During its gestation, Porsche fielded several prototypes for its 911 GT3 R Hybrid at the Nurburgring and now the automaker is sending the race car to the grueling Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race as part of its further development.

For this year’s challenge, which kicks off on May 15, Porsche will return to the legendary circuit with 33 different 911 race cars spread across several teams.

Expected to attract most of the attention, the much-hyped GT3 R Hybrid has been designed to be particularly conservative with fuel. Its 480 horsepower combustion engine at the rear is supplemented by two 80 horsepower electric motors powering the front axle. Under braking, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid converts kinetic energy (that would otherwise be wasted) into electrical energy and stores it in a specialized flywheel to be released at the driver’s command to deliver additional performance.

The hybrid racer will be manned by Porsche works drivers Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria), as well as Porsche junior Marco Holzer (Germany) and Martin Ragginger (Austria) and fielded by Porsche Team Manthey.

The new Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be joined by some tough competition. Also making an appearance will be the new 2010 Aston Martin Rapide in race car form as well as two production 2012 Lexus LFAs.