We are proud to support our classic Porsche rally cars on epic adventures all over the world. Our furthest-flung adventure in 2018 will be the Classic Outback Trial from August 18th – 25th. As the name suggests, this seven-day rally is run in the heart of the Australian Outback, with the stages forming part of daily loops returning to Alice Springs every evening, allowing the service crews to be based in one place for the duration of the event.
Alice Springs: Rally HQ
Built on the Todd River in the foothills of the MacDonnell Ranges, Alice Springs is in Australia’s famous Northern Territory, practically smack-bang in the centre of the continent. Summer temperatures in this region (sometimes known as the Red Centre due to the colour of the sand) can average over 35 degrees Celsius, making the location a real challenge for rally cars.
Australia is no stranger to tough marathon rallies: the first ‘Round Australia’ event was run in 1953. Marathon rallies combine speed, endurance and reliability, which we believe our cars excel at delivering. We have rallied in Australia many times as part of our winning history on the London to Sydney, so we are excited to see how well our latest Safari 911s perform on a variety of roads and tracks ranging from fast sandy cattle station roads to steep tight and hilly tracks through the rugged MacDonnell Ranges.
Joost van Cauwenberg in Australia
We’re delighted to be preparing Joost van Cauwenberg’s highly successful Tuthill Porsche 911 (above) for this event. Winner of the 2016 Rally of the Incas and a former podium finisher in Morocco, Joost has delivered strong results in many marathon rallies including the London to Cape Town event. This serial adventurer adores desert rallying and enjoyed several outings on the original Paris-Dakar.
“Off-road racing was a dream until the day in January 1991 that I stood at the start of the Dakar and the dream was fulfilled,” says Joost on his love of the African wilderness. “Dreams have long since made way for the passion. I enjoy these adventures with true friends: an amateur team with a professional attitude where friendship is still our greatest asset. By participating in the Dakar and other competitions, one may experience that feeling of true insignificance in the face of the immense, frightening, treacherous and indescribably beautiful desert.”
Joost’s 911 has been completely stripped ahead of shipping to Australia, including an engine and transmission rebuild and a complete chassis overhaul. We’re were pleased to find no major issues with the engine, which required only consumable parts to return to full health after several seasons of rallying since it was first built six years ago. This is usually the case with all of our rally cars: the air-cooled flat six is a truly heroic piece of engineering.
Getting rally cars into Australia is no small task, so Joost’s 911 will be setting off later this month. We look forward to following his progress when the car takes the start in Alice Springs just a few months from now.
Main photo by Gerard Brown