Our program for the monthly meeting in April featured Paul Faieta of Protosport. As one of the leading GT3 experts in the Northern NJ area, Paul shared technical information and answered member questions about all models of the GT3. Attendance was strong with many GT3 owners (some were new members) there to soak up as much information as possible.
Not surprisingly, Paul opened the presentation with general comments about the overall capability and reliability of this increasingly popular version of the 911. He stressed that the GT3 (and its variants, including the GT2) are well-balanced, perfectly capable cars right from the factory for the street and track without any modifications. Some of the early issues associated with GT3s were due to the suspension settings of cars coming into the US and Paul stressed the importance of proper alignment to ensure good performance on the street or track. Most of the early handling issues have been corrected.
Another basic strength of the GT3 – particularly as a platform for a DE or Race car – is that many Motorsport Cup components are available and bolt on easily. Unlike the early 911 race car conversions, much of the fabrication required of those early cars just are not necessary. Although there is nothing like a Cup car, a GT3 with some Cup components is a good alternative, as it does not require the amount of regular maintenance that is required of a Porsche purpose-built race car.
Paul’s checklists of items for those that want to enhance this already robust platform include the following:
Suspension – Although the GT3’s anti-sway bars are already pretty beefy, upgrades in this area can eliminate any push (understeer) and increase adjustability. Paul has had good luck with H&R anti-sway bars. For those that use their car principally for the track, stiffer springs and Moton shocks can create a hard-core track set-up. Paul cautioned that the Motons do need to be rebuilt periodically so factor that into any implementation decision.
Brakes – Paul noted that the GT3’s brakes are very strong “out of the box”. Consequently, he does not believe any upgrades are necessary here except a brake fluid and brake pad upgrade, with after market slotted rotors for the front brakes a good alternative to the OEM rotors once they wear out.
Weight reduction – Although the GT3 weighs less than the other 911 variations, there are components that can be changed and/or eliminated to reduce the overall weight of the car. Although, he does not believe significant HP can be gained through aftermarket exhaust changes, he did note that as much as 25+ pounds can be eliminated from the rear of the car through exhaust changes – a significant amount. As noted above, since many of the components of the modern Porsche are modular, they can be removed to reduce weight without destroying the component or requiring a significant amount of time or expertise.
Horsepower Performance – Paul put any effort to increase the power of the car low on his priority list – primarily because he believes the car already produces a significant amount of power and torque – and efforts to enhance it generally do not provide a lot of return for the investment. For an ECU reflash, figure on 12-15 HP gain; for an exhaust upgrade, figure on a 5-8 HP gain. Be wary of claims of significant horsepower gains by aftermarket providers, as they are likely to be marketing hype or generate horsepower at the expense of torque.
There were many questions from the audience, including whether or not the more modern (and more powerful 997.2 C2S) might be a better choice for the track than an older GT3. For Paul, the answer was simple – the GT3’s 3.6 liter engine is a combination of the air-cooled bottom-end (crankcase and crankshaft) of the GT1 race car and the water-cooled and multi-valve heads of the 996 Carrera. The result is more power and reliability at extreme levels delivered through a gearbox derived from the GT2 - a robust combination indeed.
If you would like to contact Paul directly for answers to your questions, you can call him at Protosport at 973-839-5353, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo below is of Paul Faieta.