Return of the King?

For many onlookers, it was business as usual for Manthey Racing at the recent VLN race on 15th May, with their Yellow and Green Porsche charging round at or near the front for much of the race, eventually finishing 2nd overall, after a 1 lap penalty, and winning its class.

The actuality was quite different, although you would have needed sharp eyes to spot why!

With the factory supported challengers lining up in huge numbers, from Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Ferrari, to name just a few, it's clear that for Olaf Manthey's team to regain the crown which feel is rightfully theirs, that of the ADAC 24h, it is necessary to ensure no stone is left unturned in the quest to have the fastest car.

In this case it meant looking back, to the champion which won in 2007, 2008 and 2009 - their  SP7 class Porsche 911 RSR.

Whilst the GT3-R, which they'd run in 2010, and up until now this year, is competitive, with the recent rule changes, and, it could be that the GT2 spec RSR is once more the car to beat.

It wasn't simply the case of wheeling out the winning car from 2009, and firing it up - first all the latest updates had to be applied - some of the differences can be seen in the two photos below.

2009 Porsche 911 RSR

Key differences to the 2011 RSR are the modifications to the front, which are clearly visible in these photos - with a smoothed lip from the bumper to the bonnet, to reduce drag - along with other changes to increase downforce. Additionally the rear wing benefits from optimisation, and along with improved ducting to the engine, which rises in power to 455bhp (5bhp more than before). 

2011 Porsche 911 RSR

This means, following the "balance of power" to the GT3 class, forcing the Porsche GT3-R to drop to 465bhp, there is now just 10bhp difference between the cars - which considering the significantly more downforce in the RSR, should help tip the balance.

For comparison you can see the GT3-R below - The most visible differences are the simpler front bumper, which lacks the double winglets of the RSR, and also the significantly smaller rear wing

2011 Porsche 911 GT3 R

Of course, it may be this is just a diversionary tactic that Mr Manthey is deploying to help hide and protect the performance of the GT3-R car he had run up until now - or perhaps, it means we'll be in for a real treat with both models being raced - to attempt to avoid the disappointment of last year.

We will find out for sure, in just under a month! - in the run up to the 2011 ADAC 24h race at the Nürburgring, we will be sure to continue to bring you the latest news and updates on this.