Porsche may not currently have a car in the top flight Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, but it will certainly be leading at least a few laps every race. Everyone’s favorite Stuttgart sports car manufacturer has stepped up to the plate to provide the series, including the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a pair of brand new 992-generation 911 Turbo S to operate as the series’ safety cars. The 2022 season kicks off this Friday at the 1000 Miles of Sebring, and the new safety cars will be there to make sure everything remains safe under yellow flag conditions.
The 911 Turbo S can’t hold a candle to the Toyota, Glickenhaus, or Alpine sports prototypes running at the front, but with 640 horsepower it’ll be plenty quick enough to maintain the pace under FCY. The Turbo S has a top speed of 205 miles per hour, which isn’t going to be tested during these events, but it does sprint from 0-60 in just 2.6 seconds, which will certainly come in handy when jumping out of the pit lane to collect the leaders after an accident. Of course the car has been fitted with the necessary electronics and exterior lighting needed to make it a proper safety car.
“The large LED element on the roof flashes amber when the safety car is operating. If necessary, we can switch the middle section to green,” explains Adam Kot, who is responsible for the running and maintenance of the safety cars at Porsche’s partner Manthey. “Compared to the road-going models, new switches have been installed in the centre console, as well as a red radio button on the steering wheel, a roll bar and two bucket racing seats with six-point safety belts,” continues Kot.
The drivers of the safety cars for the 2022 season remain unchanged with Pedro Couceiro from Portugal and Yannick Dalmas. Dalmas was on the Le Mans 24 winning team for Porsche in 1994, driving a Porsche 962 to victory.
For the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, Porsche will prepare an additional three 911 Turbo S to act as the safety cars for that race. Because of the length of the Le Mans circuit, multiple safety cars are deployed at the same time, splitting the track into smaller and more easy to manage segments.
“Supplying the safety cars is one aspect of our trusting collaboration with the FIA WEC organisation and the Le Mans organisers ACO,” says Alexander Stehlig, Director Factory Motorsport FIA WEC. “We’re delighted that from this year we’ll witness the extremely powerful and fast 911 Turbo S in action for incidents out on the track.”