Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid Returns In 2012

Porsche Motorsport intends to continue development of its 911 GT3 R Hybrid by returning the advanced vehicle to race tracks in 2012. 

Calling it a "rolling race laboratory," Porsche continues to gain extra practical experience under race conditions that can make its hybrid technology even more efficient than it's already proven to date.

"There is no way around the hybrid technology in motorsport," Wolfgang Hatz, board member for research and development declared. "With the 911 GT3 R Hybrid project, we have shown how you can test important future technologies on the race track and pave the way for motorsport success in the future," he said. "We will continue to determinedly blaze this trail and further develop the hybrid technology."

The Porsche hybrid racer, which looks nearly identical to the pre-2012 911 GT3 competitor, first showed up on an American circuit in 2010, where it took part in the Petit Le Mans 10-hour competition, albeit as a non points-paying racer. With its enhanced efficiency, the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car showed excellent performance and the ability to stay out of the pits, always a plus. It nearly stole the 24-hour Nurburgring race earlier in the year.

A second generation Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid arrived on the scene--again not taking points as it ran against cars vying for championships--in the waning stages of the 2011 season. Its sole American appearance came in the penultimate American Le Mans Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

All of the factory Porsche drivers, who return for another season, have driven the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid during its development stages. The lineup of drivers are: Joerg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Wolf Henzler, Marco Holzer, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, American Patrick Long and Patrick Pilet.

"To win races, you have to have the right race drivers. And there's no doubt that we have them," stated Matthias Muller, chairman of the executive board at Porsche AG.

© 2011 Anne Proffit

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