As we have mentioned previously in this space, Porsche thoroughly dominated the 2015 FIA World Endurance Cup series. While the 2016 series opened with a Porsche victory (after the winning car was disqualified on a technicality), it’s already clear that the Porsche team will face much stiffer competition this time out. The company may have asserted its dominance with the Porsche 919, but is noticably absent in another division that would seem a natural fit for its most iconic car.
We’re referring, of course, to the FIA WEC GTE-Pro, the WEC division that emphasizes factory cars, and the Porsche 911, which will make only a limited showing this year if any. The reasons behind the absence are complicated. Budget issues are a concern, since running a racing team is never an inexpensive proposition. The other consideration is quality; if Porsche is going to make a showing, it wants to do so with the best cars of which it’s capable, so it’s taking some time away from the series to be able to return with its “A” game.
This was confirmed, if obliquely, by Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport, ahead of the surprise Porsche victory at the season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone. While acknowledging that Porsche Motorsport’s plans aren’t yet set in stone, Walliser indicated that the company is looking forward to bringing two Manthey-run 911 Porsche models to the series in 2017. The Porsche 911 GT, with its naturally aspirated inline 4.0 liter six-cylinder engine, proves that “all of the experience in making the RSR and developing it over the years has really all come together with this car.”
Given homologation regulations, that likely means a limited run Porsche GTE model showing up at Porsche dealers for the 2017 or 2018 model year. In the meantime, if you’d like all the thrill that comes with driving a Porsche, come to your New England Porsche dealer, Porsche of Nashua, for a test drive of the 2016 Porsche 911 or the 2016 Porsche Cayman.