While attention has been deservedly focused on automakers developing the next generation of sports prototypes, international GT racing is also undergoing a big transformation. With the GT3 category set to become the top production-based class across every major sports car championship, manufacturers are launching new cars to give themselves a better chance at staying ahead of the competition. Porsche is the latest manufacturer to launch a new GT3 challenger. Feast your eyes on the 911 GT3 R.
It’s the newest iteration of Porsche’s venerable 911 GT3 racer, based on the current 992 generation of the road-going Porsche 911. The GT3 R will make its competition debut at the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The German manufacturer used knowledge gathered from its full range of competition 911s to optimize every aspect of its latest racing vehicle.
The most prominent development with the new model is the increase in engine displacement. The 992-based GT3 R will feature the same water-cooled flat-six engine configuration, punched out from 4.0 liters to 4.2, making a claimed 565 horsepower. Of course, this number will vary as race organizers use Balance of Performance adjustments to attempt to create a more level field among competitors, so optimizing torque output across the rev range was vital for Porsche.
Sebastian Golz, Porsche Motorsport’s 911 GT3 R Project Manager said:
We hit the bull’s eye with the enormously successful predecessor. Accordingly, the bar for its successor is high. Our task was less about making the new 911 GT3 R even faster – the classification within performance windows set by the BoP quickly cancels out this advantage. For us, it was primarily about our customers being able to drive the racing car fast for longer. This requires durability and that’s why we focused predominantly on improved drivability. This is reflected in the new 4.2-liter engine’s broader usable rev band, more stable and constant aerodynamics and lower loads on the rear tires, which allow their potential to last longer.
Despite being in a different regulatory category, the new 911 GT3 R is effectively the successor to the 911 RSR built for the LM GTE class. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has adopted the GT3 ruleset for its fully professional GT class and the FIA World Endurance Championship will replace its LM GTE classes with GT3 machinery in 2024; GT3, though, still remains a customer racing category.
Volker Holzmeyer, President and CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America, has said, “Drivability is remarkably important to the wide range of drivers that we have competing here and that was a focus of the type 992 911 GT3 R. We have already had overwhelming interest in the car, and we are looking forward to seeing it turn its first wheel here soon.” For customer racing teams in North America, a new Porsche 911 GT3 R will cost $567,210.