Toggle Sidebar
News Feed

Currently filtering items tagged with #FIA


  • Post is under moderation
    HILLCLIMB #Citroen-AX / #Citroen

    Hillclimbing is massive business over in Germany, and as a result it spawns nutty cars, including this mad looking AX which revs to 9800rpm!

    ‘KING OF THE HILL’

    What do you do if you’re done getting your adrenaline fix from racing bikes? Build a storming Berg Cup AX, that’s what! Words: Jamie. Arkle Photos: Axel Weichert.

    Hill climbing is a serious business in Germany, bigger in near enough every quantifiable way than it is over here. Of course the very top tier of the country’s myriad of hill climb championships is the infamous KW Berg Cup, where be-winged monsters, DTM-refugees and the odd ex-F1 car take turns to shoot up faintly ridiculous mountain passes. It all makes Prescott Hill and Gurston Down seem a mite tame, something that only becomes clearer when you delve into the various sub-classes and take a closer look at some of the cars. Opel Kadetts, VW Golfs and BMW 3-Series are all incredibly popular, but there are also some left field choices, such as Corsa As (Novas in Vauxhall-speak), Toyota Starlets, and the Citroen AX you see here.


    In a field largely dominated by rear wheel drive classics and ballistic single seaters, this little Citroen stands out a mile, and for all the right reasons. It’s been built by Manfred Schulte, a successful motorcycle racer with a penchant for speed and extreme builds. The AX holds a special place in Manfred’s affections as it was the car he began his association with hill climbing in, though the actual car he started out with was somewhat more prosaic in spec than the one you see here. “It was just a little AX Sport, so it had a 1.3 8v engine with a race cam, some induction and exhaust modifications and a lot of weight saving,” Manfred recalls.


    There’s no doubt that this little car provided the ideal means for Manfred to cut his teeth in the world of ‘mountain racing,’ but there was no disguising its limitations, nor the fact that it was pretty much a clubman spec car. Manfred was keen to progress in the sport, but he was also aware that this would be costly and that he may as well utilise the experience he’d acquired by competing in the AX – which leads us neatly to this little Gallic monster. This car came into Manfred’s ownership midway through 2010, and it took just hours for him to begin disassembling and prepping it for a life of punishing hill climbs.

    “It was a clean, low mileage shell, so perfect for the kind of thing I had in mind. There wasn’t any rust to speak of, so I was clear to jump in and start stitch welding the shell, strengthening and bracing the engine bay and the suspension points,” recalls Manfred.

    He also took the wise (not to mention necessary) step of fitting a whopper of a roll cage, a welded in one that triangulates with both the front and rear strut tops, runs along the dash and criss-crosses the entire shell. Obviously a cage like this is primarily there for safety purposes (some of those German road courses climb to considerable heights, with sheer drops to match), but it also provides strength to the tinny AX bodyshell, something badly needed once the fibreglass doors, bonnet and boot are factored in.

    This period of the build also saw Manfred address one of the major shortcomings of his previous AX, width.

    “The old car was fairly stock looking. OK so we flared the arches a little to fit slightly wider wheels, but it still wasn’t that much, and it restricted the size of tyres we could run,” Manfred explains. There was no way that the new AX was going to want for mechanical grip, something that explains the massively flared arches front and rear. This car is almost comically wide, with more than a touch of Metro 6R4 about its silhouette (which is no bad thing in our book). Those arches have been painstakingly constructed from carbon fibre, with the fronts working perfectly with that ultra-aggressive, demonstrably effective front splitter. The rear end is dominated by that bi-plane rear wing, and again it’s hard not to make comparisons to Group B machines. “We tried to make the aero package as efficient as possible, but of course it’s a challenge when you’re working to a tight budget and don’t have a wind tunnel,” Manfred says.

