Following on in our #MiniSeries, we’re now going to share a selection of our Porsche GT racing photos spanning the years 2005 to 2008. But because there is just such a wide variety of fascinating imagery in this genre, it will be covered in two parts.
This #MiniSeries only scratches the surface of our racing archives, and serves as an illustration of what we have, where we’ve been and who we’ve interviewed. If you feel like leaving a comment at the bottom please do, and you can subscribe to all our free blogs on the right hand side of the post. We hope you enjoy the series…
Introduced in 2004, the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Type 996) featured a 3598cc water-cooled flat-six engine developing 445bhp at 8250rpm, up from the 2001 model 911 GT3 RS’s 415bhp at 8200rpm. Maximum engine speed is reached at 8500rpm when fitted with twin FIA spec 30.8 mm air restrictors. This model was run for three seasons, 2004 to 2006, being replaced by the Type 997 in 2007.
The 996 GT3 Cup Car, the first racing car to usher in the new era of water-cooled Porsches back in 1999, could be upgraded to 400bhp at 7300rpm from its 3.6-litre engine, and had a sub-4 second time for the 0-62mph sprint.
Available from 2006-2009, the 911 GT3 Cup Type 997 MK1 was powered by a 3.6 litre flat-six, producing 400bhp at 7,300rpm. With a revised aero package, the 997 GT3 Cup Car generated 40% more downforce than the 996 GT3 Cup Car, predominantly through its wider and higher rear wing. All 997 GT3 Cup cars were fitted with the Porsche sequential gearbox. Originally introduced in the 2005 Porsche Supercup, more than 1,400 cars were produced during these years making the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car the bestselling racing car of all time. For this photo grouping, both the European GT3 Championship and the FIA GT RAC Tourist Trophy were held on the same bill at Silverstone on 7 May 2006.
In 2007, the weapon of choice was the new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Powered by a new 3795cc flat-six, the RSR produced 485bhp at 8400rpm when fitted with two 30.0mm restrictors. The engine boasted 4-valves per cylinder, a compression ratio of 14.5:1, and redlined at 9000rpm and was driven through a sequential 6-speed ‘box.
For once we had a dry race for the FIA GT Championships at Silverstone on 6 May. When the #74 Ebimotors Porsche 997 GT3 RSR came past with its door missing, it presented a great opportunity to see the driver hard at work behind the wheel. Although the driver would not have enjoyed having his door missing, this can be a common sight at races as the pressure build-up inside the cockpit can be significant, and just hitting a bump can ‘blow’ the door outwards and into the long grass. A missing door also has a significantly negative impact on the aerodynamics of the car.
The Le Mans 24-Hour race on 16/17 June 2007 was indeed an action packed race. Just a few hours after the start of the race, the storm clouds that had been steadily building suddenly decided to empty, and the deluge that followed saw all and sundry scattering for whatever cover they could find. Mike Rockenfeller fell victim to the conditions and in the process clobbered the Armco at Tertre Rouge. A lengthy safety car session ensued. Thankfully he was fine, the skies cleared, and the race was green flagged once again. This race saw the last time for the Seikel Porsche team at Le Mans 24-Hour event, having participated 11 times, but this would not be a happy race for them as the car retired after just 68 laps.
Porsche’s 2008 GT3 RSR was aimed at the GT2 class in international long distance racing. The most distinguishing feature of the new GT3 RSR was the new front end treatment which carried major improvements to the aerodynamics including additional spoilers on the front apron, so-called flicks, an optimised air ducting with newly-designed side air outlets which generated greater downforce and reduced drag. The rear wing was taken over from the predecessor. The 3.8-litre engine remained unchanged from the previous year apart from slight improvements to some details, and delivered the same 465bhp at 8000rpm, the rev limiter kicking in at 9400rpm. Much of the technology in the GT3 RSR’s new sequential six-speed gearbox came from the RS Spyder sports prototype, and was considerably lighter than its predecessor. If you’re tempted, you could have a GT3 RSR for €349,800 plus VAT.
The 911 GT3 RSR featured a 3.8-litre engine developing 465bhp at 8000rpm when fitted with a pair of 29.5mm restrictors was in use again for the 2008 racing season. 35 of these race cars were built at Weissach in 2008 and weighed in at 1,225kg for the ACO regulations, and 1,200kg for the FIA regs. The 911 GT3 Cup S model however featured a 3.6-litre developing 440bhp at 8000rpm. The car’s weight was 1,170kg. The 911 GT3 Cup for 2008 was also powered by a 3.6-litre engine producing 420bhp at 7500rpm, but weighing just 1,130kg, the Cup was capable of doing 290km/h.
Held in late summer, the Autosport 1,000km at Silverstone on 14 September 2008 was a real storming affair. As Audi and Peugeot battled for championship superiority on the track in superb dry weather, the spectators enjoyed a truly gripping race. The #77 Team Felbermayr Porsche of Alex Davison/Marc Lieb finished 2nd in the race and in the championship in 2008.
If you enjoyed Part 1, be sure to check out Part 2 which will follow in due course.
Written by: Glen Smale