More unique than a supercar: A newbie’s information to purchasing a GT3 race automobile


In the previous decade, the well-worn automotive cliché Race on Sunday, promote on Monday has taken a stunning twist. Now, automakers have realized that they will race on Sunday and promote race automobiles on Monday. If you’ve got obtained the cash, Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi, Acura, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Nissan, Bentley, and extra have a race automobile for you—for round $500,000.

The rise in recognition of supercars worldwide has been paralleled by explosive development in worldwide GT3 class sportscar racing. GT3 automobiles are racing variations of the road-going supercars/GT automobiles that star in video video games, YouTube channels, and print platforms. Instead of being constructed to a particular set of technical guidelines, in GT3 every make of automobile is benchmarked after which “performance balanced” by the FIA (the sporting group that governs world motorsport) to create a comparatively degree enjoying discipline.

Around the world, an unlimited array of occasions and collection is open to GT3 automobiles, together with among the most prestigious sports activities automobile races at tracks like Spa-Francorchamps, Daytona, Bathhurst, and the Nürburgring. The class is meant for (rich) amateurs, so the automobiles supply options like antilock brakes (often banned in racing) and traction management. These automobiles are usually simpler to dwell with than the extra extremely strung GTE automobiles that race at Le Mans.

On sale now

While the precise quantity is troublesome to pinpoint, the producers talked about have offered roughly 500 GT3 race automobiles worldwide since 2013. That’s greater than $250 million {dollars}’ price of enterprise, not counting spare elements. [And if there’s one factor race automobiles want, it is numerous spare elements—Ed.] Like their road automobile counterparts, new fashions of GT3 race automobiles are launched each three years or so, roughly according to the worldwide FIA GT3 rules-cycle.

Audi Sport Customer Racing, which sells the GT3 model of Audi’s R8 sports activities automobile, has offered greater than 200 copies of its R8 LMS GT3 globally. Audi Sport North America supervisor Tristan Herbert confirms that, whereas the corporate’s racing arm was established throughout the firm’s experiential advertising and marketing division, its enterprise success spurred shifting it to the product division.

Acura is without doubt one of the more moderen entrants into the GT3 scene, launching its NSX GT3 (derived from its NSX supercar) in 2016. Though it has offered comparatively few race automobiles so far, Acura NSX GT3 program Chief Engineer Lee Niffenegger says that promoting the NSX GT3 is a enterprise. “That’s absolutely the way we look at it.”

We checked out GT3 utilizing the 2018 race season as a baseline for evaluating value and different specifics, talking with 5 of the OEMs promoting GT3s: Acura, Audi, Lamborghini, Mercedes, and Porsche.

If you got a type of automobiles this 12 months, here is the sticker value you’ll have paid. Bear in thoughts these costs do not embrace spare elements, which you may actually want:

  • Acura NSX GT3: $536,000 (€468,000)
  • Audi R8 LMS: $514,900 (€447,335)
  • Lamborghini Huracan GT3: $525,000 (€455,962)
  • Mercedes AMG GT3: $453,510 (€394,000)
  • Porsche 911 GT3 R: $495,000 (€430,482)

How does one purchase a GT3 race automobile?

The shopping for course of is roughly related throughout GT3 producers, requiring cash up entrance, technical familiarization, and except you simply desire a fairly monitor toy, a race crew. Take Mercedes’ AMG GT3 for instance. The race automobiles are offered by the automaker’s AMG division in Affalterbach, Germany. You merely electronic mail the AMG Customer Management Team, who will then name you again to debate the automobile configuration you need/want (dash or endurance racing). Next, they’re going to ask for a pre-production down-payment of $115,000 (€100,000). The stability is due earlier than supply.

As your GT3 is being constructed, AMG will invite your crew/engineers/mechanics to Affalterbach for technical coaching (plan on journey/lodging payments) and figuring out your preliminary spare elements order. The AMG GT3 is formally delivered at Affalterbach, however Mercedes will assist delivery it to your private home nation. They even ship a assist engineer that can assist you fireplace up the automobile the primary time and do checks and fundamental set-up, free of charge.

