2023 Porsche 911 GT3 RS laps Road America

2023 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Sets New USA Lap Record

Beating a time set by a 2019 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, the naturally aspirated GT car lapped Road America quicker than any other production car.

Getting tired with only setting Nurburgring lap records, Porsche decided to find a worthy North American circuit to repeat the feat. Porsche chose Road America for the record. The four-mile 14-turn track set in the rolling hills of a Wisconsin forest includes several 90 degree bends, three long straights, and the incredibly quick Carousel and Kink corners. A 2023 Porsche 911 GT3 RS lapped the track in 2:13.8 seconds. Beating the previous record set by a 2019 Porsche 911 GT2 RS by 1.3 seconds.

The 2023 GT3 RS is built from the 992 chassis, the next generation from the 991.2 chassis underpinning the 2019 GT2 RS. And while next generation chassis development certainly helped, it still surprises that the GT3 pulled it off, considering the 182 horsepower deficit it carried.

The GT2 gets help from a turbocharger to pump out 700 horsepower. The GT3 motor instead relies on high revs—9000 rpm—and a 13.3:1 compression ratio to extract 518 horsepower from its 4.0-liter flat-six. Indeed, the 2019, last generation Porsche 911 GT3 RS took an additional 4.5 seconds to complete a circuit.

Track conditions helped. Air temperature kept to a mild 75 degrees Fahrenheit and track temperature barely crested 90 degrees. But the biggest single aid came in the form of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R N0 tires mounted. These are road legal, optional tires available from the factory. Totally fair. But also essentially a race tire with a nominal tread pattern cut in.

The Porsche 911 GT3 is an absolute riot to drive.

Porsche set the time with Dimitri Dimakos behind the wheel, a veteran Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America driver. According to Dimakos, it’s not the time the GT3 RS set, but the way in which it did it.

“The car can be driven by someone who is a novice or intermediate level driver and still be very fast and comfortable to drive. The braking is nearly identical to what we run in the 911 GT3 Cup car. I was braking at exactly the same spot. No wiggling at all. The car stopped exactly straight, turned-in great”

That rings true to my personal experience as well. Having driven the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 non RS (see video above), my biggest impression wasn’t its incredible speed, but how approachable and unintimidating using that speed was.

Bottom line, Porsche builds incredibly quick cars. But, crucially, the way they drive will always put a big smile on your face.

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2 responses to “2023 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Sets New USA Lap Record”

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