Sunday, 29 April 2012

Porsche 911 SC RS Rally Car

In the summer of 1983, Herbert Layder who was our contact with Porsche AG, Ludwigsburg in those days, mentioned that Porsche was planning to build 20 new 911 SC RS cars to homologate as rally cars. Because of our earlier rally effort with Joe Moussa, Herbert told me to contact Jürgen Barth if we were interested in buying a car and I subsequently called Jürgen to find out what his plans were?
Jürgen Barth was and is extremely well known in the competition world of Porsche and he was based in Weissach, the Porsche Research & Development Centre, where he was running this as one of his projects. He sent me some information on the Porsche 911 SC RS, which was known internally as Type 954.
I always thought the Porsche 911 would make an excellent rally car for us to enter into the Middle East Rally Championship, so this announcement for a special 911 SC RS for the following year, 1984 seemed perfect. Now Porsche had opened the door to the possibility of us entering a proper rally car by announcing the Porsche 911 SC RS.
The 911 SC RS engine was an evolution of the SC 3.0. The K-Jetronic mechanical injection was replaced by a six pistons Kugelfisher pump. The compression ratio was raised from 9.8:1 to 10.3:1 with new forged pistons. New overhead camshafts and valve settings ensure a higher rev limit. As a result, the engine type 930/18 developed 255 bhp @ 6,500 rpm with the street legal exhaust system. The oil cooler of the 911 SC RS, positioned in the front right wing, was enlarged and placed in the front spoiler. The gearbox type 915 also received an additional oil cooler (as on the Carrera 3.2) to support the increased torque developed by the engine. The gearbox ratios were different than standard ones as specified in the following table:

The SC RS was also fitted with a 40% locking anti-slip differential and a reinforced cloverleaf clutch. On the road, even in street version, the car was very quick to 160 kph, and it accelerated faster than the 300 bhp 911 turbo. However the top speed was lower than on the Carrera 3.2, due to the shorter gear ratios. The performance is compared with the 1983 911 turbo as follows:

911 SC/RS
911 turbo 3.3
0-100 kph
5.0 s
5.2 s
0-160 kph
11.7 s
11.8 s
standing kilometre
24.7 s
24.0 s
top speed
244 kph
260 kph

I brought the matter up at our next Board Meeting and suggested we order a car and enter it in the Middle East Rally Championship for the 1984 season, which was going to be the first FIA recognised Championship. I thought everyone would be in favour of this but surprisingly Rob McEwen was firmly against this from the moment I had mentioned it!
Rob was under pressure internally from all of us, to make the Service/Repair side of the business more profitable and he said, “This would be a major distraction” and therefore was firmly against it.
I argued that this would put us as well as Porsche on the map in the Middle East and we could get a big sponsor to pay for it, such as Marlborough, Rothmans or someone similar. No decision was made so I put it back on the agenda for the next meeting and in the meantime, I set to work to put a package together to present to my colleagues at that time. 

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