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Next year, Porsche will make a long-awaited return to the top tier of Le Mans racing with a full LMP1 entry. This year, we’ll have to make do with this: the first official pictures of the new 911 RSR.

Being a brand new Porsche, it is based on the new 911 of ten minutes ago, codenamed ‘991’, and is the successor to the 911 GT3 RSR of eleven minutes ago, the ‘997’. It will make its racing debut on 14 April at Silverstone in the World Endurance Championship, ahead of the 24 Le Mans onslaught in June.

See the first pics of the upcoming Porsche 911 RSR set for Le Mans

So what do we know about this, the car that sits at the top of Porsche’s customer-racing tree? Well, not much, as it turns out. These pictures are of a development mule that has conducted ‘successful’ test drives at the Sebring circuit in Florida. In fact, says Porsche motorsport chief Hartmut Kristen, “the circuit in Sebring is a very good rehearsal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans”.

We do know Porsche will be fielding drivers Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb, Patrick Pilet and Joerg Bergmeister (who was present when TG took a hotride in the Jaguar XJ ‘Ring taxi), while Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard will also provide “backup”.

The outgoing 911 GT3 RSR sported a 4.0-litre flat-six ‘boxer’ engine, producing 454bhp through a sequential six-speed gearbox, so expect something similar in this new one. That last car was also a bit wider, lower, stiffer and stickier than its predecessor, so expect this one to be, erm, wider-er, lower-er, stiffer-er, and stickier-er.

Fancy racing one of these? Better start saving: it’ll go for around half a million quid.

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