Although the latest GT2 RS is relatively civilized compared to its feral predecessor, it’s by no means a pussycat. With 325-section rear tires and 553 lb-ft of torque available from 2,000 rpm, the breakaway must be sharp and severe.
Or should it? The footage below may make you wonder how incredible Porsche’s engineers are; no track-oriented machine sporting 700 horsepower should ever look this predictable, progressive at the limit, and almost tame. Well, a certain rally ace may have something to do with this perplexing blend of composure and brutality.
Walter Rohrl may be 73 years old, but this recent footage shows his blood pressure is still quite low. A lifelong athlete who’s been able to maintain his willowy figure, Rohrl’s just as capable of putting in a fast lap in this firebreather as Chris Harris, a man 30 years his junior. His methodical approach is on full display here as he guides a GT2 RS around Portimao Circuit, a F1-caliber track full of long straights, fast sweepers, traction-testing hairpins, and heavy braking zones.
After a nearly three minutes getting temperature in the tires and finished brakes, he starts to push, albeit quite casually. With remarkable aplomb and tidiness, Rohrl gently works the car through corners; putting in the smallest amount of lock as the car cuts tiny angles. It occasionally twitches over the curbs (6:56, 9:41), but it’s incredibly composed the rest of the time. Ramping up speed in this measured, confident fashion is just poetry in motion.
Even as the pace increases, you never see any nervous snaps at the wheel or big cinematic drifts like more younger and/or more desperate drivers would do. Rohrl’s economy of movement is a feat of driving excellence the experienced racers and rallyists will appreciate. Rohrl’s able to put on a masterclass without endangering his passenger. Besides, the brakes were nearly down to their backing plates, so leaving a little on the table was always going to be the sensible thing do to.