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Ride Onboard the 2018 GT3 RS With Mark Webber

Putting a Formula 1 driver in a street car always promises fireworks, and this hot lap with Mark Webber is no different. His talent and composure help showcase the newest RS’ abilities, but also demonstrate how certain drivers are on a level which even the most ambitious amateurs can’t hope to match.

Aside from the Aussie’s expected precision and comfort at speed, a few things about these blistering laps stand out. First, he chooses to leave the gearbox in automatic like the cool customer he is, though he occasionally overrides the software and manually downshifts. You expect a certain ease and detachment from a former-F1 driver, but Webber’s body language looks like he’s driving to church, not putting in a sizzling lap at the Nurburgring F1 circuit.

The Porsche seems perfectly suited for the conditions. For instance, the way the newest RS gobbles curbing with complete stability is simply remarkable. At 1:51 and 3:34, Webber carries incredible entry speed through the curbed chicane, and a sudden snap seems inevitable—yet it never happens.

The few times Webber dials in some corrective lock, he does so to usher the GT3’s nose towards the apex. That mild rotation and the ease with which he both anticipates and catches it are the other striking aspects of the newest GT3 RS. Able to dive in toward the apex with the mildest amount of yaw, the 911 looks near-perfect in the hands of a one of the world’s best.

As he gently steers in (2:25), the rear comes around to meet him.

Even on the brakes, the Porsche seems to possess a level of stability that one wouldn’t always associated with a rear-engined car. Of course, a mild wiggle at the end of the front straight (2:14) is expected, but in technical sections where the 911 is subjected to lots of lateral load while braking heavily, it remains planted underneath him.

Webber checks to see if the camera’s rolling.

Some of that has to do with the innate balance of the GT3 platform, but also the way the car communicates with the driver. When trail braking deeply into Turn 8’s apex (3:10), the Porsche remains incredibly poised. Looking at that first input followed by a slight hesitation, you can see that Webber feels the rear just hinting at breaking away. By straightening the wheel again, he stabilizes the 911 and waits until he can turn without exceeding the rear tires’ capacity. His subtle steering corrections show how much information he’s receiving through the wheel—precisely the sort of feedback needed to balance a car consistently at the limit of adhesion.

Webber checks to make sure his passenger isn’t ill.

Predictably, traction is immense and the Porsche simply fires out of corners like it’s outfitted with four-wheel drive, which is something considering the 4.0-liter’s mid-range wallop. Even with all these assets brought together in one cohesive package, the RS’ performance cannot compare to the LMP1 machinery Webber’s familiar with, but the road car’s frantic pace is more than most mortals can handle. Occasionally, the casual, questioning thumbs up he throws at his passenger reminds us he was one of F1/WEC’s most empathetic drivers, and one that still hasn’t lost any speed.

 
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Porsche’s Pictures and Results From The 6 Hours Of Spa Francorchamps

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche GT Team (92), Michael Christensen (DK), Kevin Estre (F), Spa-Francorchamps 2018

The opening round of the FIA WEC Super Season took place this Saturday at Spa Francorchamps. Porsche recently dominated Spa by nabbing the outright track record with their 919 Hybrid LMP1 Evo, but that car has retired from a traditional motorsport sense, and will not be participating in the WEC this year. That left just Porsche’s GTE Pro and GTE Am squads to carry the torch for Zuffenhausen. After a 2017 that saw the WEC 911 RSR score no Pro-class victories, the team very nearly kicked off 2018 with that elusive win.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche GT Team (92), Michael Christensen (DK), Kevin Estre (F), Spa-Francorchamps 2018

After an incredibly gripping final stint of the race, the factory 911 RSR effort started the season with a second and fourth place set of finishes. Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen scored second in the #92 car and narrowly missed out on the win, while teammates Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz finished up in fourth. The race wemt almost entirely in Porsche’s direction, as the team got off to a good start. Bruni and Lietz grabbed hold of the lead of the class at the 2-hour mark and held on to it until the Ford GT stole it away with a brassy move at Eau Rouge with half an hour remaining in the race. Lietz, having pitted, returned to the track in third behind the Ford and the other Porsche, but Ferrari driver Davide Rigon was charging hard. In some of the most engaging racing I’ve seen in years, Lietz held off the faster Ferrari. There were moments the Ferrari was quicker and there were moments the Porsche excelled, such as mid-corner and off-corner acceleration. He’d nearly held on to the spot after defending for six consecutive laps, but was felled to fourth on the penultimate.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche GT Team (92), Michael Christensen (DK), Kevin Estre (F), Spa-Francorchamps 2018

In the GTE Am class, there were four 911 RSRs entered. The Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche of Matt Campbell, Christian Ried, and Julien Andlauer was the best placed of the four taking fourth overall behind two battling Aston Martins and a single Ferrari 488. Sixth at Spa was that Porsche’s twin, driven by Khaled Al Qubaisi, Matteo Cairoli and Giorgio Roda. The Gulf Racing 911 of Wainwright, Barker, and Davison spent some time early on with their nose in the barrier and had to be hauled out, ultimately finishing a handful of laps down. In the reverse of that situation, the former IMSA squad, now Project 1, ran well early on but ultimately finished in last place with Patrick Lindsey, Joerg Bergmeister, and Egidio Perfetti.

