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Porsche’s Coca Cola Classic Liveries Return Petit Le Mans

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 At 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 though IMSA GTP roughly thirty years ago. Coca-Cola’s headquarters are located in Atlanta, as are Porsche North America, so bringing back some of motorsport history for Petit Le Mans.

“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.

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 to win the IMSA GTP class in 1983. The following year, the same team returned with a 962 decked out in that iconic livery.

The Bob Akin Porsche on its way to victory at the 1986 12 Hours of Sebring.

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. However, the brilliant red scheme was associated with success long before Akin stood on the top step of the podium.

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 Porsche tackles the season finale as the leader of the manufacturers’ and drivers’ classifications, it would be a special sendoff if their Coke-liveried RSR, covered in confetti, clinches the win.

The stylish livery looks refreshingly simplistic.

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What It’s Like To Drive a 400k+ Mile 944 Turbo

This 944 Turbo should seem familiar to long-time Flatsixes readers. Though it recently came into Ethan Tuft’s care, for the last year it has lived with Bradley Brownell. This white 1987 944 Turbo is nicknamed Corporal Kaos, which makes for one of the most amusing vanity plates I’ve ever seen, and has hilariously high miles. Though it currently shows somewhere North of 350k, the odometer has been stuck at that figure since the late 1990s. The true total is likely stratospheric. But how does Corporal Kaos drive?

Despite the mileage, the car sounds unusually tight. Perhaps my own experience is creeping in here, as cracked and cratered Northeastern roads seem to expose every single creak and rattle in every car I drive.  Where miles of Albany County potholes can make my 98k mile car sound like a collander of loose change, the audio from this 400k+ car isn’t showing anything untoward. The exhaust is also exceptionally subdued, and the cabin sounds surprisingly pleasant. Again, my long tube headers and single Magnaflow are definitely coloring my perceptions here. Not to mention turbochargers act as something of a pre-muffler.

Notably this is not a wildly modified 944, and according to Ethan the experience is defined by a broad powerband from the large 2.5 liter turbo four. While you’ll never mistake a 944 Turbo for a modern turbocharged car, the large relatively large displacement goes a long way towards preventing the peaky and laggy behavior exhibited by many of its contemporaries. Though you can hear occasional whistles from the wastegate, everything seems quite buttoned down and well sorted right up to the moment it doesn’t.

Ethan’s fun in this video is curtailed by an issue with the cooling system, which caused it to leak profusely and overheat. Hopefully the issue can be resolved swiftly, and Ethan can get back in the ring with Corporal Chaos.

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The Porsche 911 Is A Champion of Profitability

Transitioning into building an expanding lineup of electric models is a costly venture. Though the Taycan recently launched, and the next generation Macan is destined for electrification, these models are not expected to turn a profit for some time. Fortunately for Porsche, the bank of 911 is printing money. Though the marque’s top sports car makes up just 11% of Porsches sold, it accounts for an astounding 30% of the company’s earnings. Let that sink in- just over 1/10th of the sales, and approximately 30% of the earnings. The 911 is a veritable machine for profitability.

CNET attributes much of the model’s profit potential to its configurability. While I have bemoaned the excess of variety in the past, it’s hard to argue with reality. Derivatives are relatively inexpensive to implement compared to new models. Options are cheaper still, and Porsche offers a lot of them.

I challenge you, the Flatsixes reader, to try the following. Use the configurator on the Porsche website, and see how high you can spec a base model 992 Carrera. Without breaking a sweat or getting into Tequipment items, I managed to add more than $80k in options to a base model 992, and most of these options can be added to any model in the range.

Of course, this is not to Porsche’s detriment, nor are they just playing a game with the margins. Global 911 sales exceed the combined sales of Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Lamborghini. Though Porsche does not artificially limit the global supply of 911s as some other brands do with their models (though some models are specifically slated for limited production), it remains an extremely impressive feat.

Enthusiasts have posited that the Cayenne is a worthwhile vehicle because it lets Porsche make more 911s. Oddly though, it is starting to look like the 911 may not actually need the help. With strong sales and intense profitability, the 911 is truly a juggernaut of the automotive world.

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Porsche Design Introduces A Watch Exclusively For GT3 RS Owners

The 991-generation GT3 RS is Porsche’s pièce de résistance of the last decade. It’s been tweaked and perfected to levels not seen before. It’s bigger, faster, stronger than any naturally aspirated Porsche in history. That car is dripping with performance, technology, and special equipment that you can’t find anywhere else. In proper Porsche tradition, it punches well above its weight class, taking down more powerful supercars from Italy with ease. Obviously you know all of that, because that’s exactly why you bought one. And now there is a special edition Porsche Design watch to help you celebrate your GT3 RS in all of its awesomeness. You can now extend the ultimate sports car feeling to your wrist!

This collaboration between Porsche Design and Porsche—they are different companies, remember—offers GT3 RS owners a custom-made chronograph with the kind of precision, lightweight construction, functional perfection, and performance that they would find in their stunning choice of car. Both are precisely-timed and fine-tuned machines. The watch has tachymeter markings to help you time laps and calculate average speeds over a specific distance.

