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 its development program 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 worldwide, in making the announcement, explained that the current 911 race car will reach the end of its
product cycle, and, while support will continue for customer teams, further new component development will be discontinued in favor of resources
devoted to the all-new car.
“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,” said Mr. Kristen.
“The new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is slated to make its North American debut in 2014,” said Kristen.
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 at-the-track engineering and parts support. PMNAshop service from Porsche 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.
Walther also pointed out that the Flying Lizards have been a terrific development partner since they took on the role with Porsche Motorsport in
“Team owner Seth Neiman and his entire Flying Lizard Motorsports organization have helped both Porsche Motorsport and all our customer teams around the world by being our development partner in the U.S. Together we have won multiple championships in the ALMS. The team has assisted in testing everything from new engines and transmissions to the latest aero package we introduced earlier this year – all to improve the car for everyone. In the midst of all that, they won three straight ALMS GT championships in themost competitive class in sports car racing. We thank Seth and his team for that service, and hope their racing plans going forward continue to include Porsche,” Walther said.
“It’s impressive how the 911 GT3 RSR has developed from year to year. The lap times alone are astounding, because despite the restrictions imposed on us again and again by the regulations, the car just got faster every year,” says Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister, who has celebrated the majority of his successes at the wheel of the 911 GT3 RSR.
UPDATE: Flying Lizard Statement on Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Transition Announcement
Seth Neiman, Flying Lizard team principal said: “I and the entire Flying Lizard family would like to thank Porsche for their support and partnership over the last nine years. Together we have worked hard and have learned to rely on each other in critical moments, of which there have been many throughout our 100 races and multiple GT championships. Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Hartmut Kristen, Jens Walther, Uwe Brettel, Alwin Springer, Roland Kussmaul, Hans-Georg Breuer and many others at Porsche get our special thanks, along with the numerous Porsche employees and affiliates in Germany, Atlanta and Southern California who have been an integral part of our team, and with whom we have become close friends. Flying Lizard remains committed to sports car racing, and we look forward to announcing details of our 2013 racing program later this year.”