Next Stop 14,115ft: Meet The 991 GT3 R Twin-Turbo Tackling Pikes Peak


Not too long ago, the definition of ‘racing’ has curiously grow to be a heavily-debated matter amongst motorsports followers. Specifically, the recognition of time assault has referred to as into query the validity of racing in opposition to a clock.

Personally, that looks as if a preposterous technique to break up hairs. Why? As a result of the Pikes Peak Worldwide Hill Climb (PPIHC) exists and it’s undeniably one of many biggest occasions in motorsport. If it wasn’t, the ‘Race To The Clouds’ wouldn’t be celebrating its a hundredth yr in 2022.

The PPIHC consists of 152 turns over 12.42 miles. Beginning at 9,000ft above sea stage and ending at 14,155ft, it’s not a race for the faint of coronary heart or these with under-prepared tools. Vehicles are developed, examined, raced, damaged and destroyed all within the identify of conquering this mountain street in Colorado. It’s a momentous problem for each drivers and engineers, and crossing the end line is all the time an emotional second.

That is why it’s so tough for many who have executed it to remain away. The problem itself is addictive.

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Joey Seely and his Orange County, California-based enterprise E-Movement Engineering have battled Pikes Peak a number of instances previously. Mid-pandemic, they campaigned a 935/19 pushed by Jeff Zwart, who can also be positively no stranger to the hill. A 16-year aggressive PPIHC veteran, Jeff has eight class wins and three class information to his identify, and two years in the past he and E-Movement completed 2nd in school and fifth general.

The 2020 outcome was spectacular, however in Joey’s personal phrases… “I’ve by no means been serious about racing simply to take part. I all the time plan to win and have a very good monitor document in relation to that.”

The Group

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Conquering Pikes Peak is a group effort requiring a fanatical quantity of dedication. With Joey launching a elements aspect to his firm in 2021, it wasn’t possible to marketing campaign a automobile in the identical yr. However as enterprise growth was underway, Joey did handle to maintain the PPIHC in his peripheral.

For 2022, E-Movement is again, and their 2016 GT3 R might be one among a minimum of two noteworthy Porsche race vehicles on the beginning line this yr. We’ll contact extra on that a part of the competitors later.

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From 2013 to 2015, Joey campaigned a turbocharged 997 GT3 Cup for Jeff, leading to two podiums and a win in PPHIC’s Time Assault 1 class. The platform proved to be formidable, nevertheless it was all the time Jeff’s dream to use the identical equation to a extra competent GT3 R platform. The GT3 R’s bigger tires tuck below wider physique panels, and matched with lighter weight and superior aero, it may work extraordinarily effectively on the mountain – it simply wanted increase.

Seven years later that dream construct has come true with Jeff’s encouragement, though he gained’t be within the driver’s seat come race day. Jeff is supporting this system with some growth driving, however for the 2022 PPIHC he’ll be again behind the wheel of the 935/19 from 2020, with E-Movement’s help.

For this GT3 R construct, Joey and his group have joined forces with 13-time Pikes Peak Worldwide Hill Climb class winner and two-time ‘King of the Mountain’, Rhys Millen.

Conveniently, after being pressured to retire the Bentley GT3 he dominated Pikes Peak observe in final yr, Rhys was on the lookout for a brand new experience in 2022. Greater than only a matter of comfort, Rhys and Joey even have a direct historical past as effectively; Joey re-engineered the Hyundai Genesis that Rhys drove to a category win on the the 2017 PPIHC.

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In preparation for the 2022 PPIHC, the crew as an entire has been working diligently for six months. Joey has personally labored 80 hours each week of this yr to make the automobile extremely aggressive. This blinding devotion to the mission has resulted in literal blood, sweat and tears. There’s been no exorbitant fanfare, hype or something of the like, simply pure ardour devoted to at least one aim: successful.

Amidst this chaos, we managed to get a couple of minutes with Joey to ask what he and the group are bringing to the desk and the way it all got here collectively.

The Problem

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I’ve already described Pikes Peak as probably the most vital motorsport challenges to ever exist, however as a mere spectator my armchair opinion doesn’t maintain a lot weight. On that matter, Joey begins: “For me, Pikes Peak stands in a league of its personal. There’s nothing that requires such a singular strategy to chassis engineering and temperature administration. I’ve by no means arrange a circuit racing automobile even remotely near what we do to those Pikes Peak vehicles. This yr is not any exception.”

