CAFE CHAT: Jeromy Moore
Porsche engineer Jeromy Moore was the man responsible for the design of the all-new 911 RSR, which is set to compete in the World Endurance Championship next season.
The Australian headed to Europe in 2015 after a spell with Triple Eight, where he won the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Working on Porsche’s LMP1 program, Moore then won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016 and 2017 before switching over to project manage the design of the 992 RSR.
Speedcafe.com caught up with Moore at the launch of his latest work at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
SPEEDCAFE: Can you give us an idea of your input into the RSR and how it came about?
MOORE: Halfway through 2017 we knew the LMP1 project was going to stop. Of course there were rumours before that, so I’ve always had my eye on the GTE category and the GTE car in the 911 family. It’s quite interesting. It’s one big family inside Porsche. I noticed they had an opening or there was a possibility to go over there. When the two departments were in the end going to join, I basically jumped across and started being the project Technical Manager for the 911 RSR 2019. So it’s been a very interesting project from around the end of 2017.
SPEEDCAFE: So what has that meant for you?
MOORE: Basically, my role is to coordinate all the departments, choose what priorities we want to focus on. With these cars they’re quite open in terms of their design until it’s homologated. Once it’s homologated from the FIA it’s frozen and you have to abide by the BOP adjustments, but before then you can do, within reason, a lot of things to achieve the performance that is required to fit inside the balance of performance window from the FIA.
SPEEDCAFE: So tell us a bit about the car.
MOORE: This car is actually a mid-engine car, same as its predecessor, but everything we focused on was to maximise drivability, basically to make it less pitch sensitive and more drivable for all the drivers because in the end, with the BOP process, if you have really fast laps you then have a lot of degradation, that’s a worst case scenario. You want a nice consistent car for everyone.
SPEEDCAFE: There is also a broad range of drivers that will drive this car in different parts of the world.
MOORE: Yes, we also have a lot of customers that drive this car so we want to make sure that they can drive it on the edge for 24 hours and not have any issues. So my role is to make sure that each department is focused on what was most important. So aerodynamics, drivability through the powertrain, adjustability through the systems in the cockpit. You’ll see it’s quite a complex steering wheel to look at to start with, but all the functionality is right in front of the driver and more intuitive than the previous car. That was my role, to make sure that all departments were pulling in the same direction. We got the best outcome at the end of the day.
SPEEDCAFE: Moving from your success in the LMP1 program to this Technical Manager role on the RSR, has it made you more of a Porsche guy?
MOORE: Yeah, I would say so for sure. The LMP1 is completely a prototype car. There’s no real attachment to the road car other than the future development of parts with the powertrain. But it’s not like a 911. The 911 has a lot history. It started a long time ago in the ’60s. So there’s a lot of heritage to the car. You need to make sure you don’t do anything or sacrifice its heritage to make the race car as good as you can. I think working on the 911 makes you more of a Porsche guy.
SPEEDCAFE: I guess you were a Porsche guy from an early age?
MOORE: I already had sort of a soft spot for Porsche when I was a young guy. My dad had a 912 when I was 15 so it sort of started early. But working on the 911 itself, yeah it makes you a bit more ingrained into the family. I am honoured that I was allowed to put my mark on such a classic, a critical car, for the 911 family, the 911 RSR, which has a lot of heritage to live up to.
SPEEDCAFE: The 911 RSR has been very successful in the last three years around the world in GTE, so how do you improve on that success?
MOORE: We had a good base with the ’17 car, but we knew some of the weaknesses. We knew that we could do better if we made the car a lot more stable aerodynamically. So that was the big focus, to make sure that what we had was a good base, we didn’t sacrifice any of the positives, being that the ’17 car was very easy to work on, mechanics could change things quickly. The car is very robust. You can contact other cars and not have a DNF. Nice and strong, but also quite light. So we didn’t want to sacrifice any of the strengths of the old car, but incorporate some of the improvements; we wanted to make the car nice and easy for everyone to drive.
SPEEDCAFE: So what’s the next for you?
MOORE: Good question. So there are projects. I’m going to start racing in Silverstone (September 1). I mean 90 percent of my job is done to provide a really good car. Also tyre development has been ongoing during the process of this car. So not only have we developed the car itself, we’ve developed new casings and compounds to match this car, to have an even more consistent car over one stint, two stints.
So I’ve done sort of 90 percent of the work to release this car, given to the teams. Now we are continuing to work on the tyre development for the teams. So far all positive reports, so who knows? Who knows what the future entails?
SPEEDCAFE: Could you briefly tell us about the tyre development and your relationship with Michelin and how that works?
MOORE: So Michelin is a partner of Porsche, which I was quite used to in LMP1. They’re very open. We have a good relationship working with them on the simulator, on the pre-analysis of what we need to improve with the car, all the modeling they’re involved in. So basically, they come along and ask what we want from the tyres for the new car and we give feedback. And it’s a few iterative loops to bring to the track, test new casings and going through compounds for each casing. It’s quite detailed work to get the best tyres that you can. It’s only one of a few categories in the world where you have such intense tyre testing, most other categories are out of our control, so it’s been very interesting to work with Michelin. They’re one of the best manufacturers in the world for tyres and we have a really good relationship with them.
SPEEDCAFE: You keep an eye on what’s going on at home in Supercars. If Roland (Dane, Triple Eight Racing Engineering owner) gave you a call and said, ‘hey ‘JJ’ come back and give us a hand’, what would your answer be?
MOORE: Oh I’ll always consider it because in the end Australia’s my home. I’ve moved my family across to Europe to experience what’s out there. I’ve done a lot of experiencing, I’ve done a lot of traveling, I’ve ticked a lot of boxes winning Le Mans in the LMP car and doing this (RSR) project. So I would never say never.
SPEEDCAFE: It always been in the back of your head that you would go home at some point, but would next year be too soon?
MOORE: I mean it was always going to be a temporary thing, or if we came across… the first time thinking it’s going to be a two year thing, maybe a three year thing. Every year we’ve been thinking are we done, have we had enough or what’s the next move?
SPEEDCAFE: We know Formula 1 was always in your original mix.
MOORE: I was always considering Formula 1 or other categories. But now with having a family, I had a new daughter a month ago, Formula 1 I think is probably a leap too far now considering my age. And basically I enjoy having family time. So I think I’ve had a look there, but it’s probably not what I want to do now. I think it’d be a nice, interesting challenge, but in the end I enjoy having more of an input across the whole car, like you get with a GTE or a Supercar, you have a global view. In F1, you’re just a man doing a little widget on the car, and there’s a lot of people involved.
SPEEDCAFE: Would next year be too soon to come home?
MOORE: Overall, I wouldn’t say next year’s too soon. You never know. We will just see how it goes the next couple of months and we’ll see what’s ahead because the future’s still to be decided, basically.