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Porsche GT2/GT3

Is a 911 GT2 RS Faster Than A 918 Spyder at Hockenheim?

Unlike many cars of its ilk, this GT2 RS sees a great deal of track time. Whether it be racing against current GT3 Cup cars or highly modified Nissan GT-Rs, sebastian vittel’s RS is a regular sight at tracks across France and Germany. It’s been given a few tasteful modifications to suit it to the regular beating it takes; utilizing Endless pads, steel brakes, taller wing supports from a GT3 RS, and a Manthey alignment for even more purchase on the pavement. As we see in the footage below, its performance is enough to run with the 918 Spyder—a car which costs nearly six times as much. This stellar performance makes you wonder whether the GT2 RS is merely the quickest 911 on the market today, or if it’s the defacto Porsche flagship of recent years.

Despite having only two driven wheels, the GT2 RS actually betters the four-wheel drive 918 Spyder in low-speed acceleration. This is a real asset at the tight and technical Hockenheim, where strong speed out of the hairpins leading onto the long straights pays dividends. It’s the turbocharged, two-wheel drive GT2 RS which excels in these slow-speed acceleration zones, and only once they have room to stretch their legs a bit does the 918 stretch a small lead. Not exactly what one would think when considering the specs, eh?

Weighing roughly 500 pounds more than the GT2 RS, the 918 isn’t quite the agile thing that the latest RS is, but it has a habit of belying its weight and putting it to lighter, more powerful cars. So much of that comes down to the way the 918 makes great use of its hybrid power when driven through all four wheels. With minimal wheelspin and wild torque from zip, shouldn’t that make it the king of hairpins?

Only once is vittel beaten off a hairpin (1:50), but it’s his too-early entry that’s to blame.

Well, sebastian vittel once again proves the versatility of the RS with this duel. Granted, these two aren’t pushing more than 8/10ths, the 918 isn’t exactly track-tuned, and traffic does allow vittel to close the gap after the hypercar begins to walk away. Nevertheless, it’s a strong showing from both, but it’s the RS which looks even stronger after making quick work of what ought to be the quickest in the Porsche stable.

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Chase A Tuned GT2 RS From Inside A Nissan GTR

It’s soothing to know that many owners of the latest GT2 RS thrash the car around the circuit on a regular basis. Perhaps none of these well-heeled trackday drivers is better known than « sebastien vittel« , whose exploits we’ve covered on this site many times before.

Naturally, taking a GT2 RS to a track day puts a big bullseye on the car’s back, since running with a GT2 RS on a track day is barroom boast that’ll earn the teller quite a few rounds. However, unlike most cars, the camera car in this clip is one which actually stands a chance against vittel’s mildly tuned GT2 RS.

His car uses a Manthey alignment, steel brakes, Endless brake pads, and a taller rear wing. Most importantly, vittel uses the new Michelin Cup 2 R tires, which are what Manthey used on their car to outrun the 918 at Portimao.

Despite having 60 horsepower more, the GT-R isn’t as quick as the Porsche on the straights.

The Nissan has been stripped to 3,300 pounds, makes 760 horsepower, and wears Michelin slicks. That’s still about sixty pounds heavier than the Porsche, but it makes sixty horsepower more than the 911 does. Still, it’s the Porsche that’s the quicker of the two in a straight line. The two engines displace the same volume, but the Porsche’s makes 553 lb-ft from just 2,500 rpm. That might help.

The GT-R’s great strength, four-wheel drive, help it find grip off the driving line.

A straightline advantage, strong brakes, and a handy driver help the Porsche stay ahead, but it’s clear the Nissan is faster in most corners. Searching for grip in some odd places, the Nissan uses its four-wheel drive system to deploy its incredible thrust off the well swept driving line and pass around the outside. It’s fitting that it takes such a brazen move to finish this spectacular battle between two giants, which ought to have given the two drivers plenty to talk about in the bar afterwards.

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Watch This 600-HP Porsche 911 GT2 Dance in the Damp

Nicolas Werver’s 997 GT2-based racer is a striking collection of parts. Though once a street car, the current car wears the bodywork of a GT3 R, and the attendant downforce helps give the man some real certainty when trying to drive this wide-hipped monster along narrow mountain roads. In addition to the racecar’s hide, he’s added a few custom touches to the body with a widened front, quirky canards, and a bigger front splitter. The result is a remarkably capable car in the rain—quite an achievement considering it sends its 600 horsepower to the rear wheels alone.