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The mix of Joey, Jeff and Rhys has ’92 USA males’s Olympic basketball ‘Dream Group’ vibes. That’s, to these unfamiliar, close to unstoppable.

From a aggressive standpoint having Rhys on the group makes logical sense, however Joey says that it’s greater than that. “It was actually a dream on prime of a dream. I used to be constructing my dream Pikes Peak automobile – and Jeff’s – and couldn’t probably have requested for a extra skilled and gifted driver to pilot it to victory. He [Rhys] shouldn’t be solely extraordinarily good at race driving, however his expertise [at the PPIHC] is essential. His strategy to growth of the automobile as an entire can also be an enormous benefit.”

“We try issues with the chassis I’ve by no means delved into in previous efforts at Pikes Peak. The extent of perfection in engineering and craftsmanship required to win at that stage is simply as essential to reaching success on this ominous 14,000ft mountain.”

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Once more, the development of this mission didn’t occur in a single day. The retried 2016 GT3 R (a manufacturing unit race automobile model of the GT3 RS street automobile) was bought in August 2021, and Joey started formulating his construct technique on the day he picked the Porsche up. Like all mission, a number of hours had been simply spent staring on the automobile.

A GT3 R is not any slouch in inventory type, however after hours of evaluation, Joey was capable of decide the place enhancements may very well be made past the pressured induction engine it could obtain. “The heavy lifting began in January with the automobile taking nearly all of my focus seven days every week. We tore the automobile all the way down to a naked chassis and began over. Every little thing is new, from the wire loom to each side of the cooling system. Now we load up and head to the Rocky Mountains to do altitude calibrations earlier than the primary official exams at Pikes Peak this weekend.”

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Shakedown testing is the place the group might be gathering extra knowledge to make the automobile higher. Rhys will play a important half on this course of, as he has executed within the lead as much as the occasion. “He [Rhys] builds successful vehicles of his personal for the Baja 1000, rally, Components Drift and extra. With his methodical strategy to chassis tuning and all different features of the automobile, we had been capable of maximize each lap on monitor throughout our three native pre-tests.”

All through the method, the importance of this mission is one thing not misplaced on the complete group. Joey has been behind some wonderful builds in his profession and has the accomplishments to point out for it, but… “That is the primary time the construct of a race automobile is all my very own. That is additionally plainly the largest and finest construct I’ve ever tried in my 22-year profession. We’ve got pulled out all of the stops. The one limits are timeline and funds, however even the funds is the largest we now have ever had.”

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With reference to funds, a number of instances in our dialog Joey thanked the sponsors which have made this mission a actuality. The listing is appreciable and contains Speedhunters official suppliers CSF Radiators and KW Suspensions. Utilizing each ounce of data he’s gained in his years creating race vehicles and the technical help of this mission’s sponsors, Joey is extremely assured within the skills of himself and the group.

“We deliberate to construct a automobile able to being the quickest Porsche to ever conquer the hill, successful the Open Class, and have a very sturdy shot to be up there within the hunt for the general win. I do know we’re able to having the strongest chassis. We proved that in 2020 when Jeff Zwart bought his first general quickest Sector 4 time, which is among the quickest and bumpiest sections above the tree line. With the outcomes of our pre-tests, we really feel actually good in regards to the energy of the engine, energy supply, effectivity, cooling, brakes and all different features.”

The Automobile

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As insane as this may appear to us common folks, it was clear from the start a ‘customary’ race-trim GT3 R wouldn’t be sufficient automobile for this problem. Diving below the deck lid, the engine began as a Mezger 997 GT3 donor, which EvoSpec then constructed to turbo specs. The three.8-litre flat-six now options CP solid pistons and Carrillo solid  connecting rods. A Foolish Rabbit billet consumption manifold has been reverse-mounted to permit for higher packaging.

E-Movement designed the VP Racing X85 ethanol-based gasoline system which, due to the forces concerned within the climb, encompasses a Gas Protected E85-compliant cell with the mandatory bladder. There’s additionally a Radium Engineering surge tank to make sure constant gasoline stress.

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Cooling is exceptionally essential in each type of motorsport, however the skinny air at excessive altitude makes it much more essential at Pikes Peak. The cooling system on this automobile was fairly an engineering problem for the E-Movement group who teamed up with CSF Radiators and PWR. Since 2020, PWR have been a strategic manufacturing associate for CSF, cooperating on small run, ultra-high efficiency cooling options for motorsports and aftermarket purposes. PWR’s cooling product really got here customary within the GT3 R.

