For the first time in a while, there’s a new Porsche sports car that isn’t a Nürburgring lap record holder.
It stopped raining in the Eifel Mountains long enough for the the extreme new 911 GT3 RS to finally set a time around the Green Hell, and it’s done a 6min 49.328sec lap at the (brave and talented) hands of Jörg Bergmeister.
That’s about two seconds slower than the old Porsche 911 GT2 RS managed in 2017, and six seconds behind what a GT2 RS modified by Manthey Racing did just last year. And you’re thinking “oh dear. Porsche has lost its golden touch.”
Except then you realise than the GT2 RS was a 700hp twin-turbo monster with hypercar performance. The GT3 RS has a naturally-aspirated engine with a relatively modest 525hp.
It’s almost 200hp down on the big bad GT2, yet it was only a handful of seconds behind on a 20.8km lap.
That’s mind-blowing pace, and demonstrates just how effective the new RS’s downforce-hungry aerodynamics are.
Need more brain-melting stats? How about this: the new GT3 RS lapped the 'Ring almost eight seconds quicker than the 918 Spyder hypercar, which has over 800hp, four-wheel drive, instant electric boost and a carbonfibre tub.
The RS is, when all said and done, a 911. It’s designed to have seats in the back and a big boot. The RS doesn’t have either of those things, but it shows just how far Porsche’s boffins can evolve that strange bum-engined sports car when they really get crazy.
The RS is a full 10.6sec quicker around the lap than a standard 911 GT3, which you’d expect given it generated three times the downforce, even though it suffers on the straights due to increased drag. And the weather had its say.
Bergmeister admitted: “We lost a little downforce due to the strong, sometimes gusting wind, but I’m still very happy with the lap. In the fast sections in particular, the 911 GT3 RS is in a league of its own. Here it’s on a level usually reserved for top-class racing cars. The car is also setting new standards in braking.”
STORY Ollie Kew