The large 42mm watch case is constructed out of black carbide coated titanium with a carbon fiber dial, making it light on the wrist and easy to wear on a daily basis. While a GT3 RS is a track-ready machine, it could also be pressed into daily-driver duty if you don’t mind a loud exhaust and sporty seats. The carbon of the watch dial is actually made from the same carbon as you’d find in the front lid, fenders, and wing of your GT3 RS.

More correlations between the Porsche GT3 RS and the Porsche Design Chronograph GT3 RS? The watch is custom engraved with your car’s VIN. The watch uses clearly distinguished yellow markings for the same reason the car has a yellow stripe at the 12 o’clock position on the steering wheel, so you can see them with nothing more than a glance. The watch’s band is presented in GT3 RS Lizard Green, but comes with another band in black Alcantara for the days you aren’t feeling quite so sporty. The back of the watch case can be customized to your GT3 RS’ wheels, as satin aurum, silver, platinum, black, and Lizard green wheel motif are available.

Like the GT3 RS’ high-revving 520-horsepower four-liter engine, the watch based on the car derives its cool factor from the unseen thing that powers it. With Porsche Design’s first proprietary automatic caliber, called « Werk 01.200 », the GT3 RS features the most advanced chronometric precision Porsche Design has ever offered. It has been certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) to verify that it is at least on par with every other major chrono manufacturer. And because it is equipped with a « flyback » complication, allowing the chronograph to be reset at the push of a button and fling back to the start position without losing a fraction of a second, you can start a new measurement without having to reset.

The timepiece is currently available for all GT3 RS owners. If you don’t own one, you won’t be able to buy this watch. It is strictly limited. You must order your new chronometer through a Porsche dealer. Your individually numbered 911 GT3 RS watch is available for about $11,000, and includes the black and Lizard straps in both Medium and Large sizes. Get your GT3 RS on track, and on your wrist.

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Porsche Struggles To Find Pace In Laguna Seca IMSA Race

All credit to the Porsche 911 RSR team in the IMSA championship this year. The cars have been stellar, the drivers have converted good qualifying into good races, and the two factory-supported 911s have combined to win six of the 11 races so far this season. The team has managed to develop the best all-around package for this season so far, and lead the manufacturer’s and driver’s championship by a huge margin.

IMSA did not make any balance of performance changes to the 911 RSR for the Laguna Seca race, meaning the team is running the exact same weight and horsepower they used to win the VIR race a few weeks ago. However, because the race ran green flag from start to finish, Porsche could not find a tactical advantage in the pits over other teams, and ultimately both cars finished a lap down to the GTLM class winning Ford GT.

Despite starting the race in fourth, the #912 car of Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber continued to fall down the time tables as temperatures heated up and the car struggled for grip on the greasy California track, finishing an uneventful and unimpressive 7th. Pilet and Tandy qualified the #911 car in 8th (last), and that is where the pair finished the race as well.

With just one race remaining in the season, next month’s Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta is for all the marbles.

Comments on the Race:

Pascal Zurlinden (Director Factory Motorsport): “The race in the GTLM class was the worst we’ve experienced with our factory cars this season. For once we weren’t competitive and for the first time in twelve months we didn’t finish on the podium. Fortunately, this doesn’t affect our bid for the championship, as we’re heading to the finale at Road Atlanta as the big favourites. We won the Sprint Cup classification in the GTD class with the brand new Porsche 911 GT3 R. Congratulations to Zacharie Robichon on winning the title and a big thank you to our team at Weissach for developing a great GT3 car.”

Patrick Pilet (Porsche 911 RSR #911): “This simply wasn’t our race. We already noticed in practice that it’d be difficult for us in terms of tyre durability. Still, we tried our best in the race. But even with an immaculate performance from us drivers and a flawless job from the pit crew, we simply couldn’t do more. Now we’re looking ahead. It’ll undoubtedly be better for us at the final round at Road Atlanta.”

Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 RSR #912): “We still hold a clear lead in the championship. That’s the most important thing after such a difficult race. We had no real chance today because there was too much wear on the tyres. I don’t know if we could have achieved more with a different strategy. It doesn’t matter now. We’re looking forward to the ten-hour race on the outskirts of Atlanta, which is where Porsche North America is based. We are keen to secure the championship title at our home race.”

GTLM class
1. Müller/Hand (D/USA), Ford GT, 114 laps
2. Krohn/Edwards (FIN/USA), BMW M8 GTE, 114 laps
3. Magnussen/Garcia (DK/E), Corvette C7.R, 114 laps
7. Bamber/Vanthoor (NZ/B), Porsche 911 RSR, 113 laps
8. Pilet/Tandy (F/GB), Porsche 911 RSR, 113 laps

GTD class
1. Sellers/Lewis (USA/USA), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 110 laps
2. MacNeil/Vilander (USA/FIN), Ferrari 488 GT3, 110 laps
3. Potter/Lally (USA/USA), Lamborghini Huracan GT3, 109 laps
4. Robichon/Hargrove (CDN/CDN), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 109 laps

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