HOMEBREW MANUAL GT3 RS IN THE MAKING
Where there’s a will, there’s a way
They said it was impossible. But that hasn’t stopped one enterprising user of the Rennlist Porsche web forum from having a go. Known as RJGT3RS and based in the US, his aim alongside technical partner BGB Motorsports in Florida is to create the world’s one and only Type991 GT3 RS with a manual gearbox. And his plan is to do it with 100% OEM Porsche parts.
As he puts it, “I don't like that Porsche took the manual option away from us GT car owners only to put it back into a limited numbered car and play games with allocations.” So a home brew manual example it is and based on a virtually brand new car with just 900 miles on the clock.
Needless to say, the conversion is an incredibly complex process. Ordering the parts alone apparently took six months. A brand new gearbox as used in the ultra-rare 911 R was sourced, along with the R’s lightweight flywheel and mechanical differential.
Apart from the transmission itself, the list of parts is huge. Pedal box is obvious enough as is the removal of the steering wheel paddles and replacement of the steering wheel shroud with a non-paddle shift item. Further details include disassembling and converting the instrument cluster to replace the PDK indicator for the manual gear display. Tiny bits of trim around the gear lever that don’t appear in parts diagrams also had to be sourced.
An entire switch kit for the centre console was ordered, too, because it’s the only way to get hold of the required ‘SPORT’ button to replace the ‘PDK SPORT’ button in the RS. A 911 R shift knob with the factory boot was acquired and then taken apart and re-stitched in Lava Orange to match the car’s bodywork.
Of course, with the hardware fitted there’s perhaps the greatest hurdle remaining, namely the electronics. Essentially, the car needs to forget that it ever had a PDK box fitted and with a plethora of ECUS filled with proprietary Porsche code, that is no mean feat. What’s more, there’s apparently also the risk that the next time the car visits an authorised dealer, hooking it up to the Porsche computer and making any changes could see the revised code replaced again with original factory settings. It’s all very complicated.
Indeed, as we go to press it seems the car has had all the hardware fitted and is undergoing that very electronic overhaul. Fingers crossed and look out for an update soon. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that while the project is undoubtedly costly, its protagonist is probably right when he points out that it’s still around $250,000 cheaper than buying a 911 R. More power to him and the best of luck with the project.