The new Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season kicks off this weekend as a support race of the Formula 1 Monaco GP. This race is rather significant as it debuts both a new race car – the 992 generation 911 GT3 Cup – and a new renewable fuel.
We’ll recap the car later, because what’s truly new here is the fuel. For the first time, the one-make race machines will run on Esso Renewable Racing Fuel, a blend of fuels mostly made of renewable, bio-based components. The switch to the so-called eFuel – based on hydrogen produced with renewable electric energy – is planned over the course of the 2022 season.
Porsche and ExxonMobil are implementing a two-stage strategy in the introduction of renewable fuels in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. This season, the race cars will be powered by a blend of bio-based fuel obtained from food waste products. Next year, they plan to introduce eFuel that is synthetically manufactured in the Haru Oni pilot facility in Chile.
This Esso Renewable Racing Fuel is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85%, when blended to current market fuel standards for today’s passenger vehicles. Both companies say that the goal of the cooperation is to gain valuable experiences to find pathways toward potential future consumer adoption. Interesting.
The new 992 Carrera Cup race car is powered by a dry-sump 4.0 litre six-cylinder boxer engine that receives a 25 hp power hike to 510 hp at 8,400 rpm (8,750 rpm redline is 1,250 rpm higher), while max torque is 470 Nm at 6,150 rpm.
As before, power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed, single-clutch paddle shift sequential manual gearbox and mechanical limited-slip differential. The shift barrel actuator is now powered by an electric servo motor (was pneumatic), offering quicker gear changes, the ability to perform live diagnosis, as well as a reduced risk of damage in the event of gearshift errors. The car can be specified with choice of three exhaust systems to suit various racing series and regulations.
The 992 Cup car has more aluminium in its bodyshell construction – now with 70% aluminium and 30% steel compared to 30:70 in the 991.2-generation racer. The new car’s dry weight gain by 35 kg over its predecessor (to 1,260 kg) is attributed to the additional struts in the steel safety cell.
The latest Cup car adopts the suspension layout of the GT3 road car that was unveiled in February. For the first time, the GT3 Cup adopts electro-mechanical power steering. Inside, the seat can now be adjusted for height in two levels, while the redesigned multi-function steering wheel follows the style of the Group GT3-class 911 GT3 R racer. Illuminated buttons have been rearranged following driver feedback. Full details on the 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup car here.
As for the race, the season starts in Monaco for the first time, and given that testing on the street circuit isn’t allowed before the race, it’ll be a big test for the drivers and their new cars. “In terms of lap times, the field is extremely close, which was underlined at the tests in Monza. I think we’ll witness the most gripping season-opener in Supercup history,” said Oliver Schwab, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup project manager.
This year’s Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, its 29th season, has eight races run as support to the F1 calendar.
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