2004 A:Level 911 Turbo GT1
Porsche's diverse 911 line-up had always formed a solid base for several racing class, but with the 996 model the company concentrated on the LM GT or GT2 class completely. Five years after the car was first launched a private team took it upon themselves to convert the 996 Turbo to race in the LM GTS or GT1 class. Set up in 2001 A:Level Engineering was the organization to take up the gauntlet to turn the 996 Turbo into a proper racer. Based in Adenau, Germany, A:Level is just a few miles away from the historic Nurburgring track.
The 3.6 litre turbocharged engine was already a well proven power plant, but it was further developed to produce over 600 bhp and 800 Nm while breathing through restrictors. Although these are impressive figures, it would be very hard to beat the competition's very smooth V8 and V12 units. The drive train was heavily modified to rear wheel drive, which also helped to decrease the racer's weight. Extra cooling vents were added all over the body, particularly on the nose. Much time was spent on the aerodynamic effectiveness of the classic 911 shape, which was not designed to run at the high speeds expected from the A:Level 996 Turbo.
In the summer of 2004 the car was officially homologated as a LM GT or GT1 racer, and remains the only one of its kind to this date. It debuted at the Nurburgring round of the LMES championship, where it suffered from many teething problems. After further development throughout the winter A:Level decided to field the unique racer for the complete five round LMES season. Throughout the season progress was made, which eventually led to a third in class finish in the fourth round of the season at the Nurburgring.
Story by Wouter Melissen for Ultimatecarpage.com