three pilots at the long-distance race at Road Atlanta. Sharing the cockpit of the No. 911 Porsche are Patrick Pilet (France), Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki. In March, these three won the Sebring 12-hour race. After securing second at Laguna Seca, Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) will be joined in the No. 912 cockpit by Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France). The customer sport team Wright Motorsports fields the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT3 R with works driver Patrick Long from the USA, Porsche Selected Driver Christina Nielsen (Denmark) and Robert Renauer from Austria. Sharing driving duties in the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 R sports car of Park Place Motorsports is the works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) and the two Americans Spencer Pumpelly and Timothy Pappas.

The Porsche vehicles

For the second race season, the 911 RSR was optimised primarily in the setup. Depending on the size of the restrictor, the motor, which is positioned in front of the rear axle, puts out around 375 kW (510 hp). The particularly large rear diffuser combined with a top-mounted rear wing provides strong downforce and aerodynamic efficiency. The ca. 368kW (500 hp) 911 GT3 R was designed for worldwide GT3 series. The vehicle is campaigned by customer teams, for whom Porsche has provided an evo-kit in 2018.

The schedule

The race takes off on Saturday, 13 October, at 11.10 hrs local time (17.10 hrs CEST) and can be viewed live outside the USA and Canada on

This is the IMSA SportsCar Championship

The IMSA SportsCar Championship, a sports car race series contested in the USA and Canada, was run in 2014 for the first time. The series was formed from the merger of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Series. Sports prototypes and sports cars start in three different classes: GTLM (GT Le Mans), GTD (GT Daytona) and P (Prototype). The Porsche 911 RSR runs in the GTLM class, with the Porsche 911 GT3 R contesting the GTD class.

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