PSI Motorsport – Going Its Own Way
Joost Custers recently visited the PSI Motorsport workshop at Thimister, near Liège. He was guided by Markus Palttala, the PSI works driver and press officer.

dailysportscar.comWhereas the N-GT Porsche 996 GT3-RS is an original Porsche product, the water-cooled 996 Biturbo has never received any official race developments. Despite not being supported by the factory, this car has been seen in different national and international GT championships throughout Europe.

Several teams tried to run this powerful car but few succeeded: running against cars developed for the GT class, such as the Viper, Ferrari 550 and Lister, certainly remains a very demanding challenge. The most successful preparation and development work on this car has certainly originated at PSI in Belgium. The PSI Porsches were seen in national championships in Belgium, France, Spain and the Michelin Porsche Open UK. During the 2001 and 2002 season, the team also ran in the FIA GT championship.

Christian Schumacher founded PSI in 1994. In the beginning it was orientated towards GT and Touring races and prepared Porsche, Honda, BMW etc. But one make always keeps returning: Porsche. In 2001, PSI was the first team to enter the new version of the 996 GT2-R biturbo. At the moment, there are nine Porsche GT2-Rs racing, ready to race or being built up.

The #1 car was built in 2001 and is now owned by a French team, Tillie Competition. The #2 car was seen in FIA GT races and won the Belcar Racing Festival at Spa in 2001. Last year it was racing in the French Championship, with Nourry Competition. The #3 (2002) was racing in the Spanish championship with Abia Motorsport.

The first right hand drive car (#4) came in 2003 and was run in the Porsche Michelin Cup by Rupert Lewin Racing. Another 2003 car was successful in last’s year French championship. The French GT youngster Bera and Markus Palttala drove it to a fine victory in the final race of the 2003 FFSA season.

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In 2004, the #6 Biturbo will be seen in Belcar with the experienced Leo Van Sande and works driver Markus Palttala sharing the wheel. Two more cars (#7 / #8) will go to France and #9 is still available for interested customers, for example for FIA GT, LMES or 24 Hour races.

Technical Story

dailysportscar.comBuilding nine cars in three years has generated a lot of experience with these turbo machines. When Markus and I entered the workshop, we saw two brand new GT2-R racers being built up by mechanics. We had the chance to take a closer look at these ‘naked’ machines to discover how the cars are developed.

The heart of every racer is the engine. To beat the big engines in GT, PSI really pushes the water-cooled engine towards its limits. Here are some of its specifications:
- Six cylinder water cooled 3.600 ccm3 bi-turbo engine
- Basic compression ratio: 8.5: 1
- Around 575 hp at 5.500 rpm, with 33.3 mm restrictors
- Around 720 Nm torque at 4.400 rpm with 33.3 mm restrictors
- Around 700 bhp at 5.750 rpm without restrictors
- Around 820 Nm torque at 4.600 rpm without restrictors.

Of course, power is one thing, getting the power on the track another. Like all the other 996 Porsches, the 996 GT-2 R is rear wheel drive, and with the engine at the back, traction isn’t a problem. The customer can either opt for a classic PORSCHE G-96 six speed H-gearbox or for a Ricardo sequential 6-speed gearbox.

The body of the PSI Porsche is based on the original factory 996 Bi-Turbo. The roll cage is welded-in over multiple points. Several parts are made out of carbon, such as the front, the front fenders, the front and rear hood, the doors, the tail and the diffuser. The car is also aerodynamically optimized.

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Markus Palttala, official driver of PSI explains that this machine is really challenging to drive at the limits.

“It requires real race skills because of the powerful turbo engine at the rear. That leads to weight balance typical for any Porsche, only with greater power. Also the nature of 3.6L biturbo, comparing to 7 or 8-liter atmospheric engines with similar power, is raising the challenge. But when taken to its limits, this car is really fast and I like the challenge it gives.”

Road Car

dailysportscar.comNot only does PSI develop a tremendous racing machine, Markus Palttala also shows another piece of master art, the Porsche 996 Biturbo RTS 1. This road legal car has over 620 bhp and more than 800 Nm torque at 7400 rpm. RTS 3 is the road version of the GT2-R race car. The latest version of the car, RTS 4, even pulverizes these figures and should produce over 740 bhp: it is simply the most powerful road Porsche ever built. Tuning Porsches is a skill and racing helps, as with every other tuner, to learn about and understand the car. This knowledge is also used for these special street versions.

RTS-1 (2001): 3,6L bi-turbo. 620 bhp
RTS-2 (2002): 3,8L atmospheric engine. 430 bhp
RTS-3 (2003): road version of the GT2-R race car. 550 bhp
RTS-4 (2004): similar to RTS-3, but engine tuned to over 700 bhp.

Other details can be found on the PSI website:
www.psi-motorsport.com

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