It’s been another day of ups and downs for Tuthill Porsche in WRC Germany. Down came the rain and up went our car on the leaderboard!
Day 2 was long and difficult: many cars did not see the end. The day began with SS7: the 17.5-kilometre Stein and Wein stage. With an early start, the surface was cold and damp, which caused a few problems for some. Robert Kubica took the stage win with a 10.21.8. Richard and Stéphane came home 36th overall with a time of 11:50. “I’m pleased: that was a good run through a very slippy stage,” said Richard.
RGT versus WRC Cost
Finishing 36th on a stage may not sound that impressive, but remember we are running with a 36mm restrictor that costs us in the region of 100 horsepower. Our target competition is WRC3 cars (the production category), and we are right in the thick of that bunch. There is no chance of catching the £450,000 WRC 1 cars: that is not the aim of RGT rallying. All together, the WRC 1/2/3 entry list tallies about 65 competitors, so we’re happy to be in the middle of that and beating established WRC3 competitors on our first event.
Porsche RGT WRC Germany
SS8 was cancelled, when the current World Champion, Sebastien Ogier, had a major crash in the middle of the stage, destroying a critical section of armco barrier. The cars rolled on towards SS9 and that’s when the fun really started. ” That was just like a Safari stage” Richard said after. “Terrible surface: exceptionally rough concrete.” The mechanics had seen it coming, raising the ride height last night to prepare for today. Their work paid off, and would keep on paying.
SS9 was the Panzerplatte Arena: a simple 3.03-kilometre section where the drivers could run hard in front of the public. We had a good run, finishing just 13.8 seconds down on the leader, and jumping up another place overall. The car was now P40. SS10 was the Panzerplatte Lang: 42 kilometres with huge hinkelstein boulders waiting to catch the unwary. Catch them they did – so many crashes on that stage. The Tuthill Porsche 911 RGT made the first of its big leaderboard jumps here, moving from P40 up to P37 overall.
Porsche Jumps up the Leaderboard
After SS10 came the lunch break, then it was back on the road for repeat visits to all four morning stages, with the added twist of torrential rain. SS11 was kind to us, with another good time and another few places made: now we were P34 overall. SS12 was 10 kilometres of disaster waiting to happen: drivers emerging spoke of standing water, deep cuts in the verges and mountains of mud on the road. We were on wet tyres. “Sounds great,” said Richard, “perfect for us.”
So it proved, with a stunning 19th overall on the stage: an excellent 41 seconds behind stage winner Kubica, and in front of a number of WRC stars. We had now jumped up to 31st overall. Stage 13 was another great run back through Panzerplatte Arena: 21st overall on the stage, just nine seconds down on winner, Jari-Matti Latvala, compared to 14 seconds first time around.
Day 2 WRC Germany: Satisfied Porsche 911 Driver
Final stage of the day was another long run through the Panzerplatte Lang. After two excellent stage times, Richard and Stéphane erred towards caution and took it steady through the tricky drying stage that had wet patches waiting to pounce. We dropped one place overall, but finished the day highly satisfied.
“Our aim remains to finish,” said Graham Moore, Chief Engineer of the Tuthill Porsche 911 RGT programme. “We’ve learned so much about this incredible car, which has certainly shown the potential that we have been hoping for. Tomorrow is a 4-stage 75-kilometre run to the finish. Seeing that final chequered flag will be a great moment for all of our team.”