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Porsche sets lap record at The Bend – again!
Bathurst legend Youlden smashes The Bend’s production car lap record in new 911 GT3
11 Nov 2021
By MATT BROGAN
PORSCHE has smashed its own production car lap record of The Bend Motorsport Park by a full five seconds, its 911 GT3 devouring the twists and turns of the 7.7-kilometre South Australian circuit in just 3:17.05 minutes.
The production car record sits just 21 seconds behind the GT3 race lap record set by Alessandro Pier Guidi during the 2020 Four Hours of The Bend in his race-prepared Ferrari 488 GT3.
Piloted by Porsche Track Experience chief driving instructor and former Bathurst 1000 winner Luke Youlden, the record-setting production car lap almost came as a surprise to the veteran Aussie racer, who said the Porsche’s phenomenal rear-end grip helped to shave pivotal ‘tenths’ from each of the GT Circuit’s 35 corners.
“What a fantastic bit of kit this car is. To break the previous lap record by five seconds is phenomenal, I honestly thought that record would hold for a bit longer. This car is so planted in the rear, but it also turns, and in the banked turns of The Bend it’s just unbelievable,” Mr Youlden said.
Porsche’s previous production car lap record for the full layout was set by the 911 Turbo earlier this year. Spec-for-spec, and on paper at least, the Teutonic twins rate closely.
The all-wheel drive 911 Turbo is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre flat six that makes a staggering 427kW at 6500rpm and develops a stonking 750Nm between 2250 and 4500rpm. Porsche advertises a 0-100km/h figure of 2.8 seconds and a V-max of 320km/h, the 1651kg coupe offering up a power-to-weight ratio of 267.0kW/tonne.
But for all its force-fed mumbo, it seems the 911 Turbo just could not be topped by its naturally aspirated sibling. The rear-wheel drive 911 GT3 utilises a 4.0-litre flat six that develops 375kW at 8400rpm and 470Nm of twisting force at 6100rpm.
Despite a power deficit of 52kW and being a substantial 280Nm down on torque, the lighter model’s clever aerodynamics and Velcro-like grip saw it hold greater corner speed through The Bend’s undulating turns, video footage of the pair showing how planted and comfortable the GT3 appears in the hands of a pro.
Porsche lists the all-important 0-100km/h figure of its 911 GT3 at 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 318km/h – just 2km/h shy of its turbocharged big brother. The track-oriented model has a kerb weight of 1445kg (-206kg) and a power-to-weight ratio of 268.6kW per tonne.
“Anyone who’s looking for a track-day car better not look far past this thing,” Mr Youlden enthused.
“The repeatability of this car is unlike anything else. You can flog it around (the track) for 10 or 20 laps and then drive it home. That’s what I love about this brand.”
The 7.7km configuration of The Bend’s GT Circuit makes it the second-longest permanent racing circuit in the world behind the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
Opened in 2018, the former Mitsubishi Motors proving ground offers four configurable circuits, all of which are licenced by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) for car racing and the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) for motorcycle racing.
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