DETROIT — official team release — Photo courtesy IMSA/Alex Job Racing —
Less than 15 days after its world debut, the first two new Porsche 911 GT3 R racecars designed for customer GT3 series around the world have been ordered for North American competition.
In fact, following the car’s introduction to much fanfare and media acclaim on May 15 during the famed 24-hour race at Germany’s Nürburgring circuit, the first two orders came to Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) via longtime Porsche preparer Alex Job Racing (AJR).
Job placed the orders on behalf of WeatherTech Racing and Team Seattle, while announcing their plans to return to the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship for 2016 – the first team to do so.
“We have been with Porsche for over 26 years and we are ready to go into the next phase of sport car racing together,” Job said. “David MacNeil and Gabe Newell agreed that the new Porsche was the way to go for the future. This early commitment will give us an opportunity to get familiar with the new car and begin our testing program in early fall.”
WeatherTech-owner MacNeil has signed his name for one of the rear-engine racers for use in 2016. The familiar white and black WeatherTech livery on the No. 22 AJR entry of Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Illinois) and Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) will race in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class.
“The new 911 GT3 R is the evolution of the platform that we have been anticipating,” MacNeil added. “Porsche is committed to keeping the brand at the head of the pack in sports car racing in the U.S. and we are proud to be able to be one of the team’s that is at the forefront of the cars development for competition.”
Team Seattle owner Gabe Newell, who also uses the Florida-based racing team to prepare his No. 23 GTD class entry for drivers Ian James (Phoenix, Arizona) and Mario Farnbacher (Germany), has laid claim to another 911 GT3 R slated for delivery to these shores.
Based on the Porsche 911 GT3 RS production sports car, the purpose built 911 GT3 R develops more than 500 horsepower. Special attention has been paid to lightweight design, better aerodynamic efficiency, reducing consumption, improving handling and further optimizing safety as well as lowering service and spare parts costs with the car.
Adopted from its production sibling, the 911 GT3 R features the distinctive double-bubble roof and the lengthened wheelbase, when compared to the previous generation 911 road-going car. This helps balancing weight distribution and helps create predictable handling particularly in fast corners in comparison to the preceding GT3 R. By applying systematic lightweight solutions for the body, add-on parts, and suspension, the engineers significantly optimized the center of gravity position of the GT3 R compared to the earlier model.
The lightweight body design of the 911 GT3 RS production sports car featuring intelligent aluminum-steel composite construction has proven to be the ideal basis for the race car. The roof, front cover and fairing, wheel arches, doors, side and tail sections as well as the rear cover are made of particularly light carbon-fiber composite material (CFRP). All windows – and for the first time even the windshield – consist of polycarbonate.
Powering the new 911 GT3 R is a cutting-edge four-liter flat-six unit which is mainly identical to the high-performance production engine of the road-legal 911 GT3 RS. Direct Fuel Injection as well as variable valve timing technology ensure the optimized use of fuel. Moreover, the normally aspirated engine offers significantly better drivability and a broader usable rev range.
Power from the rear engine is transferred to the 12.2-inch rear wheels via a Porsche sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox. As in the GT road-going models of the 911, the driver changes gears via shift paddles conveniently positioned on the steering wheel.
“Alex Job Racing has been a Porsche stalwart for many years, so it’s only fitting that this is the first team to announce plans to field a pair of the breathtaking new Porsche 911 GT3 Rs in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship,” said Scott Atherton, president of IMSA. “Both the WeatherTech and Team Seattle programs have established themselves as world class over the years, and we expect that will continue for many more years. On behalf of IMSA, I extend my congratulations to Jens Walther, Alex Job, David MacNeil, Gabe Newell and all involved in this fantastic project.”
CREDIT: Alex Job Racing / IMSA Cmmunications