Porsche 997 GT3 RSR retires: new 991 RSR in development

Following the departure of Flying Lizards motorsport, Porsche has announced the end of development on the Porsche 997 GT3 RSR race car , so engineers can concentrate on the 991 RSR, expected in 2014. The Porsche release runs thus:

With a new race car based on the new, seventh-generation Porsche 911 (type 991) street car on the horizon, Porsche Motorsport has announced it will wind down development for the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (type 997) – a very successful venture which began in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2005.

Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “Just like our recent Porsche RS Spyder program, we must appreciate the success of our race cars during their product cycle, but move on to new models when it is time to do so. The venerable Porsche 911 GT3 RSR has provided our Porsche customer teams with numerous wins and championships, and will remain competitive in 2013. Porsche will support the customer teams which continue to race that car, but the time has come and we now must focus our research and engineering development efforts on its successor, which makes its North American debut in 2014.”

In North America, the development partner helping to design, engineer and implement improvements in the current 911 RSR race car has been Flying Lizard Motorsports in the GT class of the ALMS. This partnership now is discontinued.

Jens Walther, president of Porsche Motorsport North America, was quick to point out that customer teams still wishing to run the current 911 race car will be able to continue to do so in the American Le Mans Series with full trackside engineering and parts support. PMNA shop service will also continue in 2013.

“We will be at the track with our usual support for 2013, and some of our current customer teams have already committed to run the 911 GT3 RSR (type 997) next year. Each of the current teams will be announcing their plans as we get closer to the ALMS Winter Test in February,” he said.

A few juicy discussion points there. The 991 RSR will debut in North America in 2014, so will it race in Europe next year? If Lizards are out on development, who will be in? Now there’s an LMP car coming, might we see a team like Penske running 918s and 911s across America through 2014? Might Porsche choose to do it themselves?

Interesting times.

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