2001 Porsche 996 GT3 RS
We are delighted to present for sale this stunning ex-works Porsche 996 GT3 RS. Raced in the legendary Nürburgring 24 Hours 3 times, matching numbers and offered in superb condition. This is the ideal opportunity for someone looking to join the hugely popular events available for such cars or who simply wants to add a signifiant racing Porsche to their collection.
For 2001 Porsche decided to tackle the legendary Nurburgring 24 Hours with the aim being overall victory. They supplied two cars to be run by one of their preferred teams, PZK Phoenix Racing, which were to be driven by a mixture of factory-contracted young guns, and experienced Porsche-loyal endurance drivers.
The two brand new 996 GT3 RS cars were adorned with a special black livery with Porsche-main sponsor Warsteiner the featured sponsor. They also carried branding from Mobil 1, Vox, Puma, PlayStation 2 and Porsche Zentrum Koblenz. Porsche’s young rising stars Lucas Luhr and Timo Bernhard were joined by fast and experienced Emmanuel Collard. Joining them were German Supertouring Champion and Le Mans podium finisher Christian Abt who was due to drive both cars, then 1998 Nurburgring 24 Hours winner Christian Menzel, multiple Porsche Carrera and Supercup winner up Jurgen von Gartzen, Sport Auto Editor and Nordschleife specialist Horst von Saurma.
The drivers had all been carefully selected for either being the latest hot talents or for having broad experience racing Porsches (several were either Carrera Cup/Supercup Champions, Nurburgring 24 Hour race winners or winners of other major endurance races). In car 1 were Luhr, Collard, Menzel and Abt whilst in car 2 (chassis WPOZZZ1S692103) were Bernhard, Abt (who drove both entries), Von Gartzen and Von Saurma. The two cars were clearly favourites for the overall spoils with there being much buzz about the team pre-race. The drivers were turned out in smart crisp white factory-issue race suits with Porsche embroidered on the legs and the distinctive ‘Porsche’ racing swirl design on one arm.
Both cars qualified at the front and went head to head with their biggest rival, the mighty Zakspeed Viper GTS-R as the flag dropped. This battle continued for around half of the race with both 996s and their main rival on the same lap before Von Saurma in the number 2 car ran over some debris, damaging a coolant hose. The repairs were not ideal though and the team retired it at around 9am on Sunday morning. The number 1 car fought on until tripping over a backmarker and ending up in the barriers. Porsche’s lust for the winner’s trophy would have to wait until another time.
Sometime later in 2001 chassis 103 (the number 2 Phoenix car) was sold to Raffay Racing who had an affiliation with Porsche Zentrum Hamburg. Raffay entered the car in the 2002 Nurburgring 24 to be driven by Georg Silbermayr, Nicolas Leutwiler, Dieter Schornstein and Holger Hesse. Finishing 4th overall was no mean feat in such a gruelling race.
Raffay again fielded 103 in the 2003 Nurburgring 24 for ‘Michel Vaillant’ Nicolas Leutwiler again, Wolfgang Kaufman and Jens Petersen. The team’s luck didn’t carry over into 2003 with 692103 finishing up 50th as the flag dropped, 26 laps down from the winning Opel Astra V8 Coupe.
103 then only had two owners from 2003 to 2019, both from Hamburg, when the present owner acquired the car. It is now presented in its stunning 2001 works Warsteiner livery and comes with a great spares package including its original engine. The engine and gearbox in the car have about 12 hours runtime on them, so are less than half used. The car is ready to be enjoyed in a variety of events both in America and Europe, from the Endurance Racing Legends series that runs at Peter Auto events, to Masters’ Endurance Legends series, not forgetting the superb Sebring and Daytona Classics events and the king of them all for these cars, Le Mans Classic!