911 GT3 on the Nurburgring | 7 minutes and 12.7 seconds
The new Porsche 911 GT3 has celebrated its first day on the Nürburgring with a lap time of 7 minutes, 12.7 seconds for the legendary Nordschleife. The road-approved 911, with specifications similar to its motorsport counterpart, beat the time set by the previous model by 12.3 seconds.
“By achieving this time, we have emphatically proven that the new 911 GT3 not only provides the best driving experience, but can also deliver an impressive performance on the Nordschleife. The focus was on optimising the driving quality and adapting to the slight increase in engine power”, says a delighted Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT cars at Porsche. “A few years ago, lap times like this could only ever be achieved by thoroughbred racing cars with slick tyres”, adds Andreas Preuninger, Director GT Product Line. “The new GT3 can now achieve this with comparatively modest power, but is still fully suited to everyday use.”
The 911 GT3 also relies more on pure racing technology than the previous model. Its 368-kW (500-hp), high-rev, naturally aspirated engine can also be found in the 911 GT3 Cup racing car. Equipped with rear-axle steering, a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) and Michelin Sport Cup 2 N1 tyres, the sports vehicle approached the starting line in the Eifel in its standard trim. At an air temperature of 8 degrees and an asphalt temperature of 14 degrees, the conditions for Porsche test driver Lars Kern were ideal for racing. The road-approved rear-wheel drive Coupé recorded its best time under notarial supervision. “If you can drive fast on the Nordschleife, you can drive fast anywhere in the world”, Frank-Steffen Walliser comments.
Mazda Motorsports begins a new era today with the creation of Mazda Team Joest, which will be the factory Mazda Prototype race team competing in the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship under Daytona Prototype international (DPi) rules. The team will make its racing debut at the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
Joest Racing is one of the most successful endurance sports car teams in history, with 16 victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans plus multiple wins in prestigious North American races such as the Rolex 24 at Daytona, ten wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and six titles at Petit Le Mans. Joest found much of its success as the factory team for Audi from 1999 until the manufacturer ended the program after the 2016 season. Prior to that, Joest Racing had multiple Le Mans victories with Porsche, and was the factory team for Opel in DTM, the German touring car series. The German company was created in 1978 by then-factory Porsche driver Reinhold Joest.