I contacted well-known local rally driver called Chris Walles, who had done quite well over the previous rally seasons in the Gulf, driving his privately entered Datsun car he owned. Chris had also competed in the East African Safari Rally and had finished twice, which was no mean achievement. In fact this got my attention more than any other information he gave me. He was from South Africa originally and worked for Gulf Air as an aircraft engineer for a number of years now.
I also approached Mike Simon, Advertising Manager of Gulf Air to see if they would sponsor the team, but Mike was worried about parts of a crashed rally car flying across the world’s media with Gulf Air’s logo on it! He was getting his motor racing and rallying mixed up so there was a bit of education to do. I had a number of meetings with him and their Public Relation Department, but the reception was mixed.
Jürgen Barth sent me a detailed specification and price for the 911 SC RS and the competition parts we would need to add to the standard car of which 20 limited edition cars was being produced.
I put a budget together for the entire season and presented my findings at the following Board Meeting.
It is in my nature to push for decisions in my favour that I think is right, and I was convinced we should all agree to do this Porsche rally car project. Bob Grafham started to come round throughout the meeting and he could see Porsche Design gaining out of this and said he would approach Wolfgang Schweiger and Hans Peter Porsche to help out with some sponsorship.
Rob was still worried about the impact of his department, so I suggested he prepare a budget of what it would cost us to prepare and run the car for the season. I even stated he should treat this as if our own team was an outside customer. He could then look at the project on its own merits and he could effectively bill his department’s time to the rally budget. He agreed to this and said he would put a detailed costing together for our next meeting.