Despite a "slower" Nurburgring lap time.
Porsche enthusiasts will right now be examining every fine detail about the all-new 2022 911 GT3. It's lighter, more powerful, and faster around the Nurburgring than its predecessor. None of that is unexpected. What we did find confusing was Porsche's claim that the new GT3 is "faster than the 2019 GT3 RS" at the Green Hell with a time of 6:59.927. Thing is, the 991.2 GT3 RS set a 6:56.4 lap time in April 2018. What's going on here? Did Porsche make a mistake?
CarBuzz asked Porsche North American Product Communications Manager Frank Wiesmann to clarify things. First off, there is no mistake, but the confusion is understandable.
Basically, Nurburgring lap times used to be clocked on the 20.6 kilometer (12.8 miles) track configuration. This includes the benchmark times set by 991.2 911 GT3 (7:12.7) and the 991.2 911 GT3 RS (6:56.4).
However, Nurburgring officials recently began certifying benchmark lap times using the ever so slightly longer 20.832 km configuration. The extra 200 meters is due to the staging area at the track's end that made it easier for drivers to go out for another lap. Because they couldn't complete the full 20.832 km track lap, timing began at the entrance and then stopped once drivers reached the staging area. The reason this was done is purely historical as the track's entrance used to be the old T13 grandstand.
In setting the 6:56.4 lap time, the 991.2 GT3 RS averaged 111 mph, which equates to just under 50 meters per second. So that additional 200 meters adds at least four seconds to the lap time. Hence the new GT3's time of 6.59.9 is theoretically quicker (by a fraction of a second) than the previous GT3 RS.
"What it boils down to is that the Nurburgring has now mandated the use of the 20.832 track configuration for any public lap time announcement (particularly in the case of records) that a manufacturer wishes to make, also mandating the hiring of an independent notary public to witness it - something that Porsche has already done out of its own accord before," Wiesmann explained.
So now there are essentially two "times," though only the longer track is official. The new 911 GT3 completed its benchmark 'Ring lap time over 17 seconds faster than its immediate predecessor "when comparing on the basis of comparable lap lengths."
"This is why you'll see two lap times (not just from Porsche) in more recent releases - one noting the 20.6 km track length to compare the lap time to historic ones, and the longer configuration for official announcements," Wiesmann added. We don't think we're the only ones now wondering how crazy fast the upcoming 992 991 GT3 RS is going to be.