Consistent with its reputation for impeccable preparation, Porsche is already well under way with its plans to compete in the sports car World Endurance Championship and the LMP1 (Le Mans Prototype) class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 2014.
"The first rollout of our new LMP1 car is planned for mid-2013," announced Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche AG Board of Management Member for Research and Development, at the end of season "Night of Champions" celebration for Porsche drivers.
"The car will be run by our own works team based here at Weissach," Hatz added.
To that end, the infrastructure at Weissach has been substantially expanded with the addition of a new workshop building and office complex. The LMP1 project warrants a new and separate department, headed by Fritz Enzinger, while Hartmut Kristen, head of Porsche Motorsport maintains responsibility for all the company's other motorsport programmes worldwide.
At the same occasion, Porsche revealed the new ‘Type 991’ 911 GT3 Cup race car for the first time.
The first race car based on the new seventh-generation version of the 911, the 911 GT3 Cup will run exclusively in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2013, before becoming available for regional and national GTr competitions the following year.
The new car is powered by a 3.8-litre six-cylinder, flat-six engine that develops 460 hp at 7,500 rpm, 10 hp more than the current model. A six-speed ‘dog-type’ gearbox developed by Porsche Motorsport transmits the power to the rear axle and, for the first time in a Porsche Cup race car, is operated via paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
Single-piece, centre mount Porsche Motorsport race wheels are also newly-designed and the width of the Michelin race slicks has increased by two centimetres to 27 cm at the front, and by one centimetre, to 31 cm, at the rear.
A newly-developed brake system features 380-mm diameter slotted and inner-vented steel brake discs and aluminum six-piston fixed callipers on the front and four-piston versions on the rear.
During the development of the new car, particular emphasis was laced on driver safety. A new safety cage protects the driver in case of a roll-over or collision, further aided by a newly-developed race seat that isformed around the head and shoulders and can be adjusted individually with the help of padding.
In addition, a rescue hatch in the roof provides easy access for primary medical attention and for the extrication of the driver.
"The new 911 GT3 Cup is much easier to drive at the limit," says Porsche factory race driver Timo Bernhard, who was closely involved in the development of the new racer.
"The car is excellently balanced. The new axle geometry is enormously positive for the handling. Apart from that, the new Cup 911 is great fun to drive!"
Like its predecessor, the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is produced in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen on the same assembly line as the road cars.
At the Motorsport Centre in Weissach, it receives a general set-up for the circuit and is tested by a professional race driver before delivery to the customers.
The basic price for the vehicle, which is available exclusively in white, is 181,200 Euro plus the country-specific value added tax.
For the 2013 season Porsche offers teams an upgrade package for the current customer sport model 911 GT3 R, which is said to position it even better in the performance window as defined by the FIA.