Porsche reveals 911 GT3 RS has an official Nurburgring lap time of 6:56.4 [w/video]

Article by Christian A., on April 23, 2018

A few days ago, we talked about two cars that attempted to set a record at the Nurburgring. One of those would be the Porsche 911 GT3 RS that finished the course in 6 minutes and 56 seconds. To be more precise, it was actually 6:56.4 and Porsche has finally confirmed the performance of the track focused model, with Kevin Estre behind its wheel. Impressively, he was able to beat its predecessor’s record by as much as 24 seconds.

Estre wasn’t the only one who drove the 911 GT3 RS, as he was also joined by fellow driver, Lars Kern. Both of them completed four laps of the 20.6 kilometer (12.8 mile) Nurburgring, or the so called Green Hell. And both drivers finished each lap in under seven minutes with just a few tenths of a second difference. This is clear proof of how fast naturally aspirated cars are, especially when the one driving it is extremely skilled too.

During the fastest lap finished by the 911 GT3 RS, the conditions were very much ideal too. At exactly 11:40 on Monday morning April 16, it recorded 18 degrees Celsius (64.4 degrees Fahrenheit) track and 14 degrees Celsius (57.2 degrees Fahrenheit) ambient temperatures.

After his attempt, the 29 year old driver, Estre expressed how impressed he was with the braking and handling of the car, particularly its high speed cornering. He said that it felt just like the track-only GT3 R race car.

You’re probably wondering if the GT3 RS had any special modifications before taking on the Green Hell. Well, the answer to that is no, it was just the standard model. Though it did wear a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, which will soon be available to the public (and they are fully compliant with the laws of the European Union and the United States). These tires measure 265/35 ZR 20 up front, and 325/30 ZR 21 on the rear. Mind you, these will be available for the GT2 RS as well.

Since we already mentioned the GT2 RS, this range topper is still significantly faster than the GT3 RS, when it lapped the Green Hell in only 6 minutes 47.3 seconds last year. Both these models continue a tradition, which began in 2013 when the 918 Spyder lapped the ‘Ring in 6:57. Now, if you think of it, it is quite cool how a five-year-old super expensive hybrid hypercar has already been beaten by an old school naturally aspirated sports car.

This explains Porsche’s progress in the past few years. Though lapping the Green Hell isn’t really that significant to many, these are quite relevant when we are discussing cars that are intended to race on the track.

Press Release

New 911 GT3 RS sets a lap time of 6:56.4 minutes through the ‘Green Hell’

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS has set another benchmark for road-approved sports cars at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany.

Porsche works race driver Kévin Estre set a lap time in 6:56.4 minutes with the 520-hp GT3 RS (911 GT3 RS: combined fuel consumption 12.8 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 291 g/km). The Frenchman’s lap time was 24 seconds faster than the best time achieved with the previous GT3 RS model. Porsche development driver Lars Kern was sharing driving duties with Estre. Following the 918 Spyder and the 911 GT2 RS, the new GT3 RS is the third production Porsche sports car with a notarised lap time of less than seven minutes on the world’s most demanding race track, known as the ‘Green Hell’. As is customary for record drives, the time was measured around the 20.6-kilometre lap.

Frank Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars, commented; “No other Porsche model gets as close to racing as the new GT3 RS. Many innovative ideas from top-level motorsport were transferred; for example, from the 911 GT3 R. This is what our philosophy for GT models is about: Highest technology must be fascinating but tangible. In this regard there is no harder test for our ideas than the Nordschleife.”

The outstanding power of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Andreas Preuninger, Director GT Model Line, added; “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. A perfectly composed overall system allows for highly dynamic performance even with a 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.”

Kévin Estre (r) and Lars Kern drove the 911 GT3 RS at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife
29-year old Estre began the record lap at 11:40 am in ideal conditions, with 14 degree Celsius ambient and 18 degree Celsius track temperature. “This lap was a sensational experience for me”, he revealed afterwards. “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 9,000 revs per minute from a six-cylinder engine just feels fantastic. The sound is a dream and the torque is massive.”

Since 2016 Kévin Estre belongs to the squad of Porsche works drivers. He competes with the Porsche 911 RSR in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) that includes the Le Mans 24-Hours. In the ADAC GT Masters he races the 911 GT3 R.

World premiere at the Geneva Motor Show
At the Nürburgring the 911 GT3 RS was equipped with the latest generation of Michelin Pilot Sport tyres. Optimised especially for track day use, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R is fully compliant with relevant EU and US law. The tyre (265/35 ZR 20 front and 325/30 ZR 21 rear) can soon be ordered at every Porsche Centre and selected dealers or tyre fitters. Its approved fitments include 911 GT3 RS and 911 GT2 RS.

The 911 GT3 RS with motorsport-bred chassis and 383-kW (520-hp), four-litre, high- speed naturally aspirated engine had its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in early March this year. The high-performance sports car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, reaching a top speed of 312 km/h.

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