There is always one version of the factory built Porsche 911 that stands head and shoulders above the rest of its backwards engineered brethren. The 911 GT3 is the choice of seasoned racers with a high revving naturally aspirated flat six and a track tuned suspension. The GT3 offers true race car performance in a street vehicle.
Pikes Peak record-holder Jeff Zwart and his record-setting Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car are like kindred spirits, joined together to achieve a greater purpose. We found out exactly what that purpose was when Zwart won and set a new record in the 2WD Time Attack class in last June’s 88th running of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb.
Turns out, even in the off-season, Zwart still has time to take his beloved race car out for a spin – or ten – along the Californian mountains with twists and turns that leads to God-knows-where.
When he’s not behind the wheel shaking down his 911 GT3 Cup car, the multi-titled Pikes Peak veteran – he’s been racing in the event for 12 years on nine different Porsches while winning seven different class championships - spends some time talking about and discussing his deep-seated love for his racer, clearly showing that he and his 911 GT3 Cup are like brothers from two different mothers.
Who can make a Porsche 911 GT3 look even better than it already does? That’s easy: the German tuner 9ff. Their GTurbo program offers the possibility of extracting a total of 1000 HP from your GT3. That impressive amount of power was possible thanks to a Bi-Turbo conversion. However if 1000 HP is just to much for you, then you have other options to choose from: 9ff GTurbo750 – 750 HP, 9ff GTurbo850 – 850 HP, 9ff GTurbo1000 – 1000 HP.
The 9ff exterior kit includes: a front apron with built in LED indicators, lower side skirts and a redesigned rear apron, sport exhaust system and 19" alloy wheels in five double spoke design. With this many horses under the hood, the modified 911’s performance is more than impressive, going from 0 to 60 MPH in 3.0 seconds in the GTurbo850 and only 2.9 seconds in the GTurbo1000. The 9ff kit is good to accelerate from 0 to 300 km/h in 18.7 seconds and 16.5 seconds respectively while the top speed goes up to 243 MPH.
UPDATE 11/17/2010: 9ff has dropped a video of the Porsche GT3 GTurbo 850 as it raced to posting a new 381 km/h world record on the German Autobahn. They absolutely succeeded, but the best part is, the GTurbo 850’s top speed is still higher than that! It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing video you’ll ever see, but all you need to do to appreciate it is watch the speed counter on the Porsche’s dash as it rapidly accelerates, topping out at 381 km/h (237mph).
The most successful race car of all time is set to meet some of the most successful race drivers of all time at this years’ Race of Champions. The event is an absolute riot of fun and includes cars and bikes from all forms of FIA Motorsport. At the end of every year, newly crowned Champions of their respective disciplines are pitted against each other in head to head battle. Drivers are asked to step out of their comfort zone by performing on a make-shift course in cars they don’t usually drive – which makes for interesting and entertaining racing. Not to mention the fact that all around driving skill is absolutely pivotal to success. Ever wondered how Sébastien Loeb would fare against Michael Schumacher, both driving Porsche GT3 Cup cars? Well come November 27th-28th in Dusseldorf we’ll find out.
The 3.8 liter 450 hp 911 GT3 Cup will be one of many uber cool cars being used at this years’ event and American Le Mans winner and ROC newbie, Jeroen Bleekemolen, will hope that he can drive as many heats as possible behind the wheel of his Porsche to gain an advantage over the superstar lineup. Drivers will experience superb handling and 8500RPMs of aural pleasure that is rivaled by few other cars. Traditionally, the course is tight and will allow the GT3’s handling ability to come to the fore. We look forward to all the action.
The Porsche Experience Center at Silverstone is the breeding ground for Porsche drivers to improve their driving skills through a series of challenges. These challenges are designed to test the driving capabilities of the drivers and to see how their handling of the Porsche through these simulations. If you think it’s as easy as driving Ms. Daisy to the park on a lazy Sunday afternoon, think again.
In this video, Porsche chief driving consultant Gordon Robertson takes us all on a tour around the Porsche tracks on board a Porsche 911 GT3, while showing us the many unique driving simulations it comes with, including a kick-plate. This is a hydraulic metal plate that ‘kicks’ the car into oversteer before passing through a wet piece of road, simulating wet conditions and giving the driver the challenge of maintaining control and balance while the car is over-steering. There’s also the ‘low-fraction handling circuit, which consists of a limestone composite surface, the same type of surface that has freshly fallen snow on it, making at an ideal place to develop car control.
The curtain has been lifted on the new 911 GT3 Cup race car as it makes its way to the 2011 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship in just a few months. This racer is especially fantastic because it has been based on the 911 GT3 RS road car for the very first time.
Powering this mega machine is a rear-mounted 3.8-liter six-cylinder horizontally-opposed power unit that develops 450 HP and is mated to a sequential six-speed manual gearbox and limited slip differential. This is a 30hp jump from the previous model thanks to the borrowed engine from the GT3 RS.
