Porsche RS Spyder

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This article is about the Le Mans Prototype. For the 1950s RS Spyder, see Porsche 550.
Porsche RS Spyder
Picture of bright yellow and red RS Spyder racing car in a museum
Category Le Mans Prototype
Constructor Porsche
Designer(s) Porsche
Technical specifications
Chassis Carbon fibre monocoque with engine and gearbox as stressed members
Suspension (front) Independent four-way, spring/damper units activated by pushrods, adjustable torsion-bar springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.
Suspension (rear) Independent four-way, spring/damper units activated by pushrods, adjustable torsion-bar springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.
Engine MR6 3.4 Litre 90-degree V8 normally aspirated mid-engine, longitudinally mounted.
Transmission GR6 6-speed Electro-pneumatic sequential gearbox. Mechanical locking differential plus traction control.
Weight 825 kilograms (1,819 lb)
Fuel Ethanol E10
Lubricants Mobil 1
Tyres Michelin, Dunlop[1]
Competition history
Notable entrants Penske Racing, Team Essex, Dyson Racing, Van Merksteijn Motorsport, Muscle Milk Team Cytosport, Team Goh
Notable drivers Germany Timo Bernhard
France Romain Dumas
France Emmanuel Collard
Netherlands Jos Verstappen
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Germany Sascha Maassen
Debut 2005 Monterey Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca
Races Wins Poles Fastest laps
63 13 10 12
Constructors' Championships 4 (American Le Mans 2006, 2007, 2008 & Le Mans Series 2008) LMP2
Drivers' Championships 4 (American Le Mans 2006, 2007, 2008 & Le Mans Series 2008) LMP2

The RS Spyder (Type 9R6) is a racing car designed by Porsche to compete in Le Mans Prototype Class 2 (LMP2) racing.[2] The car takes its name from the legendary 550 Spyder of the 1950s (combined with Porsche's common "Renn Sport" designation). The car marked Porsche's first return to the top level of sports prototype racing since the firm abandoned its Porsche LMP in 1999.

The RS Spyder made its debut in the final event of the 2005 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Laguna Seca winning its class. Since then the RS Spyder has won the ALMS LMP2 Championship in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and took class honours at Le Mans in 2008 and 2009. The outright victory at the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring was the first major victory for Porsche in endurance racing for five years and it was also the first time in 24 years that the non-premier class won the 12 Hours of Sebring overall. Regulation changes for the 2011 season rendered the RS Spyder obsolete but the car has left a legacy in the Porsche 918, which uses a development of the Spyder's engine and the 919 which carried Porsche's racing program on into the LMP 1 category starting in 2014.

Design[edit]

The RS Spyder was designed completely in-house by Porsche engineers. The chassis is a rigid carbon fibre monocoque with both the engine and transmission being integral stressed members. The 3.4 litre 90-degree V8 racing engine was designed from scratch as was the six-speed electro-pneumatic sequential gearbox. Braking is via six-piston caliper carbon-fibre brake mounted on suspension controlled by four-way, spring/damper units activated by pushrods with adjustable torsion-bar springs. The car has a dry weight of 825 kilograms (1,819 lb) in 2010 specification but was initially 750 kilograms (1,650 lb).[2]

Since its introduction in 2005 the engine, which initially produced 478 horsepower (356 kW) has been developed and modified to meet the changing regulations of both the ALMS and the ACO. For 2008 the engine developed 503 horsepower (375 kW) using direct fuel injection and 440 horsepower (330 kW) in 2009-spec with air restrictor limitations.[2]

Race results[edit]

Picture of bright yellow RS Spyder racing car on a race track with another yellow car in the background
Two Penske RS Spyders' at the 2008 Long Beach ALMS race

2005[edit]

The RS Spyder made its race debut at the final round of the 2005 American Le Mans Series, the Monterey Sports Car Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, entered by Penske Racing and driven by Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen from the Porsche Junioren factory team. The sole RS Spyder finished first in class and fifth overall.[3]

2006[edit]

During 2006, Penske entered two RS Spyders in the ALMS and won seven class victories including outright victory at the Mid-Ohio race.[4] This was the first LMP2 victory in a race since 2003 and the first major result for Porsche since the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans. The results ensure victory for Penske in the LMP2 Championship and also for Sascha Maassen in the drivers' standings.[5]

2007[edit]

For 2007, Porsche unveiled the 2007-spec RS Spyder (known as the RS Spyder Evo), which included an increase in power to 503 horsepower (375 kW).[6] Dyson Racing joined Penske in the ALMS. 2007 would be the most successful year for the RS Spyder with Penske repeating their outright victory in the ALMS series a further eight times and also securing an additional three class victories.[7] Penske again won the LMP2 class in ALMS and Romain Dumas won the LMP2 Drivers Championship. During the season the RS Spyder won eight races while the Audi R10 TDI from the largest P1 class won only four.[8]

2008[edit]

