Porsche Motorsport plans the transition to the 911 GT3 RSR (type 991) in 2013. The new race car will, of course, be based on their seventh-generation of the popular 911 showroom road cars. What it means to the current sportscar racing teams is changes. The German marque also announced that their factory development team in the American Le Mans Series will end. Since Porsche formed the partnership with the Flying Lizard Motorsport team in 2007, they have pocketed championships, along with pole positions and race wins.
“Team owner Seth Neiman and his entire Flying Lizard Motorsports organization have helped both Porsche Motorsport and all our customer teams around the world by being our development partner in the U.S. Together we have won multiple championships in the ALMS,” said Jens Walther, president of Porsche Motorsport North America.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is slated to make its North American debut in 2014.
From 2005 to this year, Porsche has supplied the 911 GT3 RSR (type 997) to customer teams, and will continue to do so in the coming season as the head of Porsche Motorsport’s Hartmut Kristen explained that the current 911 has started to reach the end of his product cycle. Support for the customer teams who race the current model will continue but Porsche’s full resource will be aimed at the newest baby.
“Just like our recent Porsche RS Spyder program, we must appreciate the success of our race cars during their product cycle, but move on to new models when it is time to do so. The venerable Porsche 911 GT3 RSR has provided our Porsche customer teams with numerous wins and championships, and will remain competitive in 2013. Porsche will support the customer teams which continue to race that car, but the time has come and we now must focus our research and engineering development efforts on its successor,” said Kristen.
It is expected that a European Porsche team will earn the "factory" status. It appears that Olaf Manthey's team will get the assignment. The German team is based near Nurburgring, and the former DTM driver has strong ties to Porsche since the early 1990's.
Kristen added, “The new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is slated to make its North American debut in 2014.”
Scott Atherton President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series said, “Porsche’s support for endurance sports car GT racing is unflagging, and we are grateful for its constant development. The race wins and championships achieved by the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Type 997 are many, and we look forward to similar achievements from customers running the car next year - with of course the same level of customer support for which Porsche is known.
“In the same vein, we eagerly await the debut of the new 911 race car in the unified sports car championship starting in 2014. From the ALMS’ beginning in 1999, Porsche has been a stalwart supporter, and we believe it will continue well into ‘the future.’,” added Atherton.
For the current teams that race in North America, Walther ensured them, including the Lizards, that the Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) will be available at their shop and at the track with engineers and parts next year.
“We will be at the track with our usual support for 2013, and some of our current customer teams have already committed to run the 911 GT3 RSR (type 997) next year. Each of the current teams will be announcing their plans as we get closer to the ALMS Winter Test in February,” he said.
"I and the entire Flying Lizard family would like to thank Porsche for their support and partnership over the last nine years. Together we have worked hard and have learned to rely on each other in critical moments, of which there have been many throughout our 100 races and multiple GT championships.”
While Porsche will contest the FIA World Endurance Championship next year with the new car, one does need to remember that 2013 is the last season for the ALMS. The unified merger between Grand-Am and ALMS kicks off at Daytona in 2014.