Driving a Porsche GT2
It was a brisk Sunday night and I was just about to rug up in bed with a warm cup of camomile tea, when my phone lit up showing a message from Road and Track Australia. "I was wondering if you would like to take a couple photos of our 997 Porsche GT2 tomorrow morning, followed by a quick drive?"
My initial thought was 'Is this real life?'...
I hadn't done anything exciting all weekend except work on a new project for Stay Driven so I couldn't wait to get out and put my camera to use. I quickly replied "YES!" hopped off my bed, and raced into my home office to put my camera on charge and get my gear ready. With a 5am wake up call, and an hour long drive out to the shop to collect the car, I tried to contain my excitement and get some much needed z's in.
5 minutes before my alarm went off (don't you love it when that happens, I must have been excited) I jumped out of bed, got ready and headed downstairs to start up my skyline. As I reversed my car out of the garage and waited for it to warm up, I started to notice several rain drops trickling down my windscreen and onto my car... that I had just washed! At first I was disappointed because I was hoping to get some awesome sunrise shots, but instead of staying disappointed I decided to look for the positives and began to visualise how the rain could add interest to the shoot I was about to do.
After driving to the Road and Track HQ, I met up with Ross so I could hop in the Porsche as a passenger and head down to the location which was just 5 minutes away. He began to tell me all about the car and how he previously owned it, and that it was said to be one of the worlds craziest cars to drive. This got me excited and eager to see why, but before I knew it we had reached our destination.
I hopped out of the car, looked around and was instantly captivated by the uncanny scenery. Barely anyone was in sight. The waters were perfectly still and in the distance were two, rusty old shipwrecks. It was eerily reminiscent of a ghost town, and there right in front of me stood the beast of a machine nicknamed the widow-maker.
It was the perfect location with the perfect Porsche and I couldn't wait to put my camera to use.
I first laid eyes on this Porsche when I had my photoshoot with the R35 GTR, which I recently featured. It was tucked away at the Road and Track workshop and let's just say it really caught my eye. This particular 2009 model Porsche 997 is 1 of 9 in the country and has the lowest mileage, making it incredibly rare. It is the epitome of all 911's with only 1,261 ever made.
As the rain had started to somewhat ease, but a set of ominous clouds heading my way, I quickly got to work, all whilst trying not to get distracted at how aesthetically pleasing this car really was. The distinctive design features and contours: the roofline, the wing, the wheels and huge ceramic brakes... It looked good from every angle!
Since my exterior shots were being photobombed by a dog, I decided to hop back inside to get some interior photos.
With my background in interior design, I was instantly drawn to how the inside of this GT2 embodies the ultimate in modern luxury, even though it is a track focused 911. As I placed myself in the carbon-shelled bucket seats, trimmed in Alcantara, I felt incredibly comfortable and knew right away that this was an interior that I could never get tired of.
As I began to get familiar with the cabin I spotted the unmissable Porsche Sport Chrono mounted to the centre of the dash. It kind of looks out of place but this additional option enhances vehicle performance through a system that simultaneously alters elements of chassis, engine, and transmission. It also helps you track and record performance.
I began to dream what it would be like to drive this weapon and before I knew it I was being handed the keys. Another 'Is this real life?' moment.
Despite being informed just moments earlier that this is one of the world's craziest road cars, I wasn't scared one bit to drive it and I'm not just saying that to sound cool. Usually a tiny wave of fear hits me before I'm about to drive a high performance car but not this time. I was excited more than ever and couldn't wait to strap myself in and hit the road to see what it was all about.
This was my first time driving a Porsche on the streets, so as you could imagine, I was grinning from ear to ear. The last time I was in a Porsche was earlier this year for the two RWB builds in New Zealand, but I had never driven one. Whenever I spot them on the streets, I instantly stop and stare in absolute awe. What is a childhood dream to enthusiasts alike, was now becoming a reality for me, yet again leaving me pondering if this was real life.
Just as I drove out from the eerie location, the lurking, ominous clouds above slowly disappeared, and the sun began to shine. I knew the sudden ray of sunshine would not last for long so I decided to make the most of it...
I moved the seat forward so I could comfortably reach the pedals and prepared myself for the drive back to the Road and Track shop. Ross insisted that we take the long way back, so I smiled and knew that this meant I could at least try to give this 3.6 litre twin-turbo machine a bit of a hit.
Without flooring it as I had to be respectful and drive to the conditions since the roads were still slippery (after all I was driving a car that is worth over half a million dollars and nicknamed the widow-maker), I shifted into second and the rear wheels instantly started to lose traction. A big rush of excitement kicked in and I eased off the throttle as I was quickly approaching traffic. This car was mental and ridiculously quick!
Unlike driving the GTR a few weeks prior and learning to use the flappy-paddles, this GT2 was manual, allowing me to feel a lot more connected to the car. The steering was exquisitely weighted and makes for a glorious ode to the merits of mechanical power assistance. Each time we were stationed at a set of lights, I couldn't help but admire the attention to detail within the interior. I felt like I was driving a luxurious race car, and that I was.
After driving the dream for a good 30 minutes, the rain started to return so we decided it was time to head back to Road and Track, and besides Ross had plans for me to shoot something else...
As I pulled into the workshop, I could not wipe the smile off my face. I felt high on life and so incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to drive such a rare and iconic vehicle. It was so much fun to drive! Not only was it a high-performance, track-inspired machine, it was also extremely versatile for the streets and incredibly comfortable.
So comfortable that I did not want to get out!
This particular GT2 is for sale and with no future GT2 on the Porsche horizon and no manual GT cars, this is the one to buy. So, who has a spare half a million floating around?! :P