    Perhaps the most ambitious aspect of the AX’s aero kit is the flat floor and rear diffuser. This has been achieved through careful use of carbon fibre and Kevlar, and though it’s still a long way from the kind of thing seen in early 80s F1 cars, this DIY ground effect does provide a noticeable increase in the amount of grip available.


    Propulsion comes in the form of a TU engine, but not the kind you’ll find in your average PSA product. This TU5JP4 1.6 16v was ‘liberated’ from a full-fat C2 Super 1600 rally car, meaning a fully forged bottom end, carefully worked over head, and a screaming rev limit of 9800RPM! The engine breathes through a set of 48mm KMS individual throttle bodies, while at the opposite side you’ll find a custom free-flowing manifold and a 70mm straight through stainless steel exhaust. Power is 243bhp, though there’s potentially more to come should a winter of development and fettling provide the results they are expected to.

    “The jump in power and responsiveness over the old 8v engine is just night and day. It’s a lot more modern and allows us to compete against the other cars in the class, like the Corsa, the Golfs, Polos and Sciroccos.”


    That manic 1600 engine is mated to an equally trick transmission, with spec highlights including a Drexler six-speed sequential gearbox and LSD, heavy duty, tarmac-spec driveshafts, and Xsara hubs. When coupled with the KW V2 coilovers, rose-joints and reinforced suspension mounting points, it perhaps shouldn’t be that surprising that this little Citroen is more than capable of handling all that NA shove.


    Massive brakes aren’t actually as important to hill climbing as you might think (let’s face it, you’re not going to excel in the sport if you’re stamping on the brakes while going uphill), with many of the fastest cars actually running tiny motorbike brakes on the rear axle in an effort to save weight. Of course this AX weighs pretty much nothing at all, but a desire to keep it as usable as possible means than Manfred runs relatively large 310mm discs with ATE four-pot calipers, plus competition spec fluid, pads and braided discs. Suffice it to say that this is one hatch that really can ‘stop on a dime.’

    “It’s not as powerful as some of the other cars out there, but because it’s so light I can brake very, very late, sometimes not at all. That’s how I make up time,” chuckles Manfred.

    Those stoppers are housed inside seriously cool BBS split rims, 10x15in at the front and a massive 10.5x15in at the back. (hence the need for those equally beefy arches) Tyres vary depending on the conditions, but most of the time Manfred runs super sticky Avon track slicks front and rear.


    The inside is dominated by that mammoth roll cage, and there’s no way you’d mistake this for anything other than a specialised, full-fat competition machine. It’s certainly a far cry from Manfred’s first AX! Creature comforts are thin on the ground, though you will find a Konig carbon fibre bucket seat, a floor mounted pedal box, a ten gallon fuel cell with twin pumps, a brake bias valve, and a sophisticated AIM data logging system with a built in camera (there’s no point putting in banzai times if you can’t see the results for yourself at a later date!).


    The AX first turned its wheels in anger at the start of the 2012 season and proved itself to be immediately competitive and reliable, thanks in no small part to the sheer number of brand new components that’ve been used throughout. Manfred has been more than able to hold his own against some cars that, on paper at least, look to have the beating of the AX, and in fact he emerged as the overall winner of his group. There’s still more performance to come though, with that super 1600 TU engine currently running at a fairly moderate spec and a few revisions to the aero package in development, so we expect a lot more lunacy in the near future!


    Super 1600 race engine was liberated from a C2 and is currently at 245bhp, with more to come over the winter!

    In a bid to increase grip Manfred fitted massive arches to accomodate huge slicks, and an extensive aero package was painstakingly crafted.

    Specification #Citroen-AX / #Citroen-AX-Super-1600

    ENGINE: 1600cc #TU5JP4 16v Super 1600 engine with 48mm #KMS individual throttle bodies on short manifold, fully forged internals, lightened and balanced crank, H-beam con rods, lightweight valves with double valve springs, custom profile camshafts, free-flowing head wrapped manifold, 70mm stainless straight through exhaust with side exit, standalone management, alloy header tank, alloy fan, Aerogrip braided lines.

