2008 Porsche 911 (997) GT3 RSR “iBird” Pilots: J. van Lagen, M. Goosens, M. Holzer Team: ProSpeed Competition Race: 23rd overall (LMGTE-Pro class) at Le Mans in 2011 Spark - S3416 (resin)
One of the main characteristics that defines Porsche as a car manufacturer is their race heritage. Hence, you can’t separate Porsche from racing. So, even if they have SUVs and “family cars” in their lineup, they’ll always produce race cars. Introduced in 2006, the 911 (997 generation) GT3 RSR was one of their top-tier racing cars. Built to comply with ACO, FIA-GT and IMSA regulations, out of the assembly line it was ready to race. It counted on a monocoque chassis made of hot-galvanized steel, with a welded-in safety cage. At first it came with a 3795 cm³ boxer-6, but later on (2009) that was expanded to 3996 cm³, delivering 450 hp. A total of 35 units rolled out of Weissach, each costing 349,800 Euro (plus taxes).
This GT3 RSR is chassis #WP0ZZZ99Z8S799928, built in 2008. Belgian race team ProSpeed bought it in 2008, and debuted it at the Silverstone Supercar Showdown, in April of 2008. For that year and in the following ProSpeed raced it mostly in smaller FIA GT events, in the GT2 class. However, in 2010, the team enrolled it in bigger events, and in June it debuted at La Sarthe, finishing in 21st overall (seventh place in LMGT2). The next year the ProSpeed #75 was back, but now in LMGTE-Pro. With a very similar result, the team managed a 23rd place overall and seventh place in class. With ProSpeed the car returned to Le Mans in 2013 and 2014, but an accident in practice took it out of the race. Subsequently they sold it to Team AAI and #WP0ZZZ99Z8S799928 raced one last time at La Sarthe in 2015, retiring for good afterward.
Yet, the race results of GT3 RSR #75 is not what makes it special, but the livery. ProSpeed commissioned Loïc Poncelet, a graphic artist at Graffiti Research Organization, a Belgian company that specializes in computerized calligraphy. So, with carte blanche and a 911 GT3 RSR as a canvas, Poncelet created the iBird. According to the artist, his intent was to create “cohesion between nature and modern technology”. As a result, the car looks striking, making the iBird one of the most beautiful liveries of recent times. ProSpeed are fans of art cars, and in 2014 they had another GT3 RSR art car at La Sarthe. The beautiful “Triskelion”, also penned by Loïc Poncelet.
In scale, I’ll repeat what I said about Poncelet’s Triskelion: g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. Spark did a heckuva job on the iBird, hence it looks stunning. Detail level is on par with my other Sparks (therefore, terrific), so all in all a great model. For an art car aficionado this was a must, and I was after it for almost three years. And boy, it was worth the wait – it’s stunning! 🥰