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Porsche 911 GT3
Information about Porsche 911 GT3The Porsche 911 (13 walls) GT3 was introduced in 1999 (18 years ago) as a high performance version of the first water-cooled version of the Porsche 911 (13 walls), the 996, to continue the quarter-century tradition of low-weight RS (short for "Rennsport" in German) models that ended with the 993 RS. The GT3, named after the FIA GT class it was intended for, did not use the rather simple engine of the regular production versions of the 996, but a naturally-aspirated version of the turbocharged Porsche 962 and Porsche 911 (13 walls) GT1 race cars. Later, the turbo-charged Porsche 911 (13 walls) GT2 was added to the maker's lineup, but unlike its predecessor 993 GT2, did not fit into GT racing regulations. The racing versions of the GT3 have won several major 24h races outright, and mainly dominated their class at Le Mans. The 911 GT3 competes with the BMW M3 GTR and the Ferrari (95 walls) F430 GT2.
Racing historyDue to the absence of the official Porsche team in the 1999 (18 years ago) 24 Hours of Le Mans, only privateers with the nearly obsolete air-cooled 993 GT2 Turbo were expected to represent the marque, with few chances to beat the Chrysler Viper for GTS class honors. Yet, two new race versions of the water-cooled 996 GT3-R showed up, officially entered in the GT class by private teams, but the drivers involved and Porsche engineers in the pits indicated that it was an effort backed by the company. Even though these were the least powerful cars in the event, being the only entrants in the GT class, the new GT3-R was noticed by fans for its loud exhaust sound when driving in 1st gear through the pitlane, comparable to ex-Formula One engines of Judd. The better of the two cars, entered by the German Manthey Racing team, finished 13th overall, beaten by only two of the Vipers with an engine more than twice as big.
The 996 GT3-R were made available to privateer teams. In the 24 Hours Nürburgring of the year 2000 (17 years ago), a factory-backed effort of the local Phoenix team managed to beat the Zakspeed Chrysler Viper that dominated this race from 1999 (18 years ago) to 2002 (15 years ago). The improved 996 GT3-RS version of 2001 (16 years ago) was entered in countless races in the years to follow, scoring not only many class wins, but also overall wins at Daytona and Spa in 2003 (14 years ago). In 2004 (13 years ago), the 996 GT3-RSR was made available, with numerous improvements to the RS, including a sequential gearbox, which allows for faster gearshifts.
In 2005 (12 years ago), the new 997-generation racing vehicles began to debut with the GT3 Cup, and was followed by the launch of the 911 GT3-RSR at the 2006 (11 years ago) Spa 24 Hours. In VLN endurance races at the Nürburgring in 2007 (10 years ago), the new car had teething problems, and the wide rear fenders reduced top speed. Yet, the Manthey entry won the last 4h race before the 24h event, and managed to win the big event also.
The following race versions were or are offered:
1999 (18 years ago) 996 GT3-R
2000 (17 years ago) 996 GT3 Cup
2001 (16 years ago) 996 GT3-RS
2004 (13 years ago) 996 GT3-RSR - with sequential gear box
2005 (12 years ago) 997 GT3 Cup
2007 (10 years ago) 997 GT-3 RSR
2008 (9 years ago) 997 GT3 Cup S
Apart from numerous class wins, the GT3 won major events overall:
24 Hours Nürburgring in 2000 (17 years ago), 2006 (11 years ago), 2007 (10 years ago), 2008
24 Hours Spa in 2003
24 Hours of Daytona in 2003
Also, at the Nürburgring, the GT3-RS and modified versions (with 3.9 litre engine) win many VLN races.
The various national Porsche Carrera Cup series, and the international Porsche Supercup which is mainly run at Formula One events, also use the GT3 Cup
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