GT2 Clubsport Story

I can honestly say that in the past, I had no interest in Porsche’s GT range because I was quite young and had little knowledge about it. At that time, I was only keen on the Porsche Turbo. However, once the 996 GT2 model was introduced in Thailand, it made me so thrilled that I really wanted to see the real one.

As I said I was only interested in the Turbo model, I’ve driven the 930 Turbo RUF BTR for several years and then I switched to the 993 Twin Turbo. Soon afterwards, I had a chance to see the newly-launched 996 GT2. I remembered on that day, I kept taking a look around the car, exploring the inside, and looking at its suspension for hours. The model expressed its truly raw nature and I was even more amazed at its extraordinary power as well as its two-wheel drive with no traction control. I really couldn’t imagine if driving the car would be fun or terrifying. What I only knew that day was that I had the craving of getting behind the wheel of the car.

Shortly afterwards, my desire for driving the real 996 GT2 was fulfilled as a nice brother offered me a chance to take a test drive of the model. Truly speaking, I felt extremely tense while driving because I couldn’t really afford to pay to the car’s owner if I caused any damages to his car. Yet, I had to continue driving and drove as carefully as I could. Indeed, I hardly ever drive other people’s cars, especially very special ones, as I always fear I might cause any troubles or problems to these exclusive types of cars when driving.

This was, however, a once-in-a-lifetime driving experience for me, so how I could say no to this chance. My first feeling was that the clutch was heavy, compared with the 993 Twin Turbo and it seemed to be even heavier than the 930 Turbo. I could say it was hard to drive but featured the excessively responsive front and rear, unusual power delivery, and fierce driving. On the day I took the test drive, I found it far more terrifying than fun. I admitted that I couldn’t drive the 996 GT2 comfortably and relaxingly but it was good enough to be behind the wheel of this model. Honestly, I feel a lot more pleasure, safety, and relax when driving the 993 Twin Turbo. More importantly, I can’t actually afford to buy the 996 GT2 although I really like it. That’s why I’ve continued to drive my 993 Twin Turbo for almost 10 more years, the only car I hold onto for the longest period of time.

From my perspective, I consider the 996 GT2 is the last variant based on the Porsche Turbo. Despite no modifications, its engine produces incredible power with rear-wheel drive only. If only I could drive this car to any places safely and in any weather conditions. That’s my dream and a challenge in my own world.

When it comes to the difference between the Clubsport and the normal model, there isn’t much difference, indeed. The 996 GT2 Clubsport is normally offered with additional accessories not included in the regular GT2 to boost safety on a race track and to meet race track rules and regulations. The additions are specially provided for those who love driving on a race track and like to take part in events like Trackday. That’s the only major difference between the 2 variants.

Here are some further information of the GT2 Clubsport and the GT2:

• Roll bar: Drivers can install or remove a stainless steel Tequipment roll bar. Meanwhile, the GT2 Clubsport comes equipped with a steel rear roll bar, only a few installed in the front. (This car, however, is equipped with both front and rear factory steel roll bars, known as a full roll cage.)

• Front seats: The GT2 comes with standard leather seating, mostly Sport Seats, with a semi-automatic seat adjustment feature. Drivers also have the option of Bucket Seats with leather seat covers perfectly fitting the interior design. The GT2 Clubsport also has the same style of Bucket Seats but they’re covered in fire-retardant and more lightweight fabric instead of leather. (This car features Bucket Seats with factory fire-retardant fabric.)

• The GT2 Clubsport offers a big fire extinguisher mounted in the center of the driver’s foot-resting space.

• The GT2 Clubsport mostly has no an ascending center console linked to the front.

• The GT2 Clubsport has cut-off switches  under a cover on the front end of its center console to allow drivers to shut off systems electronically and they are also connected with the manual cut-off switch at the top of the front bonnet near the front windshield. Drivers need to unfasten a red strap before entering the track and you can pull this strap to pull the switch so that power can be completely cut off from the outside of the cockpit in the event of an emer- gency on a rack track.

• To eliminate unnecessary weight, a radio and a set of wires are removed and they are replaced with a storage compartment.

The model is imported by AAS Auto Service, the sole authorized importer and distributor of Porsche Cars. I’ve also known 3 previous owners of this car and it’s history so I finally decided to buy it to fulfill my teenage dream. After the purchase, I took the car to AAS Auto Service’s center for a full restoration.

My car has been completely restored, including the engine, gearbox, suspension, and brake systems as I want to have the same feeling of driving a newly-launched Porsche direct from its factory as much as possible. Following the restoration, much to my surprise, I feel the improved stability and smooth drive and I’m amazed at the easier control yet naturally uncompromising power. According to AAS Auto Service, I was explained that the 996 GT2.1 comes with a factory racing car suspension geometry setup with too sensitive to the road surface in our country. Besides, once the 996 GT2.2 was released, the model underwent different setups including wheel alignment for better driving experience on the road. AAS Auto Service didn’t hesitate to carry on with the 996 GT2.2 setup as the AAS crew has realized my main purposes of using the car for the road rather than racing on a track. I’m really satisfied that they perfectly serve my needs.

I made an order for the 996 GT2.2 wheels, kevlar rear wing, side mirrors, and a front air duct above a bumper and also put some Factory’s available Kevlar parts on the inside. As far as I know, the suspension of 996 GT2.1 and 996 GT2.2 are the same, except for some suspension geometry setups but the horsepower and torque of 996 GT2.2_is more.

I kept all original parts and accessories that I replaced in order to revert it back to its original form as it was introduced by the factory. I considered this is the most important thing and also for safety reasons. As the original 996 GT2.1 wheels are no longer available, I think I made the right decision to keep them rather than use them. The wheels, in fact, are untouched although they have some scratch marks from usage. Speaking of the interior, there aren’t any repair- ing or recoloring of the scratched leather as I want to keep the car in its’s original conditions, this give me the authentic feel of driving the classic, original one.

Personally, I really enjoy driving it as it is fun to drive and incredibly powerful for it’s age. However, what has kept challenging me so far is that I still need to adjust myself to the car. Whenever I drive, I always bear in mind that I have to be careful and conscious, calm myself and avoid any risks because I really love my car.

Additionally, it is completely different from the 996 GT2 when it comes to driving experience. The installment of Full Roll Cage make the chassis stiffer and allows drivers confident as it offers improved cornering stability. It is highly recommended that drivers should fasten a 6-point seatbelt and wear a helmet if driving on a race track or in the event Trackday to prevent head collision with a front roll bar. Overall, it is a truly fun-to-drive vehicle.

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Story: Chayanin Depakam / Image: Link FOC

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