Why I Bought A Porsche 991 GT3
Why did I buy a Porsche 991 GT3? Well the initial reaction would be because it's absolutely awesome! But I don't think that answer will suffice, nor does it give the car the credit it deserves. Actually this purchase has been practically 12 months in the making, so let me back it up.
If you read my blog you may have come across my trip to Bahrain back in February 2015? As a recap i was lucky to be invited to Bahrain to spend a couple of days there and some time on the Bahrain International Circuit. It was an incredible experience of both super and hypercars (got to go in a McLaren P1) and a chance to indulge in one of the best circuits I have ever driven. Despite the track essentially being built in the desert it is designed with plenty of undulation and challenging corners and braking points, not to mention one of the longest straights of any race circuit.
With that in mind I was incredibly lucky to spend most of my time on this amazing track in my friends brand new 991 GT3. That experience was out of this world and the capabilities and joy of driving that car have forever since been lodged in my mind as one of my best driving experiences.
The performance was addictive but not intimidating, the sound all encapsulating - especially as the flat 6 revved toward 9,000rpm - for some reason it was more impressive coming from the smaller Porsche engine that it is from a V8 Ferrari engine. It just has a more organic, mechanical note to it that puts the hairs up on the back of your neck.
After ringing it out to 9,000rpm of course comes the brakes, which felt like i needed harnesses for my eyeballs never mind my body! This GT3 was optioned with the carbon ceramic upgraded brakes and once trying them there is no going back. Lap after lap after lap of a very fast circuit in hot ambient temperatures and not once did the brakes fade. Huge confidence at every turn.
Speaking of turning the 991 GT3 is equipped with rear wheel steering, something a little controversial to think about at first but in reality it is something to behold. At lower speeds the car is more agile, higher speeds it is more stable and not once do you feel it working as an alien movement, it just feels part of the car and along with the already incredibly well calibrated kinematics it enhances the front end turn in to a level so confidence inspiring it feels as through the tyres have claws digging into the asphalt, helping you through every corner.
Needless to say, it was that day that I contracted the Porsche bug.
The 991 GT3 in question was fitted with ceramic brakes, Club Sport option with rear roll cage and carbon bucket seats and in GT Silver with a heavy coating of carbon and Alcantara plus some entirely bespoke options throughout, including Martini livery.
Upon returning to the UK - the hunt had forever since been on for the perfect Porsche 991 GT3. This transpired to be more difficult than it sounds. All build slots were sold out and any that were available were going at a crazy premium and after my experience it was understandable too! Every man and his dog would want one of these cars if they had just experienced what I had. So I kept my eye out for a low mileage example but I was disappointed with how most people were speccing their cars.
The problem I found was that I was looking for a GT3 that was optioned as a more focused, track prep'd version of the car - heading almost toward an RS in ethos. This meant ceramic brakes, Club Sport pack with carbon bucket seats and roll cage and at least a smattering of carbon here and there. What I discovered is this spec is really hard to come by! I found cars with ceramic brakes but sports seats (comfort seats really). ClubSport with standard brakes or simply just a touring spec GT3 with standard rotors and what i call 'comfy' seats.
One day, just as i thought i had found the right car, a crucial and almost debilitating feature was missing...front axel lift. Yes the GT3's ride height is to my eyes perfect in every way but the trade off is that any speed bump, slightly steep car park entrance or even the odd curb requires the front axel lift to be activated or forever be cursed with severe nose scrape or even worse!
So the search went on...
Then, I found the perfect spec'd car. It was even in GT Silver - the colour I had come to fall in love with ever since my time in Bahrain. It was a late 2014 car with just 2,500 miles on the clock and every option ticked with silver contrast stitching and even a matching contrast seat belt just to subtly set it out from the norm. It was perfect and very suddenly my bank account was relieved of quite a few pennies.
And now here we are - just a couple of days into the ownership of the new Porsche 991 GT3. It's early days but so far I'm completely blow away by how fantastic it is. If anything it is better than I remembered in Bahrain because it is a RHD car so i'm naturally more comfortable in it, i'm also driving on the side of the road i'm used to and on routes i know and frequent and, so far, this thing eats country roads with the best of them.