It seems like just yesterday we were hearing about Porsche’s wild 918 Spyder taking the new VIR production track record during C/D’s Lightning Lap in 2014. That record was taken down just last year when they ran a Ford GT just one tenth of a second faster than the 918. One tenth of a second seemed right at the time, and a massive step forward for technological progress, because the GT doesn’t use any hybrid or four-wheel drive to accomplish its lap time. This year, the Ford was sent home with its tail between its legs, because three cars not only beat its time, but demolished it completely. The McLaren 720S and Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 ran more than three seconds faster than the old Ford’s time. Porsche’s GT2 was a further TWO SECONDS quicker around the lap with a 2 minutes 37.8 seconds lap. That’s a full 5.2 seconds faster than Ford’s low-slung carbon-tub car, with a 911.
Here’s what Car and Driver had to say about the GT2 RS:
“For something with its spec sheet, the GT2 RS is surprisingly forgiving. A sharp turn of the wheel concurrent with a mashed gas pedal will induce oversteer, but with smooth inputs, you can floor the throttle a beat or two before it feels sensible. Braking from 165.2 mph doesn’t cause so much as a wiggle of instability from the heavy end. Where other cars bounce over curbing, the GT2 RS seemingly glides over concrete serrations. It is hard to believe how little body roll there is.”
That’s not all, because Porsche entered two additional cars in the Lightning Lap competition, a brand new GT3 which ran just 9.2 seconds slower than the GT2 RS with a two minutes 47 seconds lap, and dead on exactly the same time as the 991.1 GT3 RS ran a couple of years ago. It wasn’t fighting for the overall title, but it was the 17th fastest car in Lightning Lap history.
Here’s what Car and Driver had to say about the GT3:
“As you get comfortable in the GT3, more of your focus can turn to enjoying the speed it generates—and the sounds, the 4.0-liter hammering redline 18 times per lap. What’s a small-block? Ferrari who? You’ll forget every other major performance player when ripping the GT3 up the Climbing Esses…”
Then there was the 718 Cayman GTS, which punched way above its weight class, setting a 2 minutes 56.7 seconds lap to beat Audi’s TT RS by more than two seconds. More impressively, perhaps, it was just a few tenths of a second slower than last year’s Audi R8 V10 Plus, and nearly a second quicker than a 997.2 Turbo S back in 2011. In this year’s field, however, the 718 ranked just 9th.
Here’s what Car and Driver had to say about the 718 Cayman GTS:
“Before staring down the Corvette ZR1 on our final day at VIR this year, we first went out in the Cayman. Like starting your day with a cup of coffee or stretching before a run, a lap in a Cayman is the preparation you need before a big mental and physical challenge. And while it might not have supercar power, it has the magic.”
To see the full leaderboard from all past Lightning Lap events, including this one, click this link. You’ll see a lot of Porsche on that list.