For those not in the know, iRacing is a subscription based online only sim racing service. The base subscription comes with some free content for both oval and road racing and implements a licence and rating system. Once you get past the rookie series you'll need to start buying cars and tracks to compete in higher licence series, today we'll take a look at one of those cars. The Porsche 911 RSR.
The Porsche 911 RSR features a 4.0 litre, normally aspirated engine that produces 510 hp. The car is raced in the LM-GTE category in series including IMSA, WEC and Le Mans.
We're about half way into the first season of the 911 RSR being in iRacing so it feels like a good time to sit down and see what we think of the 2018 Le Mans winner.
As per every new iRacing release, what we get for our $11.95 is a single fully laser scanned car, inside and out, to provide the most accurate representation of the RSR we've seen in any game to date. There was some speculation leading up to the release whether or not we would get the updated exhaust or not. Thankfully we did, and it is glorious.
At the time of writing the 911 RSR is currently running in GTE car category of the IMSA, iRacing Le Mans and iRacing Endurance Le Mans series, which is about par for the course as it's not often we see a car featured in more than 2 or 3 series in iRacing.
The 911 RSR becomes the third car in the GTE category following the Ford GT '17 and the Ferrari 488 GTE which have been fairly well balanced since their joint release. iRacing seem to have done a good job with this new release in maintaining a good standard of balance across the class, with the 911 falling right on pace with the other two cars.
We do see a few differences to the existing GTE cars however. While most of the setup variables fall within the region of what you would expect, one major difference is that the 911 comes with 3 sets of fixed gear ratios, unlike the other cars that have several ratios for each gear, allowing for finer tuning for each circuit. Depending on how much you like to tinker with setups, you'll either enjoy the simplicity of this or be frustrated by the lack of flexibility.
The 911 RSR dash comes with 4 different pages to choose from as seen below, each giving you it's own specific information. I really like the variety of information available to you via these screens but my main issue with them is that due to the nature of my setup/camera settings, I can't actually see the screens while I am racing.
As for how the car drives, I personally believe that the GTE class is the best class available in iRacing right now and the 911 RSR doesn't let the side down. When comparing the Porsche to the other cars in the class the most obvious difference you will find is the brakes. Oh the brakes. This has been somewhat of a polarising topic within the iRacing community since the car came out, some people cant seem to make a lap without looping the car while others seem to have adapted quite easily.
The car is technically mid engined but there is still a lot of weight at the rear of the car, combined with the size of the brakes and you find that you have to run brake bias much further forward than you might be used to with with the Ford/Ferrari or you'll find yourself entering the corner backwards wondering what went wrong with your life.
The flip side of that is if you run brake bias too far forward you'll be doing nothing but locking up the fronts under braking. There's definitely some testing to be done to find what matches your taste, the track and the weather conditions, all of which determine where you need to run the brake bias to get it just right, more so than in any other car in iRacing.
I think that a good set of load cell brakes(Fanatec CSP V3 are brilliant value) will help you with this, certainly more so than a linear spring pedal box.
Moving away from the brakes the car drives quite a lot like the other GTE cars but still has it's own character. I find that it's easier to catch a slide in the 911 RSR than the Ford/Ferrari and that anything other than very light trail braking is likely to unsettle the car. Traction out of slow corners is good, thanks to the weight at the rear and running max TC currently seems to be the fastest option for all tracks and weather conditions.
The Porsche 911 RSR is not be the car for everyone, tricky brakes and limited gear sets will limit the appeal to some, while the looks and the sound, did I mention the sound? will simply be irresistible to others.
Personally I really enjoy the car, I've never had problems with the brakes (I run load cell pedals) and while I'm no alien, the limited gear sets have yet to limit my pace and since it's release I've barely touched the Ford which was my go to GTE car beforehand.
I'd advise those new to the GTE class without load cell pedals (G29 pedals at minimum) to consider the Ferrari or the Ford over the Porsche. But if you think you can master the brakes, the 911 RSR may be the most rewarding car in the class.