Walter Rohrl will contest the Nurburgring 24 hour race in May next year, it has been announced.

The 1980 and 1982 World Rally Champion will pilot a standard Porsche 911 GT3 RS and the event will mark the first time since 1993 that he has competed in Germany's largest automobile race.

"Right from the word go, the new 911 GT3 RS reminded me of a race vehicle," said the 62-year-old, who is now a Porsche ambassador and test driver. "No other road-going 911 has ever been as close to a race car as this current GT3 RS.

"That's why I'm thrilled to be able to prove that this sports car is up to the challenge of the 24 hour race."

The new Porsche 911 GT RS, developed in the motorsport department at Weissach, is powered by a 450 hp, 3.8-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine. The high-revving unit reaches a specific output of over 118 hp per litre.

"In the last years, Porsche racing vehicles have performed brilliantly at the 24 hour race on the Nurburgring with their speed and extraordinary reliability," added Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport. "Four times straight, it was the Porsche GT3 RSR that was the vehicle to dominate the overall classification.

"I am very pleased to see one of our Weissach-developed road-going vehicles competing parallel to the thoroughbred racers and proving its suitability for long distance competition."

In the USA, 911 GT3 based race cars have collected 148 GT/GT2 victories between the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am sports car racing series, far more than any other manufacture since the ALMS began in 1999 and Grand-Am in 2000.