For most, Porsche's street legal 911 GT3 RS is more than enough Porsche for both street and track. However, one man in Florida decided there was room for improvement. You see, it wouldn't be practical (that word should be struck from an article like this), if even possible, to convert a track ready GT3 RSR for street use. You could, however, start with a street legal Porsche 911 GT3 RS and go the other way. You just have to find someone willing (and wealthy enough) to do so and a shop with the expertise to make it happen.
Rodger Hawley, owner of Orbit Racing in Riviera Beach, Florida, found an owner of a 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS who was game to give it a go. According to Rodger, the project uses all original Porsche factory body parts from a Cup R (a RSR variant raced in Europe and not sold in the US) that provides the exact same body dimensions as the RSR, but with benefits. Perhaps the biggest reason why Orbit chose the Cup R body panels is that they allowed use of the stock radiators and duct work from the donor RS (saving the owner $50k by not having to purchase all the ancillary parts from an actual RSR). Upon completion, the only visible difference is the shape of the inlet ducts (something anyone other than a Porsche race engineer probably won't notice). Another benefit of the Cup R parts is the ability to retain the factory turn signal housings in the front bumper (a necessity for a street legal Porsche).
Ride Height and Suspension Geometry
The project, originally expected to take around five weeks, ended up taking closer to ten, said Hawley. When I asked him the reasons for the extra five weeks, he couldn't point to any one thing in particular. He did, however, discuss the time and attention needed to deal with ride height. More specifically, he talked about the geometry of the suspension and the expertise needed to get it right; in effect, providing a comfortable experience at the now even lower ride height while accommodating much more rubber than normal.
While the engine remains stock for now at 3.8 liters (Rodger says the owner has future plans to increase displacement to 4.1 or 4.2) the build is nothing short of stunning. Since the completion of this project, Orbit has had multiple requests for even more conversions. Rodger thinks similar conversions will take around 8 weeks to complete. While cost wasn't disclosed, Rodger did mention that his team put over 200 hours into this project and that's just labor alone. All in all, if you can afford it, it seems like a great way to have an amazing, wide body RSR look for reasonable money (remember it's all relative).
Watch and Learn How to Build a Street Legal Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Fortunately, Rodger and Orbit likes to document their work. The crew at Orbit Racing took hundreds of pictures during the construction phase of this project and put each of them (along with a lot of notes) up on their web-site. Follow this link to start at the beginning. Just hit the "previous" button (you're going in reverse order) after viewing each picture to see the next in line.
About the only thing better than the photo documented build are the four videos Orbit produced during the project. They show a fair amount of the work and explain some of the more difficult steps of the build process. The third video is by far the most detailed and explains how Orbit tackled some of the suspension issues. We posted them below for your viewing pleasure.
Be sure to check out the Orbit Racing site for pictures and videos of other completed project and ongoing conversions. Special thanks to Rodger for taking the time to speak with us about this extraordinary project!
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