Just turn the key and go. Sure, the clutch is stiff but not the cartilage-crushing heft of the 935, and the six-speeder requires more effort than the one in your 911, but it’s still a synchromesh transmission.
Despite producing 544bhp, the water-cooled six is unexpectedly tractable, with very little lag. From 4500rpm there’s just a gentle shove and whoosh. The sense of speed is deceptive, as the car isn’t at all vocal, inside or out, thanks to the large silencers, but its rev-happy nature makes it feel much peakier than the 935’s 3.2-litre unit. Exiting a bend, the trick is to power out a little after the apex so that both the turbos are already running at high speed to pull you along the next straight. Cornering levels are off the scale thanks to molten grip, with understeer barely registering.
That said, the car does tend to porpoise over uneven surfaces and the power-assisted steering (for both road and race applications) is highly geared and strangely dead an the straight-ahead. The brakes, big servo-assisted carbon discs with ABS, offer massive levels of retardation, but limited pedal feel makes modulating stopping distances a bit of a lottery: you can scrub off triple digits in a heartbeat whether you want to or not. Maybe it just takes greater familiarity. It’s just that, after admittedly less seat time than expected, the GT1 still leaves you strangely unmoved.
Though easier to drive than the 935 (most cars are), the GT1 lacks the synapse-flying drama of the K3. Just being near a 935 is enough to reduce you to a giggling fit. It looks astounding, has interstellar performance and a weight distribution that (almost) defies the laws of physics. Add in victories in blue-chip endurance races and a roll-call of heroes for drivers, and you have one of the most charismatic sportsracing cars of all time. Even if it is just a modified road car. Sort of.