2018 Porsche 911 (991) RSR #91 Pilots: R. Lietz, G. Bruni, F. Makowiecki Team: Porsche GT Team Race: 16th GC (2nd LMGTE-Pro class) at Le Mans in 2018 Spark - 43LM93 (resin)
You can say that Porsche’s racing tradition started on June 23rd, 1951, at La Sarthe. That was the first 24 Heures du Mans with a Porsche in the race, and they started winning. Since then, it has been 19 overall victories and another 84 class wins. Consequently, Porsche is famed for their race cars as much as their sports cars. And that’s because the manufacturer uses the race track as a proving ground for their passenger cars. Like most of Porsche’s models, the race version of the 911 shares a lot with the current passenger car. With that, the 911 GT3 RS is the basis for their racing machine, the GT3 RSR. But in 2016 Porsche embarked in a different proposal. They started working on a track-only model, without a street version for the car. Though visually very similar to a “regular” 911, the new 911 RSR is quite different.
The big news is that the 911 RSR is a mid-engined car. In other words, the engine sits in front of the rear axle. Well, Porsche doesn’t call it a “mid-engined car”. After all, practically speaking, the engine is still on the rear. However, that was enough for some purists to complain that the car is no longer a true 911… Yes, the engine placement makes it a very different animal, but Porsche didn’t have much choice. If they still wanted to compete with the likes of Corvette C7-R, Aston GTE, Ford GT and Ferrari 488 GTE, the new design was necessary. Repositioning the engine improved rear down-force and subsequently reduced rear-tire wear. For instance, this new setup permits a more aggressive curve handling, with faster exits. The gains achieved are just marginal, but nowadays shaving off tenths of seconds is fundamental.
The 911 RSR debuted at La Sarthe in 2017, as a works car only (LMGTE-Pro class). One car DNF and the other managed a 21st place, fourth in class. First of the last, so not totally bad for it’s maiden race. For 2018 the RSR was back, but this time with cars in the GTE-Am class and four works cars. In two of the works car, cars #91 and #92, to the utter delight of fans, Porsche used a vintage livery. RSR #91 here came in the traditional Rothmans paint scheme, and managed a 16th place, second in LMGTE-Pro. In scale the #91 the usual friggintastic Spark affair, with a wonderful detail level. In fact, I was so excited about the car that I also got the Pink Pig #92 as a twofer…