Interesting Ferdinand Porsche chat on Facebook this week, as Jack Olsen posted a graphic showing his best Porsche lap time around Willow Springs race track, compared to a modern production 991-series 911 and the Porsche 918.
Originally prepared by Motor Trend magazine* to show relative lap times of the 50-Year Anniversary 991 911 compared to the Porsche 918 around the Willow Springs circuit in southern California, Jack overlaid his own circuit data to see how his 1972 Porsche 911 hot rod, Black Beauty II, stood up against the latest Porsche technology.
“Pretty good” would be my answer. Jack’s best lap time of 1:26.88 beats the 50-Year Anniversary 991’s best lap of 1:28.93 and is just over 3 seconds off the 918’s best time of 1:23.54, driven by Randy Pobst.
“The key differences between the 918 and my 911 (above) are horsepower, suspension tech, and driver skill (in the 918’s favor) and low weight (in my 911’s favor),” says Jack. “Make no mistake, the 918 is significantly faster than me around the whole track — it sets a production car record with this lap. And Randy Pobst isn’t just a pro driver — he’s a very fast pro driver. But I’m surprised by how the 918’s weight compromises some of its cornering speed, relative to my old bruiser.”
Jack’s famous “old bruiser” is a 272 bhp RSR-bodied 911 with copious inches of Nitto track rubber stuffed under its wide arches. Built with low weight in mind, BB2 uses the same basic suspension found on any old 911, whereas the 1000lb-heavier 918 uses every trick in the book to defy physics, including active suspension and a speed-sensitive steering rear axle.
The 918 is prodigiously quick, with a price tag to match. Building Jack’s 911 did not come cheap, but the cost is likely comparable to buying a 50-Year 991. When people harangue me about the soaring prices of air-cooled 911s in the future, I’m just going to point them at this and ask “how much is simple and light worth to you?” Untold value from where I’m sitting.
This video from Jack’s Youtube channel compares 918 track action to his own track video. Seems there is no difference in pace from Turn 2 to Turn 5 at Willow Springs. The circuit might not be the Nürburgring, but it’s a respectable test of man and machine. I have one question for you: if the 918 is just 5 seconds quicker than a 991 Carrera, where is the new 991 GT3 RS going to fit in? Share your views in the comments.
*We respect the Motor Trend copyright here – shared for information purposes and linked to the original article.