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LA Motor Show 2018

Porsche’s 918 successor “must achieve 6m 30s” at the ‘Ring

Porsche Motorsport boss lays down the gauntlet for the company’s next hypercar

Published: 29 Nov 2018

Porsche’s fascination with the Nürburgring shows no sign of abating. Speaking to at the LA Motor Show, Porsche Motorsport boss Frank-Steffen Walliser laid down the gauntlet for the core of whichever car supercedes the 918 Spyder hypercar.

It won’t be whichever powertrain best fits the company’s increasingly electrified message, but whichever powertrain allows it to take nearly 30 seconds out of the 918’s 6m 57s lap of the ‘Ring.

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“It must achieve a 6m 30s at the Nürburgring,” Walliser tells us. “I don't care about the drivetrain, 6m 30s is the target. Sports cars are defined by their performance, then we have to look how to achieve it. An electric car in 6m 30s is quite a challenge.” So a hybrid may be unlikely, a fully electric hypercar even more so.

Is it all getting a bit mad? “For 5,000 years mankind compares performance in games and competition in soccer, in rallying, throwing spears and whatever. I don't see it will stop. for sure we have to be careful, and properly prepare.

“The main part is preparation for safety. Nothing just happens, we need a very experienced driver, a very good team taking care of every detail and we have to be careful,” he added.

Keeping things at a slightly saner level, he also told us to expect the new, 992-generation GT3 within 18 to 24 months of the brand-new 911’s arrival, but wouldn’t be held on whether it’s going to be turbocharged or not, as some have suggested.

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And, indeed, feared. If the 991 has been anything to go by, that’ll be the first of many motorsport cars. Some of which, like the new GT2 RS Clubsport, may allow modestly talented drivers to go racing. Actual racing, not ending up in the hands of speculative collectors.

Walliser assures us the company’s done as much as possible to make sure Clubsports end up in the hands of people who want to race them, and given the car fits with the SRO’s new GT2 regulations, that could mean some pretty special races.

“The intention is this is not a collector's car. It's a really, really easy to use racing car. You don't need a big team of engineers setting up everything, and you can service it with the regular computers we are using in the Porsche dealer.”

While its 282kg of downforce at 124mph comes close to doubling the figure of the GT2 RS road car, Walliser insists the Clubsport is a friendly car to drive. It still comes with stability control and ABS, after all. “The people who will buy this have found a skill in racing but they don't have the time for daily training and a lot of races,” he says.

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Walliser reckons it’ll be used differently to the 935 track special it initially appears rather similar to. While most of those will still end up on circuit, it’ll likely be more careful use on a trackday as opposed to the cut and thrust of a racing grid. And it turns out a lot of 935 buyers are also getting a GT2 RS Clubsport anyway.

Back to the 'Ring. Has the new Clubsport been there yet?

“We haven't tested it,” he says. “I think with the downforce level and the tyres we can take another ten seconds off the street car, minimum.” So around 6m 35s, perhaps.

“I guess we will see in the spring. We’ll do some serious Nürburgring testing. The GT2 RS Manthey was just an end of season run to bring the trophy home.”

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