Porsche 997 R-GT on the 2017 Donegal International Rally

The latest Tuthill Porsche 997 R-GT rally car has just been rolled out for testing ahead of the 2017 Donegal International Rally (scroll down for a short video). The base car – a Gen II Porsche 997 GT3 Cup – was prepared to the same spec which earned us victory in the 2015 FIA R-GT Cup, following memorable wins with François Delecour at WRC events including the Monte Carlo Rally and the magnificent Tour de Corse.

Prepared for John Coyne – originally a Dubliner, now living in Laguna Beach, California – our latest 997 R-GT looks simply stunning in its elegant livery of yellow and grey stripes over Porsche Carrara White. Richard has spent this weekend clocking up test miles around our Wardington workshop, to identify any minor issues for the R-GT crew to address.

We’re delighted to say that the car has proved flawless thus far, so all of our work has centred on suspension tweaks. There’s time for one more day of road testing before loading the R-GT to travel to Ireland on Monday, where we have a rally test arranged for the following day. Once that is complete, John and co-driver, Stephen Joyce, will head off to recce the rally. We’ll move the car to rally HQ in Letterkenny and prepare for scrutineering on Thursday.

Porsche Rallying in Ireland

Our last Irish outing was the 2015 Circuit of Ireland rally, part of the FIA European Rally Championship. Held in and around Belfast, the tight Circuit stages were a challenge for driver Robert Woodside and co-driver Allan Harryman. Robert had never rallied a Porsche before, but Coyne claims a distinct advantage in that respect.

As the 1982 Irish Tarmac Rally champion, John has not only rallied Porsches in the past, he actually rallied a Tuthill-built SWB 911 in the Irish Tarmac and British Historic Rally championships during the mid-1990s. Despite the 2-litre SWB’s reputation as one of the liveliest Porsche rally cars ever created, John scored several podium finishes while commuting back and forth to California where he served as one of Silicon Valley’s most dynamic CEOs. This speaks volumes about his Porsche credentials and rallying talent.

We’re excited to bring another R-GT car into rallying and can’t wait to see it entertaining the discerning fans of north-west Eire. The superb Donegal International Rally is one of our favourite events, anywhere in the world, and both driver and co-driver have substantial experience here. We look forward to an exciting weekend! Here is the video: