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24h Spa and Nürburgring These are the kings of the long distance

These are the kings of the long haul

We test the winning GT3 from Porsche and BMW. The recipe for success for cars and class

Hans-Peter Naundorf, Team Principal at Rowe Racing, warns: “Today no lap times count!” Because: The two racing cars that we were allowed to test on the demanding race track at Bilster Berg in November 2020 are not just any cars. They are the kings of the long haul.
Rowe Racing triumphed in the legendary 24h race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 2020 with the BMW M6 GT3 (V8 biturbo, approx. 530 hp). Just 28 days later, the team with the Porsche 911 GT3 R (six-cylinder boxer, approx. 530 hp) also won the 24-hour classic in Spa-Francorchamps. Two alpha animals with a real winner gene!

We test the winning GT3 from Porsche and BMW

© ROWE

So: into the narrow seat of the Porsche. The six-cylinder boxer comes to life when the start button is pressed. The sucker literally roars at you. End of the pit lane, full throttle! The full potential of the rear engine can be felt immediately. The Porsche 911 GT3 R drives like on rails. Thanks to the driving aids such as ABS and traction control, which can be regulated in multiple stages, the Porsche is relatively easy to master even for amateur drivers. You can press the brake pedal with all your strength before cornering without locking the wheels. Oversteering power out of corners is also not a challenge thanks to traction control.

If you want to be really fast, you should reduce the support of the helpers to a minimum – then the journey becomes a ride on the razor blade, especially in the rain.

Out of the Porsche, into the BMW. Step on the clutch and start the V8 biturbo, which sounds almost boring compared to the boxer engine. The thick ship BMW M6 GT3 is nowhere near as agile as the high-traction Porsche, which is much more forgiving of minor mistakes. A wrong choice of line with the BMW runs through the entire section of the route, while the Porsche can be quickly repositioned.

These are the kings of the long haul

If you want to be really fast, you should reduce the support of the helpers to a minimum.

© ROWE

Porsche, BMW – and many other manufacturers: the GT3 class is booming. In the next year, the sports cars with a powerful rear wing will even be used in the DTM. The different vehicle concepts are brought to a common level of performance with the help of the “Balance of Performance”, because each vehicle has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Thanks to the rear engine, the Porsche impresses with a special traction that makes it a front runner, especially on winding roads. In contrast, the BMW scores with its transaxle concept and optimal weight distribution, which pays off in long-distance races with low tire wear. Just two kings of the long haul.

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