Dedicated track toys are an interesting thing. First, a track toy says something about your wallet — as in you have enough disposable income that you own a car which is essentially useless for getting groceries home or ferrying the kids to school. However, that is what is so cool about track toys, they only have one purpose: speed. In this installment of Track Toys, we look at a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, referred to by Porsche nerds as the 991. This is the epitome of a factory production racing car.
I stumbled upon this particular track toy specimen at Buttonwillow Raceway in Central California during a Speed District track day. It got my attention when it went by me at ludicrous-speed along the front straight. After the session, I found the Porsche taking it easy in the shade along with its owner, Ross Murray. The car was fabulously covered in race rubber and dead bugs, which meant this car was clearly driven hard just as it was designed to be by Porsche. Ross said he purchased the car to race it in the Pirelli Trophy West USA series. The door-to-door racing series has a specific class for the GT3 Cup car and an eight-race calendar for the 2018 season.
The GT3 Cup is powered by a 3.8-liter, six-cylinder engine putting out 460 horsepower at 7,500 rpm. It is rear-drive through a six-speed, dog-type gearbox with mechanical limited-slip. Shifting is completed via paddles near the steering wheel.
The GT3 Cup car is built on the same factory floor as the road going GT3s in Germany. Engineers were able to slice out over 600 pounds from the car getting the weight down to 1,175 kilograms -which means absolutely nothing to us Americans. To translate metric, it means this GT3 Cup car weighs a mere 2,590 pounds. The combination of 460 horses and 2,590 pounds is a fantastic power-to-weight ratio which means this car will fly down the track.
The race department for Porsche is in Weissach, Germany, where the real magic for the suspension modifications occurred to ensure more stability at high speeds on the GT3 Cup. Factory racing/test drivers put thousands of miles on these cars as they are designed to make sure they are perfect for their racing customers. Porsche Motorsports redesigned the single-piece, 18-inch race rims with central locking hubs. The width of the racing slicks at the front axle measures 27 centimeters, and at the rear axle 31 centimeters.
Because this thing is a pure racecar, it arrives from the factory with the ability to tune it for specific track needs. It comes with blade-style anti-roll bars that can be made stiffer or softer with a simple twist of the blade. Ride height is adjustable as well as camber and track width. It also comes with brake-bias adjustment. All this means is you can make the car faster, or you can screw it up. Choose your own adventure.
Once you use the air jacks to get this car in the air, you can easily remove your wheels (one lug per wheel) and inspect your brakes. This track toy comes with 380 millimeter, multi-piece brake discs, clamped by six–piston, aluminum, monobloc-design racing calipers. No fancy carbon-metallic rotors here. This is an actual racecar with easy to replace and maintain brake parts. Brakes are vented and cooled through air ducts.
Engineers gave driver safety a high priority in the development of the 911 GT3 Cup car. Drivers are protected by a factory-installed safety cage and race seat, specially molded around the head and shoulders and individually adjustable with the help of a padding system. A rescue hatch in the roof provides easy access for medical attention and for the extrication of the driver. This is a part of the car nobody ever wants to have to use.
There isn’t much under the front bonnet of this track toy as the powerplant and drivetrain is all in the rear. However, if you are looking for the fuel door on this car, look no further, as it is under the hood. This bad boy can run on simple super unleaded pump gas.
Every detail of this track toy is pure racecar. It comes from the factory meeting all of the general club codes and racing regulations of most sanctioning bodies: roll cage, cut-off switch, racing seat, hood pins, you name it. This car is ready to race, all you need to do is find out where you want to run it. For all of this supercar, race wizardry the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (991) will set you back a minimum of 213,000 clams. Not an easy lift for any track rat, but just like the ad campaign said back in the ’80s, “Porsche. There is no substitute.”