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Formula Motorsports

My Huge Wing and Me

by Michael Tashjian
The much anticipated 992 GT3RS is right around the corner, sporting a fancy big wing, double wishbone suspension, and price tag to match.  For this much you can buy a Bosendorfer Porsche Design grand piano and have money left over for a gold and diamond Gameboy.   The RS badging better do something special to command an expected 20% premium over the “baby” GT3.
    Man is fascinated with everything big.  Without going down a risqué list which would not be appropriate for our younger readers, we will consider this matter of fact.  From the days of Porscherama, to the inception of Club Racing, engineers have been fitting wider, taller, and more functional wings.  It finally took stringent rule changes that stretched into the prototype classes to dial down heights and width.   Fast forward a couple decades and you have active DRS, Ai testing based on a 5-minute cad drawing, the reintroduction of ground effects, and the ever so cool swan neck.  But do all these aerodynamic enhancements make a difference?  The short of it for 80% of Porsche owners is no.  Mainly due to the fact they are not traveling at speeds which exceed 80 mph which would be where Fangio might feel it in his ever so trained rear.  Now for the other 20% that use their GT based car for motorsport, yes.  Not so fast, though.  Let’s delve into why Porsche did not provide the big wing, rear diffuser, or extended front spoiler lip in the specifications that the all knowing aftermarket has provided.
    There is in fact a common misconception that bigger is better.  Everything about your Porsche runs in conjunction with some other system no matter the degree of separation.  For the early car it was adding a whale tail.  Only problem with this idea was that you needed to fit a front spoiler to act in a complimentary fashion.  Today we have standard GT based rear wing that can be augmented to provide greater downforce while making a small change to the front mesh and blocks.  Note: 991.2 GT3’s have (4) downforce settings the second most aggressive is stock setting.  So why go aftermarket.  Well, for one thing a wing with greater height allow for better vision through the rear glass on both the GT3 and GT4 for the shorter stature drivers, and greater downforce at high speed given it is functioning in clean air.  I would be remiss if I did not mention, changing the originality of ANY GT model is not in your best interest for resale.  So, plug and play with the option to revert to original if needed is recommended.  Also, if you were to ad 50 lbs. of downforce on the rear, inherently you’re going to add lift to the front, albeit you can add canards to offset this somewhat.  My personal logic is, if the drivers for Apex at Nürburgring sport stock GT3RS wings, well my friend that’s good enough for me.  Granted there are very long sweeping turns and very long straights so perhaps the extra size is just not needed.  Manthey Racing on both the GT4 MR and GT3RS MR offer wing extensions and various air elements, it is worth checking out. This begs the question, why didn’t Porsche just offer a larger, taller, wider, wing?  It is safe to say the 992 GT3RS accomplishes this and then some.  But we must take into account aesthetics, DOT regulations, transport, standard garage dimensions, etc.  for the masses. 
    So, is bigger better?  Based solely on a blind survey between Porsche owners, a not to be mentioned sorority, and professional drivers alike, yes, bigger is better as long as you know how to use it.