    TRANSMISSION: Drexler six-speed sequential gearbox and LSD, motorsport spec #Drexler driveshafts, Xsara hubs.

    SUSPENSION: #KW-V2 coilovers, adjustable top mounts, rose jointed front end, strengthened suspension mounting points.

    BRAKES: ATE four-pot calipers with 310mm fully floating discs all round, braided lines, competition pads and fluid.

    WHEELS: Front: 10x15in three-piece #BBS split rims, Avon racing slicks Rear: 10.5x15in three-piece BBS split rims, Avon racing slicks.

    EXTERIOR: Stitch welded and braced Citroen AX body shell with carbon fibre doors, arches, skirts, splitter, spoiler, tailgate, bonnet and diff user, carbon-kevlar under-body panel.

    INTERIOR: Multi-point #FIA compliant roll cage, Konig carbon fibre bucket seat, AIM data system with onboard camera, OMP wheel on a snap off boss, ATL 10l fuel safety cell with twin pumps, fire suppression system, floor mounted pedal box, Plexiglas windows, remote engine shut offs.

    “We tried to make the aero package as efficient as possible, but of course it’s a challenge when you’re working to a tight budget”

    Hillclimbing is massive in Germany, so much so that it spawns monsters like this AX!

    Interior is pure focused race car.
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    Hardly a supercar makes it an amateur so easy to drive fast, like the new #Audi R8. With a little secret exercise in dad eight should be possible a duel against a real racer. So at least the plan.


    My excuse is perfect: "I am a sleep Racer. This is a rare subtype of sleepwalker. "That's what I wanted to say in my defence, you should actually caught me. Because that would be entirely rational and understandable to explain everything: the Audi R8, the smoking tires, the race track. And of course the night.

    Portugal, Portimão, Autódromo do Algarve. An ultra-modern racing facility, built in 2008, like a velvety blanket placed delicately over the hilly topography of the region. The run-off areas are mostly tarred and extremely generous. Even Formula 1 came here already ago for testing. So ideal conditions for a nocturnal flying blind.

    But to be honest is not the whole story. The official part, so to speak. The real story is much more complex and involves a plan - a mischievous hare and hedgehog game. However, the plan has one serious catch: I, the hedgehog, try it alone.


    It all starts in the afternoon before that ominous night. Cavort about a dozen journalists, to a few experts and racing driver Markus Winkelhock at the racetrack. As an introduction to the new R8 he takes passengers in his R8 LMS race cars. Conclusion: Why not challenge a racer?

    Now it makes little sense to simply ask an experienced racer to a duel, especially if this, you still can refer to the #FIA GT1 World Championship title in 2012 and winning races in various series in addition to the glorious family name. Even leading laps in Formula 1 he succeeded in 2007. With me is because only a four-week ban, which I once caught me at the Norisring in Nuremberg. It was an ordinary day. Since true pace 50. Without exception.


    In fact, so my chances for a duel could hardly have are worse. But I think it has always been there with Don Quixote: "Facts, my dear Sancho, the enemies of the truth are. "In addition, I have a plan: I want to work at night in secret on the track. If I find my way blindfolded, the racing line during the day should be no problem. The rest will be done the very fine art of Audi. That's the theory. Under a pretext I say goodbye early from the other and hide at the racetrack. When all are gone, the dawn is already fallen. I'm still waiting a bit for safety, then I sneak to the pit area. A bit stupid I feel already, as I so tapse on tiptoe, finally I want the same light a 5.2-liter unit, and this may only be considered quiet and restrained, if by chance next to someone to start a fighter jet. The keys to the car, I have to keep the same evening, I wanted to use the sun for some nice photos. "The best light and so." No one became suspicious.


