Porsche 996 GT3 RS/R
Chasss 063 was the 3rd 996 GT3 RS to leave the factory in 2002. It was delivered to the J3 Racing team from Bradenton, Georgia in the USA. 063 was one of two cars run by J3 during 2002-06, regularly being one of the fastest non-pro cars, scoring a class podium on two occasions. It first ran in the 2002 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), debuting in the 2002 24 Hours of Daytona. For the 24 Hours 063 ran #79 and was entered to be driven by Justin Jackson, Mike Fitzgerald and Manuel Matos. A late addition to the driver lineup (since he wasn’t listed in the official programme) was rising star Marino Franchitti. Franchitti who’s older brother was already a star in the American CART series, arrived as reigning British GT Champion. 063 qualified 6th in the GT class, making it the 4th fastest 996. The car initially ran practice with just the burgundy stripes and minor sponsor stickers, but at some point before the race commenced Bob Snodgrass, of the legendary Brumos Racing outfit, and who was a friend of J3’s team owner, decided that he would like the #79 car to wear ‘Brumos Racing’ stickers since he didn’t have a car entered that year. As J3 were not fully set up for the race, they in fact had Franz Blam Racing prepare the car for them. With the race underway the J3 drivers worked their way into the GT Class lead which they held for some time, but it was not to be. Part-way through the race, a flywheel bolt sheared and it was all over.
During the 2002 ALMS season 063 wore race number 79 with full-time drivers Justin Jackson and Mike Fitzgerald being joined by others for Sebring, Road America and Petit Le Mans. J3 entered the car for 6 of the 10 rounds, at Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Road America, Washington, Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans. Overall reliability proved poor as they found their feet with just one flag to flag finish to shot for their efforts. However they showed their pace by leading the GT class at Daytona, qualifying first of the non professional line ups a few times and scoring a 3rd in class at Mid-Ohio.
063 again wore race number 79 for 2003, but Justin Jackson was joined full-time by David Murry, being joined by Mike Fitzgerald for Sebring and Brian Cunningham for Petit Le Mans. The team appeared to have gelled with the car, finishing 5 out of their 6 races including a 3rd in class during the Trois Rivieres 3 Hours. Other results in class were 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th. For 2004 J3 bought a brand new RSR running it with number 79 whilst chassis 063 adopted number 78. 063 only ran in 3 races at Sebring, Lime Rock and Petit Le Mans, running a variety of drivers. In 2005 063 again only took part in 3 races at Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans. However in order to remain competitive alongside their RSR, J3 sent 063 back to Porsche Motorsports North America for a full upgrade to RSR specification. It is believed just 4 cars received this expensive factory upgrade in North America, probably due to its high cost (the full flat floor alone was around $30,000!). This full RSR upgrade involved the chassis being fully seam-welded by Ricardo Engineering, an engine upgrade to 3.8-litres, fitment of a sequential Hollinger gearbox, new wider front wings, wider track suspension, new bumpers, boot lid and a three-piece full-flat carbon floor.
The team decided to again run 063 one final time in the 2006 12 Hours of Sebring. It was driven by Spencer Pumpelly, Jeep Thornton and Mark Patterson. The trio qualified 9th, with just 1.2 seconds covering the top 9 cars. In fact almost every car in front of them on the grid was filled with professionals! However an engine issue caused them to retire. 063 now comes to the market representing a fantastic opportunity to own one of Porsche's most successful GT racing models with an extensive American racing history. The car remains in its full RSR specification as modified and re-homologated by Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA). The engine and gearbox have very low hours since being rebuilt by PMNA and the leading Hollinger gearbox specialist in America. 063 is eligible for both Peter Auto's Endurance Racing Legends, and the Masters' Endurance Legends series, not forgetting the fantastic Daytona and Sebring Classic events by HSR.
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