When you hand the keys of a narrow-tired 911 T/R to seasoned veteran like Patrick Long, you can expect fireworks. Clearly, Long is focused on wringing the classic Porsche’s neck and not terribly concerned with its value, but when you’ve driven the variety of machinery he has, at the level he has, you can’t expect him to participate in a processional parade lap.
The TR was, essentially, a limited production piece made for customers looking to race or rally their 911. Based off the svelte 911T, the T/R was fitted with one of two motors. Either the 911S motor, which could be had with revised carburetors and a twin exhaust for an additional twenty ponies, or the race-bred 906 motor. Seeing as the TR was meant to compete, this twin-plug motor suited its nature; titanium connecting rods, a lightweight flywheel, and a heavy duty clutch gave the Porsche the sort of punch you’d want from a stripped-down special.
Keeping the 911 T/R’s edges sharp and resilient for the purposes of competition, it employed baffled fuel tanks, twin fuel pumps, a mega-spartan interior, racing seats, reinforced engine mounts, Koni shocks, sway bars at both axles, and ventilated brake discs. The athletic stance is complemented by unpolished aluminum wheels just 7″ wide.
With the power available and the narrow rear rubber, it’s not surprising the Porsche 911 TR likes to move around quite a bit over the cambered Turn Five and the daunting, downhill Turn Nine. Long wrestles the Porsche out of every corner, and even gets the back to rotate frequently on entry. It’s a 911 that looks edgy but not unapproachable, and something that rewards a good amount of yaw. Generating fifteen degrees of slip angle defines Long’s approach in most corners here, and yet he makes the drive look composed, refined, and tidy—the mark of an ace.