The first discussions on getting GT cars back into rallying to recapture some of the sport’s lost spectacle took place many years ago. Tuthill Porsche was at the vanguard of this campaign and our Porsche 997 R-GT car debuted on last year’s WRC Germany. Driven in Deutschland by team boss, Richard Tuthill, four-time WRC winner François Delecour took the wheel for WRC France.
Delecour returns to Tuthill Porsche for 2015, to compete in the R-GT Cup alongside long-time co-driver, Dominique Savignoni, and with part sponsorship from the Romanian Tourist Board. Running from January 19-25, the 2015 Monte Carlo Rally is the first event in the five-round R-GT Cup, which also includes the Ypres Rally, Rallye Deutschland, Rallye du Valais and the Tour de Corse.
Tuthill Porsche Monte Carlo Rally
Some Monte stages are almost 300 kilometres north of Monaco, closer to Gap and Grenoble. Weather forecasts are mixed, predicting heavy snow early on and sunnier days as the rally progresses. Tyre choice will be critical: we are on Michelin rubber. A mix of conditions across one long stage could swing the balance in any direction.
With an FIA-restricted power output down to 350 bhp, our Porsche is not going to win the rally overall. The battle is with our R-GT Cup competitors: Romain Dumas, past winner of the Le Mans, Nurburgring and Spa 24-Hour races driving a similar 997 R-GT car with the more powerful 4-litre engine, and Marc Duez: highly experienced in Porsche 911s with a number of top ten Monte finishes to his credit.
As passionate rally fans, our team is excited to compete in epic WRC events with great rally history, but our mission is to win the R-GT Cup. Can the Tuthill Porsche do it? Can François Delecour achieve his dream? We start fighting tonight: no turning back now.
Follow Tuthill Porsche on social media, or subscribe to the all-new WRC online feed: finally available in the UK for just £4.99 a month. Visit www.wrc.com for more details.
Main photo by Damien Pantoux