Driver Survives Gunther Werks Porsche 911 Turbo Prototype Rollover at Laguna Seca

Onlookers feared the worst when the roof caved in. But the driver has since been "cleared."
Gunther Werks Turbo prototype at Laguna Seca
Gunther Werks

A Porsche 911 Turbo modified by renowned performance shop Gunther Werks has been destroyed in a serious crash at Laguna Seca. The car’s caved-in roof caused concern for the driver, whom the shop says sustained “no injury.”

Gunther Werks was testing its latest reimagination of Porsche’s iconic sports car, which it calls the Gunther Werks Turbo. It’s built around a behemoth of a 4.0-liter, air-cooled flat-six, with twin turbos pressing it to 700 horsepower in track mode. Weighing in at only 2,700 pounds, that gives it a power-to-weight ratio around that of a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170. It’s a handful no matter where you drive it, especially if that’s at a racetrack.

The car was being tested on Tuesday or Wednesday of last week when it left the track in unknown circumstances. Based on the scuffs and roof damage seen above, it would seem to have gone off the outside of a left-hand turn before coming to a stop on the passenger side of its roof. It’s not clear exactly where the car crashed or who was driving it, though the Reddit post above alleges it was driven by Porsche factory racing driver Patrick Long.

Gunther Werks, which has turned off commenting for pertinent posts on social media, said the unnamed driver was checked trackside before later being “cleared” by a medical professional. The company said the prototype car lacked the stronger carbon fiber roof that’d be fitted to customer cars, and that the car had no cage because production examples won’t have them either. The driver was also allegedly testing in full race gear, and sat in a FIA-homologated race seat.

Regardless of safety equipment, it’s a stroke of luck that the driver walked away from such a severe rollover. From the Ford GT40 to the Lexus LFA, testing mishaps have been far more consequential in times past, and such a black mark is never a good start to a car’s life.

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