GetSpeed Performance has long been a Porsche team, having raced Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars for the past six years and adding a Porsche 991 GT3R to its roster in 2018. But that is all changed starting this year, with the Meuspath-based team bringing three Mercedes-AMG GT3s to the Nürburgring. Amongst its drivers making the switch is Janine Hill. The British-American has joined the big leagues after cutting her teeth VLN’s Porsche Carrera Cup with GetSpeed customer team J2 Racing.
“It’s a fantastic car, it’s really is amazing,” Janine Hill says enthusiastically after her first taste of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the Nordschleife during the VLN Test- und Einstellfahrten.
“We had seven days of wonderful testing in Spain and Portugal with great weather. It was my first time in the car and within two laps I felt absolutely at home, like it was my new office – mein neues Burö!”
Hill praises the car’s handling, comparing it favourable to the demanding Porsche 991 GT3 Cup she raced for the past few years.
“I love the balance of the car: It’s very neutral. It’s 50/50 and you really feel that when you drive it.
“The rear axle is not as good as the Porsche because of where the engine is, however, it gains in a million other places.
“The car, most of all, gives you a great sense of security. It’s incredible on the brakes, I’m very happy with the feel of the brakes. The traction control is good, the ABS is fantastic. It’s quite easy to rotate the car in the slow and medium speed corners. All in all, it’s a great package and a good choice for us, I think.
“It is a big step up from the Porsche. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 has more power and is also a much bigger car. However, it doesn’t drive like a bigger car, it feels like it wraps around you.
“The two are different animals. The Porsche Cup car is a little edgier and a bit more difficult to drive on the limit. The AMG car is a bit more forgiving, but of course we have much more speed in the high-speed corners. Your brain has to start working at a much faster speed.
“It’s spectacular looking car and a lot of fun to drive. Our designer did a great job, it looks like a weapon on track! We’re happy with the design, the chassis, the power, all of it. We’ve got a great package.”
Initially, the plan for Janine Hill and her J2 Racing partner John Shoffner was to enter the world of GT3 racing with the new Porsche 991.2 GT3R, showing great interest in the car when Porsche presented it at last year’s 24 Hours of the Nürburgring.
“We put an order in for two on that day! We were convinced this was the right car for us, but between May and November we made a different decision. It was an evolution over those six months. It is what it is, and I think the Porsche will be a fantastic car, but I think this is probably a better choice for the Pro-Am team.
“We made the choice together with GetSpeed, it was a group decision. Obviously, we trust GetSpeed for all our decisions for track-use, and Adam is exceptional in his choice of staff, cars, et cetera.
“It was a big decision for him because he’s a Porsche car. Me, I love Porsche, but I have to say, I always thought that an easier car for an amateur to drive would be the AMG, or maybe the Audi, that these would be a better choice for us.
“We basically put this decision in Adam’s hands and we talked about it to come to a group decision – and I think it’s the right one for us.”
Where last year the J2 Racing team was a regular contender for victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup class, that will be different in SP9/GT3. Up against the works teams at the start of the season, Hill is realistic about the team’s prospects.
“We always aim to win – in-class wins, obviously – and try to be as best overall as possible.
“Obviously, we are a Pro-Am team, so we aren’t always aiming for the overall podium, but in-class we want to be high up there. And maybe after the 24 Hours we can look at overall positions too.”