The setup of the new Porsche 911 RSR for the 24 Hours of Daytona was again the main priority for the FACTORY team Porsche GT Team on day two of “The Roar before the Rolex 24”. The long distance classic on the Daytona International Speedway on 28/29 January marks the start of the 2017 IMSA SportsCar Championship, the most important sports car championship in North America. Five Porsche customer teams also used the official test at the Daytona International Speedway to prepare for the upcoming season. They will tackle the GTD class with the Porsche 911 GT3 R, which was designed for worldwide GT3 series on the basis of the 911 GT3 RS production sports car.
After a severe thunderstorm during the night, the racetrack was still wet on Saturday when the teams took up the first practice session under cloudy skies. The weather did not improve. In fact, strong winds accompanied the occasional showers and the spring temperatures from the previous day plummeted to ten degrees Celsius. Only over the course of the second session of the day did the rain stop and the track dry up. However, the Porsche GT Team made the most of the changeable weather conditions. The new Porsche 911 RSR, which celebrates its race debut at the Daytona 24 Hours, has conducted very few tests on a wet track. In this respect, day two of “The Roar before the Rolex 24” may not have been particularly fun for the fans, but for the Porsche engineers the three Saturday sessions yielded new and IMPORTANTinsights.
Sharing driving duties in the 911 RSR with the starting number 911 were again the Frenchmen Patrick Pilet and Frédéric Makowiecki with the new Porsche works driver Dirk Werner (Germany). The second 911 RSR (#912) was manned by Kévin Estre (France), Porsche newcomer Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Richard Lietz (Austria). These pairings represent the driver lineups for both the 24 Hours of Daytona as well as the second long distance classic of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the 12 Hours of Sebring contested on 18 March. Their works driver colleagues Wolf Henzler (Germany/TRG), Jörg Bergmeister (Germany/Park Place Motorsports), Patrick Long (USA/Core Autosport), Michael Christensen (Denmark/Alegra Motorsports) and Sven Müller (Germany/Manthey Racing) will complete the official Daytona test in the 911 GT3 R of Porsche customer teams, for whom they will also contest the 24-hour race.
Porsche Press Release