2008 Porsche RS Spyder Evo Pilots: C. Elgaard, K. Poulsen, E. Collard Race: 10th in GC (1st in LMP2 class) at Le Mans in 2009 Team: Team Essex Altaya - PV17 (diecast)
By the end of the 90s, Porsche was in a financial tight spot. In fact, a very tight tight spot. The 911 wasn’t selling enough, and insiders even feared bankruptcy. For instance, things got to a point that they almost shutdown their motorsport department. In fact, it was only afloat due to the racing versions of the 911 GT3, however no new projects were coming out. Their last sport prototype (the 9R3 “LMP 2000”) was axed in 1999. Eventually Stuttgart recovered (with the Cayenne), and motorsports became a priority again. However, in the early 2000s LMP1 class racing favored too much diesel engines, so instead Porsche looked at LMP2. And, another big difference between the two classes was that LMP2 was for privateer teams. With that, in 2004 they began the 9R6 project.
The 9R6, later called the Porsche Spyder RS, had a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, covered by a carbon fiber body. The engine, called MR6, was also completely new. It was a 3397 cm³ normally aspirated V8 with DOHC and 32 valves. Longitudinally mounted at mid-ships, like the gearbox it was a stressed member of the chassis. Since LMP2 racing was only for privateers, Porsche could not field the car in a works team. So they contacted Penske Racing to do so. Penske debuted the car in 2005 at Laguna Seca, with a class win. With subsequent rule changes Penske and Porsche continued to develop the car, and in 2008 they released the Evo version. Team Essex bought from Porsche one of the new Spyder Evo in 2008. And using the RS Spyder Evo #31 (chassis #9R6-709) came in first place in the LMP2 class at Le Mans in 2009.
In scale the car is not a bad model, basically as good as my ORECA 01. The paint job is pretty good, and you even get marked tires. Of course that add-ons (mirrors, wing, aerials) are on the thick side, but they’re honestly not terrible. However, being a class winner I think the W-143 Garage deserves a better version of it.