From a distance, you might look upon this Porsche 997 GT3 Cup like it were any other. Get a bit closer and you still wouldn’t tell, if not for the sign hung above it at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed that says “Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Turbo”. You give it a double take at first. “Those two badges aren’t normally on the same car,” you think to yourself. “Is it a misprint?”
JUN 25th 2016
This Porsche 911 Is An 800hp Hillclimb Monster
No. It is not. This 911 GT3 Cup has undergone some significant changes, not exclusive to the addition of turbo power. Pikes veteran champion Jeff Zwart ran the car at Pikes Peak in 2013, 2014 and 2015, significantly improving year-on-year with respective times of 10:13.85, 10:01.91 and 9:46.245. 2014 saw the car miss out on glory by under two seconds with fuelling issues strangling power in the final sections. On top form for 2015, the 911 GT3 Cup Turbo is now a tried and proven formula for hillclimb pace.
The custom built twin-turbo flat-six as it stand now puts a reliable and consistent 800bhp to the wheels through a transmission geared application. The engine itself is capable of a much greater maximum output, but due to the complications of feeding air in at high altitudes, the engine is electronically configured for consistent performance, producing all 800 from 9,000ft all the way up to the 14,200ft summit. Suspension goes unchanged from the already fantastically capable and ultimately configurable GT3 Cup setup.
Being a hillclimb car, GT3 Cup Turbo should feel right at home at FoS, and indeed it did. On its travels up the Goodwood Hillclimb it went spectacularly, with Zwart ringing out that 800 horsepower twin-turbocharged flat six for the onlooking crowds. The sound that thing makes is more akin to something you might find deploying from an aircraft carrier, with the turbos sucking and chirping away as they force air into the forged engine.
Zwart will not be taking the GT3 Cup Turbo back to Pikes this year. The car has recently been sold to a close friend of the team, who let the car appear at the Festival of Speed. What a treat to see this absolute beast before it makes its way to its loving new owner.
Photography by Tom Shaxson