Rule changes increased the RS Spyder's weight to 825 kg[9] and Porsche introduce a new direct injection engine developing 503 horsepower (375 kW).[10] A Penske car driven by Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, and Emmanuel Collard, secured the overall victory at the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring, winning it on the 20th anniversary of Porsche's last overall win at the race.[11] Penske had another outright victory at the Utah Grand Prix and also recorded an additional three class wins. At Petit Le Mans a 3rd RS Spyder was entered by Penske in an attempt to lock out the manufacturers' championship against Acura. Penske won both the LMP2 Team and drivers' championship for Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas. Porsche won the manufacturers' championship by 1 point ahead of Acura.[12]

Danish Team Essex together with Van Merksteijn Motorsport of The Netherlands and Horag Racing of Switzerland participate in the Le Mans Series (LMS) all with 2008-spec RS Spyder. Team Essex and Van Merksteijn also entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans, marking the debut for the RS Spyder at the event. A RS Spyder from Van Merksteijn Motorsport driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen, Peter van Merksteijn and Jos Verstappen, came first in class and 10th overall with the Essex team coming second in class (12th overall).[13] A RS Spyder won its class in every LMS race giving it a 1-2-3 in the LMP2 standing and securing the drivers championship for Jos Verstappen and the Team championship for Van Merksteijn Motorsport.

2009[edit]

New restrictor rules brought the RS Spyder's power down to approximately 440 horsepower (330 kW),[14] and the wingspan was limited by the rules, effectively decreasing downforce.[15]

Penske did not compete in the ALMS in 2009 but Team CytoSport, who had previously competed in LMP1 in 2007, purchased an ex-Dyson Racing RS Spyder[16] and took part in four races with a best result of second in class at Road America.[17]

In LMS, Team Essex only competed in the 1000 km race at Spa taking the class victory and also securing the class victory at Le Mans, finishing 10th overall with Casper Elgaard, Kristian Poulsen and Emmanuel Collard at the wheel. Team Goh also took part in the race with an ex-Van Merksteijn Motorsport car.[18]

2010[edit]

CytoSport announced in February 2010 that it would contest the full ALMS in a RS Spyder.[19] It was also announced that Sascha Maassen would join the regular drivers Klaus Graf and Greg Pickett at the longer races at Sebring, Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta.[20] Cytosport used a full-width rear wing for the entire season, unlike arch-rivals Highcroft HPD. The CytoSport RS Spyder won the LMP2 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring[21] and took their first outright victory at Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock.[22] CytoSport continued their winning success by taking outright victory at a shortened race at Mosport.[23] They also finished the season second behind Patrón Highcroft Racing in the championship and Klaus Graf finished second in the drivers' standings.[24]

No RS Spyders were entered in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 2011 LMP2 regulations rendered the RS Spyder obsolete due to the costs exceeding the LMP2 budget limit.[25]

Gallery[edit]

Both of Penske Racing's Porsche RS Spyders at the 2007 Monterey Sports Car Championships. 
Cockpit of Porsche RS Spyder. 
Porsche MR6 3.4 Litre V8 engine, GR6 gearbox and the rear axle with drive shafts and wishbones
Didier Theys at the wheel of Horag Racing's Porsche RS Spyder at the 2008 1000km of Silverstone
Emmanuel Collard drives a Porsche RS Spyder of Team Essex in Spa 2009
Sebring LMP2 class winner. Muscle Milk Team Cytosport Porsche RS Spyder Evo. 
The overall winner of the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring

Race victories[edit]

