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New Porsche 911 GT3 R racer spied

We know the GT3 road car is close; time to get a look at the race car!

By Matt Bird / Thursday, May 21, 2020

While it will be news to precisely no-one, the success of various 911 GT3-based racing cars over the past 20 years has been quite incredible. Look across the GT3 championships of the 21st century and you'll see the histories littered with various 911s at the top; between 2006 and 2011, a GT3 won the Nurburgring 24 Hours, probably the toughest endurance race there is, five times. It's a legendary sportscar racer, nearly as much as those cars from the air-cooled days, and therefore a new 911 GT3 for motorsport is pretty big news.

Note that this car is the GT3 R, which sits between the one-make Supercup-spec cars and below the mid-engined RSR in the 911 racing hierarchy. It exists to compete in championships like the Intercontinental GT Challenge, IMSA and the GT World Challenge Europe, all of which are a real treat for GT fans; everything from a Bentley Continental to a Honda NSX racing on some great circuits. The Spa 24 Hours is provisionally set for October, a joint round for both the Intercontinental and World Challenge Europe calendars - fingers crossed that will go ahead.

Anyway, the Porsche. Spied on a Nurburgring GP session, it's our first look at the next generation of racer - and it offers additional hints at the forthcoming GT3 road car, too. That said, there's little mistaking this for the street version, the rear wing (supported by a ducktail) obviously towers over anything seen on other mules.

The wheels are the familiar centre-locks seen on old GT3 Rs, with Michelin race tyres and the sort of negative camber that always make race cars look so damn good. Lots of road cars claim a motorsport-inspired ride height, but they're nothing really to true competition machines. Predictably, too, given the additional cooling that'll be needed for the 4.0-litre at race speed, this prototype includes vented rear quarter windows, as well as new ventilation around the rear bumper and light strip. Those with a very keen eye will notice the rain light above the exhaust, too.

It looks ready and raring to go, then, at least on this evidence. However, it seems unlikely that it'll be seen competing in 2020, given the GT3 R is a customer race car (i.e. Porsche sells it, rather than races it as an entrant) and those teams will be set up for this year alreathe car to be seen alongside a road car at some point during 2020, ready to take on all comers in 2021. The competition is stronger than ever, but you'd be a brave person to bet against a 992 GT3 R being right in amongst it - racing 911s have enjoyed one or two successes over the years, after all...


Images: S.Baldauf/S.B.Median

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