Foreward

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Practice Rally Car


When we first started rallying with the Porsche 911SC RS, Chris Walles looked after the car extremely well, which was probably due to his engineering and East African Safari background. Chris was never going to be a 10/10 knife edge driver as he was always keeping within his personal limits and there was no way he would break the car through neglect.
However in the second half of the season, the 911SC RS rally car had much harder life, as we had given our drive to a new Qatari driver Abbas Al Moussawi, who had taken over at the insistence of Gulf Air, who wanted an Arab driver in our car they were sponsoring.
In order to avoid undue wear and tear on the rally car, Abbas came to Rob and they both came to me and they wanted a spare car for working out the pace notes of the Bahrain rally.
Rob suggested to me that he use my personal 1975 Porsche Carrera 911, as he did not want to use the Porsche SC RS rally car due as the car always needed a lot of work on it between rallies; so Rob told me this would also help him greatly. I agreed to this provided our Company would repair any damage at no personal cost to me, as it was my personal fun 911 Carrera. Rob agreed it would not need to be driven anywhere near competitively, so it would be fine, so I agreed to let them use my own 911 2.7 Carrera.
We equipped my car with a few basics like full-length aluminium under shield (we used the original one Porsche Weissach had supplied but we had not used on the 911 SC RS) and rally wheels and tyres and Rob also put up rated Bilstein dampers on it. It also had a trip meter fitted to the passenger side dash to allow the co-driver to work out the pace notes.
Everything proceeded fine until Abbas blew my engine up! I was not too concerned, as Rob would need to rebuild it for me in due course at Company expense, but I took Abbas aside and had a quiet word with him on the subject. Abbas had a lot of promise but we could not afford him blowing up engines and he needed to know the facts of the matter.
Unbeknown to me, Abbas went off behind my back to see the CEO of Gulf Air shortly after I had taken him aside and had my “quiet word”. I was called in to see Ali Al Malki and he asked for Abbas to be there as well. Apparently Abbas had told him about blowing up my road car and Gulf Air chipped in with some more “help”. Their support was a lot more forthcoming with Abbas driving which was a bonus.
After some thought, my idea was always to make my Carrera into a fun and fast streetcar. So I ordered a set of plastic RS body parts from Autofarm in the United Kingdom and had our body shop add factory 930 steel turbo wheel arch extension and respray my Carrera Pearl White metallic.
Rob took the engine apart and it was so badly damaged, I suggested it be replaced with a spare SC RS engine? Rob then rebuilt this as a spare SC RS engine and installed that for me. Everything was SC RS except the fuel injection system, which was still off the Bosch mechanical system of the street going 2.7 Carrera. However this could be set up to work quite successfully.
He also installed a cloverleaf clutch disk as well and I sported out for a set of 930 turbo wheels and tyres. I also had a lot of the trim removed and added a pair of Recaro plastic rally seats and four point Luke seat belts. The finished result was a very quick and street legal road car. I am not sure what the engine developed in power, but it could easily spin the wheels in 2nd gear in the dry, which was quite an achievement for a Porsche 911 with its exceptional traction. The only problem with this car went through rear tyres quite quickly, so I used ex-customer rear tyres most of the time to keep the costs under control when I drove it on the road.

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