London | Lot 156
1997 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR
£800,000 - £900,000 GBP
| London, United Kingdom
6 September 2017
- Undamaged original tub; remarkably original throughout and fully matching numbers
- U.S. endurance racing history; campaigned at both Sebring and Daytona
- Extensively documented
- The last air-cooled version of Porsche’s normally aspirated 911 RSR
It is quite unusual to come upon a factory-built Porsche racing car that has competed in a number of prestigious long-distance races, yet retains its entire original undamaged tub. One of only 30 993 RSRs constructed by the Porsche Motorsport department in 1997, this chassis was ordered new through Porsche Motorsports North America by Italian/American race driver Angelo Cilli. Completed on 12 December 1996, it was delivered directly to the well-respected Alex Job Racing team, based in Seattle, Washington, which prepared it for the 1997 Daytona 24-hour race.
The RSR 3.8 was developed by the Porsche Motorsport department specifically to support Porsche customer race team entries into International Endurance events like the American IMSA GT series and European GT series. Out of the box, the RSR was intended to compete in 24-hour endurance events like Daytona, Spa and Le Mans. Standard RSR equipment included full welded Matter roll cage, an alloy bonnet, a front strut brace, fully ball-jointed suspension, two-way adjustable Bilstein suspension, special front spoiler and adjustable rear wing, fender flares, a single racing seat and harness, battery switch and a fire extinguishing system. This car was also fitted with the additional factory options of larger 380-mm endurance front brakes, driver-adjustable front rollbar and 100-litre safety fuel cell.
The M64/75 Type 3.8 RSR engine was an extensively reworked race-bred engine with stronger, lighter valve gear, rockers, high-lift cams and special pistons and barrels. To maximize performance, the inlet plenum and exhaust manifolds were also thoroughly revised and mated to six individual throttle bodies. Power was delivered through a single-mass flywheel to a unique RSR six-speed Type G50/34 manual box.
The RSR’s first event was the IMSA Daytona 24 Hours on 2 February 1997. Carrying number 26 and driven by Anthony Lazzaro, Eric Bretzel, Phil Conte and Cilli, the car finished the demanding round-the-clock enduro 14th overall and 5th in GTS-3. On 15 March, the team of Lazzaro, Cilli and Bretzel tackled the 12 Hours of Sebring and were classified 32nd overall and 17th in class. On 19 April, the car was 20th overall and 11th in class at Road Atlanta. For 1998, the Alex Job team again tackled the Daytona 24 Hours, with Cilli, Don Kitch, Byron Sanborn and Kim Wolfkill sharing driving duties, finishing 12th in GT3 and 34th overall. At Sebring on 22 March, the RSR was 19th overall and 7th in GT3, shared by Cilli, Charles Slater, Kitch, Dale White and Michel Petersen.
In 2006, this RSR was sold to Jeff Stone of Kelly Moss Racing in Madison, Wisconsin. Stone recalls that he installed original OEM urethane bumper covers, as the factory parts had been removed and the car fitted with lighter and stronger fiberglass components. The car was briefly owned by a local individual that records show was a Mr Joseph Battista, and the car was driven a few times in Club events. Meanwhile, Stone had been advertising the car for sale, stating, ‘Following its last race [it had been entered in three club races as well], this car was completely rebuilt – engine, suspension, transmission. Since that rebuild, it has been on track for only 6.5 hours for light testing and public relations activities [driving reporters around the track]’. Following the rebuild, said Stone, the car was properly stored for a year and a half, at which time the owner decided it was time to sell it to someone else.
The car was sold by Mr Battista in October 2006 to British Porsche collector Neil Primrose, who drove this impressive automobile at just one track day at the famous and intimidating Spa circuit. Primrose reportedly had the car on the track for no more than two hours. In January 2009, Primrose sold the RSR to the current owner and consignor, who states that he too drove the car about four hours, ‘including one local Porsche Club race meeting at Silverstone in 2013 (30-minute qualifying, 30-minute race) and demonstration days at Silverstone Classic (90 minutes total) and Algarve Classic in Portugal (90 minutes total).’
A number of 993 RSR 3.8s made their way to the United States for GT-category racing and proved their mettle. This very attractive, highly original and well-documented example, with its Daytona and Sebring competition history, would make a fine addition to any serious collection of high-performance automobiles.