John Coyne’s Tuthill Porsche 997 R-GT may have been in a class of its own on the 2017 Ulster Rally, but reaching the chequered flag to win that class involved negotiating some of the worst weather ever seen on this event. As high winds and torrential rain lashed the competitors from the very first stage, many big names were forced to retire, but Coyne and co-driver Stephen Joyce drove a meticulous rally all the way to the finish, to the great delight of the fans.
“We were really glad to reach the end in one piece!” said John at the end. “From our perspective, the stages were far from ideal for the Porsche. Very narrow and bumpy, with lots of mud and standing water. It was really, really tricky.
“I was most satisfied with our time on SS1, where we were 36th overall with all 76 cars still in. Now we look forward to our next rally with the Porsche, which will soon be announced. Thanks to Stephen for calling the notes, all the guys on the team who did a great job this weekend and to all the fans who turned out in atrocious weather to cheer us on – the support was very much appreciated!”
“Congratulations to John and Stephen for the class win and first rally in their Tuthill Porsche 997 R-GT,” said Richard Tuthill. “This year’s Ulster Rally was not an easy event, as demonstrated by several of the front-runners going out through incidents or technical problems. Staying in the rally is all part of the game and the Porsche drivers did that in style. Finishing first in class, sixteenth overall in the International category and up amongst the R2 cars and Mitsubishi Evos is a great result to build on.”
Photo by Philip Stewart