GMG Tuning's WC-GT3 and WC-997
Fresh from their victory at this year's SPEED World Challenge GT race in Long Beach, the crew at GMG went right back to work. No bacchanalian celebrations or celebrity limelight; there were cars that needed to be tuned, turbos installed, suspensions balanced.
GMG's 40,000 sq-ft facility is filled with various vehicles, from full-on 911 GT cars to mad-street Audi RS4s. And there's usually a car screaming in the new GMG AWD dyno room. Luckily, it's fully insulated behind thick glass.
The typical GMG customer has several different cars and expects a high level of tune on each one, whether it's a Ferrari 430 or Cayenne turbo.
Although the trio on these pages is of the same species, each one has been tuned for a unique purpose. Depending on the occasion, you will need all three.
GMG Tuning's WC-TURBO
World Challenge Turbo
That the 911 Turbo inhabits the upper echelon of performance cars is without question. Acquire this machine and you're in a very exclusive group. The WC Turbo ensures you're near the apex of this alpha assemblage.
For the average Joe, WC Turbo is all about brutal acceleration and superb comfort. Sure, it can hold a corner well past a full g but by then it's at speeds beyond mere mortals. A few straight-line bursts felt like the car was fitted with JATO pods. The car should be a thrill ride in a high-end amusement park. We could call it: "The Amazing 0-100 mph Rocket Sled." We tried to plant our new G-Tech performance computer to the dashboard/windshield but it came flying off during the first pass. The engine features custom KKK variable-vane turbos and GMG's full exhaust that terminates in titanium. GMG's intercooler kit has replaced the stock unit and is a reported 45 percent more efficient than the 997 units. The airbox has been replaced with a carbon-fiber unit and GIAC has been sourced for the ECU chores that include standard and race (100-octane) maps.
Perhaps adding to its Euro-dragster mystique is GMG's sequential transmission featuring a shift mechanism that appears to be culled straight from a Porsche Cup car. The rather long shift arm is coupled with F1-style paddles and features response times of up to 0.700 seconds-as fast as Ferrari's F1 street gearbox.
GMG cooked up its own clutch system based on Sachs bits and a super light flywheel (12 pounds vs. 24 pounds). Rated up to 750 hp, the clutch system is well matched for the engine output.
Passengers sit in Carrera GT seats while a REUS Audio 500-watt sound system is pumped through the factory head unit.
GMG improved the PASM suspension with its own line of suspension components that both lower the chassis some 20mm and firm up its response. Gigantic multi-piston Brembos provide retina-tearing deceleration.
This is the car you want on Friday nights when the street is thick with uppity whippersnappers and their 400-hp whatevers. The WC Turbo is the perfect tool to school such fodder.
World Challenge 997
If you needed a car to pre-run a GT3 event, this car would do just fine. Beginning its life as the Porsche press vehicle for the 2005 LA Auto show, this screaming yellow zonker was a precursor to the later GT3. It originally came to GMG for a simple pair of racing harnesses and things snowballed from there. As it stands, it would be more than a match for most racecars.
On the rather tight course of San Bernardino's EVOC facility, I couldn't help but draw analogies to my beloved 914. The way the car felt "connected" to the pavement was fantastic and its steering beautifully direct. Though far more luxurious than any 914 (and the fact it revved to 7000 rpm), this SR had an air of elegant simplicity missing from some modern performance cars.
Although it was fitted with Porsche's outstanding PCCB binders, I never really got the chance to use them. The car had such incredible grip I never needed to remove my foot from the accelerator. Much like its more Spartan race-only brethren, the SR likes the tach to stay between 4100-6800 rpm where it provides a thrilling aural sensation.
GIAC and GMG conspired to increase engine output with software and a full exhaust system that includes headers, sport cats and mufflers, while weighing less than half of the stock system. Its lightened flywheel mass left it very responsive to throttle inputs. Simply letting off the pedal was enough to slow it through tight corners.
GMG outfitted this car with specially configured Moton shocks and Eibach springs. Most all the suspension bearings and joints have been replaced with hyper-engineered GMG bits. Those gorgeous wheels are Champion Motorsport's MS171, 19-inch beauties wrought from magnesium.
This Porsche wears GMG/GT3 aerodynamics including front and rear bumpers, center radiator exhaust vent, front splitter and carbon fiber rear wing. The cabin includes Euro-spec GT3 fixed-back seats, GMG's harness bar, and Sparco belts.
Intended as a "warm up" vehicle before more serious racing, the GMG SR maintained enough civillity to make it a streetable machine. Given the right stretch of road, this car would be nigh uncatchable.
World Challenge GT3 Street
You'd think James Sofronas, winner of this year's GT3 class at the Long Beach Grand Prix, would want his daily driver to be something posh and luxurious. A big Mercedes, maybe an Aston Martin.
No, James isn't quite ready to relax, not yet anyway. For the last several months he's been infusing his streetcar with race DNA. Basically, GMG has grafted much of its own race-proven technology onto this 2007 Porsche.
