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How did the Porsche 911 GT2 RS fly at the Nürburgring?

Porsche RS 911 GT2

 

El Porsche 911 GT2 RS became the fastest road-approved sports car to complete a lap of the 20,6 kilometers of the Nürburgring North Circuit with 6m47s25 / 100. Its performance was so surprising that it surpassed the lap set by the 918 Spyder in 2013 by ten seconds and the record set by the Lamborghini Huracán Performante in 2017 by five seconds.

Although the GT2 RS has 700 horsepower, on paper it looks like a car with slightly less cutting edge technology compared to the two cars that held the record. After all, the GT2 RS doesn't have as sophisticated active aerodynamics as the Lamborghini Huracan Performante, nor does it have a hybrid undercarriage like the 918 Spyder does.

So how did this car "fly" in the mythical Green Hell? Andreas Preuninger, the Director of the GT Range, that is to say, who was at the forefront of the development of the GT2 RS, highlights four keys: “The GT2 RS offers more grip from the tires, more downforce, more power constantly available and less weight than the 918 Spyder ”.

GREATER GRIP ON THE TIRES
Essentially, the GT2 RS generates more mechanical grip than the 918 Spyder and the 991.1 GT3 RS, even though they all have the same type of tire, Michelin's Pilot Spot Cup 2s, and are exactly the same size. That makes a huge difference when it comes to being on the track. The tire used on the 918 Spyder was the 'N0' spec Pilot Sport Cup 2, but Porsche engineers worked hand in hand with Michelin to develop two other new variants: the first was for the 991.1 GT3 RS and the second was for the GT2 RS. Each tire is designed with its own compound and construction to "get the most out of the car," according to Preuninger.

HIGHER AERODYNAMIC LOAD
Despite the fact that the GT2 RS does not use active aerodynamics, it generates a lot of downforce that helps the car maintain high speeds in the curves of the circuit. At the front, there is a generous lower lip and an air extraction vent in the hood lid. But the real protagonist is at the rear: a huge spoiler, with the possibility of manually adjusting it at various levels. In its normal configuration, this spoiler generates a downforce of 340 kilograms when the car reaches its maximum speed, which is 340 km / h. When set at its maximum angle of attack that figure increases to 450 kg.

The rear wing of the GT2 RS was adjusted to its most optimal position for the record lap at the Nürburgring, helping the car through the circuit's many high-speed corners. Despite having a set-up with great downforce - and therefore greater resistance - the GT2 RS managed to reach a speed of 311 km / h on the final stretch of the Ring. For its part, the Huracan Performante could only reach 303 km / h in the same place.

CONSISTENTLY HIGHER POWER AVAILABLE
But even when all this is known, the fact that the GT2 RS ran almost 10 seconds faster than the 918 Spyder is even more surprising. "The 918 cannot be powered by e-power all the time and in all parts of the track," said Preuninger. This meant that in some areas of the Nürburgring circuit it could only use its 8 horsepower V600 engine. The difference is that the GT2 RS can develop 700 horses all the time.

LIGHTER
The GT2 RS is also a very light car. The record-setting model, a vehicle with European specifications and the optional Weissach Pacakge, weighs just 1.441 kilograms. Among other things, in Europe the Weissach Package offers the GT2 RS a protective titanium structure instead of the standard steel structure certified by the FIA.

All this makes the GT2 RS 911, according to Preuninger, faster anywhere on the track, than any other 911. “In the curves, on the straights, wherever and whenever; wherever you mention it, ”Preuninger said.

 

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THE PILOT OF THE RECORD
Porsche also has a secret weapon: Lars Kern, one of its test drivers. In an interview for the English television show Top Gear, after setting the record for a four-door car with the Panamera Turbo, Kern revealed that he is actually speeding around the famous Karussell corner of the Nürburgring. Many drivers don't do it due to the rough surface of the Karussell, but Kern says there is a lot of time to gain there. Preuninger also said that Kern set the lap record with traction control and stability control disengaged for the entire run. Clearly, Kern knows what he's doing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

A CASUAL RECORD
Preuninger takes the GT2 RS record in the "Ring" as a coincidence. Porsche had two hours a day on September 19 and 20 to set a lap time with Lars Kern and factory driver Nick Tandy, who was also available to drive the car. Preuninger said that the conditions on the 19th were not very good because the track was very wet and humid, but the next day, the 20th, it was ideal. The GT2 RS broke the record held by the Huracan Performante on its first lap, and both Tandy and Kern clocked five laps under six minutes and 50 seconds.

The engineers and mechanics also didn't need much time to make special repairs and get the car ready. "Just a few aerodynamic adjustments," Preuninger said. Both cars also did not undergo major modifications, except for the racing seat for each driver. "Our cars don't need a lot of tinkering," Preuninger said, so they set the record within two hours.

If Preuninger sounds a bit pretentious it is because he really is proud of the record achieved. Just look at the post he put on LinkedIn after knowing the time achieved by the GT2 RS at the Nürburgring: "Greetings to Maranello, Santa Agata, Affalterbach, Bowling Green and Yokohama!"

But given that the GT2 RS smashed the Nurburgring circuit record by five seconds and beat Porsche's own 918 Spyder record by nearly 10, Preuninger probably has every right in the world to brag ...

 

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Automundo

Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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