The new Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport made its public track debut in the build-up to the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour (1-3 February) when it lapped the iconic Mount Panorama Circuit in the hands of Australian motor racing legend Mark Webber.
The Porsche ambassador took the wheel of the German brand’s 700-horsepower machine for its maiden run on Friday 1 February and was back on-track the following day during the pre-race activities. The car also turned heads in the paddock, where it was on display throughout the Bathurst event.
As the opening round of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli season and a major international contest in its own right, the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour provided the ideal opportunity to showcase the brand new Porsche.
The Stuttgart marque’s eagerly awaited machine first broke cover at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2018 and bears close resemblance to the 911 GT2 RS road car. It is powered by the same water-cooled 3800cc flat-six engine, though at 1390kg the Clubsport weighs in 80kg lighter than its road-going cousin.
The car driven by Webber is currently the only one of its kind to have been produced, though a fleet of 200 will be built in preparation for its competitive debut.
Having turned its first demonstration laps in an iconic motorsport setting, the new Porsche will also make its international competition debut at a globally significant venue. This will take place in July when a full grid of 911 GT2 RS Clubsports tackle a special one-make race as part of the build-up to the biggest GT event of the year: the Total 24 Hours of Spa (25-28 July).
This unique race will act as a prelude to the car competing in the upcoming GT2 category, which was officially launched by SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel during last year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa.
Aimed primarily at amateur competitors, the new category will build upon the same founding principles that forged the success of SRO’s flourishing GT4 platform, while adapting cars to develop between 650 and 700 horsepower. Following its debut race at Spa the GT2 concept will be introduced to existing categories such as Blancpain GT Sports Club with the long-term aim of reinforcing GT3 sprint grids in Europe, America and Asia.
Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO: “Seeing the new Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport run its first demonstration laps was a wonderful way to begin the new racing season. That it was able to do so at the magnificent Mount Panorama, and with none other than Mark Webber at the wheel, is only appropriate for such a fantastic machine.”
“My congratulations to Porsche for realising this project. The GT2 concept is very important to SRO and I am thrilled to see it gathering momentum. The one-make race for the GT2 Clubsport that will be staged during the Total 24 Hours of Spa weekend will represent another major milestone as we prepare to introduce the category to our series across the world. I look forward to more exciting news on this as the year unfolds.”
Photo credit: Porsche