The Tuthill Porsche 997 R-GT rally car turned more than its fair share of heads during a recent appearance on the UK North West’s Promenade Stages Rally.
About the Promenade Stages Rally
Voted Wirral Event of the Year in 2014, the Promenade Stages Rally takes place around Kings Parade, New Brighton, where the River Mersey meets the Irish Sea. Promenade Stages is unique in the UK, as it is the country’s only closed-road stage rally and is run by the Wallasey Motor Club as a old-school family weekend away. Held over two days in early September, the thrilling floodlit night stages and high speed daylight tests attract tens of thousands of visitors, many of whom set up camp close to rally HQ in an overnight village of tents and caravans.
Top drivers travel from all over Britain to tackle the Promenade Stages’ tricky twists and turns, where speed and precision are key to a decent result. Behind the wheel of the Tuthill R-GT was John Stone, a two-time winner on the Promenade Stages in both a Skoda Fabia WRC car and a Metro 6R4.
Our 997 could not have been more different to his previous challengers, but John threw himself into the task with enthusiasm. A few stages was all it took to settle in to the 911 and John was soon confidently applying the handbrake in search of the perfect skid. The car behaved impeccably throughout the event and was one of the most popular machines, drawing rapt attention from spectators young and old.
John Stone: Porsche Rally Driver
“As a long-time Porsche fan with nine road cars over the years, rallying the R-GT was an ambition fulfilled,” said John Stone at the finish. “Having competed in World Rally Cars since 2009, R-GT was a return to good old-fashioned revs and muscular steering: very similar to the Metro 6R4s I have rallied in the past. It was great to work with Richard and the entire Tuthill Team, who have infectious enthusiasm for the car: I think they enjoyed it as much as I did. I’m hoping it’s not the last time that I’ll be rallying a Porsche.”
Tuthill Porsche R-GT and Wales Rally GB
“This has been the perfect weekend,” smiled delighted team boss, Richard Tuthill. “Gentleman drivers don’t come more gentlemanly than John Stone and Promenade Stages is one of the most enjoyable rallies I have ever attended. This wonderful family rally has allowed us to experience R-GT on a non-championship event, free from the relentless schedule that is part and parcel of FIA rallying. It’s exactly what I envisaged R-GT would be all about.
“The Tuthill Porsche 997 R-GT was recently approved for use on gravel events, so we hope to add more British rallies to next season’s calendar. We’ll continue to bring the excitement of R-GT rallying to rally fans across the UK, whose support for our R-GT programme is very much appreciated. With so little room for manoeuvre in the FIA R-GT Cup schedule, it’s a shame to miss this year’s Wales Rally GB, but we’ll see what we can do for 2016.”