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  Porsche 996 GT3 RSR

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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:2004
Internal name:996
Successor:Porsche 997 GT3 RSR
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 13, 2005
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAt the 1999 Geneva Motorshow Porsche launched the 996 GT3, which was directly derived from the Porsche Supercup racing car. Except for the wheels and the optional roll cage, there really was very little different between the two. Between the end of the 993 Turbo and the start of 996 Turbo production, a small gap was found in the busy production line to construct the intended 1350 GT3s. Thanks to its stunning performance and despite its high, the supply of the GT3 was exceeded by the demand and another 500 cars were constructed in 2000.

There was more than just a commercial reason for constructing the racer for the road;9 homologation. In the fall of 1998 Porsche's competition department had started work on a completely new GT racer, based on the GT3 cup car. Dubbed the GT3 R, it made its debut at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The GT3's characteristic wing was replaced by a more traditional and larger type. A new front airdam also made the racer easily recognizable. Much work was put into making the car as reliable as possible; the engine was designed to handle at least 30 hours of full on racing.

Two cars lined up for Le Mans in 1999 and the fastest finished in 13th place overall, more than enough to take the class victory. It has to be said that the only competition in the GT class was an old Porsche 993 RSR. From July the GT3 R was available for customers and quickly class victories were scored in endurance all over the world. For 2001 a slightly revised version the GT3 RS was unveiled, which was more powerful and louder thanks to the new megaphone type exhausts. It continued the winning streak of the R, with as highlight an overall victory in the 2003 Daytona 24 Hours race.

To counter the ever growing competition, Porsche launched a new homologation version of the 996 GT3, confusingly named RS. After sufficient numbers were constructed Porsche unleashed the 2004 incarnation of the competition GT3; the GT3 RSR. It featured a sequential gearbox, with fuel cut off for rapid gearchanges and a slightly revised suspension with modified mounting points. At Le Mans the GT3 continued the stronghold with the sixth consecutive victory, since its first appearance in 1999.

Featured are the six RSRs entered in the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

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  Article Image gallery (99) Specifications