5,000km in the new Porsche 991 GT3 RS – part two

After starting his 5,000km road trip at Zuffenhausen, Ronan McGrath’s journey in his new Porsche 991 GT3 RS takes him to Zell am See, home of the Porsche family in the late Thirties and Forties.

Zell am See, Austria

After a day traversing the German autobahns with the 991 Rennsport, I head for Zell am See in Austria. This is the original Porsche country and it has barely changed in decades.

Schüttgut, the family home, is minutes from the town, a comfortable old place where Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche are at rest in a quaint private chapel.

Dr Wolfgang Porsche sponsors the International Porsche Tage meeting with the Austrian clubs, and the rally and slalom here is an event where you can see every car used in anger.

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It is a delight to see a 959, 2.7 RS, 993 RS and a unique all-alloy 964 being thrashed hard in the mountains, among cars ranging from a pre-A 356 to a new Macan, and on roads where the very first Porsches were tested some 60 years ago.

The roads are steep and narrow with severe hairpins, and here the real strength of the 911’s chassis design starts to show. Simply put, grip is endless. The precision of the roadholding is better than any RS and there is virtually no understeer no matter how hard the car is pushed. Braking later than I would in a

997, the car corners effortlessly. Dr Porsche came out in the driving rain at the end of the meeting and signed the car for me, a very special piece of Porsche DNA indeed.

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I then did some long days running the car in through central Germany, almost all in the wet. Compared to the 997.2, a car with very good wet grip, the 991 is a major step forward, and is the most sure-footed of any RS to date.

An empty autobahn in this car leaves me utterly confident in the predictably very high speeds. Gradually increasing to full speed, the aerodynamic grip is in another class to the earlier cars.

The 997.1RS at 180mph is worryingly light and shows signs of lifting, and the 997.2 is much better, but the new car feels ready to dig down into the pavement at any given opportunity. Nearer to top speed the drag is apparent and the car decelerates quickly on lift off.

The final part of Ronan’s epic 5,000km Porsche 991 GT3 RS road trip will conclude on Monday, as he breaks the car in properly with a thrash around the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Look out for it on Total911.com.  

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