For 1998 the GT1 regulations for endurance regulations only required one example of a model to be built for road use in order for the model to be legible to compete under the GT1 regulations. In 1996 and 1997 manufacturers had been required to produce 25 copies of a model in order to compete in GT1 endurance racing which had led to many compromises being made in order to keep the cost of production on the right side of the million dollar mark.
With only one example being required to meet the 1998 GT 1 regulations Porsche effectively built their 911 GT1-98 for racing first and converted one for road use, today’s featured car, which passed all the mandatory tests to gain type approval in Germany.
To meet the stringent emission laws the 650 hp twin turbocharged motor, as used in the all conquering Group C Porsche 962’s of the mid 1980’s had to be detuned to 537 hp, enough to propel today’s featured car from rest to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 191 mph.
The big improvement of the 911 GT1-98 over the previous models was the location of the engine form the standard 911 behind the rear axle line location to a more beneficial ahead of the rear axle, this benefited the handling by reducing the polar momentum, the force of weight outside the front and rear axle lines and by allowing venturi to be built into the rear body work which helped suck the car to the ground as it traveled with out sacrificing too much by way of top speed.
The full carbon fiber monocoque for the 911 GT1-98 Porsche’s very first which made exclusive use of the exotic material.
After the racing versions of the 911 GT1-98 had secured an unlikely one-two finish at Le Mans in 1998, where they were by no means the fastest cars, Porsche retired from official participation in the 24 hour classic with a record 16 victories that stands to this day.
This year Porsche returned to Le Mans in the GT Class where they recorded their 99th class win, in anticipation for a full scale attack on overall victory with an LMP car to driven by Mark Weber next year.
Thanks for joining me on this “The Water Cooled Mid Engined One” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me for a look at the final evolution of Porsche’s 997 the GT3 RS 4.0. Don’t forget to come back now !