    To my amazement, the pit area is not blocked. And since he is then in the semi-darkness. The Audi R8. Flat. Because such a car has to be once flat now. The flatter the better. Nevertheless, the entry succeeds amazingly comfortable and also in the interior, the space for a super sports car is almost generous. At least compared with the consolidated brother Lamborghini Huracán. And this difference is important are the two but otherwise great similarities in the tender documents: the same platform, in both cases, a longitudinally mounted V10 Sucker, identical displacement, 610bhp, 560 Nm of torque, seven-speed dual clutch transmission. And wheel.

    With a red button right on the steering wheel I start the R8. The sound of hammering back the walls and the ceiling. A button on the left on the steering wheel turns everything racing. There are not as many buttons on the steering wheel like in Formula 1, but you get still equal this Racer tingling. Short I am still waiting, whether equal to a chief mechanic occurs before the car to give me the go-ahead. But there's nobody. I'm all alone with the R8. Roll-out!

    I try to remember the two fast laps with Markus Winkelhock. Where were his braking points? Where it has been articulated? What line he drove? And the first three corners folds surprisingly well, almost instinctively. But then suddenly my memory lets me down. After the hill to the left? I think so. In third gear it's the tip up, the R8 is easy, the speed needle prances somewhere around 5,000, the rear axle announces that she wants to look to the future times, a quick glance it may, it must again backwards. All very easy. It's fun - it's not fast.

    And Winkelhock would certainly at the next curve. I exhort themselves to be more disciplined. Just one lap. Then the R8 pushes back across all fours. At night around long to heat with the Audi on a racetrack, is an inevitable feeling of Le Mans. Permanent tunnel vision. Like a madman I race to this small cone of light, like a drill his way through the black night. I want me quickly memorize the route, rely but then again on the new Audi headlights with matrix LED technology. The function just as well as the X-ray vision of Superman. I can not look through walls so.


    After three laps I drive a fast lap to cool the #Audi-R8 something. Although: Actually, this is true only for the tires. The PCCB contrast is stable as a bouncer. But the standard road rubber is from bend to bend noticeably hotter, after three rounds I slip sometimes like a sheet of ice. Before I start to collect B-notes for pirouettes, I prefer cool now and then somewhat.


    The more fast laps I drive, the more familiar are the R8, the racetrack and I. It makes one of Audi extremely easy. He not, he does not buck, it does not rum. He is a loyal companion, the Ross with 610 horses. After 15 laps, I feel like a young racer. After 25 rounds as an established professional, after 35 laps as Niki Lauda. I even practice already interviews with Viennese accent. Only with curve eleven I always problems. But that is certainly "on the nerdish curves".

    Then a stutter. And again. Suddenly, the R8 takes the gas to not work properly. My trusty steed lame. No more pressure, especially from the fast corners out. Only I think of an engine failure, but then I will quickly clear that the fuel runs out. What to do? I roll the first time back to the pits, park the R8. He crackles from the Treterei like a fireplace. Then I look for fuel, only in the box, then in the paddock. I find a gas station. Hope. But the cock stays dry. It's like in England after curfew. I sneak back to the R8. I fummle a pair of rubber residues from the rear tire. Then I ask him: "Do you think we are ready," No answer. "After all, no No," I think. Meanwhile, the clock shows 1.17 clock. I decide that needs rich and a few hours sleep can not hurt. From the hotel.


    Freshly showered and best things I come back in the morning to the racetrack. The big day has arrived. I have specially brought a gauntlet. A few colleagues achieved by counting past successes and young girls. A bit of small talk, then I inquire about Markus Winkelhock. "He's already left," said a colleague, "the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps." Since the long-distance race was taking place but on weekends. At a stroke shatters my ingenious plan. The many rounds that sleepless night, the eternal quarrel with curve eleven, it was all for naught. "Crucifix," escape even the dumb Lauda in me.
    "Spa so."

    "Yes, Spa," confirmed Mr. I want to cry out loud. Toben like a Rumpelstiltskin. But that would betray me. Then I think of Don Quixote. Giving up is not an option. And so arises only one question: Is the racetrack in Spa night actually free?

    TECH DATA #2016 #Audi-R8-V10-Plus
    ENGINE V10 naturally aspirated engine
    DISPLACEMENT 5204 cc
    POWER 610Bhp DIN (449 kW)
    MAX. TORQUE 560 NM
    Max speed 330 kmh
    (0-62 mph) 0-100 kmh 3.2 seconds

    At night around long to heat with the Audi on a racetrack, is an inevitable feeling of #Le-Mans . Permanent tunnel vision.
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    WRECK TO RACER

    Die-hard Vauxhall fan Steve ‘Gromitt’ Hucker fastidiously collected parts from six cars destined for the scrap heap, building them into this incredible #Vauxhall-Cavalier-BTCC-Replica race car on an exceedingly tight budget. Words & images: Matt Robinson.

    We can all appreciate a good car project regardless of how much money is behind it, but when someone puts together a stunning motor like this British Touring Car Championship replica Vauxhall Cavalier for next to nothing, they’ve earned our undying respect. The work of Walsall-based Steve Hucker (better known as ‘Gromitt’ to his friends), this brilliant Vauxhall has been built up over two and a half years, mostly from parts taken from cars destined for the scrapheap.


    A die-hard Vauxhall fan, Steve runs Vaux- Speed, a Vauxhall breaker and tuning specialist in Walsall. Having looked after all sorts of different cars for customers for years, Steve wanted a new project of his own to sink his teeth into. “I thought I’d build something a bit different for myself. I’ve always loved touring cars, it seemed a bit more unusual to do a Cavalier as they only ran for six years in the BTCC,” he explains. A complete eight-valve 4x4 Cavalier came up on eBay, and looked to be the perfect starting point for the project, apparently needing only a new clutch to get it going. When he got hold of the car, however, it needed a little bit more than just a clutch. “Things on eBay aren’t always listed 100 per cent, one person’s ‘just wants a clutch’ is another person’s ‘needs a complete engine rebuild and whatever else!’” Steve chuckles.

    Nevertheless, it was a good starting point for around £200, and gave Steve a good base on which he could slowly build on, whenever he had available funds for parts. Not long after, an eight-valve GSI lookalike was spotted and quickly snapped up as a donor, primarily to pilfer the doors. As it was an earlier car, it came without the impact bars in the doors, helping shave off a little extra weight. Not much happened on the project for a while, but another car came up that would enable the build to surge forward, as it had a full roll cage. It belonged to someone Steve had done business with in the past, but without the spare capital to drop on the car, he reluctantly had to leave it. Some time later, he happened upon the car again while browsing eBay. On this occasion it was just the shell up for grabs, as the new owner had taken out the engine and a few other parts for another project, and was selling the leftovers. This time Steve was adamant that he was going to have it. The original deal with the seller fell through, but with the garage in which the shell was being stored due for imminent demolition, it needed to go quickly. It was offered to Steve at a price too good to refuse.

    Steve opted to keep the original eightvalve shell due to its superior condition, and transplanted whatever he could from his new donor car, including the all-important roll cage. The only problem with the eight valve shell was the presence of a sunroof. That’s not the sort of thing you’d normally find on a race car, so Steve removed the roof from yet another Cavalier shell which was en-route to the scrapheap, and transplanted it onto the project.


    With the car coming together nicely, it was time to think about the paintwork. To keep the car as unique as possible, Steve wanted to go for the little-known 1994 Cavalier BTCC livery. “I only worked off one picture of the original BTCC car. This colour scheme was only used for 1994; it’s not documented that well, so it was quite a struggle, but I was determined because I wanted it to stand out,” Steve explains. He was presented with two options to achieve the white, grey and red colour scheme: either to use decals for the entire job, or have it painted in white/grey/ red and just use decals for the sponsor names and logos. A friend was confident he could achieve the look successfully with the latter method, and we have to say, the results are superb. There are a few differences compared to the real thing, owing to Steve’s personal preferences, but the overall look is very close.


