“If you get the regular Carrera... you have a great sports car. But with the GTS, you have no doubt” ORIOL SERVIA
some suitable roads to see just how much
of a Porsche it really is.
“One of the days it was raining and I
had my chance to have a little bit of fun in
the wet,” he grins. “It gets out of shape if
you want it, but it wasn’t diabolical.
They’ve done a really good job with the
suspension settings. It doesn’t bounce
back too much. The sti;ness in Sport Plus
makes it a little rougher, but there’s
definitely more control, it’s more precise.
Whatever you’re doing to the wheel
happens right away with the car. The
floaty feeling you got at the front end of
earlier Porsches is gone.”
And the limits definitely move outward
with the di;erent settings, he notes.
“When you put on the Sport Plus, you can
go through the corner a lot faster. The
reactions of it are much more like a
racecar. I was surprised how almost
radical the Sport Plus is for a road car; but
it’s great that it gives you all the options.”
While he loves the car, Servia sees two
areas where it falls short of perfection.
The first is power (his work vehicle has
650hp, after all), which he feels the
chassis could handle more of with no
problem. The second is the inability to
turn the stability control completely o;.
It’s unobtrusive, but kicks in when the
computer thinks a crash is imminent.
The Carrera GTS – available in four
versions if you count the all-wheel-drive
models and coupe and convertible body
styles – fills the gap in the 911 line
between the Carrera S and GT3. It doesn’t
seem a particularly large chasm, yet the
introduction of the Carrera GTS makes it
appear bigger by providing the best of
both worlds. You get much of the performance of the GT3
without the boy racer looks or the bigger price tag, and you get
the option of the PDK gearbox: the GT3 is manual only.
What it’s like to race a 911 at Le Mans?
Turn the page for Pat Long’s verdict.
FROM SHOWROOM TO RACETRACK
Porsche has always had a knack for turning its cars into racers
The Carrera GTS may be the ultimate
expression of the normally aspirated 911
daily driver. Take this car a couple steps
further and you get the GT3 RS, a car a bit too
extreme for everyday transportation. Lose the
creature comforts, add safety equipment and some
more performance, and you arrive at the GT3 Cup
car – the basis for most of Porsche’s worldwide
privateer racing efforts. And one step beyond that
is the RSR, the endurance racing special.
Porsche didn’t always turn race-ready vehicles
out of its factories – it used to rely on lightly modified
road cars to go racing. The rear-engined German
sports car was a success almost immediately, and
has been a staple of international racing ever since.
Jerry Titus won the D Production title for the
911 at the 1966 American Road Race of Champions
at California’s Riverside Raceway (RIGHT), beating
the faster-in-theory C Production cars. So, for the
following year, the 911 was moved to C Production.
Alan Johnson, who would later become a Porsche
dealer, won a pair of CP championships in 1967 and
’ 68, and Milt Minter took the 1969 CP title as he set
on the path to becoming a well-known Porsche racer.
The 911 also took a pair of B Sedan titles, in
1968 with Johnson and in ’ 69 with Peter Gregg
– who went on to win a pair of Trans-Am driver’s
titles in a 911. But before that, the 911 dominated
the Under 2-Liter class in Trans-Am, winning the
manufacturer’s championship for three years
straight in 1967-’ 69.