What do you get?

You’ll find yourself with an incredibly quick fashionable race automobile with copious aerodynamic downforce. As talked about, GT3-spec automobiles are efficiency balanced, usually having round 550 horsepower. They generate about 1.6G of lateral grip and can do 0-60mph in lower than three seconds on their strategy to 185-200mph (300-320km/h).

Like their highway cousins, they sport engine configurations from V10s, V8s, and V6s to horizontally opposed six-cylinders. Contrary to road automobile tendencies, most are naturally aspirated—Acura’s NSX GT3 and Ferrari’s 488 GT3 are notable exceptions (the racing Acura loses the heavy hybrid system, although). Why? Turbocharged automobiles are a bit extra complicated and fewer long-lived, a key think about racing.

For occasion, the NSX GT3’s turbo V6 is nice for about 7,456 racing miles (12,000km) earlier than a serious refresh. That’s a bit over a season’s price of racing. Acura’s Lee Niffennegger provides that “it’s not junk once you hit that number,” both. The 2019 NSX GT3 shall be rated for 9,320 miles (15,000km).

Contrast that with Audi’s R8 LMS. Its V10 ought to go about 12,427 miles (20,000km) earlier than a full refresh is required. The AMG GT3’s V8 can run 12,739 miles (20,500km) earlier than it wants main refurbishment. Porsche expresses its 4.0L flat-six engine life in hours. It’ll race for 60 hours, which roughly interprets to 7,456 miles (12,000km).

GT3 automobiles run six-speed sequential transmissions from suppliers like Xtrac and ZF. They, too, have life cycles. Mercedes, as an example, recommends transmission service at 6,200 miles (10,000km). But these might be finished by groups themselves. Transmissions are sometimes serviced after each race, Niffenegger says.

Acura’s GT3 NSX buyer technical guide (i.e. proprietor’s guide) has a desk specifying part life cycles for every thing from suspension gadgets (roughly 6,200mi/10,000km) to the chassis (about 18,650mi/30,000km).

What occurs for those who break it?

Unfortunately, repairs all add up cost-wise, and you may’t neglect spares. If you are racing, you are going to break/put on out stuff in spite of everything. Most GT3 producers supply degree 1 and a couple of spares packages for his or her automobiles. Level 1 may be very fundamental setup tools, however degree 2—every thing from physique panels and spindles to alternators and skid blocks—is what you may wish to purchase along with your new race automobile. Acura’s degree 2 NSX GT3 spares package deal is $123,000. Porsche’s 911 GT3 R package deal is $100,000.

There aren’t any warranties. This is racing in spite of everything. Sooner or later you may possible have a crash.

Acura/Honda gives “crash kits” (entrance/rear parts) for basic injury and jigs for trackside repairs. Damage the NSX GT’s chassis and it will must be repaired at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio. Expect a $15,000 to $30,000 greenback invoice. Audi fixes chassis on the Audi Collision Center in Ashburn, Virginia. Teams can do most repairs themselves, nonetheless, and AMG Customer Racing and Porsche Motorsport North America have elements vehicles at {most professional} races over right here.

As with any new automobile, you additionally get depreciation. Most OEMs, like Lamborghini and Mercedes, say depreciation depends upon the person automobile, its utilization, and race historical past. Acura’s GT3 program chief engineer provides a helpful rule of thumb: given three-year guidelines cycles, GT3 automobiles depreciate significantly after new guidelines come into impact. Before then, most race groups determine on roughly one-third depreciation (roughly $167,000) per 12 months. You can choose up a five-year-old automobile on the Internet comparatively cheaply, Niffenegger confides.

Clearly, what you get with a GT3 race automobile is the chance to spend some huge cash. On the opposite hand, you possibly can have a hell of numerous enjoyable and—probably—be a hero. That’s most likely price a couple of dollars.

Listing picture by Audi

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