As I am hugged by a GT3 carbon bucket, I relax in relief

This particular purchase has not been without its problems.

As my predecessor elected to retain the car upon the inverse of his garage, I came to the car and discovered it buried underneath 2 inches of snow. Anyone who’s anyone knows GT3’s hate the cold for long periods. They are wild, feral beasts that choose to dance upon warm environments and work themselves into sweated frenzies. Anything more than a couple of weeks in sub-zero temperatures, the battery dies.

And my battery was dead.

First trip to Halfords and I bought another trickle charger (typical when you REALLY need your trickle charger, it’s actually 50 miles north because a friend borrowed it). This was plugged into the car and after 6 hours, ignition turned. Great, still nothing. Another trip to Halfords and I returned with a new battery and £120 lighter of pocket. Official Porsche one costs £300.00 – I hope I will not need it come warranty inspection time, later this month.

At last, I’m out, winding down doing 40 mph on the North Circular with pleasant satisfaction upon myself. Not much can do this, I find being in a familiar car environment is the great antithesis to stress.

This is my first 997 in RS guise. After periods of ridiculing RS buyers for having too much money to burn, I find myself open to revenge criticism.

Comparisons between the two inevitable of course, but I’ll not be qualified to do so until limits are explored on track. What I can say from the off is how incredible susceptible the RS is to tramlining, the wheels finding solace amongst the rutted valleys within the tarmac. Especially so of late, as the snow and low temperatures have made a mockery of UK asphalt. I inadvertently went over pot-holes tonight that were violent enough to shatter my spinal column.

Noise is also amplified. Not only is the rear window made of plastic, so less able to insulate noise, but also the single mass flywheel makes for a very noisy clutch. The acoustic effect is there to accentuate the ‘trackday’ aspect of the RS, but what I found it does is make the standard GT3 so much more hospitable in times when you aren’t on the racetrack.

But these are minor negatives to what is, of course, a staggeringly good car. Perfect heel and toeing – not because I’m a heel and toe master, but simply because the car’s been built to allow me, nay, entice me to do it. In the same way the steering wheel position, relative to your seating height and arm length is just spot on and even when you’re at a traffic light you can’t help but feel you’re on the grid. It feels like that scene in Avatar where the Na’vi connect with various animals via the nerve receptors at the end of their hair. It’s just a raw, primal, fleshy connection between man and car.

Tonight’s weather conditions were treacherous, given the amount of crap on the roads, that wasn’t surprising. But the GT3, being the delicate tool that it is, is subtley attuned to these variations in road and weather conditions. Care and attention is required to avoid any heart in mouth moments that require quick flicks of the wrist and brave maintenance of throttle and steering alike, lest you end up like the poor Z4 driver tonight who inexplicably buried himself into the very foundations of Hammersmith flyover at 50 MPH. I couldn’t find the front of that car for the life of me. It simply was no more.

2009 was an appalling year, both commercially and personally. After having been subjected to countless burglaries and various episodes of the law working against me, it’s nice to be back in something that is familiarly excellent.

It doesn’t make 2009 alright, but it does make it easier to swallow.

Spot the coffee cup.