2016 ‘Roar Before the 24’ Daytona test report
Porsche took the wraps off of its 2016 Porsche 911 RSR at the season-opening ‘Roar Before the 24’ test in Daytona, the traditional curtain raiser ahead of the Rolex 24 Hours at the end of the month.
While the mechanicals of the latest RSR have been carried over from last year’s car (which won six titles across the FIA World Endurance Championship and United SportsCar Championship) the new RSR features heavily revised aerodynamics to bring it in line with the new-for-2016 GTLM regulations.
These include a wider rear wing mounted further back than in 2015 as well as a much bigger rear diffuser. There is also a modified lip on the front spoiler and new side sills, all designed to increase downforce.
To go with the revised Porsche 911 RSR, Weissach’s factory team, Porsche North America Racing debuted a new livery at the ‘Roar 24’ test at Daytona International Speedway, featuring more black than previous iterations of Porsche’s ‘Intelligent Performance’ design.
Across the three-day test, split into seven sessions (giving competitors 11 hours, 45 minutes of track time), Porsche racked up a combined 2,672 kilometres as it set about a varied programme featuring qualifying simulations and long runs.
The no. 911 Porsche 911 RSR of Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Kévin Estre finished the test as the faster of Weissach’s two challengers, with Tandy setting a best lap of 1m45.524s in Sunday’s penultimate session.
Earl Bamber, Frédéric Makowiecki and Michael Christensen were barely slower in the no. 912 machine, with their best time of 1m45.543s leaving both 911 RSRs within half a second of the fastest GTLM lap of the test, set in Friday’s first session by the new no. 100 BMW M6.
The teams now have just under three weeks until the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona kicks off with practice and qualifying on Friday 28 January. However, Overall Project Leader for Porsche’s Works GT Motorsport, Marco Ujhasi is already buoyed by his team’s preparation.
“We were able to work through our schedule without the slightest technical problem,” he explained. “Everything ran as expected and we feel well prepared for the race. As far as we’re concerned, we could race tomorrow.”
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