The Porsche 911 GT1
After a successful motorsports season in 1995 in the GT 2 category, Porsche made it their duty to develop an automobile capable of winning the even more powerful GT 1 category which, despite all modifications, could be recognized as a 911 at first sight. The result is something to be quite proud of. Despite this, the concept of the GT1 distinctly deviates from the long technical course of the 911.
Revolution no. 1: The powerplant of the 911 GT 1 - for the first time ever in a racing version of a production vehicle - moves towards the center. Exactly where its place had always been in the sports prototypes built by Porsche.
Revolution no. 2: The horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine of the 911 GT 1 is fully water-cooled.
Horizontally opposed 6-cylinder; 4 cam, 4 valve watercooled, lightweight aluminum
Bore and stroke: 95mm" x 74.4mm"
Displacement: 3.15L. or 3,164cc
Horsepower: ~700@7,200 rpm
Torque: ~550 lb-ft @5,500 rpm
Fuel system: TAG 3.8 electronic fuel injection and single-plug ignition with knock control
Induction: Twin intercooled turbochargers
Rear wheel drive, new 6 speed manual box, single plate clutch
MacPherson springs legs, shock-tower brace,
five-position adjustable stabilizer, MacPherson struts, aluminum control arms, stabilizer bar
REAR: Multi-link LSA axle, stiff subframe
bushings, three-position adjustable stabilizer, MacPherson struts, aluminum control arms, stabilizer bar.
Curb weight: 2,850 lbs
Brakes and Wheels:
12.7 in. diameter, Dual-circuit, vented and cross-drilled discs, 4-piston aluminum-alloy fixed calipers, ABS-5
Speedline light-alloy wheels with magnesium
spyders, 8Jx18 front, 10Jx18 rear
0-60mph: *** seconds
0-1/4 mile: ***s @ *** mph
Top Speed: *** mph
The premiere of the 911 GT 1 was at the 24-hours race of Le Mans in 1996: superior double victory in the GT 1 category and positions 2 and 3 in the overall placing behind the Joest TWR Prototype (962 derived) Porsche. After the race, McLaren was in a frenzy about the past 24 Hours. They said Porsche "took the fun out of the race" and went on about how it was sooooo unfair that they made the GT1 and entered it. Porsches kicked McLaren all over the racetrack and McLaren couldn't handle it. Their golden-boy, the F1 car, had been embarrased in front of everyone.
In the end, the 911 GT1 had air restrictors forced upon it, forcing the Horsepower DOWN, far down from its potential. Meanwhile, McLaren countered with its F1 GTR, which was even faster than their previous model. Toyota, Nissan, and a host of others were so pissed off about the 911 GT1 and how it dominated in 1996 that they were all destined to 'beat the Porsches' in 1997. They all spent millions of dollars on their own brand new GT racecars to use at LeMans in '97.
SO, Porsche realized that the GT1 might not be too competitive in 1997, and went to work on its replacement. In 1997 they released the 2nd generation of the 911 GT1, the GT1 EVO. The GT1 EVO(lution) had a more powerful engine and better aerodynamics, as well as the sequential gearbox. It also differs from the 96 GT1 in the headlight and taillight clusters, which were now integrated 996 units.
Porsche showed up at LeMans with 2 GT1 EVOs to race against the many competitors from across the world, AS WELL AS the returning champion Joest Porsche. The very exciting race in 1997 had the 2 GT1s and the Joest Porsche running 1-2-3 for the first 22 hours of the race! At that time, Bob Wollek, an experienced driver, somehow made a devastating mistake and WRECKED the leading GT1 for no reason!!! After that, the other GT1 caught fire and was destroyed, leaving Joest to run his Porsche across the line for a second win in a row. Unfortunately the GT1 EVO didn't get the well deserved win that year, but Porsche still showed the world that no one else could really come close.
And, as if they weren't proud of the EVOs' runs last year, Porsche has built the most devastating GT1 of all, the 3rd gereration 911 GT1, the GT1-98 (above). It is the wildest thing to come along since Moby-Dick 935 in 1978. The fiercest racecar on the track. The GT1-98 came in and took LeMans by STORM this year, winning the race. A GT1 took first AND second place this year, running a pretty much flawless race. The two GT1s sailed across the finish line side by side winning 1-2, a great triumph for Porsche in their 50th anniversary year!
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