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Jack Olsen's Avatar
 
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It's the GT3 RS motor in a GT3 body with no wing. But then, it also has recalibrated steering, front and rear. And it's lighter than even the GT3 RS. Quite a bit lighter than the GT3, and with more power.

This video has a lot of the technical details. And if you'll notice, this car has the red PORSCHE text on the side (the other one has black). This is the actual one I drove:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRxbgACxlec#t=537

And here are my driving impression -- especially on the differences between the GT3 RS and the 911R:

Obviously, it has less downforce and narrower tires than the GT3 RS. They put a diffuser in back, but I'm not sure how functional a piece like that is in corners, where body roll compromises its function. I believe they had to make some changes to the underbody kit up front to keep front and rear axle numbers compatible. There is also a different (and more 'lively') programming for the rear steering on this model.

Compared to the early 911 I'm used to driving, it's a very sure-footed car. But compared to the GT3 RS, up at speed, it's a lot more lively and engaging. The differences from aero are only going to be a factor in faster corners. But the tire-size differences and (possibly) rear-steering-programming differences give it a nimbler feel even in medium-speed corners. It's something you can toss around more easily than the GT3 RS (although again, all things are relative -- by 2400-lb 1972 is another animal altogether).

I liked that it was a 6-speed and not a 7-speed manual gearbox. I believe the gearing is lower than other manual transmissions Porsche makes (although, again, that might be incorrect -- I don't see it in the official literature). There is nothing faster than the paddles in the GT3 RS. But for driving in any kind of street situation, it makes (for me, at least) a better tactile experience to be using my right hand to upshift and downshift. It auto-blips downshifts in sport mode, but you can defeat that if you want to go for the full-on old-school feel.

The weight difference between the 911R and the GT3 RS is something I'd be hard-pressed to say I felt. Both are light by contemporary standards (and also heavy, relative to the 911 I drive). But I'm very happy to see Porsche making a new model that's lighter, and I hope they make good on their talk about getting out of the horsepower arms race and finding ways to reduce the weight (and size, if all my dreams came true) of future models. Modern Porsches feel very light on the track, because of the sophistication of their suspension systems. But I'd be thrilled to see them become actually lighter. There's no substitute for reduced mass when you take a car through a corner.

So which car would I own if I had the money and an allocation? It's not easy to answer. Porsche makes it clear that it does not see the 911R as primarily a track car. I don't think the half-cage is even an option on it. And if I were going to the track with one of these cars as often as I do with my 1972 911, then the GT3 RS would be my choice. You are either faster or slower on a track, and the GT3 RS is phenomenally rewarding to drive in those conditions. The paddles just amaze you as you go up or down. Everything about the car is positive.

For recreational street driving and even trips out with your wife, the 911R would be the easy winner. It's just so much fun to drive. There's more personality to its 'tossability' and rowing through the gears on a canyon road is a fundamentally different experience than tapping paddles. And while I fully understand the value of a big wing in 80+-mph corners, it's a different experience when you pull into a restaurant, where people might (in some way) lump you with the type of drivers to bolt wings to their Civics. Having no tail looks cleaner. It shows off the lines of the car better. And my wife would probably agree to sit in it.

Along those lines, I would say that the 911R would absolutely make a viable daily driver. Granted, I drive a 1972 911 with a cage around town, so my comfort level is pretty broad. But it's comfortable, not too loud (there's an exhaust button for when you want the sound to echo off the mountains), and it hasn't been stripped out so much that it feels unsafe or flimsy. It's got all that going for it -- and then it will feel a little more nimble and driver-controllable (if that makes sense) than the GT3 RS would on ordinary roads. So again, if I was a guy who was going to go to the track once a year but drive around my favorite roads more often, the 911R would be a Porsche that would be more rewarding, for me, connecting the heritage of the old cars with the technology of the new ones.

