The world’s most prolific racecar manufacturer, Porsche, has begun making deliveries of the newest iteration of the world’s best-selling racer, the 911 GT3 Cup. Teams in IMSA’s one-make Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama are among the first in the world to have the new rear-engine racer arrive at their race shops courtesy of Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA).
Boasting a completely redeveloped drivetrain, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will take to the starting line on the world’s race tracks beginning in 2017. The rear of the world’s most-produced GT racing car now houses a 4-liter, six-cylinder flat engine for increased power. Thanks to thoroughbred motorsport technology, the compact engine with direct fuel injection delivers peak performance of 485 hp (357 kW).
A range of innovative details also improves efficiency in addition to engine performance, ensuring even better durability of the naturally aspirated engine in racing mode and reduced maintenance costs. A new valve drive with rigidly mounted rocker arms and a central oil feed is being used for the very first time. What’s more, an integrated oil centrifuge is used to optimize oil de-foaming in the engine. A crankshaft with significantly increased rigidity has also been installed.
A new front apron and rear end improve the downforce of the 2017 911 GT3 Cup and therefore enhance traction and performance. The prominent 72.44-inch (184-centimeter) wide rear wing has been retained from the previous model. The wheel dimensions are also unchanged: One-piece 18-inch racing rims with a central locking mechanism are used – with 10.63-inch (270-millimeter) Yokohama racing slicks on the front axle, and a massive 12.2-inch (310-millimeter) tread on the rear axle. The intelligent aluminum-steel composite construction ensures maximum rigidity and a lightweight body. The new 911 GT3 Cup is ready to race weighing in at just 2,645.5 pounds (1200 kilograms).
The engineers have also once again focused specifically on driver safety during development. The driver is protected by a solid safety cage and an innovative, bucket-style racing seat that is molded particularly heavily around the head and shoulder area. The enlarged rescue hatch in the roof, in line with the latest FIA standard, makes it easier to provide initial treatment and recovery following an accident.
Porsche manufactures the 911 GT3 Cup on the same production line as the 911 road car in its main plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. The basic race tuning is performed at the Weissach motorsport center, also in Germany, where vehicles are thoroughly tested by a professional race driver prior to delivery to the customer. Some 3031 units of the 911 GT3 Cup have been built in the type 996, 997 and 991 model lines since 1998. This makes the brand cup racing car from Stuttgart the most-produced and most-sold GT racing car in the world.
North America joins the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup Germany as the only markets worldwide to receive the newest Cup car for its customer base in the new season. In total, Porsche is organizing 20 of these race series for customer teams around the world, with the 911 GT3 Cup being used exclusively.
North American testing will begin in February at Sebring International Raceway during the official IMSA test for GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
Jens Walther, president/CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America.
“It is a nervous but exciting time whenever you introduce a new car. To be bringing to market a car with such a far-reaching impact, one destined to likely become the most produced racecar in the world, it is even important that we put the car in the hands of the teams as early as possible. This is the earliest that Porsche has delivered the 911 GT3 Cup to our customer teams in North America. We are confident these first 20 cars will be well sorted for the GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season opening round in March at Sebring and then the Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama opener in the spring.”
Carlos de Quesada, Driver/ Owner, Alegra Motorsports.
“We were very excited to see the car in Atlanta [Editor: At the 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup launch in October, 2016]. The extension of the engine and gearbox life made a huge difference for us. It helped us make the decision to go-ahead and purchase the car for Michael (de Quesada). He won the Gold class championship in 2016 so the next step is Platinum Cup. We are very excited to take delivery of delivery of the new 911 GT3 Cup car and give Michael the opportunity to start testing in it. The first step will probably be at Sebring.”