1997 Porsche 911 GT1
Pilots: E. Collard, Y. Dalmas, R. Kelleners
Team: Porsche AG
Race: DNF (GT1 class) at Le Mans in 1997
Minichamps - 430976826 (diecast)
Porsche 911 GT1 #25 (06/29/17):
In 1995 Porsche tried to modify their current GT2 models to compete in the GT1 class. However, the performance gap was just too big for a GT2 to be competitive. So Zuffenhausen started the development of a proper GT1 car. Unlike the competition, they started first with the racing car and then adapted it for road use to meet the homologation requirements. So despite the 911 name, the 911 GT1 had very little in common with the 911 (993) of the era. The engine, a 3164 cm³ water-cooled flat-6, counted on two turbos, 12 valves and DOHC. That guaranteed an output of 600 hp.
And that was good enough for Le Mans: in 1996 the GT1 came in first place in the GT1 class. But despite the La Sarthe success, by the end of the year Porsche started evolving the car. This new car became known as the GT1 Evo. The front body work was revised and headlamps were changed to the fried-egg shape of the new 996. In terms of performance the car was basically the same as the previous version. It did receive some new aerodynamic elements that improved acceleration, but mechanically it was the same car. However, at Le Mans the GT1 Evo was plagued by reliability issues. Car #26 abandoned on lap 327 while it’s sister #25 abandoned on lap 238, both with mechanical issues.
In scale the model is what I would call an “honest Minichamps”. Very good and accurate shape with an overall nice detail level. However, nothing extraordinary, but in the end a fine model. With that I would say it’s a car only for the Porsche and/or Le Mans nut. Since the previous GT1 has a much better claim to fame, it would be my pick if I could only have one. But I “needed” one to complete the three GT1 series.