Motul Petit Le Mans will mark several endings, all leading to new beginnings. The obvious one is the culmination of the DPi class after seven years, giving way to the GTP class for of LMDh and LMH cars. However it also marks the end of the line for a couple of GT3 cars, the Ferrari 488 — the Ferrari 296 GT3 is coming next year — and the Porsche 911 GT3 R 991.2 as Porsche introduces the next generation based on the 992 911.
To celebrate that latter milestone, Porsche compiled a list of statistics for the car in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship that is quite impressive, including nine championships and 14 wins in GTD and GTD PRO. To start with, next Saturday Pfaff Motorsports will almost surely clinch the inaugural GTD PRO title, with Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet securing the championship once the No. 9 911 GT3 R goes under the green flag at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. That will be championships for drivers, team and manufacturer. And if everything goes their way, Jan Heylen and Ryan Hardwick could claim the GTD title in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports machine. Hardwick has already secured the Bob Akin Award. But those will only be the latest accomplishments.
Pfaff took the GTD titles for drivers Laurens Vanthoor and Zacharie Robichon, team and manufacturer in 2021. In addition, Robichon took the Sprint Cup title for the team in 2019, the first year of the 991.2. That makes Pfaff the most successful campaigner of the 991.2, with seven titles overall should they clinch as expected.
“Our 991.2 GT3 R, chassis 05, has been a very special car for us as we had virtually all of our ‘firsts’ in IMSA with it,” reflected Pfaff Motorsports team manager Steve Bortolotti. “I was never one to have an emotional attachment to inanimate objects; however, I am proud to know that we will be hanging on to this car for the foreseeable future. The pedigree it has amassed is incredible, and I’m proud of the job both our staff and Porsche have done to keep a chassis with over 55,000 racing kilometers [34,175 miles] on it still running in tip-top shape at the sharp end of an extremely competitive field. Hopefully we can send it off with a 12th IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory.”
Wright Motorsports claimed the 2021 Endurance Cup championships for drivers, team and manufacturer with Heylen, Patrick Long and Trent Hindman. The seventh title of 8 so far for the 991.2 came with Hardpoint’s Rob Ferriol winning the Bob Akin Award last season. In all, the 991.2 911 GT3 R has 14 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victories. All three teams will be sending the 991.2 off at Petit Le Mans.
Beyond IMSA, the 991.2 911 GT3 R has had much success as well. Heylen and Fred Poordad won the 2021 Fanatec GT World Challenge Pro-Am title for Wright Motorsports. Two teams have won the 24 Hours of Spa with the car — GPX Racing in 2019 and Rowe Racing in 2020; Manthey Racing won last year’s 24 Hours of the Nurburgring; and Earl Bamber Racing took victory for Porsche in the 2019 Bathurst 12 Hour.