"I couldn't find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself"

- Ferdinand Porsche

Porsche RS Spyder

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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-barsprings, dampers and anti-roll bars.
Suspension (rear) Independent four-way, spring/damper units activated by pushrods, adjustable torsion-barsprings, dampers and anti-roll bars.
Engine MR6 3.4 Litre 90-degree V8 normally aspirated mid-enginelongitudinally mounted.
Transmission GR6 6-speed Electro-pneumatic sequential gearbox. Mechanical locking differential plus traction control.
Weight 825 kilograms (1,820 lb)
Fuel Mobil
Tyres MichelinDunlop[1]
Competition history
Notable entrants Penske Racing, Team Essex, Dyson Racing, Van Merksteijn Motorsport,Muscle Milk Team CytosportTeam Goh
Notable drivers Timo BernhardRomain Dumas,Emmanuel CollardJos Verstappen,Sascha Maassen
Debut 2005 Monterey Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca
Races Wins Poles Fastest laps
63 13 11 12
Constructors' Championships 4 (American Le Mans 200620072008 &Le Mans Series 2008) LMP2
Drivers' Championships 4 (American Le Mans 200620072008 &Le Mans Series 2008) LMP2

The RS Spyder (known internally as 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 itsPorsche 911 GT1 Le Mans prototype 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 20062007 and 2008 and took class honours at Le Mans in2008 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.

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[edit]Design

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 (1,820 lb)in 2010 specification but was initially 750 kilograms (1,700 lb).

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]

[edit]Race results

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

[edit]2005

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 Maassenfrom the Porsche Junioren factory team. The sole RS Spyder finished first in class and fifth overall.[3]

[edit]2006

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]

[edit]2007

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). 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. 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.[6] Penske had also took 11 class victories from 12 races.

[edit]2008

Facing competition from the multiple Acura teams, Porsche made improvements to the RS Spyder for the 2008 season, mainly in the area of aerodynamics. A Penske car driven byTimo BernhardRomain 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.[7] Penske had another outright victory at the Utah Grand Prix and also recorded an additional three class wins which secured both the LMP2 Team and drivers championship for Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas.[8]

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 BleekemolenPeter van Merksteijn and Jos Verstappen, came first in class and 10th overall with the Essex team coming second in class (12th overall).[9] A RS Spyder won its class in every LMS race giving it a 1-2-3 in the LMP2 standing and also securing the drivers championship for Jos Verstappen.

[edit]2009

New restrictor rules brought the RS Spyder's power down to 440 bhp, and the wingspan was limited by the rules, effectively decreasing downforce.

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[10] and took part in four races with a best result of second in class at Road America.[11]

In LMS, Team Essex only competed in the 1000 km race at Spa taking the class victory and also at Le Mans again securing the class victory and finishing 10th overall with Casper ElgaardKristian Poulsen and Emmanuel Collard at the wheel.Team Goh also took part in the race with an ex-Van Merksteijn Motorsport car[12] and was running a strong second in class when it crashed with less than an hour of the race remaining.[13]

[edit]2010

CytoSport announced in February 2010 that it would contest the full ALMS in a RS Spyder.[14] 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.[15] The CytoSport RS Spyder won the LMP2 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring[16] and took their first outright victory at Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock.[17] CytoSport continued their winning success by taking outright victory at a shorten race at Mosport.[18] They also finished the season second behind Patrón Highcroft Racing in the championship and Klaus Graf finished second in the drivers standings.[19]

No RS Spyders were entered in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new 2011 LMP regulations are likely to render the RS Spyder obsolete, as the current car does not have a fin above the engine cover nor an integrated hybrid system, and the costs exceeds the LMP2 budget limit.

[edit]Gallery

Both of Penske Racing's Porsche RS Spyders at the 2007 Monterey Sports Car Championships.  
Didier Theys at the wheel of Horag Racing's Porsche RS Spyder at the2008 1000km of Silverstone.  
Cockpit of Porsche RS Spyder.  
Emmanuel Collard drives a Porsche RS Spyder of Team Essex in Spa 2009.  
Porsche RS Spyder slips by the Ferrari F430 GT.  

[edit]See also

[edit]References

  1. ^ Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans Series website Retrieved 2010-07-17
  2. a b RS Spyder Specification Porsche Official Website Retrieved 2010-02-02
  3. ^ 2005 Monterey Sports Car Championship Race Results International Motor Sports Association 2005-10-15 Retrieved 2010-03-17
  4. ^ 2006 Mid-Ohio Race Results International Motor Sports Association 2006-05-21 Retrieved 2010-03-17
  5. ^ 2006 ALMS LMP2 Results ALMS Website Retrieved 2010-03-17
  6. ^ 2007 ALMS LMP2 Results ALMS Website Retrieved 2010-03-17
  7. ^ 2008 ALMS 12 Hours of Sebring Results ALMS Website Retrieved 2010-03-17
  8. ^ 2008 ALMS LMP2 Results ALMS Website Retrieved 2010-03-17
  9. ^ 2008 24 Hour Le Mans Result ACO Official Website 2008-06-15 Retrieved 2010-03-17
  10. ^ Cytosport Returns With Porsche RS Spyder Speed TV Website 2009-06-20 Retrieved 2010-03-17
  11. ^ 2009 ALMS Road America Results ALMS Website Retrieved 2010-03-17
  12. ^ Le Mans 24 Hours: Two Porsche RS Spyder to compete Planetlemans.com 2009-02-26 Retrieved 2010-03-17
  13. ^ 2009 Le Mans Results ACO Website 2009-06-14 Retrieved 2010-03-17
  14. ^ CytoSport to do full ALMS season Autosport Website 2010-02-10 Retrieved 2010-03-17
  15. ^ Maassen to rejoin CytoSport Autosport Website 2010-02-19 Retrieved 2010-03-17
  16. ^ 2010 12 Hours of Sebring Results American Le Mans Website 2010 12 Hours of Sebring provisional results
  17. ^ "ALMS Lime Rock Final Results"International Motor Sports Association. 2010-07-24. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  18. ^ "Mosport Final Race Results"americanlemans.com. 29 August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  19. ^ "FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS" (PDF). American Le Mans SeriesInternational Motor Sports Association. Retrieved 7 October 2010.

[edit]External links

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