Yes, it's fairly over the top, but for some strange reason it works. Perhaps it's the understated paint and the lack of sponsorship decals. Scratch that veneer even a little and you will find a hugely developed vehicle, one that could quite possibly drive itself to the next Speedvision Challenge, and with a quick change of tires, compete.
This car wears many of the togs from the GMG GT3 models, including giant front and rear fenders that allow it to handle tires up to 10.5 inches in front and a whopping 13.5 inches out back. Although I've never seen a Pro Street Porsche, this one might fit the bill. Additional aerodynamics include GT3-spec bumpers, a carbon-fiber roof, assorted air collectors and vents and a sizable rear wing (complemented with LED taillights). There are even NACA-style ducts built into the undertray for additional cooling.
The car rides on GMG's own blend of Moton dampers and Eibach springs and features Porsche Motorsport RSR uprights in the front and rear that drop the roll center a full two inches. Further suspension development includes GMG's dogbone kit, its thrust arm kit, bump steer kit and bump and toe steer kit. They've also seen fit to add fully adjustable front and rear swaybars.
Beneath the 19-inch Champion Motorsport wheels are nickel-plated Brembo GTR binders (eight-piston front/15-inch rotors, four-piston rear/14-inch rotors). It's the first time we've seen this sort of brake treatment and hopefully not the last as it looks insanely cool.
The cabin has been revised to include GMG's Cup harness bar and additional rear bracing. Seats are Carrera GT units wrought from carbon fiber.
GMG corner balanced the chassis and gave it a competition-spec alignment. They also installed their lightweight WC Sport exhaust augmented with GIAC software. At the end of the day, the car produces 425 hp at gloriously high revs. It takes a special driver to appreciate such a setup. Sofronas qualifies as such.
GMG is one of those rare groups deeply dedicated to the cause. Whether it's tuning a stock A4 or race prepping a Ferrari, each car is treated with the same high level of professionalism. And anyone familiar with running even a modest GT3 race effort will testify as to its challenges, both financial and emotional and even physical. It's not a sport for the weekend warrior. You've got to have a genuine mad-love of the subject matter.
We think GMG has proven that.
GMG Racing WC-Turbo
Longitudinal rear engine, rear-drive
3.6-liter flat six, dohc, 24-valve. Custom GIAC software, GMG Variable Vain Technology Turbo Chargers, titanium GMG WC-GT titanium sport exhaust, GMG WC- GT exhaust manifolds, GMG WC sport intercooler kit and boost hoses, GT2 Intercoolers, GMG carbon airbox
GMG WC sequential six-speed, GMG sport clutch and lightweight flywheel
GMG WC sport lowering springs,GMG WC sport sway bars, GMG Dog Bone kit, GMG front bump steer kit, GMG rear bump/toe-steer kit
* Wheels and Tires
Forgeline alloy, 9.0x20 (f) and 20x12 (r)Michelin Pilot Sport 2
GMG WC-GT harness bar, OEM Carrera GT seats
Peak Power: 710 hp (100 octane); 660-670 hp (91/93 octane)
GMG Racing WC-997
Longitudinal rear engine, rear-drive
3.8-liter flat six, dohc, 24-valve.Custom GIAC software, GMG WC sport exhaust with WC sport center exit conversion with cats, headers and mufflers
GMG/Moton Clubsport dampers (two-way adjustable) valved to GMG specs, Eibach ERS springs, GT3 Cup front and rear adjustable control arms, GMG front bump-steer kit, GMG rear bump/toe-steer kit, GMG WC-997 GT3 front and rear sway bar kit
OEM PCCB brakes, Stoptech steel braided lines, Pagid sport pads
* Wheels and Tires
Champion Motorsport MS171 magnesium, 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup
GMG Cup carbon-fiber rear bumper, GT3 Cup front bumper, GMG GT3 center radiator exhaust vent grille, GT3 Cup front splitter, GMG/RS rear decklid and carbon wing
GMG GT harness bar, Euro GT3 fixed back seats, Sparco competition harnesses
GMG Racing WC-GT3
Longitudinal rear-engine, rear-drive
3.8-liter flat six, dohc, 24-valve.Custom GIAC Software, GMG WC sport exhaust with primary muffler bypass
Six-speed manual with GMG WC limited-slip differential upgrades
Moton Clubsport dampers valved to GMG specs, Eibach ERS springs, Porsche Motorsport RSR uprights front and rear, GMG Dog Bone kit, GMG thrust arm kit, GMG WC adjustable sway bars
Brembo eight-piston calipers,15-inch rotors (f), four-piston calipers, 14-inch rotors (r)
* Wheels and Tires
Champion Motorsport alloy, 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup
GMG carbon roof, GMG World Challenge front fenders, GT2 side rockers, GT3 Cup front bumper, GT3 Cup front chin spoiler, GMG WC carbon rear wing blade, GMG WC carbon hood, MA carbon rear air collector, GMG WC rear brake ducts, OEM 997.2 LED taillight conversion
Carrera GT Carbon seats, GMG GT Cup Harness bar, Sparco competition harnesses