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Making a 911 GT3 RS look slow is no easy task, but Porsche’s road-to-racetrack weapon has just been shamed around the infamous Nurburgring - albeit by a newer version of itself.
The $416,500 911 recorded a fastest-of-four-laps time of 6:56.4 - knocking a stunning 24 seconds off the best time recorded by its predecessor, and landing within striking distance of the brutally quick (and $645k) 911 GT2 RS, which lapped the 20.6km circuit in a record-breaking 6:47.25. And it demolishes the 6:57.0 time set by the $1.5 million (est) 918 Spyder.
It also marks a happy Nurburgring trifecta for the German brand, with the the GT3 RS the third Porsche to break the seven-minute barrier at the infamous race track.
The lap, recorded on April 16 under what the brand is describing as "ideal conditions", saw Porsche Works driver Kévin Estre strap into the driver's seat of the 383kW GT3 RS.
The 29-year-old French racer - a Porsche driver since 2016 - has had no shortage of wheel time, honing his skills behind the wheel of the 911 RSR and GT3 R at races across Europe, including at the Le Mans 24-Hours.
At the Nurburgring, he shared driving with Porsche development driver Lars Kern, but it was the flying Frenchman who recorded the quickest lap.
“This lap was a sensational experience for me”, he said. “Through the fast corners and on the brakes in particular, the GT3 RS is unbelievably close to our racing car GT3 R. This is also thanks to the new generation of tyres for road going sports cars.
“I like the engine of the GT3 RS a lot. Up to 9000 revs per minute from a six-cylinder engine just feels fantastic. The sound is a dream and the torque is massive.”
The most powerful naturally aspirated 911 to date, the GT3 RS squeezes 383kW and 470Nm from its 4.0-litre flat-six engine, enough for a sprint to 100km/h of just 3.2 seconds. That engine is paired with a seven-speed PDK automatic, with a red-line hovering at 9000rpm. For the ‘Ring burn, the 911 was wearing Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres, specially formulated for the GT3 RS and GT2 RS, which will be a dealer option when the car arrives in Australia towards the end of 2018.
“All four lap times of both drivers were below seven minutes and only tenths of a second apart. This proves not only the outstanding power of the GT3 RS, but also its extraordinary driveability at the limit,” said Andreas Preuninger, director of Porsche’s GT Model Line.
"A perfectly composed overall system allows for highly dynamic performance even with relatively modest engine power. For a driver, each of the car’s thousands of parts have to feel like one – that’s an unbeatable strength of the GT3 RS. And what especially delights me is how much fun Lars and Kévin had when driving that car.”
Porsche is in something of a purple patch for setting lap records of late, with the 919 Evo recording a blistering 1:41.77 lap of Spa.
The Evo - a reworked version of Porsche’s three-time Le Mans winning LMP1 car - was quicker around the Belgium circuit than F1 car, helped no doubt by its 537kW petrol and 328kW electric motors.
Is the 911 GT3 RS the ultimate track-attack Porsche? Tell us in the comments below.