Whirlwind romance ends

GT3 is sold in a frenzied panic of commerce and sensibility, whilst Bdog ponders his decisions over a late mug of coffee during a game of Forza 3


And what a whirlwind romance. This is a record for me, having owned the car for only 3 weeks to suddenly moving it on, I genuinely had no intention of selling the car on, but I happened to be in the right place at the wrong time.

After my trackday at Snetterton, my brakes developed an unpleasant noise and vibration. An appointment was made to Porsche Reading to rectify said problem, although my fears were cemented by then – it was obvious the steel brakes were simply not up to the task. A huge disappointment, given how Andreas Preuninger waxed lyrical about them at the launch. Frankly, they’re a huge disappointment and I decided at that point to never spec steel discs on a GT3 again (more on that later!).


Regardless, I was told by Porsche, after countless photos and videos sent to Porsche Germany, that the brakes had been subjected to abuse and would not be covered by neither goodwill nor warranty. I came away perplexed, if there’s one thing I do not do, that’s abuse my cars. I know better than many the cooling cycles necessary for discs during trackday use. So I came home and after some careful consideration, decided to put the car up for sale. I figured winter was coming, it wasn’t going to get any good use and I had the RS coming in March (more on that later!!).

Within a day of putting the car up for sale, Porsche called me and offered to buy the car there and then. Deal done and sold. The car was already at Porsche Reading having the brakes investigated, so it was simply a case of coming to my house to collect the V5 documents. However, after having committed to the sale of the car, I shortly got told that due to dealer process restructuring, I also wouldn’t be getting the GT3RS!

The temptation to cancel my sale on the eve of the buyer turning up was immense and took a number of phonecalls to trusted colleagues to sway me from one side to another. In the end, it took a sensible approach and I let the car go. It’s a MASSIVE shame and I’m more upset about this epic trackday booked for this Sunday at Silverstone. It’s practically a who’s who of trackdays. Still, I’ve just bought something else for the weekend….

As for the RS, I’m going to have to hunt one down in the new year come spring time. I’ve heard there are very limited numbers planned with only about 40 cars due to the UK. This is going to make it very difficult to source one without a premium, but I’ll keep looking.

And my Guards Red GT3? Well, given that it was only in my hands for a few weeks, it’s difficult to really justify the £30k premium over the Gen1 GT3, which, let’s face it, is a stupendously good car. Really, it’s utterly magnificent. And the Gen2? Well, it’s faster, that much is certain – the fact that it can now keep up with a Nissan GT-R on full chat says a lot. It’s also very good looking with significant improvements to it’s overall aesthetic – that rear spoiler is truly epic. It’s also updated with mod-cons such as touch screen sat nav, ipod connector etc.

I’ll miss this car for sure, I didn’t get to really bond with it – I guess I’ll leave that for the RS. Speaking of RS’s….

  • Mick Clare

    Hi Cem – very sorry to hear your honeymoon with that stunning new GT3 is over so soon!

    Had a chat with a couple of motorsport engineers and they agreed the brake problem could be related to your upgrade to Castrol SRF brake fluid. The benefits of running with a motorsport brake fluid are obvious: the higher dry boiling point (above 300’C) certainly reduces the chance of the brake pedal unexpectedly going to the floor! It should provide that great feeling of confidence from a stiffer brake pedal and the ability to run for extended track sessions.

    However, changing from the standard brake fluid to Castrol SRF does also have some potential risks. By design, Castrol SRF allows the brake fluid to operate at a significantly higher temperature during track driving, meaning that the braking system will soak up more heat – so the brake callipers, lines, seals and discs are also pushed to operate at higher temperatures than they may have been designed. Hence, the use of a motorsport brake fluid such as Castrol SRF potentially increases the brake cooling requirement.

    There’s also the possibility that the issue could have been compounded by some “green fade” overheating if the brake pads hadn’t been cured, but I’m sure you would have followed an appropriate bedding in process.

    As an aside, apparently there’s a 997 GT2 with PCCB that melted the brake callipers on a track day after changing to Castrol SRF. There have also been some suggestions that Castrol SRF can corrode seals in the master cylinder. It’s a real shame that the suppliers of expensive motorsport upgrades don’t always provide appropriate disclosure on the potential risks…

    All the best with the new RS – it must be a real hoot!

    • Thanks Mick.
      I think you are right in saying that brake fluid can have an effect on raising temps to the pads as they no longer transmit the warning signs as easily.
      However, I would argue that we’re not talking about a BMW 535d here. This is a track focused GT3 specified with all the track bits that I purchased for track use based on their track focused marketing.
      For a Nissan GTR to fare better on brakes after 10 laps is simply not acceptable for a car of this calibre. The GT3 pads and discs should be up to the job of performing better, in braking, than a Nissan GTR, a car weighing 300 kg more. (For what it’s worth, that same Nissan GTR was out on track with me yesterday at Silverstone again, on the same pads, with no complaints).

