Just a few weeks after Mercedes introduced a new safety car for Formula 1, the German automaker presented a car with similar functions for the World Endurance Championship (WEC). For its safety car, which will be in the racing series at least until 2020, Porsche chose the 911 Turbo.
For the most part, the safety car is just like the production vehicle, although a few modifications were necessary. Those changes include a light bar on the roof, a radio for contacting the race director, and changes to the brakes and suspension for use on the race track. It will ride on standard 20-inch wheels wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, while inside the cabin there are full-shell racing seats and six-point harnesses for driver and passenger. The matte-black design with glossy red stripes is modelled on the Porsche emblem design of the factory race cars.
Porsche says that choosing the 911 Turbo as the pace car was an easy choice, considering the car’s impressive performance specs. With a 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged flat-six pumping out 540 horsepower and all-wheel drive, the 911 Turbo rockets to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds on the way to its 198-mph top speed.
Along with supplying the safety car for the FIA WEC until 2020, Porsche will also provide 11 intervention vehicles. A pair of 911 Turbo sports cars will travel as safety cars to all WEC events worldwide, while three 911 Turbos will head to Le Mans as permanent vehicles. Various other Porsche models will also be used for motor racing medics and track safety personnel.