The Porsche 911 GT1-98 was the second evolution GT1 racer that Porsche contested the 1998 FIA GT1 championship with.
While the front of the new car bears a passing resemblance to the Generation 2 996 version of the Porsche 911 the rest of the car was essentially a prototype fitted with a 600hp twin turbo Group C type 24 valve twin cam water cooled flat 6 of the same type as used by the Porsche 962C with the addition of a sequential gearbox.
The 911 GT-98 was built around a tube frame and with carbon fibre bodywork. One road going example of the GT1-98 was built to meet the GT1 regulations.
Going into the 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours race two normally aspirated 6 litre / 370 cui V8 Mercedes Benz CLK LM’s prepared especially for the endurance classic qualified 1st and 3rd. The fastest of three turbocharged Toyota GT-One qualified second with the Porsche 911 GT1’s 4th and 5th, the later car being chassis #003 driven by Allan McNish, Stéphane Ortelli and Laurent Aiello.
During the race the specially prepared Mercedes Benz CLK LM’s both retired by lap 31 with engine failures while the fastest of the Toyota GT-One’s retired after half distance after an accident which left the two works Porsches at the head of the field.
The #26 shared by NcNish, Ortelli and Aiello crossed the line a lap ahead of the sister car driven by Jörg Müller, Uwe Alzen and Brilliant Bob Wollek.
As had occured many times in the past the Le Mans winners did not win the championship which was dominated by Mercedes Benz who clocked up six 1-2 finishes, but it is Porsche who is best remembered from the GT1 championship for surviving to win an unlikely 1-2 at Le Mans.
Thanks for joining me on this “Endurance Survivor” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a car that is ‘not a green Audi’. Don’t forget to come back now !