The year is 1999; the continent of Europe is embroiled in a significant series of events. Member states of the European Union solidify their pledge of a unified Euro currency, while former Warsaw Pact members join NATO. While these were sensational headlines for bankers and those watching the global economy, one particular piece of news would significantly influence the choice of racing teams across the world with the revelation of a particular German automobile variant, which would continue its legacy well into present age.
Taking stock of its victories from its line of high-performance models, Porsche rolled out its planned higher performance version of its iconic 911 sports car. Christened the 911 GT3 (Type 996) after its intended role in the FIA GT3 European Championship, it boasted a 3.6 litre naturally aspirated flat-six engine that pumped a decent 355 horses, an additional 59 horsepower over the standard 996 model. Utilising the traditional air-cooled dry-sump crankcase, the engine
was mated to a manual gearbox, true to the tradition of a true-bred race machine. It has since been more than a decade since the introduction of the GT3 variant.
With the passing of the first GT3 based on the Type 996 model, it has since been handed down to the Type 997 model and more recently, onto the latest Type 991. REV Magazine’s cover car is that of the popular Type 997; the definitive, battle-hardened model that had since won various trophies in numerous events, such as the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, the Spa 24 Hours and 24 Hours of Daytona; an endearing testament to Porsche’s outstanding worksmanship that was the GT3’s standard.
The Type 997 Porsche 911 GT3 depicted here is no ordinary machine; this is the ultimate-spec machine, the GT3 Cup variant. The car’s very-capable attributes are backed up by its sales figures; a total of 2,200 units sold worldwide to racing teams all over the world. Not only that, this particular German-wagen here has already had its fair share of battles. Once a part of the ClearWater Racing team, this GT3 Cup machine is now in the hands of its new owner; supported by renowned workshop Maximus Racing, which has become their obvious pride and joy.
Since the days of the Type 996, things have basically changed quite a fair bit in the various departments of the GT3. Based on the road-going version of the 911 GT3 RS sports model, the 911 GT3 Cup utilises the same flat-six motor, churning out an updated power of 450 horsepower while maintaining 8,500 revolutions. A sequential multi-point fuel injection system is utilised to ensure that each of the flat-six’s cylinder gets fired in perfect unison, while the engine management system is Bosch’s MS3.1, which was specifically made to handle 6-cylinder type engines. Though illegal proportions of 37% to the front and 52% to the rear while the suspension is a complex setup; Sachs gas pressure shock absorbers, alongside double coil springs and double blade-type anti-roll bars. These with Unibalsuspended control arms and reinforced axles, give the Porsche extreme rigidity and manoeuvrability, allowing the car to turn on a dime at every whim and command.
The brakes provide immense stopping power; with 6-piston brake calipers up-front and a 4-piston calipers behind, alongside vented brake discs and race use-only extreme high-temperature brake pads. The German “War-Fighter” wears exquisite three-piece 18” BBS aluminium rims in 9.5j up front and 12j behind, all shod in full Michelin slicks.
Bodywork is not just about improving aerodynamics; it is a comprehensive package that also includes optimising the weight of the vehicle. The Type 997 gets a stretched body width against the older GT3 RS II with cavernous wheelhouses. Safety enhanced. Steering confidence. 6-Speed Propellant. Premium amongst premium.
An additional air inlet was added to keep cockpit temperatures sustainable during the heat of racing. To keep the car propelling forward without the loss of frontal grip, an aerodynamically optimised front splitter was introduced, while a carbon fibre reinforced carbon adjustable GT-wing keeps the rear firmly planted as the driver pours on the throttle at the exit. Typical parts of the road-going Type 997 version get replaced with lightweight parts made of carbon fibre reinforced carbon; such as the doors, rear lid, vented polycarbonate windows, least the mandatory glass windscreen to keep the car legal, yet agile like an Olympic sprinter.
The interior befits that of a true race car. As standard on all FIA-approved race cars, a mandatory welded-in roll cage is installed as with DMSB (Deutscher Motor Sport Bund) regulations to keep the driver safe in the unlikely scenario of a Porsche going awry on a circuit. The steering wheel is detachable to enable a quick entry or escape from the vehicle via a quick release kit. To the Porsche light on its feet, any form of luxury was dumped in favour of carbon panels, flips and switches. The 10kg bucket seat is an FIA-approved Recaro Pro Racer with firm head protector against high lateral Gs, while a 6-point harness keeps the driver firmly strapped in for the gruelling race ahead. To keep it competitive even in the pits, a built-in air-jack system is installed into the Porsche to allow for easy jacking and the rapid changing of tyres.
The standard analogue GT3 dashboard is replaced with a Motec ADL2 electronic dash meter to help reduce the workload on the eye, while integrated data recording helps teams manage and log data for pre-race/post-race analysis. Even with the introduction of the latest Type 991, equipped with a plethora of new tinkers, such as rear wheel steering, an automated PDK gearbox and quicker specifications to continue the legacy of the Porsche GT3 race-breed, the Type 997 is still considered one of the most successful race use-only Porsches to dominate the global endurance race scenes. Porsche enthusiasts mourn the loss of the good ol’ six-speed manual, and so does REV Magazine Singapore.
Porsche 911 (TyPe 997) GT3 RSR Cup Car Specifications
3,800cc Flat Six Engine
Sequential Multi-Point Fuel Injection
Bosch MS3.1 Electronic Engine Management Computer
Race Exhaust System with Controlled Catalytic Converter
Single Mass Flywheel
Triple-Plate Racing Clutch
Hydraulic Clutch Centre-Release Mechanism
6-Speed Sequential Dogbox
Limited Slip Differential (37% / 52%)
Engine Oil Cooler
Sachs Shock Absorbers with Double Coil Springs Race Setup
Six-Point Suspension Front Axle Control Arm
Two-Piece Camber Adustable Lower Arms
Double-Blade-Type Anti-Roll Bars
Forged Unibal Support Mounts
Modified Steering Column Assembly
Reinforced Continuously Variable Axle Track Rods
Modified Axle Side Parts
Porsche Brembo Brakes (F: 6-Piston Calipers / R: 4-Piston Calipers)
Optimised Wheel Suspension & Hubs
Michelin Full Slick Tyres (F: 250/64/18, R: 300/68/18)
Widened Wheel Arches
Revised Aerodynamic Front Splitter
Carbon Fibre Reinforced Carbon Doors
Carbon Fibre Reinforced Carbon Door Rear Lid
Carbon Fibre Reinforced Carbon Adjustable GT-Wing
Modified Rear Body Panels
Vented Polycarbonate Windows
H7 Main Headlights
Daytime Running Lights
18” 3-Piece BBS Aluminium Rims (F: 9.5J, +37 / R: 12J, +30) Interior Welded-In Roll Cage (DMSB Approved)
Motec Dashboard ADL2 With Integrated Data Recording
Multi-Functional Steering Wheel With Quick Release Coupling
Recaro Pro Racer FIA Approved Full Bucket Seat
6-Point Seat Belt Harness
Electric Fire Extinguishing System
Built-In Air Jack System
Additional Cockpit Ventilation Air Inlet
Extended Sequential Gear Shifter