The 991-based 911 RSR won’t be around for too much longer. One would be wise to presume that a 992-based GTE racer is around the corner, perhaps for the 2022 racing season. But for 2021, the 991 is here to stay, and as such, the customer-spec FIA WEC GTE Am classed 911 RSR-19 is getting a few minor upgrades for the 2021 season. If you’re a customer program in GTE Am, as Proton, Dempsey, Gulf Racing and Project One are, for example, you’re still getting annual upgrades to your equipment, even though the cars are built to a year-old rulebook. You see, ostensibly the GTE Am class is supposed to be getting hand-me-downs from the GTE Pro class, but that isn’t happening. The class has gotten so competitive that the top teams buy brand new chassis every year.
So here we are.
A few months ago Porsche was testing this car with a revised body kit, a new front bumper, hood, mirrors, diffuser, and wing. That car featured a side-exit exhaust, whereas the one being tested here has an exhaust that exits from the rear of the car. For the 2021 season, the GTE AM class has upgraded to the 2020 spec 4.2-liter flat six engine mounted in the middle, but has retained the rear-exit instead of the factory-raced side-exit 2020 car. This has contributed to a louder and perhaps more exciting sounding Porsche for the customer teams to run next year. Here in the video, these cars sound a bit more like the 2017-specification rear-exit cars that screamed with delight for every press of the loud pedal.
This new car may sound a screamer in the video, but according to folks on the ground at the test, these new cars are actually ten decibels quieter than the 2020 spec factory racers, which were already quite a bit quieter than the previous racers. Apparently the FIA WEC has instituted a noise limit for its race cars going into the 2021 season. That’s an interesting development, and I look forward to seeing how it plays out.