Some people lead colorful lives make you want to get up a little earlier in the morning. YouTuber Sebastian Vittel not only owns a garage full of great sports cars, but he never forced his Porsche 991 GT2 RS into a quiet, depressing life inside a dusty garage. The twin-turbocharged GT2 RS is true track scalpel, and Vittel has spent plenty of time honing his skills in this car at some of the world’s best tracks. He’s grown so capable with the GT2 RS that he’s now able to keep its race-only sibling, the GT3 Cup, in its sights. The comparison helps highlight just how a heavier road car compares against a lighter, less powerful race car with a similar layout.
The normally-aspirated 991 Cup might only make 485 horsepower, which looks almost pedestrian when compared to its force-fed sibling, but it only has to push around a car that weighs 2,645 pounds. Add in a 150-pound, salad-fed racing driver in the seat, and the Cup can’t weigh much more than 2,800 pounds. Compare that to the 3,250-pound road car, which, occupied by the husky Vittel and a passenger, likely weighs in around 3,600 pounds. That’s a considerable difference.
Plus, they’re both wearing worn tires. The 991 Cup wears slicks which are truly at the end of their cord, while the road car wears a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R with maybe 15 laps left in them. While the Pilot Sport Cup 2 Rs don’t offer as much absolute grip, they’re forced into the pavement through improved camber settings and more downforce from a steeper wing angle and a raised wing courtesy of taller GT3 RS wing supports.
Paul Ricard is one of the best tracks to test these two. There are straights which are long enough to reward the GT2 RS’s power advantage, but with as many technical sections to reward the lighter cars, the playing field is quite level. The 991 Cup is svelte, and that means the driver can brake later, corner faster, and get on the power earlier. Those qualities all amount to a much better exit on to Ricard’s Mistral Straight (1:09). This is where the GT2 RS’s thrust is best applied—but it takes the entire straight to close the gap! While some would think the GT2 RS’s additional 215 horsepower would allow it to walk the 991 Cup down the half-mile straight, the racing car stays ahead. Now, we see exactly why a strong corner exit is so important.
In fact, it’s the faster sections which reward the road car including the long sweepers—and there are a few at Paul Ricard. Though the 991 Cup’s agility helps in rapid direction changes, the two are incredibly close in long corners like Beausset (2:00) which test total grip. The most notable difference is in entering and exiting slower corners, and those, over the course of a lap, allow the 991 Cup to stretch a minor lead, but it doesn’t exactly sail off into the distance. Quite an accomplishment for something that could shift gears for you on the way to the grocery store.