For ten years Porsche has fielded various iterations of the 991-generation 911 RSR in FIA WEC. After sixteen class victories since 2013, and a grand total of 62 races, the 911 RSR factory racing team bows out of FIA WEC, as the GTE Pro category sees its end. Among those sixteen class wins are three victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This is a prolific and long-enduring car, and while it saw a mechanical overhaul in 2017 that resulted in the mid-engine RSR we all know and love, it has been successful since its inception and fought hard even at an aerodynamic disadvantage. Porsche will not be replacing this car, as the GTE/GTLM style of racer has died a long and arduous death, but instead will be elevating its competition to the LMDh/GTP level with a prototype effort beginning next season. That makes this a good time to say goodbye, to the car, to the class, to the races, to the drivers, to the victories, and to the fans. Goodbye, farewell, and rest gently, sweet 911 RSR. We will miss your ear-piercing scream.
The special “goodbye” livery includes color swatches from every RSR to ever race, including the special throwback Rothmans and Pink Pig liveries the cars ran at Le Mans in 2018. It also says Goodbye on the windshield banner, and names every factory driver to ever be behind the wheel of the RSR in competition on the roof panel. It’s a pretty cool way to start a conversation.
“Our racing cars will be truly eye-catching at the final round of the FIA WEC. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the fans react,” said a delighted Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “The GTE-Pro class of the World Endurance Championship will be phased out at the end of the 2022 season. So, this will be the swan song event with the works team’s 911 RSR. For this very special occasion, our designers have created a foil wrap that, in my opinion, wonderfully represents the history and successes of the last decade. And the icing on the cake will come in Bahrain: We’re aiming to win the race as well as the manufacturer’s and driver’s titles.”
“The season finale in Bahrain evokes a lot of emotion for the whole team,” says Alexander Stehlig, Director Factory Motorsport FIA WEC, ahead of the final appearance of the 911 RSR works squad. “In recent, years, the mechanics, engineers and drivers have experienced many highlights in the GTE-Pro class. Our Porsche 911 RSR was always one of the most distinctive, popular and successful racing cars in the fiercely contested manufacturer team category. As this great programme comes to an end, we’d like to add another highlight – in both a sporting and optical sense. I think we’ve created the perfect design. It is the ideal combination of modern styles and historic colours.”
The final race of GTE Pro will take place this weekend, November 12th, in Bahrain. It is an 8 hour enduro with everything at stake. Porsche currently sits 11 points behind the AF Corse Ferrari team in the GTE Drivers’ championship, and a single point in arrears in the fight for manufacturer’s honors. Whichever team finishes higher in this race will be world champion. It’s truly going to be an intense battle that you won’t want to miss out on.