• Sneak Peak. New Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Race Car Runs Final Camouflaged Test.
Sneak Peak. New Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Race Car Runs Final Camouflaged Test.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car has turned its final laps incognito. Its next showing will be in full race-dress. The next Porsche motorsport entry is earmarked to make its international debut at the first race of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America on March 17 – 19, followed by its Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup premier later in the spring. It is the first racing car based on the current generation of the iconic Porsche 911, the type 992. The seventh cup-car iteration will carry forward a great legacy. Since its 1990 forerunner, Porsche has built 4,251 units of the globally successful one-make cup racer. Of its immediate predecessor alone, 1,410 cars rolled off the 911 assembly line in Zuffenhausen, Germany: 673 vehicles from the 991.1 generation and 737 from the 2017-launched 991.2 generation. Technical specifications and further information will be announced on Saturday, December 12.
The development of the new 911 GT3 Cup race car began in mid-2018 with the definition of the concept. The question was posed: How should the new racing car look and what should it be able to do? What can be improved and what expectations do the customer teams have?
After a busy year and several hundred newly-designed parts, the “TC01” (Test Car 01) was completed in mid-2019. While the first prototype headed straight to the in-house wind tunnel, a second car was sent onto the test track at the Weissach (Germany) R&D Center. After four more days of testing at Weissach, “TC01” embarked on a European tour. Germany’s Lausitzring was followed by tests on the high-speed circuit of Monza (Italy) and other international racetracks.
In mid-2020, after several thousand miles on the track, “TC01” was joined by a successor, the first pre-production vehicle from Zuffenhausen. Built, as the customer cars will be, on the production line at the German factory alongside Porsche 911 road cars.
The main task of this test car was to complete long-runs, including on the Grand Prix circuit of the Nürburgring. Joining the Austrian Bachler for the tests were his German colleagues Marco Holzer, Nordschleife record-holder Lars Kern, three-time Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup champion Michael Ammermüller and Porsche brand ambassador and racing legend Jörg Bergmeister.
After completing all development tests as well as many hours on component test-benches, the team headed to the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben for the final shakedown. By this stage, the vehicle was identical to the production racer and was again dressed in the same conspicuously inconspicuous camouflage; a psychedelic pattern which mirrored the outline of famous racetracks. Several drivers were able to get an in-depth impression of the latest development stage. The project team also used Oschersleben to check how customer race teams would work with the new Cup car.
Christoph Werner, Product Manager.
“It proved very beneficial to exchange ideas in close cooperation with the racing teams and our international one-make cup organizations – around the world and also outside our own series. We listened carefully to the engineers and mechanics as well as the drivers and team bosses to find out what they like about the current car and what is needed. By doing this, we got a very accurate picture of the mood and we gathered a great deal of information so that we could set the right priorities for the new, globally-run model. In fact, this also applies to the eventual running of the vehicle in, for example, endurance races or club sport events.”
About simulating real world customer operation: “The idea was to simulate an entire race weekend from our customers’ perspective and to use the vehicle as the teams would – including deliberately inciting problems, incorrect operations and damage scenarios. In this way, we came across minor issues that we could rectify. At the same time, our technicians for customer service at the racetracks and Marco Seefried, as the rookie coach in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, got deeper insights into the functions, operation and handling of the car. That was important to us. We’ve done our utmost to be as prepared as possible for the market launch of the new 911 GT3 Cup.”
Martijn Meijs, Technical Manager.
“For us, it was important to learn as much as possible on the broadest possible range of circuits with different characteristics. These experiences were then incorporated into the final stage of development. In choosing the [test and development] drivers, we also wanted a wide range of personalities. They all gave us specific feedback. As engineers, we experience the car through what they say.”
Jan Feldmann, Project Manager.
“After we’d completed the first bodyshell and all the components at our Motorsport Center in Flacht, we’d completed the car in a record time of just ten days with the project team. That was an interesting phase. It showed that the project team, which was founded in 2018, works perfectly. The car was actually only supposed to cover a couple of kilometers as a shakedown. We ended up doing 30 flying laps with racing driver Klaus Bachler at the wheel. The first time he flew past us at full speed, we all got goosebumps. The first shot was a winner. We received some excellent feedback.”
Matthias Scholz, Overall Project Manager for GT Racing Cars.
“After this extensive field test, we knew that the Cup car is ready for customers to go racing. We returned from Oschersleben feeling completely satisfied.”
Jörg Bergmeister, Porsche Ambassador, Development Driver.
“In terms of performance, the new 911 GT3 Cup has taken a giant leap forward – the lap times also underline this. It has once again been improved in all areas – from the engine and suspension to the aerodynamics and brakes right through to the electronics and ergonomics.”
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- Images courtest of Porsche Cars North America.