Saturday, 7 January 2012

Porsche Carrera RS 3 litre

To contest the Group 4 class of the World Manufacturers Championship, the FIA demanded at least 500 identical road cars be built, upon which a competition version could be derived. Until 1972, Porsche had always used production 911's models as the best route to homologate a racing car. However, with sales of stock Porsche 911's in the many thousands each year, Porsche could easily produce and sell a batch of 500 specially prepared cars that would provide a more solid platform to begin from. In the end, demand for the resultant 2.7 Carrera RS was so great that the firm eventually sold more than 1500 units inside six months.
Once this initial homologation had been granted, manufacturers were then permitted to build batches of 50 evolution cars from which even more highly modified racers could be derived. This is where the 3-litre RS came in. Produced in just a few months over the winter of 1973/74, it would be the basis for Porsche's 1974 customer race programme, a homologation special to pave the way for a successor to the dominant 2.8 RSR. Based on G-series, the 3.0 RS got reinforced rear trailing arms, thicker torsion bars, fully adjustable anti-roll bars, eight and nine inch Fuchs wheels and cross-drilled and ventilated brake discs from the Porsche 917.
The engine was a de-tuned version of the unit found in the 3.0 RSR, compression having been reduced from 10.3:1 to 9.8:1 while mechanical fuel injection was from the Carrera 2.7 RS. Designated Type 911/77, 230bhp was on tap at 6200rpm, 20bhp up on the 2.7 RS that it effectively replaced. The performance figures between the two models were comparable, the 3.0 RS hitting 155mph and 0-60 in 5.2 seconds, however the new car had considerable more torque. This greatly improved the overall flexibility of this car and resultant performance as few cars can outperform a well-driven '74 RS even today.
In May 1974, Porsche Cars Great Britain imported 5 RHD versions of the 54 built into Great Britain, which were all sold as road cars. The only other sole RHD car produced was chassis number 9103 supplied to Alan Hamilton the Porsche Importer in Australia. Porsche Cars Great Britain retained the white one chassis number 9100, and Porsche Cars Great Britain & AFN raced this car in the Production Sports Cars Championship driven by Nick Faure. The black one was sold to David Pennell as a road car and registered SMF 174M.
I went to all of these race meetings that year with Bill Bates taking photographs for Porsche Cars Great Britain & AFN.
On a number of occasions Nick took me in the Carrera RS, as it was street legal and was driven to and from each race on the public road. I recall coming home from Silverstone one evening and Nick got stopped by the police for speeding. Little did the police officer know we had been doing 130mph in places! Bill Bates was following us in his newly acquired fun Porsche 356 and Nick was demonstrating to me how the large rubber edged wail tail flattened as the car went into high speed. Nick watched this in his rear view mirror with me twisted round looking over my shoulder from the passenger’s bucket racing seat.
Nick had spotted the police car pull on to our road to follow us, so he slowed right down within the legal speed limit. The officer pulled us over and was very decent and Nick got off with a warning. Bill told us later as he drove past us, that he would have stood up for Nick in Court if necessary as he clearly saw the Nick was not speeding at the time, which was quite correct. However, Bill had not seen us earlier so he was stating the facts as he had witnessed things.  

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