Whereas the engine setup is identical to that of the GT3 RS, the weight of the 911 GT3 Cup takes a turn to the south with a 170kg drop. This means that the GT3 Cup tips the scales at 1200kg, leaving the race car with the added performance it needs for the track.
The exterior of the vehicle is race modified with a front spoiler lip that is 15 millimeters lower than the GT3 RS and a rear wing that is now 1.70 meters, up from the original 1.46 meters. The rear wing is also mounted higher to resemble that of the 911 GT3 R raced in the FIA GT3 series. Three-piece light-alloy rims measuring 9.5 J x 18 (previously 9 J x 18) and running on 24/64-18 Michelin racing tires have been housed in the wider front wheel arches and flared wheel housings.
The price of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup starts at 149,850 Euros ($210,029 at the current rates).
After Autocar voted the road-going 911 GT3 RS as Britain’s Best Drivers’ Car earlier this week, it comes as no surprise that it’s racing brother, the GT3 RSR clinched the title of the world’s most successful GT Racer.
From its debut in 2004 (996), the RSR has found winning ways, taking no less than six class victories in that season. Since then the precision machine has undergone numerous improvements on its way to 19 class and overall victories between 2007 and 2010.
“It’s impressive how the 911 GT3 RSR has developed from year to year. The lap times alone are astounding, because despite the restrictions imposed on us again and again by the regulations, the car just got faster every year,” says Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister, who celebrated the majority of his successes at the wheel of the RSR. For this reason, the five-time winner of the American Le Mans Series is not at all anxious about tackling the 2011 season: “When you finish a season you always think: now we’ve reached our limit, now the car’s gone as far as it can go. And then Porsche comes up with something new again. And I reckon it won’t be any different in 2011.”
After driving Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS earlier this year, it comes as no surprise that the weekly mag Autocar has voted it as Britain’s best drivers’ car for 2010.
With 320 kW and a staggering 430Nm of twist from its 3.8 liter boxer 6 engine, Porsche’s slim and trimmed down version of the GT3 is most definitely a worthy adversary in today’s tightly contested super sports car market. Donington Park was the battleground for what turned out to be a landslide victory for Zuffunhausen. Autocar’s Editor, Chas Hallett was quoted: “The Porsche 911 GT3 RS was a clear winner; each of our seven judges placed the car at the top of their list. On the day of our road and track testing at Donington, the GT3 RS’ drive was simply the most involving, enjoyable and satisfying of all the sports cars involved.”
The other cars involved formed quite an impressive list of machinery valued at just under £ 1 million. Autocar’s judging team also tested the line-up on some of the UK’s best driving roads before making their final decision to give on-road manners a fair say in the outcome.
Noble’s M600 came in second place, with judges praising its polished, surprisingly forgiving chassis and steering, the predictability of its handling and brutal straight-line speed. Third place went to the brilliant Ferrari 458 Italia, the fastest car on the day around the Donington circuit at 1min 15.9sec.
German wheel manufacturers, ICW, have released an all-new design exclusively for selected Porsche models. The twin-five-spoke design, dubbed the i-BI, was inspired by dynamism and power, and is meant to evoke what ICW calls “optical sophistication”. Whatever that may be, one thing is for certain, they look a lot like the current GT3 wheel – with a bit more menace. The wheels themselves are milled from a single block of billet Aluminum making them strong and lightweight – two of the most functional aspects of a performance wheel. Fitment does require the use of high-tensile adapters to get the deep dish look without the nasty rubbing that can sometimes occur. Applications include the Porsche Boxster, Cayman, 911, or Panamera and will shortly include the Audi R8 and others. Customers have the choice of 18 or 19 inch options, in either hyper silver or matte black. Pricing starts from €244 per corner which is really not bad considering other options for these cars start at around the €300 mark.
Porsche’s racing laboratory, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, with 24 Hours of Le Mans champions Timo Bernhard/Mike Rockenfeller (both Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) aboard, was the 18th best finisher in a starting field of 41 cars.
“My job at the wheel of our rolling laboratory was a great experience for me," said Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard. "The hybrid system worked perfectly over the entire race distance. We achieved two important goals, and these were to present this unique car to the US fans and to further develop the hybrid drive under racing conditions." His factory pilot teammate, Romain Dumas, commented: "I’m pleased to have reached the finish line without any problems. Unfortunately, several punctures cost us a lot of time today. Still, it was a fantastic experience, because over the whole weekend the fans celebrated us like winners."
As they say in show business, "The show must go on!" After all of the problems Top Gear has had with their former colleague, Ben Collins, the men of the original Top Gear are pushing ahead rather effortlessly. They are currently filming their 16th season and these guys were able to record a video of them while they were shooting a show in our very own New York.
We’re not sure what the new season is all about, but driving around in three cars like that is sure to add up to some fantastic footage! The GT3 RS develops a total of 450 HP and can hit a top speed of 193 mph; the 458 Italia develops 570 HP and has a top speed of 202 mph; and the SLS AMG develops a total of 571 HP and can hit a top speed of 197 mph.