There's been a new generation of 911 in town for quite some time now, and it's about time that the Stuttgart-based sports car giant finally built it into a race car. The GT3 Cup is among the best selling race cars of all time, and Porsche moves a mess of these with each subsequent generation. Not only are they eligible for major international racing series like Mobil 1 Supercup, but regional series like IMSA's GT3 Cup Challenge, and many are purchased by enthusiasts for regular trackday use. In case you need any further proof of that, Porsche sold 1410 examples of the 991-generation GT3 Cup alone, and has sold 4251 "cup" cars since this program began back in 1990 with the 964.
While Porsche has not yet unveiled any specifications on the new 992-generation GT3 Cup, each generation gets faster and more impressive. The outgoing generation car is already imbued with 460 horsepower from a 4-liter flat six channeled through a 6-speed sequential gearbox. It takes a properly impressive driver to get the most out of this monster machine. As trackday cars go, you can't get much more wild than this. Of course, some people go the extra step and buy one of Porsche's retired RSR race cars to run in PCA events and high-performance driving days, but they're crazy.
“It proved very beneficial to exchange ideas in close cooperation with the racing teams and our international one-make cup organizations – around the world and also outside our own series. We listened carefully to the engineers and mechanics as well as the drivers and team bosses to find out what they like about the current car and what is needed,” states Product Manager Christoph Werner. “By doing this, we got a very accurate picture of the mood and we gathered a great deal of information so that we could set the right priorities for the new, globally-run model. In fact, this also applies to the eventual running of the vehicle in, for example, endurance races or club sport events.”
Development of the new car began in 2018 with some time at the in-house wind tunnel, while a second car was built for track action at the Weissach R&D facility. “The car was actually only supposed to cover a couple of kilometres as a shakedown,” Feldmann recalls. “We ended up doing 30 flying laps with racing driver Klaus Bachler at the wheel. The first time he flew past us at full speed, we all got goosebumps. The first shot was a winner. We received some excellent feedback.” That gave the team the confidence it needed for testing the car at high-speed circuits like the Lausitzring and Monza.
By the middle of this year Porsche had already logged several thousand kilometers of on-track testing. Long distance runs were the order of the day, and Porsche sent factory drivers Marco Holzer, Lars Kern, Bachler, Supercup champ Michael Ammermüller, and Jörg Bergmeister. You couldn't hope for a better crew to develop your next race car, right?
The new 2021 GT3 Cup is what came out of all of that extensive testing. It looks great, it looks fast, and it looks ready for action. Recently the car was sent out for some pre-release testing at Porsche's Motorsport Center in Flacht, where these photos were taken. What do you think we can expect for the next Cup? 600 horsepower? Less weight? More downforce? More grip?