“Stretching the production car rules to the limit,” the 911 GT1 started its life based largely off the design of the 993 GT2, a machine then competitive in classes like the BPR Global GT Series, but not wholly dominant. When McLaren began to steamroll its rivals in that category, which later became FIA GT1, an irked Porsche responded by developing a mid-engined, purpose-built, balanced machine to match the fearsome pace of the Macca.
The GT1. The frontal chassis—made from steel—was borrowed from the 993, and the rear took inspiration from the 962. So did the motor: a water-cooled, four-valve Mezger engine with twin turbochargers and roughly 600 horsepower. Thanks to plenty of carbon panels, those ponies only had to propel 2,200 pounds—though Norbert Singer has said the driverless weight was closer to 2,060. Fortunately, there’s archival footage of the development work and we have it for you below.
Carbon brakes made the Porsche 911 GT1 a reliable stopper over the long haul—something which Porsche tested for extensively. Included in some of their preliminary tests: a grueling twenty-seven hours spent pounding nonstop around Paul Ricard. As you can see in the video below, there wasn’t so much as a hiccup.