Porsche 911 RSR, Team Project 1 (56), Joerg Bergmeister (D), Patrick Lindsey (USA), Egidio Perfetti (N), Spa-Francorchamps 2018

Pascal Zurlinden (Director GT Factory Motorsport): “That was a very difficult race for us. The performance of the cars and the team was very good. In fact, everything looked good for us to win the race. But unfortunately Lady Luck wasn’t with us towards the end of the race, because the last safety car phase didn’t fit in with our strategy. Now we’re heading to Le Mans where we’ll go all-out.”

Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “I’m disappointed, of course. We were running in the lead for more than four hours. Richard and I did everything we could and we’d built up an advantage of around 15 seconds to the car behind us and about 55 seconds to third place. Unfortunately, the safety car phase cost us this lead.”

Michael Christensen (Porsche 911 RSR #92): “This race had truly everything that a six-hour race can throw at you. Our start was okay and we managed to maintain our position over the distance. But then unfortunately we received a stop-and-go penalty. This was followed by a safety car phase and a lot of traffic. Consequently, it was a very difficult race. I’m thrilled with the podium result.”

Porsche 911 RSR, Gulf Racing (86), Ben Barker (GB), Alex Davison (AUS), Michael Wainwright (GB), Spa-Francorchamps 2018

GTE-Pro class
1. Mücke/Pla/Johnson (D/F/USA), Ford GT, 148 laps
2. Christensen/Estre (DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 148 laps
3. Rigon/Bird (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 147 laps
4. Lietz/Bruni (A/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 147 laps
5. Blomqvist/da Costa (GB/P), BMW M8 GTE, 146 laps
6. Lynn/Martin/Adam (GB/B/GB), Aston Martin Vantage AMR, 146 laps
7. Soerensen/Thiim/Turner (DK/DK/GB), Aston Martin Vantage AMR, 146 laps
8. Tomczyk/Catsburg (D/NL), BMW M8 GTE, 145 laps
9. Pier Guidi/Calado (I/GB), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, 139 laps
Not classified: Priaulx/Tincknell/Kanaan (GB/GB/BR), Ford GT

GTE-Am class
1. Dalla Lana/Lamy/Lauda (CDN/P/A), Aston Martin Vantage, 144 laps
2. Yoluc/Alers-Hankey/Eastwood (TR/GB/GB), Aston Martin Vantage, 144 laps
3. Sun Mok/Sawa/Griffin (MAL/J/IRL), Ferrari 488 GTE, 143 laps
4. Ried/Andlauer/Campbell (D/F/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 142 laps
5. Ishikawa/Beretta/Cheever (J/MC/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 142 laps
6. Al Qubaisi/Roda/Cairoli (UAE/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 141 laps
7. Wainwright/Barker/Davison (GB/GB/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, 137 laps
8. Flohr/Castellacci/Fisichella (Ch/I/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, 136 laps
9. Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, 131 laps

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Porsche GT Team kicks off the sports car world championship with a podium

After a gripping race at Spa-Francorchamps, the Porsche GT Team has started into the FIA Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC) season with second and fourth place. Kévin Estre and Michael Christensen scored second in the #92 car and narrowly missed out on clinching the maiden WEC victory for the new Porsche 911 RSR.

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WEC Super Saison 2018-2019 : Tout commence à Spa

WEC Super Saison 2018-2019 : Tout commence à Spa

S’il n’en reste qu’un, ce sera Toyota. Alors que depuis quatre saisons, au moins, les communicants de l’ACO et de la FIA n’en finissaient plus de s’auto-congratuler à propos de la qualité du plateau des constructeurs, le ‘’dieselgate’’ a mis à bas la belle santé de la série. Audi tout d’abord puis Porsche, deux marques […]

Cet article WEC Super Saison 2018-2019 : Tout commence à Spa est apparu en premier sur The Automobilist.

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Difficult start to the season for the Porsche 911 GT3 R at Monza

The Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the Manthey-Racing team finished round one of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Monza without earning points.

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