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Heroes and History

Rennsport Reunion: two words that signify the world’s largest gathering of classic Porsche race cars, held at the Laguna Seca Raceway in California. And it’s set to take place again at the end of September. Impressions from the last reunion in 2015.

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Indy 500 Champ Dario Franchitti Tests Gulf Porsche 917 Against Contemporary Rivals, Ferrari 512S and Lola T70

If given the opportunity to test three of the most raw and brutal racing machines of the 1960s, it’s likely most of us would jump at the opportunity. This Gulf-Wyer Racing 917 was once muscled around by the likes of Jo Siffert and Derek Bell, and while I think quite highly of my own driving, I have no doubt that I’d be absolutely pants in comparison. With that giant throbbing flat-twelve engine roaring away behind the driver’s head, a surprisingly reclined seating position, and an austere driving cockpit ahead, I might have been too intimidated once behind the wheel to actually move away from a stop. Dario, however, is among the most accomplished drivers of all time, and even he felt a bit of trepidation.

Compared to its contemporaries, the 917 was a certainly the most successful of the bunch, though there were certainly more Lola T70s built. Each of these incredible machines are worthy of praise, but the Gulf 917 is certainly the most iconic. It is interesting that Mr. Franchitti notes that the 917 has a much larger steering wheel than the 512 in a bid for driver comfort and focus over 24 hours. That attention to driver fatigue was all important back then, and has carried through to today. With minor decreases in noise, vibration, and harshness, drivers can arrive to the end of their stint with more focus and speed than they otherwise might.

And, in case that trio review wasn’t enough 917 for you, here is a short video that shows a couple of on-board views out the back of the Porsche. Really, it’s all about that sound, so crank up your speakers and put the video on repeat. You’ll be in Porsche heaven in no time at all.

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Porsche’s GT2 RS Wins Car & Driver’s Lightning Lap With A New Record Time

It seems like just yesterday we were hearing about Porsche’s wild 918 Spyder taking the new VIR production track record during C/D’s Lightning Lap in 2014. That record was taken down just last year when they ran a Ford GT just one tenth of a second faster than the 918. One tenth of a second seemed right at the time, and a massive step forward for technological progress, because the GT doesn’t use any hybrid or four-wheel drive to accomplish its lap time. This year, the Ford was sent home with its tail between its legs, because three cars not only beat its time, but demolished it completely. The McLaren 720S and Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 ran more than three seconds faster than the old Ford’s time. Porsche’s GT2 was a further TWO SECONDS quicker around the lap with a 2 minutes 37.8 seconds lap. That’s a full 5.2 seconds faster than Ford’s low-slung carbon-tub car, with a 911.

Here’s what Car and Driver had to say about the GT2 RS:

« For something with its spec sheet, the GT2 RS is surprisingly forgiving. A sharp turn of the wheel concurrent with a mashed gas pedal will induce oversteer, but with smooth inputs, you can floor the throttle a beat or two before it feels sensible. Braking from 165.2 mph doesn’t cause so much as a wiggle of instability from the heavy end. Where other cars bounce over curbing, the GT2 RS seemingly glides over concrete serrations. It is hard to believe how little body roll there is. »

That’s not all, because Porsche entered two additional cars in the Lightning Lap competition, a brand new GT3 which ran just 9.2 seconds slower than the GT2 RS with a two minutes 47 seconds lap, and dead on exactly the same time as the 991.1 GT3 RS ran a couple of years ago. It wasn’t fighting for the overall title, but it was the 17th fastest car in Lightning Lap history.

Here’s what Car and Driver had to say about the GT3:

« As you get comfortable in the GT3, more of your focus can turn to enjoying the speed it generates—and the sounds, the 4.0-liter hammering redline 18 times per lap. What’s a small-block? Ferrari who? You’ll forget every other major perform­ance player when ripping the GT3 up the Climbing Esses…« 

Then there was the 718 Cayman GTS, which punched way above its weight class, setting a 2 minutes 56.7 seconds lap to beat Audi’s TT RS by more than two seconds. More impressively, perhaps, it was just a few tenths of a second slower than last year’s Audi R8 V10 Plus, and nearly a second quicker than a 997.2 Turbo S back in 2011. In this year’s field, however, the 718 ranked just 9th.

Here’s what Car and Driver had to say about the 718 Cayman GTS:

« Before staring down the Corvette ZR1 on our final day at VIR this year, we first went out in the Cayman. Like starting your day with a cup of coffee or stretching before a run, a lap in a Cayman is the preparation you need before a big mental and physical challenge. And while it might not have supercar power, it has the magic. »

To see the full leaderboard from all past Lightning Lap events, including this one, click this link. You’ll see a lot of Porsche on that list.

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2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS (Weissach) Review

Porsche set a new record Nurburgring Nordschleife record with the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS; 6 minutes 56.4 seconds. This is the third Porsche to deliver a sub-7 minute laptime following the Porsche 918 Spyder and the GT2 RS. At first sight the new GT3 RS looks quite modestly powered with an output of 520hp […]

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La Porsche 919 Hybrid (2017) en Afrique du Sud

VIDEO. La Porsche 919 Hybrid s’est frottée aux routes d’Afrique du Sud.

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