It is the most produced, best-selling and successful racing car models in history – the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup remains the ultimate ‘turnkey’ race car for both professional and semi-professional drivers across the globe… with over 30,000 race victories to its name.
Though one-make Porsche racing has been around for much longer, the concept of a 911 GT3 Cup was introduced in 1998 with the ‘996’ model – the one with the unique and noticeable ‘teardrop’ headlights.
Since that important car, there have been five different evolutions of the GT3 Cup concept, including the Type 991 version that enters its fourth year of service in the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship.
Close to 3,000 911 GT3 Cup cars have been produced by the factory since 1998, competing in one-make and different GT-style series all around the world. In Australia there are more than 100 cars still regularly competing, from the earlier 996 models through to the current-specification racers competing in Carrera Cup.
Technically modelled on the enormously successful 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS road-going models, the GT3 Cup race car is actually built on the same production line at the Porsche’s Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen factory as the 911 road-going models before being sent to Porsche’s dedicated motorsport operation in Weissach to get a basic race set-up and be put through its paces on the facility’s on-site test track.
Powered by a 3.8-litre version of Porsche’s iconic flat-six engine, it produces 338kw – over 460hp – at 7,500rpm – though the engines rev as high as 8,500rpm, creating that iconic flat-six wail the brand is synonymous for.
Power is transferred to the ground through a six-speed, paddle shift gearbox and the racing weight of just 1175kg means the performance is substantial. At most tracks, the fastest Porsche Carrera Cup Australia runners lap within a second or two of the Supercars Championship frontrunners.
Running on control Michelin Pilot racing slick and wet weather tyres, the 991 GT3 Cup cars are famous for their braking performance, mid-corner speed, reliability and durability.
Porsche Carrera Cup racing is often extremely intense: everyone racing identical cars with limited options to tune or vary the racing set-ups mean that the smallest error behind the wheel means an almost certain loss of position.
2017 marks the final year of competition in Australia for the current Type 991 GT3 Cup car, the model to become eligible for the GT3 Cup Challenge Australia at the conclusion of the year.
In 2018 an updated second generation Type 991 GT3 Cup will continue the brand’s incredible legacy: more power, more performance and more aero set to elevate the brand even further forward.