In April 2017, I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for a fun filled day at the Porsche Experience Center. Home to Porsche’s North American headquarters, the PEC has a 1.6 mile long track to demonstrate the capabilities of a Porsche. I decided on doing two of the many available options, the Turbo vs GT3 and the GT3 Experience. The first puts me behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 Turbo which is an all wheel drive car. The next is the GT3, a Porsche made for the track. Finally, stepping into the GT3 RS, a true track monster. It’s a GT3 on steroids.

Upon arrival as you enter the facility, you are greeted by a vast collection of cars displayed throughout the floor like a showroom. There is also a museum in the lower levels.

The instructor, who sits in the passenger seat, guides you around the various stations on the property. We started with trying out the launch control. 540 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque in an all-wheel drive car is amazing, especially in a car of this caliber. The driving instructor tells me to press hard on the brake, then smash the gas peddle to the floor and hold both down. The engine begins to build RPMs quickly, but then holds steady. “Send it” says the instructor, so I remove my foot from the brake pedal and off we go. It was exhilarating but was over so fast. There was no loss in traction and the car just pulled me down the straightaway. After a few launches, it was time to try a different station. PEC has five other sections to include skid-pads, a kick plate, and a slalom course.

Next up was the GT3. This is more of a raw experience. Unlike the Turbo, the GT3 is lacking the luxury options such as adjustable seats and leather coverage door panels. There was no turbo on this one, just a 3.8 liter naturally aspirated engine that winds up to 9,000 RPM! It screams down the straightaways and hugs the turns with precision. After an hour and a half, my time was up. I parked the GT3 and let my adrenaline settle down.

I needed to fuel up so I had enough energy for the next session. PEC has a restaurant on site called 356. The service at 356 was on the level you would expect from a brand such as Porsche and the food was the high standard. I had to forgo getting an ‘adult’ beverage since I would be behind the wheel again shortly. Next up was the GT3 and GT3 RS.

Back into the seat of a GT3 for some laps. The instructor was very receptive to what I really wanted to do. I requested we just do a bunch of laps on the circuit so I could get a good feel before moving up to the RS. He did say that if people were not following instructions or not showing the aptitude to handle the GT3, they would not be put behind the wheel of the RS. After numerous hot laps, I made the cut to move up to the GT3 RS.

If you thought you were missing the creature comforts in the GT3, this was another level. The GT3 RS has cloth pulls for door handles in an effort to save weight! The car only has 20 more horsepower, so the power is not as noticeable. What is noticeable is the fact the car is wider, lighter, and handles like it’s on rails. And of course you can’t miss the giant wing on on the back end. I strictly stuck to lapping the circuit in the RS with one rest break in the middle of the session. The 1.5 hours went by very quickly and before I knew it, my time was up. Probably for the best since the Atlanta heat combined with all the concentration required to go around the track can wear you down.