Porsche race cars are racing all over the world for well over 70 years and if you look a bit closer you see one race car class, which is there since 1990 and is called the “Porsche GT3 Cup” which is used in the Porsche own “Carrera Cups”.
The recipe for this kind of Porsche is easy: Take a 911, with its legendary boxer engine layout behind the rear wheel, do some “simple” modifications to it and send it out on the tracks of the world for close, puristic racing.
Not for no reason do you see at least one season in one of the many worldwide Carrera Cups in their career paths (Timo Bernhard, Kevin Estre, Niki Thiim, Rene Rast, just to name a few of them…).
Almost all drivers agree on the fact, that when you fast in a GT3 Cup Porsche you’re fast in every race car that comes afterwards.
Luckily we have a very good version of that beauty of a race car in Assetto Corsa and Assetto Corsa Competizione for you to take to the digital tack and have fun in!
But what makes this kind of car so special and what are important things to look out for, when starting driving it?
First of all, it’s a classic Porsche. 4-litre boxer engine in the back of the car with make 485bhp, directly derived from the road going 911 GT3 RS, very little aerodynamics but high mechanical grip from the suspension and tyres and all that in combination with almost no driving aids (no traction control, no engine maps but ABS [in Assetto Corsa Competizione]).
Does that sound exciting? Because it is for sure, when you choose for the first time but there are some setup tweaks and unique driving style hints, that’ll help you get on speed in no time:
- Be precise and smooth! Although it has GT3 in the name, it is no “real” GT3 car and especially with the way the car is built and set up, it likes to be handled with a bit of “feel” on the steering wheel and the pedals. When you try to battle it too much around the track, you’ll end in runing you tyres and you’ll be in a constant battle between under- and oversteer.
- Watch the understeer! With the rear engine layout, you’ll easily get understeer in the GT3 Cup, especially with almost no aero features on the front of the car. When turning into a corner try to use the brake to your advantage to get pressure onto the front and trail brake into the corner. At the apex you don’t want to be on throttle to early, cause it will also lead to understeer easily with the weight of the car leaning towards the rear and the differential is locking as the smallest input at throttle. That will stop the car from wanting to rotate. So, trail brake into a corner, roll close into the apex and when you open the steering wheel, get back on throttle! It sounds difficult but when done right it’s very rewarding trust me!
- Don’t try to abuse the throttle too much during the corner! Because of the weight distribution of the car and the way the diff works, it’s very easy to bring a “unbalance” into the drive, when you constantly try to maintain a certain degree of throttle in a corner, letting go a bit, get back on it. Rather try to use high rolling speed and get back on the throttle as soon as you can use all of those sweet 485bhp!
- The Cup car is even in the softest setting high enough to go as low as possible at the front (60mm on the front in ACC).
All real life GT3 Cup teams do it that way, cause you don’t gain anything by raising the front in a car with such a light front.
- The two possibilites in ride height/rear wing balance that make sense are either a low rear, to generate as much as mechanical grip as possible in combination with a low wing position.
The advantage of that is a high top speed but a worse behaviour at corner entry and in the general rotation.
- The other way is a higher rear with more rear wing.
Will loose a bit top speed but you get much confidence and cornering ability in mid to high speed corners through this.
[Remark by my own experience: that’s the way to go in ACC. The car is a rocket anyway… Only on tracks like Paul Ricard or Monza with very long straights it can make sense to gain this 4 or 5 kph in the straights].
- A very important thing in the Cup car setup are the toe settings! How much toe you’ll run with the Cup car is essential and even the slightest changes can have a huge impact on lap time performance. Especially the rear toe is a critical setup parameter, because you can effectively you can control how much over- or understeer the car has on corner exit. It’s really important because the Cup Porsche has no changable diff settings. As a general rule of thumb, more toe in (+) at the rear will lead to more stability but a somewhat reluctanct rear, when it comes to the rotation. Less toe in, does the other way around. Try it in little 0.01-0.02 steps until you’re happy with it.
So, enjoy your first steps in that exciting race car and see for yourself, what makes it so special! Have fun and if you want to get involved in some Porsche Cup racing here at ThePitCrew, check out our Tuesday Championship!