Nicolas Werver’s 997 GT2-based racer is a striking collection of parts. Though once a street car, the current car wears the bodywork of a GT3 R, and the attendant downforce helps give the man some real certainty when trying to drive this wide-hipped monster along narrow mountain roads. In addition to the racecar’s hide, he’s added a few custom touches to the body with a widened front, quirky canards, and a bigger front splitter. The result is a remarkably capable car in the rain—quite an achievement considering it sends its 600 horsepower to the rear wheels alone.
While we’ve seen some drivers carefully navigate hillclimbs in cars like this, Werver’s quite comfortable in his GT2, though it didn’t come easily.
Getting the turbo motor to run smoothly was no mean feat. The engine’s long teething period was marked by problems with hoses blowing off, wheel sensors failing, and flimsy gearboxes shattering under the turbocharged torque.
Eventually, Werver replaced the standard H-pattern with a paddle-shifted sequential gearbox. This allows him to keep his hands on the wheel the whole time and dial in opposite lock more rapidly. When it’s wet out, that happens quite often.
The combination of accurate steering and Werner’s quick hands give him a confidence in the wet conditions which compensates for a comparative deficiency in traction; he races against four-wheel drive rivals. That said, the Porsche’s purchase on the pavement is stunning. Outside of most hairpins, the power delivery is progressive enough to put the full 600 horsepower to the road cleanly, and only occasionally does the car snap. Seeing all these qualities in action, we realize how he was able to finish second at Abreschviller, and only beaten by one of Europe’s fastest Evos. Werver is the 2018 French Hillclimb Champion, after all.