Porsche 911 Porsche, Targa, 911s, 911sc,turbo, 912 on 2040-cars
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Auto blogTue, 15 Oct 2013
Even with great strides made towards increasing the safety of motor racing, fundamentally it's still a dangerous sport. And now it has claimed another life.
That life belonged to one Sean Edwards, an accomplished GT racing driver. Edwards was killed at Queensland Raceway in Australia, riding shotgun in a Porsche 996 GT3 while acting as instructor. The driver was airlifted to hospital with critical injuries. Sean Edwards was 26.
The son of former F1 driver Guy Edwards (whose car he drove in the filming of Rush), Sean won the European GT3 Championship in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and drove a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 to repeat victories at the 24 Hours of Dubai as well as this year's Nürburgring 24 Hours. Edwards had been competing in the Porsche Supercup, whose standings he currently leads with just two rounds to go, and could be crowned champion posthumously.
After months of teasing with camouflaged testers, Porsche has finally unveiled its prototype entry for the 2014 World Endurance Championship, the 919 Hybrid. Porsche, you may recall, hasn't had campaigned a factory team at Le Mans in years, so the 919 is nothing less than their recommitment to endurance racing.
Combining a 2.0-liter V4 (yes, a V4) that revs to 9,000 rpm, the 919 produces around 500 horsepower with a pair of energy recovery systems. The first system recovers the heat energy from exhaust gasses as they pass through an electrical generator, while the second system is a bit more familiar. Using a setup similar to what is found on the production 918 Spyder, a generator on the front axle recovers kinetic energy from the brakes, which is subsequently stored in a battery system. That power can then be sent to the front wheels at the driver's command, effectively turning the 919 into an all-wheel-drive racecar.
Despite these various forms of motivation, Porsche doesn't claim to be seeking outright power supremacy, with Chairman Matthias Müller saying, "In 2014, it will not be the fastest car that wins the World Endurance Championship series and the 24 hours of Le Mans, rather it will be the car that goes the furthest with a defined amount of energy. And it is precisely this challenge that carmakers must overcome. The 919 Hybrid is our fastest mobile research laboratory and the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built."
The Porsche 911 GT3 has always been a favorite among auto journalists and car enthusiasts alike, but with the introduction of the new 991-generation GT3, which is the first GT3 with electric power steering and no manual gearbox option, how does it stack up to the competition from McLaren and Nissan?
Evo's Jethro Bovingdon attempts to answer that question by pitting the rear-engine Porsche against the mid-engine McLaren MP4-12C on a racetrack and the front-engine, all-wheel-drive Nissan GT-R on some amazing, twisty European back roads. We won't give away the victor of either comparison, but we will say that, in Evo's test, the McLaren's 141-horsepower advantage doesn't give it as much of an edge over the Porsche on a racetrack as one might think, and the lack of a manual gearbox and the inclusion of electric power steering on the GT3 isn't detrimental to enjoying the car on a back road.
Watch the video below to find out which car Bovingdon prefers on road and track - we think you'll be happy to see him drift around turns every chance he gets.