The winner is still the one you'd expect, but the difference is minimal.
With good reason, some would argue it’s not fair to compare the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 with a 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS taking into account the massive price gap between the two. They’re indeed both track-focused performance cars, but the former retails for $72,900 before options whereas the latter is about two and a half times more expensive, kicking off at $187,500. You’d think this massive $114,600 price difference reveals the winner of this track duel right away, but wait until you see the whole video.
SCCA Hall-of-Fame race car driver Randy Pobst hopped behind the wheel of both cars at the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in California to find out which one is faster around the 2.68-mile track with its 17 turns. The POV side-by-side comparison shows the flying laps of the two cars, with the Shelby benefitting from a slight advantage as it started the lap at 118 mph compared to the Porsche’s 112 mph. At the first turn, the 911 GT3 RS was already 20 feet behind the GT500.
The sports car from Stuttgart managed to recuperate some of the lost ground during that first corner thanks to a 2-mph higher speed, but the Mustang pulled ahead in the following high-speed corners. At turn 8, the GT500 was ahead by 70 feet or approximately 0.5 seconds. The much lighter and agile Porsche eventually managed to catch up by going faster through the more technical corners of the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway and by braking later at the end of the straight.
Eventually, the 911 GT3 RS crossed the finish line in 1 minute and 55.57 seconds, making it only 0.15 seconds faster than the Shelby GT500. As per Jason Cammisa’s review of the side-by-side comparison, the Porsche was in front of the Shelby for only two turns of the lap and fewer than 16 seconds.
Moral of the story? This video goes to show that sometimes it’s wrong to assume the more expensive car can win a track duel without breaking a sweat against a vehicle positioned in an entirely different price bracket. Yes, the 911 won, but there was very little between them. Of course, a single track comparison doesn't tell the whole story, but you have to admit the Shelby is one mighty beast as it managed to keep up the pace with a player from a whole different league.