Amid the rolling Dutch dunes, the circuit of Zandvoort provides plenty of high-speed corners to test the hot-blooded sports cars of the 911 range. With technical sections, lots of camber, and heavy braking zones, it's a varied and challenging course that once hosted Formula 1 in the seventies and eighties. Fortunately, we're able to see how the latest Porsche RS models—both well driven; one turbocharged and one atmospheric—differ in a number of challenging situations.
The GT2's Strengths and Setbacks
Predictably, the GT2 RS car enjoys much more speed and just as much stability in the faster sections, of which there are plenty at Zandvoort. Additionally, that torque is a major advantage when navigating slower traffic—a GT3 in this case, which seems to be going pitifully slow compared to its leaner, meaner, brawnier brothers.
On a more subjective note, perhaps the lumpier power delivery and the hushed tones of the GT2 RS keep the driver from engaging as intimately with it. Even when the power isn't being deployed, knowing exactly where the revs are is a comfort, albeit a subtle one. That visceral difference may be a contributor to the way the GT2 RS' driver brakes earlier and is slightly tentative during the corner entry phase, though that's understandable considering the greater approach speed.
The downsides of the GT2 RS' extra power are few: it forces its driver to take a slightly different line, and it is more of a consideration in slower bends where the rears are torque-limited. In the footage directly above, the GT2 RS' faster approach encourages the driver to brake in the middle of the road at 1:21, whereas the driver in the camera car has time to bring the car over to the left and gets to use the full width of the road to corner.
In low-speed and medium-speed sectors, the GT2 RS can't quite exploit the torque advantage, and seems to require a later apex and a straighter line at the exit, which mean a slightly longer corner. With 553 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm, that is understandable—though both cars have to be commended for their stellar traction and lack of hysterics.
The Agile Atmospheric
The lighter, better balanced GT3 RS tips its nose into slower corners just a smidge better than the GT2 RS. While the GT3 RS' weight is part of why it can close the gap at corner entry repeatedly, the driver in the atmospheric car is simply better at braking and rolling speed into the corner. However, once the course stretches out—and not just in the straights—the GT2 RS has an edge. Great stability, when coupled with relentless thrust, gives the turbocharged car the potential to streak away.
Had these drivers had the exact same level of talent, the GT2 RS might've edged away, but their skills were both commendable enough to show exactly how these cars differ. More than just power and straightline speed, the force-fed version requires the driver to calibrate themselves for greater speeds, adjust their lines accordingly, and do everything in their power to harness the asphalt-churning horsepower.