Motorsports Monday: 2001 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

The number of Porsche 911 variants can be baffling. Just the other day, Rob and I were joking back and forth that at one point a few years ago, Porsche offered no less than 20 variations of the 911 model to the public. Not to be outdone, the current lineup has added one more and created a nice drinking game of “How many current 911 models could you name?” Add in the racing variants, and things get even more convoluted. Porsche’s top of the heap racing model has always varied, but when it came to the 996 Porsche went full-bore with the 911 GT3 Cup program and created a potent race car for pros and well-to-do amateurs as well. Indeed, the GT3 Cup program was the model for many customer-based race programs that exist in Audi, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Ferrari and the like today. But the lineage of the GT3 gets confusing, too. Launched in 1998, it was effectively a replacement for the 993 Carrera Cup model. Called the GT3 Cup, it was a stripped out factory built race car with a turned up motor and some trick suspension and wheels, along with a little added aero tweaks that would be the basis for the later road going model named after it – the 911 GT3. Confused? Well, in 1999 Porsche dropped the “Cup” from the name and added “R” to make race models distinct from road going models. Now, that’s easier. Then, they brought the GT3 Cup model back in 2000 with some mild performance upgrades. But things really started to get messy in 2001, when the company launched the GT3 RS model – not to be confused with the GT3 RS road going model, which wasn’t launched until 2003. Still with me? Well, then in 2004 they needed to differentiate the road and race GT3 RS, so with some more upgrades was launched the GT3 RSR. On the way from Cup to RSR, Porsche added more downforce, wider flares and more vents, along with more power and even wider tires. The 2001 RS model struck a balance between the Cup and RSR, with wider rear track and flared front fenders, but without the massive venting and sequential gearbox of the later model:

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