Porsche 911 RSR: racer gets fizzy farewell at IMSA

Published: 18 September 2019

► The 991.2 gets Cokey farewell 
► For its last race at Petit Le Mans
► Another smashing livery

At Goodwood this year, Porsche revealed an all-new 911 RSR based on the 992, but the previous – and much better-sounding – RSR is still racing in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) series, and Stuttgart is giving it a stylish send off.

Porsche has decided to join forces with Coca-Cola once again, and the result is the lovely red and white livery you see above. It just fits, doesn’t it? But that’s partly because the colour scheme has been worn by racing Porkers before: the Coca Cola livery featured on the Porsche 935 and 962 throughout the 80s.

 The old car will fly its new colours at the Petit Le Mans race in Road Atlanta, the final race of the IMSA season – and the last in IMSA for this spec 911. 

‘The anniversary season for IMSA comes to an end with a big highlight,’ said Pascal Zurlinden, Porsche’s director of factory motorsport. ‘It would be a dream come true if we could secure the title with a top result – especially considering that it will be the last race outing for this version of the Porsche 911 RSR in the IMSA series.’

What’s about the new 911 RSR then?

Revealed at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, it’s based on the 991.2 this time – not the 992 – but 95% of the car is new, just not the headlights. Like the 2017 car it replaces, the new 2019 RSR features a naturally aspirated flat-six – but this time at 4.2-litre – and like the precious race car it’s more mid-engined than rear-engined like a traditional 911.

With the previous car, Porsche engineers moved away from the traditional 911 layout in order to squeeze more downforce-giving diffuser under the car – a must in the highly competitive GTE class. 

What’s more, the new RSR now has side-exiting exhausts which emerge just before the rear wheels – allowing for even more venturi-effect magic under the car. That change also brings a weigh saving. We saw the new 911 take victory at this year’s first WEC in Silverstone, but it didn’t sound as good. We doubt the bods at Porsche will mind, though… 

The most obvious difference here is the new RSR’s 991.2-body, weaponized here for performance. It’s undergone a similar transformation to the previous 991 race car, so it’s sprouted new splitters and winglets, while air-intakes and louvres have emerged. 

So it’s not a 992?

No it’s not, and that’s because of homologation rules. Simply put, the new 992 GT3 needs to be on sale for Porsche to make a RSR version – and it doesn’t exist yet. What’s more, this car has taken around two years to develop which means we’ll now have to wait until at least 2021 to see an extreme-looking 992 GTE car. Never mind. 

The two-year gestation of the 991.2 RSR also includes a 33 hour test that took place at the Paul Ricard circuit this March. As you’d expect with a climate of competition and BoP rules, Porsche has been cagey with lap times, but says it’s significantly faster in ‘unBopped’ form. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes