Under The Hood: Tips and Tricks to driving iRacing’s Porsche 911 RSR GTE

Whilst not used in many series’ on iRacing, the GTE class can provide fantastic on-track action and be amazing to get behind the wheel of. Let’s understand the Porsche 911 RSR GTE.

Porsche has a long history in motorsport, with endurance racing being one of their specialities. They have the most wins as a manufacturer at the Le Mans 24 Hour, having won the race 19 times, and the Porsche 911 RSR GTE represents the iconic German brand’s entry into the world of GTE racing, where some of the world’s fastest GT cars race for periods of up to 24 hours. As always, iRacing’s rendition of the 911 RSR is of incredible quality, and when you understand it, a joy to drive.

Introducing the Porsche 911 RSR GTE

The Porsche 911 RSR GTE is powered by a mid-mounted flat-six engine producing 510hp straight through the rear wheels. The engine sounds magnificent, especially when pushed hard. The car develops good levels of downforce with excellent handling and braking, acting as something similar to a GT3 on steroids – a class you can pick up setups for now as part of our iRacing Setup Subscription.

The Porsche 911 RSR GTE and its other GTE counterparts are all available to race in the European Sprint Series, a series you can find out more about in our series guide. This is a one-hour series that should give you a good idea of what multi-class endurance racing is like before making the move to longer, team-based races that can range from 6-hour races in the European Endurance series all the way to 24-hour races. 

The basic car characteristics

Porsche decided to move the engine on the RSR to a mid-mounted position, unlike all of the other 911s that have the engine rear-mounted. This changes its handling from the expected tail-happy oversteer to something more neutral and predictable, making it a relatively well-balanced GTE car. 

The car has lots of torque but has Traction Control to tame the oversteer if you’re a bit too enthusiastic with the throttle, although, a lack of ABS makes it difficult to handle on the brakes. Realistically, it handles similarly to its GT3 counterpart, the Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Aerodynamics and bodywork

The 911 RSR is designed for racing on a variety of tracks that range from tight, narrow and twisty, like Sebring, to massive high-speed monsters like Le Mans. The car’s front splitter and rear wing can be adjusted by increasing the number for more downforce and decreasing it for lower downforce. 

You can use the front splitter settings to help trim out a bit of understeer as well, but it’s generally accepted that both front and rear downforce levels need to be quite close together to ensure that you have a good aero balance. You’ll need to manage this level of aerodynamic grip more similarly to other downforce-focussed vehicles on the iRacing service, meaning smoother driving is often required.

The base iRacing setups do a good job initially but induce a bit too much understeer, especially in fast corners. Learning to manage the load transfer to give the front wheels enough time to be loaded will help with this, along with minor setup adjustments. 

Power delivery and braking

As mentioned earlier, the car has prodigious torque but also has traction control to help keep it in check. We don’t, however, recommend that you stamp on the throttle at the corner exit and let the traction control catch you since that’s only going to cost you time as the system interferes. It’s far more effective to be smooth with the throttle and minimise the effects of traction control.

Several fuel modes are available too, with Mode 0 being the default for most usage cases. However, if you’re in a long race and need to do some fuel saving, modes 1 to 10 are available, with each higher mode saving more fuel but also causing a reduction in performance. Mode 11 is a Safety Car mode with maximum fuel saving.

Meanwhile, despite not having ABS, the car is pretty stable under braking and will only lock up when you exceed the limits by being way too aggressive. The car is relatively easy to drive initially but needs a lot of understanding and skill to master, meaning our driver coaching will help you get the most out of the 911 RSR. 

Steering and cornering

The car is amazing to drive, with good balance and predictable handling. It feels nimble and handles both fast and slow corners with aplomb once you’ve understood the basics of trail braking and load transfer.

From the moment you first leave the pits, there’s the impression that the car is rock solid and stable, especially if you have a good setup, something we are currently in the midst of developing here at Coach Dave Academy for release during 2023 Season 2. You can immediately feel that the 911 RSR is designed to be super consistent without any sudden, scary moments to catch you out.

Final thoughts

The Porsche 911 RSR GTE is a magnificent long-distance racer that’s an absolute pleasure to drive. It’s fast, stable, and consistent, with lots of feedback to keep you informed on exactly what the car is doing at all times. If you’re a fan of GT cars and multi-class endurance racing, then this is the car for you.

Banner credit: iRacing

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