- New ‘Type 991’ 911 GT3 Cup race car displayed on Porsche stand (Hall 20, Stand 2540), prior to debut in 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship
- Season highlight includes race at Le Mans, in support of world-famous 24 Hours
- 911 GT3 road car on show – fresh from being hailed as ‘Britain’s Best Driver’s Car’ by Autocar magazine and ‘Car of the Year’ by EVO magazine
For motor sport fans, January traditionally heralds the formal countdown to the new racing season when the Autosport International show at the NEC in Birmingham takes place. This year, Porsche Cars GB will once again preview its British motorsport programmes for 2014, and will welcome visitors to its stand, number 2540, in Hall 20, between 9 -12 January.
All-new 911 GT3 Cup race car for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship The new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ‘Type 991’ will be unveiled to the public at Autosport International ahead of its debut in the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship.
The 12th season of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB will be officially launched at the Porsche Cars GB stand, where teams, drivers and fans will get the chance for a close look at the new car. The Porsche stand, as has become tradition, is adjacent to the main Autosport stage.
The new 911 GT3 Cup is the latest edition of the best-selling racing car of all time, having been built in a production series of more than 2,000 since 1998. The new ‘Type 991’ 911 GT3 Cup racer is based on the 911 GT3 road car, and is powered by a rear-mounted, 3.8-litre flat-six engine. It develops 460 hp (338 kW) at 7,500 rpm, surpassing the prior model by 10 hp. A six-speed ‘dog-type’ gearbox developed by Porsche Motorsport transmits the power to the rear axle and, for the first time in a Porsche Cup race car, is operated via shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Interest in the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup is already running high ahead of the new season and more deals are due to be finalised during the Show, which is traditionally the kick-off for the new racing season.
First run in 2003, the Carrera Cup GB is Britain’s fastest single marque GT racing series and has a permanent position as prime support to the British Touring Car Championship. Full details about the Carrera Cup GB will be available from the Porsche stand and Championship representatives will be on hand throughout the Show to take enquiries.
The 2014 schedule includes a sensational date on the morning of the Le Mans 24 Hours race in June, when the Carrera Cup GB will run alongside the Carrera Cup France as the prime support of the famous French endurance sports car race.
Meet Josh Webster, Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholar Visitors to the Porsche stand at Autosport International will be able to meet Josh Webster, the Carrera Cup GB Scholar for 2014/15. Josh was selected last autumn from four young racing driver finalists to receive the support of Porsche Cars GB, following an assessment programme at the Porsche Experience Centre Silverstone.
As the winner of the coveted Scholarship, the 19-year old from Stowmarket in Suffolk is awarded a prize worth £160,000, which is £80,000 per year towards his 2014 and 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup GB budgets, together with driver training and personal mentoring.
Webster, who has an extensive and successful background in single-seaters, raced in the 2013 GP3 Series but decided to switch to sports and GT racing and saw the Carrera Cup Scholarship as a perfect platform for the next stage of his racing career. “Driving the car was absolutely mind-blowing,” said Webster after his first taste of the 911 GT3 Cup race car. “It is such a big difference from single-seaters, but I think I’m in love! It was a lot more nimble than I expected and it was really responsive.” An expert judging panel, including Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy and reigning Carrera Cup GB Champion and former Scholarship driver Michael Meadows, faced a tough task in selecting Webster from four very strong candidates during the assessment process. Ignas Gelzinis, Ryan Ratcliffe and Ross Wylie all performed extremely well, both on-track and out of the car. Marion Barnaby, from the Porsche Cars GB Motor Sport Department, said that the judges faced a very difficult decision. “Any of the four finalists would be a worthy Scholar. However, we could only select one driver and we believe we have an exceptional Scholar in Josh Webster.”
New Porsche 911 GT3 road car makes NEC debut The Porsche 911 has been continually evolving since its launch in 1963, and motorsport has played a key role in the development of the iconic sports coupe. True to the 911 tradition, the latest models combine a powerful rear-mounted flat-six engine with the iconic 911 silhouette and add more power and efficiency, less weight and a host of new technologies to further enhance the sports car driving experience.
In line with this policy of continuous improvement, the fifth generation of the 911 GT3 features an entirely new engine, transmission, body and chassis which extend the breadth of ability offered by the previous 911 GT3 by an impressive margin. Together, they ensure that the proven characteristics of this race track-inspired sports car are preserved, while also allowing more sophisticated day-to-day suitability – not to mention a highly emotional ‘fun factor’.
Priced from £100,540, the new 911 GT3 features a highly specialized performance drivetrain comprising a 3.8-litre flat engine developing 475 hp (350 kW) at 8,250 rpm, a Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) double-clutch gearbox, and high traction rear-wheel drive.
The six-cylinder engine is based on that fitted in the 911 Carrera S, but shares only a few common parts. All other components, particularly the crankshaft and valve train, were specially adapted or developed for the GT3. For example, Porsche is once again using titanium connecting rods attached to forged pistons. These basic modifications set the stage for an extreme high-revolution engine capable of reaching up to 9,000 rpm. The dual-clutch gearbox is another feature specially developed for the GT3, with characteristics inspired by the sequential gearboxes used in motor racing, thus granting the driver further benefits when it comes to performance and dynamics.
The new 911 GT3 is designed for further gains in precision and lateral dynamics throughout. Porsche is using active rear-wheel steering for the first time. Depending on the speed, the system steers in the opposite or the same direction as the front wheels, thereby improving agility and stability. Among the other new driving dynamics features are the electronically-controlled, fully variable rear differential lock, and the dynamic engine mounts.
The height, toe and camber of the newly-developed all-aluminium suspension is still adjustable. The new, 20-inch forged alloy wheels with central locking are used for optimal contact with the road. Traditionally, the 911 GT3 comes as a two-seater based on the lightweight body of the current-generation 911 Carrera. However, the front and rear part are always model-specific. For this latest generation, the 911 GT3 is 44 millimetres wider than a 911 Carrera S across the rear axle. Another clear identifying feature is the large, fixed rear wing. This makes a decisive contribution to the exemplary aerodynamics of the new 911 GT3, which combines low air resistance with a further increase in negative lift (downforce).
As a result, the new 911 GT3 once again sets fresh record performance values. At full acceleration from a standstill, 0-62mph is passed after just 3.5 seconds, and 124 mph in less than 12 seconds. The top speed of 195 mph is reached in seventh (and thus top gear) of the PDK transmission. The lap time on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife is even more impressive: the new 911 GT3 completed this track, commonly regarded as the most difficult in the world, in less than 7:30 minutes. While every Porsche is proven around the Nürburgring, this credential is particularly relevant for the new model as around 80 per cent of 911 GT3 customers also drive their cars on race tracks.
Shortly after going on sale last year, the new 911 GT3 received the ultimate endorsement from two of the world’s most influential motoring media. Autocar magazine placed the car number one in its search for ‘Britain’s Best Driver’s Car’, and the monthly enthusiast magazine EVO gave it the prized first place in its authoritative ‘Car of the Year’ test.