Porsche 993 GT2 R: driving the speed freak

There’s a slight crest that I’ve never really noticed before. Shortly after the exit of Goodwood’s Lavant corner, it coincides with the GT2 R reaching 4,000rpm when the turbos really start to make their presence felt. The rear goes light, there’s the slightest squirm as the 11-inch rear tyres hunt for traction, before the GT2 R’s rear hunkers back down, the engine runs around to its redline and I reach for another gear. Lavant Straight is far from it, being kinked, uphill but fast, and it’s here that the GT2 R’s engine forcefully reveals its potency, with fourth gear quickly devoured, the shift light flashing in the instruments in front of me as I push the clutch and reach for fifth.

There’s no time to think. Just drive. That’s just as well, because GT2, when applied to the 911, has long been associated with being a difficult, challenging car. A few hours earlier I’d been sat at my desk, having decided to give Goodwood SpeedWeek a swerve, because I had other things on.

Then I got a call. “We’ve got some track time in a GT2 R if you want a drive,” said Richie Payne, Porsche PR and technician extraordinaire. Initially I said no, as with the current situation I’d let my race licence expire, and Goodwood’s usually run as a racing event and requiring a valid licence. Payne quickly checked and said I’d be needing just my road licence, so I jumped in the car, drove 150 miles in a little over two hours, and pulled on my racing suit.

The car had come over from the Museum, recently restored and sans any livery, in white. Sitting in Goodwood’s open paddock alongside some Porsche Le Mans legends, it looks small, meek even, as ridiculous as that seems. The cars it’s amongst won’t be running today, but Payne’s got the key to the GT2 R and hands it over to me.

Any visit to Goodwood is like travelling back in time, and the 993 GT2 R looks box fresh, exactly like it would be if it had just been delivered to a racing customer after relieving their bank balance to the tune of DM 398,500 (circa £185,500) back in the mid-1990s.

There’s little time to take in all the details with the track session starting in a few moments, though it’s impossible not to spot the distended signature wheel arches with their visible fixings and the huge wing extending up above the road cars’ uprights to roof height at the back.

The GT2 is the definition of race car, with its form entirely derived from function, those wild wheel arches covering 18-inch split rim wheels, the fronts being 10 inches wide and the rears 11 inches. Today those centre-locked silver and gold wheels are shod with some Michelin wets, Payne quick to point out they’re both new, and cold.

To read our full drive on track of the magnificent 993 GT2 R, pick up Total 911 issue 198 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

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