How the Porsche 911 GT2 RS Set the Lap Record at the Nurburgring

On September 27, 2017 the previous lap record at the Nurburgring of a 6:52.01 set by the Lamborghini Huracan Performante was crushed by the Porsche 911 GT2 RS.

The new lap record: 6:47.30

A lot of Porsche enthusiasts were hesitant to believe the time at first, especially considering that they destroyed the record holding Porsche 918 Spyder lap time by five seconds. Even crazier, Lars Kern and Nick Tandy, Porsche factory drivers, set another five laps below 6:50.00. Just incase you still don’t believe it, Porsche has released the full on-board video of the record smashing lap.

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“When we saw the Porsche 911 GT2 RS’s incredible 6:47.25 Nürburgring lap time yesterday, we couldn’t help but wonder what made the car so fast. Sure, the GT2 RS has 700 horsepower, but on paper, it seems quite low-tech compared to the two previous Nürburgring lap record holders, the Lamborghini Huracan Performante and Porsche’s own 918 Spyder.

After all, the GT2 RS doesn’t have any fancy active aerodynamics like the Lamborghini, nor does it have any sort of hybrid drivetrain assistance like the 918. For answers, we spoke with Andreas Preuninger, the head of Porsche’s GT car division, over email.

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One big factor in the GT2 RS’s performance is its tires. Like the 918 Spyder, it uses Michelin’s excellent Pilot Sport Cup 2, but that tire has evolved quite a bit in the four years since the 918 set its Nürburgring record.

The tire used on the 918 was the “N0” spec Pilot Sport Cup 2, and Porsche worked with Michelin to develop two further variants—the N1 for the 991.1 GT3 RS, and the N2 for the GT2 RS. Each tire gets its own compound and construction to “to extract the maximum performance out of the car,” according to Preuninger.

Essentially, the GT2 RS generates more mechanical grip than the 918 Spyder and 991.1 GT3 RS, despite the fact that all have Pilot Spot Cup 2s of the exact same size. That makes a huge difference on track.

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While the GT2 RS doesn’t use any active aero, it still generates a lot of downforce, helping it maintain high cornering speeds at the ‘Ring. At the front, there’s a big lip spoiler and an air extraction vent on the trunk lid, and at the rear, there’s a big, manually adjustable wing. With the wing in its normal setting, the GT2 RS generates 750 lbs (340 kg) of downforce at its 211-mph top speed, and when it’s set to its maximum angle of attack, that figure increases to 992 lbs (450 kg).

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The GT2 RS’s rear wing was set to maximum attack for the record run, which surely helped the car in the Nurburgring’s many high-speed corners. But despite running a high-downforce setup—and therefore increasing drag—the GT2 RS still managed to hit around 193 mph on the Nurburgring’s final straight. In contrast, the Huracan Performante hit 188 mph in the same spot.”

– Chris Perkins of Road & Track

 

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