[gt3r] As a professional sportscar driver for some time now, and one of the few drivers at the wheel of the GT3 R from its inception, what was your intial impression of the GT3 R out of the box? How did this car compare to the 993 RSR, 993 GT2 cars?
I was very impressed with the GT3 R initially and I still feel the same way. It is very different than the earlier Porsches. From the suspension in how the cars rolls and the amount of stiffness the chassis has. The motor is great, it has a much more linear power band that runs at a lot higher revs, even the shifter has a much different feel. Much better all around.
[gt3r] In the 2000 Daytona 24 hours, you and your team lead the GT category by as much as 13 laps, and 6th overall when the engine let go, tell us about your thoughts?
I can't explain how upset I was with that race. We had an allstar line up of drivers and we were so far ahead. It would have been a lot less disappointing had it happened earlier in the race. But that is racing and that is just one of the factors that makes a 24 hour so tough, in most cases it's not the quickest car that wins, now you really need to have trouble free run for the whole 24 hours.
[gt3r] What do you think of the support from Porsche to the teams and drivers over the years?
Porsche has a nice technical support program but I would personally like to see more support of American drivers.
[gt3r] Now that the cars have been out for almost 5 years, and you being a driver at the front since the beginning, how does the RS model comapre to the 1999 cars?
When you have a manufacturer like Porsche producing a great car and great teams developing the product you can't help but get better every year. This is definitely the case with the GT3 RS. Overall the car has a similar feel, it just does everything better.
[gt3r] How important was the GT3 R in winning your drivers and team championships?
It was the deciding factor, there were very few cars out there that could compete with the Porsches and although there are a few cars now that may bring some competition to the class it is still a good choice today.
[gt3r] Handling/suspension (comments)?
Great handling but has some limitations because of being based off of a street car. They tend to be a bit tricky as far as setup goes. Because of the changes in the geometry goes through in it's travel they are sensitive to the settings so it needs to be right.
[gt3r] Aerodynamic comments
I don't know the exact aerodynamic numbers but they are far superior to the old cars. Even with the limitations on horsepower they tend to carry a bit top end speed.
[gt3r] The brakes
I love the brakes. They have great grip and can be driven in deep. One of the greatest factors with the braking is that you can drive it hard for the entire race without worries of them getting used up.
[gt3r] Reliability comments ( early to late GT3 R?, to other Porsches.....to other marques)
Reliability is one of the key factors for choosing a Porsche. Look at their racing record. Every now and then there are manufacturer issues such as in 2000, at the 24 hour in Daytona but for the most part they are very reliable.
[gt3r] You are one that has driven GT3 R cars for teams throughout North America, how do these cars differ from team to team?
As far as from a driving standpoint it is essentially the same, I think the difference comes in the preparation and fine details of the car such as; setup, motor upgrades and fine tuning. The biggest difference is in the handling and being able to set the car up. Having a team that has worked with the cars and understands them is a big plus.
[gt3r] As a driver what improvements would you like to see on the vehicle in the future, is there room for development?
I think there is always room for development and improvement. As far as changes, that really depends on the class the car is running and what your trying to accomplish.
[gt3r] What was you biggest challenge as a driver to conquer in the GT3 R?
From a driving standpoint, being able to squeeze the final few tenths out of it. Putting the car on the edge. But aside from how the car is driven, the other biggest challenge is getting the setup right and knowing which changes work on that car. There are defiantly things that work specifically for the GT3 and I think the only way to know this is to spend time in them.
[gt3r] You have also driven many a "Cup" (996 GT3) car, how do these compare?
I have also spent a lot of time in the cup cars. Honestly they are very similar, depending on tires and motor configuration, they are almost as quick. They tend to have more roll and they have ABS which takes away some of the finesse needed under hard braking.
[gt3r] If you were buying a GT3 R, now that you have driven all models from beginning to the current offering, what would it be and why?
I would buy the latest product simply because it has had the benefit of all of the development from the beginning.