Take a Walk Around Porsche's Mid-Engine 911 RSR With Factory Driver Kevin Estre
The Daytona 24 hour race is just a week away—and here is Porsche's new contender.
Porsche's new GTLM and GTE class contender, the 2017 911 RSR, first surfaced back at the Los Angeles Auto Show last fall. Since then, we barely saw the car at all until the pre-season "Roar Before the 24" test a couple of weeks ago. The Porsche was perhaps not the fastest car in its class during that test, but it was immediately on pace, and Porsche tends to test for race pace rather than outright speed. We likely won't know the car's true capabilities until qualifying runs on Thursday. Even then, the car will not show its true colors until it is mixing up through traffic on Saturday and Sunday during the race proper. Qualifying doesn't really matter when there are 24 long hours of racing to be conducted.
Kevin Estre, one of Porsche's newer GT racing hires (having driven endurance races for the squad in 2016 as well), has been drafted in to drive the 911 RSR during the 24-hour classic endurance race. Estre will team with Laurens Vanthoor for the complete IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and will be joined by Richard Lietz for the endurance rounds. This #912 car will be the trio's shared office next weekend, so let's take a tour, thanks to Racer.com, of what they're dealing with. We've already talked about some of the car's aerodynamic changes in comparison with the outgoing car, but Kevin also talks us through some of the safety changes made, as well as the new air conditioning system and rearview camera system.
Being the intense detail oriented fan that I am, I've spent nearly every waking minute since 'the Roar' looking at photos of this car both on track and in the garages. From some of these photos, the car appears to have a pushrod-style prototype rear suspension setup. I'd really love it if Porsche would release some detail photos of how that works. Of course, I'm sure their competitors would also like to see such a thing, so it's unlikely coming anytime soon.
Good luck Porsche, good luck Kevin. The off-season is over—let's go racing.