Thursday 25th August 2011

PH Carpool: Porsche 997 GT3 RS

Why a 911 GT3 RS is the perfect cross-continental express (clue: it's because it makes a great track car)

The Newlands bought their orange GT3 RS from a friend to replace a white GT3, and since then have covered over 20,000 miles in two years blasting across Europe and sampling on-track action at a number of circuits in the process. Are we jealous? Umm...yes. Very.


"We had the RS set up for track days by Fearnsport at Silverstone soon after we bought it," Jan tells us. "With more negative camber than you'd run on a purely road car this makes for a twitchy ride on the road, but gives better grip on track. We're not the fastest or best drivers, but our RS has to be one of the most practical cars that you can drive to a circuit, do a track day, and then drive home afterwards."

You have to be committed though if you're going to rack-up the road and track miles in a GT3RS, as Jan explains. "I have to confess that we've bought a stripped-out E36 M3 as a track day toy now, because it was getting seriously expensive to keep taking the Porsche on track." How expensive, you ask? Well, a set of tyres can cost as much as £1400 and a full set of brake pads is £700. Ouch. There have been other issues too...

"Like many 997s, ours has suffered leaks from the oil seals between the engine and gearbox. The rear main seal has been replaced four times, (twice for the first owner, and twice for us) and the front main seal once. There was also a leak from the seal between the two halves of the crankcase, so the engine was removed, split, rebuilt and refitted - thankfully all under warranty. Fortunately our local Porsche dealership has a good service department with some highly experienced members of staff who really seem to know what they are doing."

In terms of what tyres to go for, it looks like the Newlands have settled on the Michelin Pilot Super Sport. John explains: "We have had Michelin Pilot Cup Sport tyres on the car, which are amazing in the dry, but do mean you need to be careful if there is any likelihood of standing water, due to the risk of aquaplaning. But the Cups don't last long as they only come with 4mm of tread to start with! We've also used Pirelli Corsas. The Super Sports seem to cope well with standing water and soften the ride slightly, but they also seem to jar less than the Cups on rougher surfaces."

The car went in for its four-year/24,000 mile major service earlier this summer, just before the couple drove down to the South of France via the Alps, Route Napoleon, and the Gorge de Verdon. Nice.

It had previously been over to Spa, which Jan describes as "...a fantastic circuit. Driving there, taking the RS on to the track, and then driving home was exactly what the car was designed to do."

Would they think of getting rid? "Only if we needed the money for something else," Jan replies instantly. "Like a 4.0RS - if they ever drop in value!"

Author: silversixx

Get it off your chest...

93 comments on this story

Last comment was by Amirhussain
on 15th May 2014