With a sonorous spin up of its 4-liter naturally aspirated flat six, José Silvino Pires’ 911 GT3 R racer blasts a small layer of rear tire rubber into smoke and blasts away from the start line of the Rampa da Falperra hillclimb. This car started life as a specially prepped race car built for the GT3 class of international sports car racing. Porsche had intended it to compete on a closed circuit in a wheel-to-wheel competition with other GT3-class racers. That isn’t to say that Porsche isn’t happy this car is seen blasting up hills in the Portuguese countryside, it’s likely ecstatic for the car’s success at the hands of Pires. A Porsche was built to be driven, as the saying goes, after all. With around 500 horsepower on tap and a stratospheric 9400 rpm redline, this car was built to be driven at full chat for as long as it takes to get a trophy.
Below is a video of the car running at the Falperra International Hillclimb earlier this year. Sadly the car didn’t get to compete on race day as it suffered a mechanical issue, but it was among the top five fastest machines on test day, and could have proven itself a real contender. That’s the downside of hillclimb racing. It’s always down to a single run to set your time against the rest of the world.
There’s almost not a better car for this kind of competition. With massive flared arches, the 997 GT3 R is able to fit massive grippy tires underneath, but it’s still narrow and lithe enough to be able to navigate the slim European roadways. With the continued growth of the 991 and 992 models of 911, this 997-based racer is the Goldilocks of 911 sizes for competition motorsport. I will always have a soft spot for the 997, and lament its replacement nearly every day. Thankfully people like Pires are keeping its legacy alive in competition to this day.