As the WEC's SuperSeason looms (named for the fact that it will take place over 14-months beginning this May), Porsche announced that it reached a deal to provide the series with all of its necessary track task cars. The safety cars for the series from now until 2020 will be 911 Turbos. In addition to the three safety cars that are necessary at Le Mans, which will be staying there, Porsche has supplied 13 more vehicles. That roster includes an additional pair of 911 Turbos that will travel to each of the other tracks around the world, as well as various other models for medic and track safety personnel transportation.
The 911 Turbo replaces Audi's R8 V10+ as the safety car of choice for the series. Obviously, with no Audi cars racing in the series, the German automaker decided it wasn't worth their marketing efforts anymore. Porsche stepped in with these incredible cars to help the series continue on unencumbered. The 911 Turbo is capable of everything the R8 could do, featuring a 3.8-liter turbocharged six and all-wheel-drive for all-weather traction. While this Porsche isn't nearly as quick as the LMP1 cars it will be pacing, it's definitely capable enough to lead a pace lap without breaking a sweat.
In order to fill its new role as a WEC safety car, Porsche slightly modify the 911 Turbos to be used. Each of the five safety cars are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires on the 911s standard 20 inch wheels. For safety, the Turbo models are fitted with six-point race harnesses and full-wrap racing seats for both driver and passenger. For those inside the 911 to do their jobs properly, a monitor was fitted to display track signal information, a radio to the race director, and controls for the signaling system. Last, but not least, a signal lighting system had to be adapted to the car, with a light bar fitted to the roof, and flashing LED lights at the front and rear.
“We’re delighted to have the chance to supply the safety cars and intervention vehicles for the Sports Car World Endurance Championship until 2020. As a sports car manufacturer, it was rather easy for us to find a suitable car. Basically, many of our production models fit the bill for this special task on the race circuit. Ultimately, however, we chose the Porsche 911 as the safety car. In total, 16 vehicles from different model lines will fulfill different functions in the WEC,” explains Alexander Stehlig, GT Motorsport program manager.