Thursday, January 19, 2023

IMSA: Two Iconic GT Marques Debut their latest GT3 Challengers at Daytona

As their Decades long struggle for Supremacy continues…


Although I cannot See ‘em. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to these two iconic marques latest GT3 Challengers facing off beginning at Daytona…


Ferrari 296 GT3

Engine: 3.0-litre Twin Turbo V-6

In apparently what’s become di riggour Design Philosophy in the modern BoP (Balance of Performance) Sports Cars regulations era. Faster is Not necessarily Better, albeit it’s still a key Design element.


As I’m noticing that Drivability is the Key Buzzword that All of the Sports Car Manufacturers are using now…


The Ferrari 296 GT3 has some big shoes to fill, since it’s predecessor the 488 GTE/GT3 won some staggering 500+plus victories around the Globe!


Obviously the 296 GT3 sports all new Bodywork, which is said to be lighter and produces up to 20% more Downforce than the 488. All of which is intended to aid it’s overall Drivability. And like it’s rivals, it’s cockpit surroundings have been redesigned for better ergonomics.


While the biggest change has to be the new 3.0-litre V-6 engine. With it’s “Wide-track” 120 degrees Vee angle allowing for both turbochargers to be nestled inside of it, resulting in better overall packaging.


While the car reportedly uses fewer parts overall. And is basically designed in three major sections, i.e.; front, center and rear. With both ther front and rear sections being able to be completely unbolted easily for ease of repair/maintainability.


As I’ll be interested to learn what the Horsepower outputs are for the 296 GT3 vs. the 488’s 3.9-litre twin turbo V-8? And which car had a Higher top speed?


But the 296 GT3 wasn’t necessarily built to be faster than the 488, just to outperform it overall! And with it’s price tag being North of $600,000, it’ll definitely need to perform! Although reportedly Maranello’s already Sold some 200 or more 296 GT3 models…


Porsche 911 GT3R

Engine: 4.2-liter Flat-6 Turbo

Perhaps I’m easily swayed? But I’m just marveling over Porsche’s “Engine-nuity” of raising it’s iconic Boxster engine some 5-5.5 degrees upwards at the rear of the engine bay in order to allow for a steeper, more inclined rear Diffuser! Not to mention moving the ancillaries forwards in order to improve the Almighty “CG,” i.e.; Center of Gravity.


As presumably, the most notable change to Porsche’s latest 911 GT3R which was unveiled at last year’s Spa 24 Hours race. Is the increased size of it’s iconic Flat Six lump’ from 4.0 to 4.2 litres, that reportedly produces some 557Bhp. With the new car retailing for some $567,000 plus!


Yet refinements abound in this 992 based model Porsche 911. From an slightly increased Wheelbase to refined Aerodynamics. Along with the Driver’s Seat being repositioned, redesigned Seatbelt buckles and new digital Dash, etc.


Yet what I’m Arse-suming is occurring at All of the Manufacturers competing in the Global GT3 Spec” series, is the refinement of Drivability in their models vs. outright Horsepower/Speed.


As Porsche noted that it really doesn’t make sense to try producing the most Horsepower since the Dreaded BoP (Balance of Performance) regulations will arguably Cut that down! So instead, Porsche just tried to make the new 911 GT3R easier to drive for All of it’s Clients. Along with making the new engine’s torque cirve and output smoother over it’s entire RPM range. Coupled with it’s revised suspension that’s intended to allow the rear tyres to last longer and hopefully improve tyre stints overall.


As Porsche’s latest 911 racecar iteration which first appeared On-track exactly six Decades ago, should be well prepared to continue it’s winning ways…


Whilst it will be interesting to see who comes out on top at the 24 Hours of Daytona, IMSA’s “super bowl” event, albeit it’s a long season and not only will Ferrari have something to say, but I’m sure Corvette, BMW, McLaren, Lamborghini, Austin Martin, Lexus and Acura will be bringing Thar “A Game” against Porsche, the reigning GTD Pro Champions, and GT Daytona (GTD) Stalwarts…