Year Type Championship Race Team Drivers
2005[26] Class ALMS Monterey Sports Car Championships Penske Racing Lucas Luhr / Sascha Maassen
2006[27] Overall ALMS American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio Penske Racing Timo Bernhard / Romain Dumas
Class ALMS New England Grand Prix Penske Racing Timo Bernhard / Romain Dumas
Class ALMS Utah Grand Prix Penske Racing Lucas Luhr / Sascha Maassen
Class ALMS Road America 500 Penske Racing Sascha Maassen / Timo Bernhard
Class ALMS Grand Prix of Mosport Penske Racing Lucas Luhr / Romain Dumas
Class ALMS Petit Le Mans Penske Racing Sascha Maassen / Timo Bernhard / Emmanuel Collard
Class ALMS Monterey Sports Car Championships Penske Racing Lucas Luhr / Romain Dumas
2007[7] Class ALMS Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg Penske Racing Sascha Maassen / Ryan Briscoe
Overall ALMS ALMS Grand Prix of Long Beach Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard
Overall ALMS Lone Star Grand Prix Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard
Overall ALMS Utah Grand Prix Penske Racing Sascha Maassen / Ryan Briscoe
Overall ALMS Northeast Grand Prix Penske Racing Sascha Maassen / Ryan Briscoe
Overall ALMS Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard
Overall ALMS Road America 500 Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard
Overall ALMS Grand Prix of Mosport Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard
Overall ALMS Detroit Sports Car Challenge Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard
Class ALMS Petit Le Mans Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard / Patrick Long
Class ALMS Monterey Sports Car Championships Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard
2008[28][29] Overall ALMS 12 Hours of Sebring Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard / Emmanuel Collard
Class ALMS Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard
Class ELMS 1000 km of Catalunya Van Merksteijn Motorsport Peter van Merksteijn, Sr. / Jos Verstappen
Class ELMS 1000 km of Monza Team Essex Casper Elgaard / John Nielsen
Class ELMS 1000 km of Spa Van Merksteijn Motorsport Peter van Merksteijn, Sr. / Jos Verstappen
Overall ALMS Utah Grand Prix Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard
Class 24 Hours of Le Mans Van Merksteijn Motorsport Peter van Merksteijn / Jeroen Bleekemolen / Jos Verstappen
Class ALMS Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio Penske Racing Romain Dumas / Timo Bernhard
Class ELMS 1000 km of Nürburgring Van Merksteijn Motorsport Jos Verstappen / Jeroen Bleekemolen
Class ELMS 2008 1000 km of Silverstone Van Merksteijn Motorsport Peter van Merksteijn / Jos Verstappen
Class ALMS Petit Le Mans Penske Racing Hélio Castroneves / Ryan Briscoe
2009[30] Class ELMS 1000 km of Spa Team Essex Casper Elgaard / Kristian Poulsen / Emmanuel Collard
Class 24 Hours of Le Mans Team Essex Casper Elgaard / Kristian Poulsen / Emmanuel Collard
2010[31] Class ALMS 12 Hours of Sebring Muscle Milk Team Cytosport Greg Pickett / Klaus Graf / Sascha Maassen
Overall ALMS Northeast Grand Prix Muscle Milk Team Cytosport Greg Pickett / Klaus Graf
Overall ALMS Grand Prix of Mosport Muscle Milk Team Cytosport Romain Dumas / Klaus Graf

* Bold indicates pole position
* Italic indicates fastest lap

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans Series website Retrieved 17 July 2010
  2. ^ a b c "2007 - Porsche RS Spyder". Porsche. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  3. ^ 2005 Monterey Sports Car Championship Race Results International Motor Sports Association 15 October 2005 Retrieved 17 March 2010
  4. ^ 2006 Mid-Ohio Race Results International Motor Sports Association 21 May 2006 Retrieved 17 March 2010
  5. ^ 2006 ALMS LMP2 Results ALMS Website Retrieved 17 March 2010
  6. ^ "2007 Porsche RS Spyder Evo". www.supercars.net. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "2007 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL POINT STANDINGS" (PDF). American Le Mans Series. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  8. ^ 2007 ALMS LMP2 Results ALMS Website Retrieved 17 March 2010
  9. ^ "American Le Mans Series". Porsche. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Dumas/Bernhard Win LMP2 with new Porsche RS Spyder Engine". Porsche. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  11. ^ 2008 ALMS 12 Hours of Sebring Results ALMS Website Retrieved 17 March 2010
  12. ^ 2008 ALMS LMP2 Results ALMS Website Retrieved 17 March 2010
  13. ^ "Le Mans 24 Hours – Race results (2008)". http://www.crash.net. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "ALMS: Growing pains for Muscle Milk". ESPN. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  15. ^ Michelin Alley Mid Ohio 2010 Retrieved 24 February 2012
  16. ^ Cytosport Returns With Porsche RS Spyder Speed TV Website 2009-06-20 Retrieved 17 March 2010
  17. ^ 2009 ALMS Road America Results ALMS Website Retrieved 17 March 2010
  18. ^ "Le Mans 24 Hours – Race results (2009)". http://www.crash.net. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  19. ^ CytoSport to do full ALMS season Autosport Website 10 February 2010 Retrieved 17 March 2010
  20. ^ Maassen to rejoin CytoSport Autosport Website 19 February 2010 Retrieved 17 March 2010
  21. ^ 2010 12 Hours of Sebring Results American Le Mans Website 2010 12 Hours of Sebring provisional results
  22. ^ "ALMS Lime Rock Final Results" (PDF). International Motor Sports Association. 24 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  23. ^ "Mosport Final Race Results" (PDF). americanlemans.com. 29 August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  24. ^ "FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS" (PDF). American Le Mans Series. International Motor Sports Association. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  25. ^ "Racecar Engineering - 10 cars you will not see at LeMans in 2011". June 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  26. ^ "2005 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS" (PDF). American Le Mans Series. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  27. ^ "Final 2006 american le mans series championship points" (PDF). American Le Mans Series. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  28. ^ "2008 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL POINT STANDINGS" (PDF). American Le Mans Series. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  29. ^ "LE MANS SERIES 2008 TEAMS OVERALL CLASSIFICATION BY CLASS" (PDF). European Le Mans Series. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  30. ^ "Le mans series 2009 drivers overall classification by class" (PDF). European Le Mans Series. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  31. ^ "2010 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES PRESENTED BY TEQUILA PATRÓN FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS" (PDF). American Le Mans Series. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 

External links[edit]