Old 03-01-2016, 11:51 AM
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Super cool. Interesting to see how they do the videos. They advertise one driver with reference to rally and drifting, and the other to willow springs. If either of you are sold as being less than heel toe pros for example, I would be surprised.
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Last edited by gliding_serpent; 03-01-2016 at 12:40 PM..
Old 03-01-2016, 12:36 PM
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I don't want to hijack the thread here. One day I'll ask you how you insure your 72.
Old 03-01-2016, 12:37 PM
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Yes, the little clips they make are really not about me. I've been going to the track for 16 years now, so the lessons they teach me in the clips involve me 'acting.' I nod a lot and say the lines they told me to say. I think the idea behind the clips is to show what a typical owner might think about in getting a car like this -- not for track use, but for canyon carving. And even then, it's mostly just to draw attention to the 'driver's car' nature of the 911R.
Old 03-01-2016, 12:41 PM
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Love the look. I still think it is the porsche answer to Magnus Walker. Surprised he does not have his name on it somewhere.

I noted the interior. Sharp. Looks like they are not so far from my plans. They must have good taste.






So jack, are you getting a 911r out of this?
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Olsen View Post
. . .

The lanyard you get for the track gate to open at Weissach.
. . .
Just this one piece was worth the trip!

That will need to be framed and hung on the wall!
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:48 PM
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Great writeup Jack - glad to hear how much you enjoyed it, they definitely picked the right guy.
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Old 03-01-2016, 05:08 PM
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great write up Jack
Old 03-01-2016, 09:12 PM
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The car is lovely - no doubt about that - but will never be within my reach, so I suppose my question(s) would be what is Patrick Long like? We know he's a stellar driver, but what's he like as a "guy"?
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:55 PM
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Patrick was very nice -- really down to earth. He's from Los Angeles, so it was nice to have one reason (other than myself) for the whole group to keep the conversation in English. I had met Patrick previously because of the air-cooled Porsche show he organizes in Los Angeles (Luftgekuhlt). But this event meant there was a lot more time to just sit around and talk -- which provided a really interesting window into the life of a Porsche factory driver.
Old 03-02-2016, 03:51 PM
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Wow just WOW!

That is very cool and glad it was you so you can write about it
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:00 AM
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Luftgekuhlt looks like a great time. No telling where work travels will take me, but if I'm anywhere near I'll get myself there.
-C
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by stealthn View Post
Wow just WOW!

That is very cool and glad it was you so you can write about it
^^^ Took the words right out of my mouth. They certainly chose wisely. Well done, Jack.
Old 03-03-2016, 12:29 PM
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For sure that trip goes in your memory book.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:44 PM
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Thanks Jack. I'm pleased you had a good time.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:08 PM
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Jack,

What a awesome experience- I could not be more jealous. Thanks for sharing. I got the PCA email yesterday that had your pic - you were just Jack - and I said to myself hey I do know Jack ****- LOL.

Phil
Old 03-03-2016, 04:04 PM
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Well, the first 'lesson' is up on the Porsche site.

Elvan and I weren't shot for the first lesson. I was sitting on a mechanic's stool while they tried to get their takes in between bursts of noise from the Porsche Motorsports work going on in the background.

I had mentioned in a Pelican post that I was headed for Weissach, so the car had to be kept camouflaged whenever it was out of that garage -- even rolling it to the test track or the skid pad. The problem (I learned) is that automotive journalists read these threads and then set themselves up in the hills around Weissach with telephoto lenses to get shots of the cars before they're released officially.
Old 03-04-2016, 09:59 AM
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Great story and thread. I think they picked the right guy to participate. The legend of Jack Olsen is growing! If I make it down for Luftgekuhlt hopefully we will run into each other. Would love to meet. Thank you for sharing, Jack.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:16 AM
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They shoot you for that? Find out where they hide the bodies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Olsen View Post

Elvan and I weren't shot for the first lesson.

I had mentioned in a Pelican post that I was headed for Weissach, so the car had to be kept camouflaged whenever it was out of that garage -- even rolling it to the test track or the skid pad. The problem (I learned) is that automotive journalists read these threads and then set themselves up in the hills around Weissach with telephoto lenses to get shots of the cars before they're released officially.
Old 03-04-2016, 10:51 AM
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Somehow I missed this whole thing until this morning. What a great experience! Thanks, Jack, for the write-up and sharing your adventure.

Old 03-06-2016, 07:39 AM
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