Primarily based round two CSF excessive efficiency air-to-water 12x6x6-inch intercooler cores, the complete air-to-water system was constructed in order that stress drops wouldn’t be a priority all through the automobile’s Pikes Peak ascent. A passenger floor-mounted water tank is plumbed to an electrical water pump by way of -16 and -8 traces, and every little thing coming off the tank and pump is -16 earlier than splitting off to -8 fittings for every intercooler. The exit move of water then meets at one other -16 Y-fitting because it returns into a front-mounted warmth exchanger – designed by Joey and CSF and custom-made by PWR in Indianapolis – positioned forward of the GT3 R manufacturing unit PWR radiator on the nostril of the automobile. Wiggins clamps are used all through the cost air aspect for dependable and safe unions.

Water-cooling is simply a part of the problem; oil temps have to be thought of as effectively. After testing, a rear-mounted engine oil cooler proved to be the perfect answer for the appliance.

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E-Movement designed the pressured induction system which makes use of mirrored Garrett G35-1050 turbochargers with {custom} sizzling housings. TiAL offers the wastegates and blow-off valves, whereas the headers had been constructed by Reid Washbon Racing Exhausts and Logan Hinesly.

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The results of all this work is an engine that delivers a baseline 1,000whp at 8,000rpm and 700lb/ft at 4,500rpm. These numbers had been made at “simply” 18psi of increase stress.

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Horsepower of a quad-digit amount wants the fitting suspension, brakes and tires, and beginning with the previous, E-Movement offered the entrance arms and rigidity hyperlinks straight off the shelf. KW Competitors 3-way dampers characteristic in any respect 4 corners, and these have been modified additional to E-Movement spec with 2-inches of additional compression stroke designed to deal with the bumps on the prime of the mountain. The hill has been paved, not tamed.

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The brake system options Alcon 6-piston entrance and 4-piston rear calipers loaded with E-Movement Pikes Peak-spec pads, and 380mm discs entrance and rear. Bosch Motorsport offers the ABS.

Lastly, when it comes to roadholding, the GT3 R is fitted with 18-inch center-lock wheels, now wrapped in 325/680 and 325/705 Pirelli slicks entrance and rear respectively.

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GT3 Rs come from Porsche with a carbon physique and and aerodynamics appropriate for many purposes, however there was room for enchancment for the duty at hand. E-Movement and carbon fiber specialists Son of Cobra noticed to the whole lot of the outside modifications. The rockers are 991 RSR-style objects, whereas the quarter glass alternative intakes had been custom-designed. The wing-style door mirrors and vented hood are manufacturing items born out of the E-Movement and Son Of Cobra collaboration.

Son of Cobra additionally labored their magic on the GT3 R entrance bumper, which has been rid of its OEM fog lights and modified for additional downforce. For improved cooling, the bumper’s opening was additionally enlarged.

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Out again, the deck lid is a modified GT3 R piece with exaggerated variations of the GT3 Cup scoop and Gurney flap. A lot of the rear bumper has been stripped away for radiant warmth extraction and oil cooler air flow.

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The already spartan GT3 R inside makes up the least modified space of the automobile. A Sparco Circuit II seat has been put in with a 6-point harness, and within the identify of weight distribution, the oil sump now sits alongside the water tank within the passenger seat space. The CSF air/water intercoolers are situated above the shock towers behind the driving force. This placement is one among Joey’s favorite particulars of the construct.

The Future

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Joey, Jeff and Rhys are going to Pikes Peak to win, due to this fact nothing exists on this mission with out appreciable thought and objective. This contains the minimal, asymmetrical 100-line livery designed by Wade Devers, which commemorates the occasion’s a hundredth yr.

The E-Movement group is at present, solely fixated on one aim: PPIHC domination. The web will invoice occasion this as Porsche versus Porsche battle with Ken Block’s crew and the Hoonipigasus. Competitors is wholesome and the rationale motorsport exists within the first place, nonetheless on this specific occasion no automobile is competitors, simply the hill. ‘Race the course, not the competitors’ is one thing synonymous with any type of racing, and that is what the group intends to do.

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When requested what the way forward for this automobile holds past this yr’s occasion Joey stays within the second. “We might determine to mess around with it somewhat and run a while assault stuff, however actually, it is a hill climb automobile and we plan to run it for a number of extra years. For now, we’re solely excited about engaging in our objectives by successful the a hundredth Pikes Peak and making historical past.”

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom

Images by Darrien Craven
Instagram: _crvn_

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