porsche 991 Cup car driven: gentleman racer
Silence. Awful silence. There’s only the sound of my breathing as I sit looking out the windscreen at the track, a track which until a few seconds ago I’d been driving on. There are four black lines, criss-crossing each other, a rubber inscription on the tarmac that highlights my lack of talent.
What had Tom Woollen, technical team manager, Motorsport, said? Floor the clutch, re-start the engine and pull the paddle down for neutral. I do that, the flat-six fires but the spitting sound of the pneumatic shifter isn’t accompanied by any change in the digital display in front of me.
Third is still being shown, and every, ever more desperate tug at the left shifter is signalled not by that number getting lower, but a warning sound that suggests to me ‘expensive’. A Cayman GT4 Clubsport nips by, while I’m sat motionless on the tarmac, mercifully free of the gravel trap at the big left off Vale.
The mid-engined GT4 is the very car that only a few minutes ago I’d been lapping in, approaching the same big stop with impunity, leaning on the brakes until the ABS was cutting in. It was hilariously good fun, it flattering thanks to its fine balance and, if I’m being honest here, the electronic assistance of that ABS and Traction Control.
The 911 GT3 Cup car I’m sat in now has no such driver assistance, all of which explains my current predicament. Nothing for it but to switch it all off, hope, and start again.
A quick flick of the ignition, a prayer, and re-start the engine with the clutch floored. The digital display in front of me is still showing I’m in third, but my tentative pull of the paddle has it drop to two, then first, then I’m good to go.
Talent: you need a lot of it to drive in the Carrera Cup. I’ve been lucky enough to have driven a lot of racing cars, but none have intimidated as much as the 911 GT3 Cup car I’m in today.
I’d been warned, not just before I got into it, but for weeks in advance. The 911 GT3 Cup isn’t like most modern racers, it’s a car that demands the very best from its drivers – if you make a mistake you’ll know about it. And I know about it.
If you’ve not seen the Carrera Cup, then where have you been? The UK’s fastest single-make championship, the 911 GT3 Cup cars are quicker than the British Touring Cars that they follow all around the UK.
Almost as quick as a 911 GT3 R depending on the circuit, Woollen saying at Spa, the Cup’s lack of aero, and hence drag, allied to its 485hp mean it’s only a couple of seconds slower than its more hardcore relation. In the right hands, of course.
There are Carrera Cup championships all over the world, providing support races to Touring Cars, GT Championships and F1 as the Supercup. If you’re in Asia, America, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Scandinavia you’ll find a championship. Indeed, if you’ve…
For the full test drive feature of the 911 GT3 Cup, with insight into what it’s like to race in the modern-day Carrera Cup championship, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 187 in shops now or get it delivered to your door via here. You can also download a digital copy with high definition bonus galleries to any Apple or Android device.