      For Porsche to claim that I’d abused the brakes is an absolute cop out and I will not be recommending steel brakes to anybody who’s going to track the car.

  • paul

    In your opinion what do you think is wrong with brakes!
    How long were you out on the track with out cooling down etc
    Did you track with the traction & psm etc on?
    May be they still have not got the cooling correct on these cars.
    I have the gen 2 gt3,the brakes feel great on the road,but will be on the track asap after the runnning in etc
    A little concerned as i have the gt3rs on order as well and same brakes as the gt3.
    There should be more GT3rs available now ,as the allocation has been increased from 34 cars to 80.

    • Paul, I strongly believe that SOMETHING failed. I’m not sure what as I got out of the car before I really had a chance to investigate.
      My cooling down process is religious. I will always do a FULL lap of a circuit without touching the brakes – this is done on every single session. I also never boil the fluids as this is evident by the fact that the pedal never looses that initial depth when you go back out again after a cool down period.

      My advice would be to stick to PCCB’s on the RS.

      p.s. how did you hear about the allocation increase?

      • paul

        In the gt3 handbook it advises race fluid in the brakes for track work!i dont see the crf causing the problem.
        Also the vents/cooling ducts are not that great,and the rads kick out hot air into the wheel wells also,which again all does not help cooling

        The problem with pccb is that they dont look much different to the discs i had on my CGT,they did not take much circuit use,also porsche said at the launch the pccb last no longer than the steels on track.

        I think the gen 2 gt3 is faster than the gen 1 and also heavier once specified up,so this may put extra load on the brakes,yes they are now 380 mm,but the pads new look very thin,which could also contribute to the state of your pads.
        I will see if i can get some accurate answers at the rs launch on the 30th.
        The info on extra allocation of rs was from the person i have ordered my rs from.Which seems to be correct as a few other people have now got there allocation and some opc have now got 2 cars.
        Hope you find a rs and enjoy it!

        • Now that’s interesting about the GT3 handbook – no idea about that, makes for even better ammo.

          Thanks for the other notes

  • Rich (resb from s9 forum)


    Specialist Cars of Malton said they had a couple of RS’s coming in. Not sure if they were sold.


    Don’t let their site put you off as they are a bunch of good guys. Speak to Mark.



    I thought you were never going to buy a GT3 again and would always opt for the RS after all the stick Glenn Mc gave you. ;)

    • No way – GT3’s are proper tools :) Don’t need an RS to show heels!

  • martin gordon

    Upgraded my Gen 1 997 GT3 to Alcon front discs , added pagid R15 pads front and rear, result -no fade, fantastic feel, and er ,nothing with numberplates has come past me in the last 9 trackdays.
    Now got 13k miles on the discs, estimate about 70% worn.
    best bit about the alcons is that you can just replace the disc and the carrier pins on the old hub, cost £700 per axle

    • Hi Martin, yes on my white GT3, I also had the Alcons. I must have done at least 10 trackdays on those discs – incredible set of steels they were, well worth the money.
      Not sure about gen 2 disc replacements as the sizes are completely different. Not sure if there are any aftermarket stuff yet, although I understand they are the same size as the PCCB’s now so might be something out.

  • andre de vries

    There is nothing wrong with the steel discs cem.

    The problem has started with the pads. I have raced cup cars with orginal steel discs no problems.

    Orginial pads don t accept very high track temps. And if it does you get cracked pads and you get burn deposits on you discs. When you brake over the deposits you get vibration which will get worse worse if you stay out on track.

    When you swap to pagid yellows rs29 or black rs15 or PFC 97 or 01 you would have no problems whatsoever with the brake system.

    Why does porsche don t use these pads as OE. Because they make more noise and cold braking is worse.

    Street pads brake better when cold. But at very high trackday use the temp get outside there working temps and leave deposits on discs.

    • Yes, the pads are definitely the weakest link. I think with better cooling they may work better, but don’t forget, it’s not pad wear, but composition. They literally demolished themselves.

  • Pingback: change pads - Teamspeed.com()

  • ir_fuel


    You state:”my brakes developed an unpleasant noise and vibration. An appointment was made to Porsche Reading to rectify said problem, although my fears were cemented by then – it was obvious the steel brakes were simply not up to the task”.

    Could you tell us what exactly was the problem? Warped discs or something else?

    • Discs were fine. I gave them no opportunity to warp as my progress was spirited, but not 100%.
      The pads were at fault for overheating and then crumbling away, leaving parts of itself on a hot disc, giving an uneven disc surface.

By Daniele Zedda • 18 February


By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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