Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser Vice President of Motorsport at Porsche has confirmed that all six 2017 spec 911 RSRs being made available to customers have already been sold.
The cars are expected to race in both the FIA WEC and ELMS in 2018 with at least one car sold to an Asian customer, and with at least one other sold to a customer who is not currently a Porsche GTE customer team.
The confirmation of the sales could prove to be good news for Proton Competition, Team Principal Christian Ried telling DSC last week that they were keen to obtain four cars for their ELMS and FIA WEC plans.
Ried confirmed to DSC yesterday that he had confirmed contracts for three new cars with discussions underway over the ownership of a fourth.
Porsche uber-enthusiast Mike Wainwright is another customer with the Gulf Racing UK outfit set to re-confirm an FIA WEC effort with at least a single car, Wainwright also telling DSC yesterday that he looks set to join the ELMS grid for the Paul Ricard season opener with Silverstone’s ELMS round also under consideration.
The mention of an Asian customer is an interesting one, with Walliser also mentioning the potential for the GTE class to make a reappearance in the Asian Le Mans Series as early as 2019.
DSC believes the reference is not to Paul Ip’s KCMG who entered a Proton Competition owned Porsche in the 2016 FIA WEC GTE Am class and were rumoured to be considering a repeat programme in 2017. The Asian customer car is likely to become the fourth Proton Competition effort but there are currently negotiations underway over the final ownership arrangements for the car, a potential sticking point for it’s racing plans in 2018.
It leaves the question of what might be the ‘new’ customer for the sixth car but DSC’s sources suggest that a strong contender could be current Porsche single make powerhouses Team Project 1/ Tolimit, who race with Deutsche Post backing at present, the outfit understand keen to step up to GTE, and looking likely to bolster the ELMS grid next season as they target a future FIA WEC effort.
Should that proposed racing effort not come to fruition though there are other customers waiting in the wings to take on the car, including a consolidation of the Proton Competition efforts and/ or a second car for Gulf Racing UK.
What is not in prospect is a customer car for North America next year, Walliser pouring cold water on the prospect of a GTLM customer car for next season in IMSA “For us in IMSA the Pro-Am class is GTD” he told reporters.