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About a month back, we reported that Porsche was suspending delivery of its 911 GT3 due to reported incidents of the engine bursting into flames. A few days later, Porsche told owners of the new track-ready models not to drive their cars and had their local dealers pick up the cars in question. Just a couple of days ago, we reported that Porsche was working on a fix, and now we have the official details.
Following an internal investigation prompted by two such incidents, Porsche has confirmed that is has identified the problem as resulting "from a loosened screw joint on the connecting rod." The loose connecting rod, Porsche found, damaged the crankcase, which in turn resulted in oil leaking and then - in at least two cases - igniting.
Our source is unaware of Porsche being contacted by GT3 owners concerned about the impact of a replacement engine on their car's collectibility or resale value.
Not only does this weekend mark the running of the 82nd 24 Hours of Le Mans, it will also see the return of one of the race's most venerable brands to the top tiers of endurance racing. Porsche will campaign its first top-flight car since the 1998 911 GT1-98, the 919 Hybrid, at this weekend's race, in the hopes of knocking off its corporate rival, the dominant Audi team.
To understand just what a win for the 919 would mean, though, you need to look back on the intrinsic connection between the Circuit de la Sarthe and Porsche. It's a history that spans decades, dating back to the team's first win in 1970.
XCar has a great video on that history. At 25 minutes, it's a bit on the long side. Then again it is the Friday before Le Mans. Take a look below for the video.
Porsche has a long and storied history of taking its range-topping 911 sportscar racing, with an enviable record of achievements in tow. The latest machine with which the automaker will take to the track can be seen above: the fifth-generation 2014 911 GT3.
With 475 horsepower strumming through the 3.8-liter six-cylinder boxer engine, this is the pinnacle of naturally aspirated performance from Porsche. It can go from 0 to 60 in just 3.3 seconds, hit a top speed of 195 miles per hour and has lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven and a half minutes.
A dual-clutch PDK transmission (no standard manual gearbox will be offered) with shorter gearing than lesser 911 models sends power to the rear wheels. Providing forward motion isn't the only thing those rear wheels will be doing - Porsche says the 2014 911 GT3 is fitted with the manufacturer's first active rear-wheel steering.