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Porsche To Campaign GT3 Hybrid at Petit Le Mans

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On: Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 2:10PM | By: John Welch


Porsche To Campaign GT3 Hybrid at Petit Le Mans

Those wacky Germans, always brewing up some crazy scheme for world sports car racing domination. The list is enormous, Porsche 917, Audi Quattro, BMW CSL, Audi R8, Sauber Mercedes, Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, just a few dominant German cars on a list of hundreds. The ubiguitous Porsche 911, in various forms, occupying the top seed on that list.

The newest Porsche nut-case 911 is the GT3 R Hybrid. Using a flywheel-based system to capture energy from braking, this car is equipped with a "push to pass" button that releases stored energy whenever the driver feels like bruising an ego or two. The system was developed byt the Williams F1 team, starting life as the KERS system for their 2009 open wheeler. After recieving significantly more development, the system is capable of metering out extra power automatically, or at wide open throttle; the possiblities are endless.

The 911 GT3 R Hybrid was raced in the Nurburing 24 hour race this year, and led for 11 hours. With two hours remaing the car suffered a mechinal problem unrelated to the Hybrid machinery. A header fell off or something.

Though pleased with the pace of the GT3 R Hybrid at the N24, Porsche was not satisfied with the result. Just to make double sure that they hadn't built a time bomb, the team ran their own 24 hour race at Paul Ricard a month later. Paul Ricard HTTT is located in the south of France. HTTT stands for High Tech Test Track. The French dig aliteration apparently . . .

The test at Paul Ricard was a complete success, and now the Porsche team is focusing on North America—first stop, Road Atlanta. The GT3 R Hybrid will race at the ALMS season-ending Petit Le Mans, also the first race of the International Le Mans Cup, for LMP1 cars. More on that later . . .

Though the car will run unclassified, it looks to be competitive with the GT2 cars, as, essentially, it is one. This no classification business didn't stop Dyson Racing from fueling their Mazda-powered Lola with Iso-Butanol, and the Hybrid Porsche will be able to get useful testing done running with the closest competition on the planet. “After the 911 GT3 R Hybrid’s fantastic performance at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we are now eager to gain more experience with the hybrid technology on a variety of race tracks,” says Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport. “At the same time, we would like to show fans and customers in our most important market how our ‘race lab’ performs under racing conditions,” adds Kristen.


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