A strong front end gives Werver reassurance in the wet.

While we’ve seen some drivers carefully navigate hillclimbs in cars like this, Werver’s quite comfortable in his GT2, though it didn’t come easily.

Getting the turbo motor to run smoothly was no mean feat. The engine’s long teething period was marked by problems with hoses blowing off, wheel sensors failing, and flimsy gearboxes shattering under the turbocharged torque.

Eventually, Werver replaced the standard H-pattern with a paddle-shifted sequential gearbox. This allows him to keep his hands on the wheel the whole time and dial in opposite lock more rapidly. When it’s wet out, that happens quite often.

The combination of accurate steering and Werner’s quick hands give him a confidence in the wet conditions which compensates for a comparative deficiency in traction; he races against four-wheel drive rivals. That said, the Porsche’s purchase on the pavement is stunning. Outside of most hairpins, the power delivery is progressive enough to put the full 600 horsepower to the road cleanly, and only occasionally does the car snap. Seeing all these qualities in action, we realize how he was able to finish second at Abreschviller, and only beaten by one of Europe’s fastest Evos. Werver is the 2018 French Hillclimb Champion, after all.

Even with rooster tails coming off his tires, he seems to navigate parts of the course faster than some would in the dry.

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Porsche Destroyed Another Production Car Lap Record, This Time At Road America

Back in 2016 Dodge set the Viper ACR loose on tracks all across the country with the intent of setting track lap records. It was fast and successful in this endeavor, which got people talking about how fast the Viper ACR actually was. With 13 track records owned by the Viper at the time, Dodge had a lot to be proud of. Of course, some of those tracks were small inconsequential tracks like Grattan Raceway in Michigan, or Nelson Ledges in Ohio. They did, however, grab some big names like Laguna Seca, Road Atlanta, and VIR.

Porsche is taking a page out of the Dodge book and taking some of those track lap records away from Dodge, as the GT2 RS now has the Laguna Seca, Willow Springs, and Road Atlanta records. As of today, that car has also set the Road America production car lap record with an incredible lap (shown in the video below) of 2:15.17. Driver David Donohue raced the turbocharged rear-drive uber-911 around the Wisconsin race course to set the record.

While a Dodge Viper owned the previous production car record at Road America previously, it was a fourth-generation car which set the record back in 2011 at 2:20.00 with Dodge racer Kuno Wittmer at the wheel. Interestingly, that record had already been eclipsed by a privately-owned GT2 RS last fall when Steve Dimakos hired pro racer Bryan Sellers to run his car at Road America, where he set a 2:17.04 lap. Porsche’s recent effort simply managed to knock a couple seconds off the lap record it already owned.

Donohue stepped aboard the GT2 RS, and set the record during his second lap of the track. That’s how great the GT2 RS is.

Like the Road Atlanta effort, Porsche also brought along a GT3 RS to set a lap time for the fun of it. While down about 200 horsepower, the GT3 RS was only a tick behind on the clock with a 2:18.57 lap time that would still have been fast enough to beat Dodge’s official lap record time.

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Is Rain the Great Equalizer? GT3 RS Hunts GT2 RS At Spa-Francorchamps

They say rain is the great equalizer. Well, the two fastest of the latest GT lineup put that old chestnut to the test on a sodden Spa-Francorchamps, where turbo power shouldn’t offer much of an advantage. Does it?

Interestingly, the turbocharged grunt of the GT2 RS seems more useful at slower speeds.

Getting passed on the inside of La Source (0:10), we can see what the GT2 RS’ additional 180 horsepower can reap if the road is straight. However, the man in the GT3 RS is quite handy, and seems to roll more mid-corner speed and avoid running off-line in the tricky conditions.

After the force-fed car ahead misses the braking point for Bruxelles (1:09), the GT3 RS is back in contention again. Through Pouhon, one of the most challenging corners on the track, the GT3 RS claws back some distance. Either the normally aspirated motor is that much more tractable, or the man ahead isn’t as comfortable at high speeds. In any event, we know the GT2 RS isn’t as friendly when the limit is surpassed, and having run off-line a few corners prior, he’s likely driving cautiously.

Interestingly, the GT2 RS has a slight advantage in some of the slower corners—the 516 lb-ft from 1,900 rpm helps. It just goes to show that, even on a fast track, additional power is only good if it’s exploitable.

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