Throughout this project, the goal was to take a Porsche 996 Carrera 2 and transform it into a GT3 replica, using factory and Tequipment components. The car has turned out excellent, offering near-GT3 handling and fooling even trained eyes, aesthetically. After that success and a couple of track sessions, we decided to go to the next level in handling and braking performance.
The car needed to remain streetable, yet also have the chops for the track. So a wide range of adjustability was a priority, as well as components that could take the abuse of a full day of all-out driving. The first step to improved lap times is suspension modification and few tuners know how to dial in a 911 better than performance tuner GMG.
Keeping in the mind the brief of adjustability to different tracks and driving conditions, GMG sourced Bilstein PSS9s to handle the damping and spring rate. Allowing ride height adjustment as well as nine levels of compression and rebound damping adjustment make these units a fine addition to the project.
For a greater range of adjustment in the geometry, GMG manufactures its own line of suspension components. All mods are developed and proven on GMG's own World Challenge GT racecars. A rear toe-steer kit allows owners of lowered vehicles to revert to factory geometry settings. The rear dog-bone kit allows camber adjustment, while thrust arm bushings eliminate deflection during acceleration and braking. All GMG components replace the factory bushings with more precise spherical bearings and Teflon-lined Indy Car rod ends.
Key to all this available adjustability is proper set-up. Any shop could bolt on these components, but it takes an operation with years of experience like GMG to make everything work. Todd Ketchum, GMG Racing's crew chief (who has over 10 years of experience in SpeedGT and ALMS), did the corner-balancing and alignment. He used the in-house Beisbarth alignment machine, the same as Porsche uses. Ride height was set to European GT3 specs and the alignment is on the aggressive side of street numbers.
On the street, the car is now incredibly responsive. Turn-in is vicious. All factory bushing deflection is gone, translating every road nuance directly to the driver. Cornering forces are greater than a GT3 and it's even quicker to rotate.
With our suspension up to racing standards, we needed an appropriate tire. Initially, we wanted to use Michelin's amazing Sport Cup tire, but the proper size isn't currently available. Porsche fits Michelin Pilot Sport 2s to many of its models. Stiff sidewalls, minimal shoulder tread void and a sticky compound make them ideal for this application. This car will seldom see rain, but when it does, these tires will get the driver home.