How often do you come across a car that is already considered a must-have classic without even being more than ten years old?
Well, when you chance upon this 2002 Porsche 993 GT3 Supercup Race Car, be advised that you’re looking at one.
Despite being similar to thousands of other 996 models, this particular GT3 race car holds a special place in the hearts of collectors for its stirring performance during the 2002 Porshce Supercup series. Driven by no less than Stephane Ortelli, one of the three drivers of the victorious Porsche GT1 that raced during the 1998 24 hours Le Mans, this particular Porsche was able to accomplish what no other Porsche has ever done, winning its series in its very first year with Ortelli, one of the best drivers of that period, sitting behind the wheel.
The car, by most accounts, is pretty similar to most other 996 models that carry the same 3.6 liter displacement of the 996’s horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine. With the added element of water-cooling to the first 996 production car, the GT3’s engine is closer to that of the 962 racing engine, which was completely water-cooled. However, unlike the 962, which used 6 individual cylinder heads, the GT1 and GT3 used 2 cylinder heads like the 959.
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As far as race performance was concerned, this car more than held its own against a tough field of cars that were faster and more powerful than this particular Porsche. Nevertheless, the car became an easy favorite because of its loud exhaust sound when driving in 1st gear down the pitlane, which, if you were there, you would’ve compared to an ex-Judd Formula 1 engine. The car ended up racing under the German Manthey Racing Team and finished a respectable 13th overall place, topped only by two Vipers that came with engines that were twice as powerful as the one it had under its hood.
Today, the car is considered a marquee item, not only for its rich racing history, but also for the illustrious line of Porsche race cars it traces its roots from. It may not have been one of the most powerful cars off the grid, but it still commands the same amount of awe and respect as it did six years ago. Whatever the case, this 2002 Porsche 993 GT3 SuperCup Race Car remains one of the few cars that can whole-heartedly represent Porsche’s racing legacy that has spanned close to 60 years.