The new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is doing its final laps in secret: The next competition vehicle for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and selected national Carrera Cups is about to be released for the 2021 season. It is the first racing car based on the current 911 model series 992 .
The seventh generation of Cup cars is taking on a great legacy: since its ancestor in 1990, Porsche has built 4,251 copies of the globally successful one-make cup racing machine. From the direct predecessor alone, 1,410 units from the nine-eleven production line ran in Zuffenhausen: 673 vehicles from the 991.1 generation and 737 from the 991.2 generation introduced in 2017. Porsche will announce technical details and further information on December 12th.
The development of the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup started in mid-2018 with the definition of the concept: What should the new racing car look like and what should it be able to do? What can be improved and what are the expectations of the customer teams?
“It has paid off that we exchange ideas very closely with the racing teams and our international one-make cup organizations. Worldwide and beyond our own series. We listen carefully to the engineers and mechanics, drivers and team bosses and find out what they really care about current cars like or what they lack “, emphasizes product manager Christoph Werner.
“In this way we got a precise picture of the mood and collected a lot of information in order to be able to set the right priorities for the new, globally used model. This also applies to later use of the vehicle, for example in long-distance races or club sports.” so Werner continues.
An entertaining year and several hundred newly designed parts later, “TC01”, the “Test Car 01”, was on the wheels in mid-2019. “After the first body-in-white and all the components were complete at the Motorsport Center in Flacht, we completed it with the entire project team in just ten days in record time,” reports project manager Jan Feldmann.
While the path of the first prototype still led into the in-house wind tunnel, the second car already had the test track at the Weissach development center as its destination. “Actually, the car should only roll a few kilometers to test the functionality,” recalls Feldmann.
“The result was 30 fast laps with racing driver Klaus Bachler at the wheel. When he passed us at full speed for the first time, we all had goose bumps. The first shot was very good. We already received very good feedback,” said Feldmann .
After four more days of testing in Weissach, “TC01” went on a European tour: The German Lausitzring was followed by test drives in the high-speed temple of Monza and on other international race tracks. “For us, it was important to gather knowledge on the broadest possible range of courses with different characteristics,” explains technical director Martijn Meijs. “These experiences were then incorporated into the final stage of development.”
In mid-2020 “TC01” received a successor after several thousand kilometers on the circuit: the first pre-series vehicle from Zuffenhausen. “It was produced together with the other 911s on the series production line in the main plant and largely corresponded to the final racing car,” says Feldmann.
The main task of this test vehicle was primarily endurance runs, which also took place on the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit. In addition to the Austrian Bachler, his German colleagues Marco Holzer, Nordschleife record driver Lars Kern, Michael Ammermüller as a three-time Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup champion and Porsche brand ambassador Jörg Bergmeister also came into action here.
“With the drivers, we also paid attention to a wide range of types,” says Meijs, explaining the choice. “All of them gave us precise feedback. We engineers experience the car through what they say.”
The project team will have particularly liked the feedback from Bergmeister: “In terms of performance, the new 911 GT3 Cup has made a giant leap forward – the lap times also show that,” said the veteran. “It has got even better in all areas – from the engine and chassis to aerodynamics and brakes to electronics and ergonomics.”
After completing all development tests and spending several hours on component test benches, the team took another new vehicle to the final test drive in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in October 2020. It already corresponded to the series racing car and once again wore that conspicuously inconspicuous camouflage, the psychedelic pattern of which reflected the graphics of famous racetracks. Several drivers were able to convince themselves of the latest state of development.
And the project team in Oschersleben checked something else: Whether the teams are getting on with the new Cup car. “The idea was to simulate a complete race weekend from the point of view of our customers and to use the vehicle as the teams do – including provoked problems, incorrect operation and damage scenarios,” explains Werner.