While not as iconic as the Gulf-liveried 917, the Coca-Cola cars from the 1980s tug at the heartstrings of the dedicated Porschephile. As a part of this year's final round of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship at Road America, Porsche's works 911 RSRs will wear that classic red and white livery made famous through IMSA GTP. Coca-Cola's headquarters is located in Atlanta, as is Porsche North America, so bringing back some of motorsport history for Petit Le Mans makes perfect sense.
“The anniversary season for IMSA comes to an end with a big highlight. It’s fantastic that two such strong brands like Porsche and Coca Cola are working together. We definitely want to continue our shared success story that began in the 1980s. It would be a dream come true if we could secure the title with a top result – especially considering that it will be the last race outing for this version of the Porsche 911 RSR in the IMSA series,” says Pascal Zurlinden, Porsche's Director of Factory Motorsports.
The livery was made famous roughly thirty years ago adorning several successful 935s and 962s. In the early eighties, Bob Akin's red and white 935 was a regular front-runner with multiple podiums. Though never winning a race, their consistency was enough—standing on the podium often allowed them to win the IMSA GTP class in 1983, which only helped cement those famous colors in the public's imagination. The following year, the same team returned with a 962 decked out in that iconic livery.
After so many attempts in the fiercely contested category, Akin finally enjoyed victory in one of his Coke-liveried cars in 1986. Along with Hans Stuck Jr. and Jo Gartner, Akin secured the win 1986's 12 Hours of Sebring in that sleek 962.
As this year's Petit Le Mans is the last race the current iteration of the Porsche 911 RSR is participating in, there's a fair amount of pressure to do well. With Porsche's factory team entering the season finale as the leader of the manufacturers’ and drivers’ classifications, it would be a special sendoff if their brilliant red RSRs clinched the win.