    Steve has put a lot of effort into taking weight out wherever possible, not just in going for the impact bar-less doors. Absolutely everything unnecessary has been removed; he even laid out the wiring loom on the workshop floor and binned what wasn’t needed, shaving an extra 20kg. “It isn’t a lot, but every bit you save is good. It’s different to just taking a road car and saying ‘right, I’ll take the seats out and rip the door panels off and call it a track car.” This attitude shows when you get into Steve’s Cavalier. All the proper racing car parts are there; a Corbeau seat with a six-point FIA approved harness, FIA approved cut-out switch, and fi re extinguisher system.


    Losing weight isn’t enough on its own, of course; the suspension and brakes also needed an overhaul to make sure they were up to the task of track work. Koni Competition adjustable shocks went in at each corner, with 90mm customs springs on the back, and 60mm standard road springs on the front. The latter is just a stop gap, and any day now a similar set of custom springs will go in, giving a much lower level of body roll. While the idea of a nice but pricey set of coilovers is a tempting one, custom springs are the way forward, and not just for the sake of the budget. “There are a couple of places that still make custom poundage springs. The beauty of that is once they have the spec of your car, you can pick the phone up, order a set of springs and within 24 hours you’ve got a new set on your doorstep for the price of standard springs,” Steve explains. This also means he won’t need to hunt around for springs with the correct poundages, which wouldn’t be easy considering the very specific, custom nature of the car. To help bring things to a stop a little quicker, meanwhile, Steve has swapped out the standard front brakes for a set of four-pot calipers over 320mm discs.


    Another important aspect for Steve to get right was an inboard fuel tank setup, to further ape the proper race-spec Cavalier. Normally, this wouldn’t be cheap, but a contact through Shenstone and District Sprint club had a tank going spare which he could use. It was designed for a BMW, but some alterations to the pipework and the addition of a swirl pot made it suitable for the Vauxhall. It wasn’t all plain sailing, however. The Cavalier destroyed several fuel pumps before it was worked out that fuel was atomising before entering the pump, causing it to burn out. Further adaptations were made to the set up, and a larger fuel pump added, and it’s been perfect ever since.

    Steve’s tight budget has meant the 2.0-litre eight-valve has stayed in place rather than the most obvious engine transplant option of a ‘red top’ Vauxhall XE engine. However, it’s no ordinary eight-valve; this one is sporting an Irmscher intake manifold, larger throttle body, gas-flowed head and Kent camshaft. The result is about 160bhp, a thoroughly respectable number, especially considering the weight figure is now well under a tonne. Around the base figure you’d get in an XE, in fact, but with a much simpler engine to work on. “What I’ve spent on the engine, you’d spend on just rebuilding the bottom end of a red top these days,” Steve points out.


    The car is road legal, but with the slightly tricky task of climbing in through that beefy role cage a necessity of getting behind the wheel, Steve mostly reserves public highway driving for testing, rather than convenience. It sees plenty of track action, with its happiest hunting ground being Curborough Sprint Course near Lichfield, where we photographed the car being driven in anger.

    As much as Steve loves the end product, it’s the build itself of this, and his prior projects, that he really gets a kick out of, especially if he can keep the cost low and get the biggest bang for his buck. “They’re not mega budget cars, but they’re really nicely built. That’s the enjoyment of building them for me,” he explains. And when it comes to the Cavalier project, the car is pretty much where Steve wants it to be right now. “Once I’ve done the front suspension I will say ‘yes, it’s finished,’ it’ll just be tweaking and adapting after that,” he says. Of course, there are still tempting avenues to explore, such as individual throttle bodies, so we’ll be interested to see what avenues he chooses to pursue in the future.

    As a man who’s always got a project on the go, it’s not outside the realms of possibility that Steve could end up selling the car, but that seems unlikely for now. “It’s possible I suppose, if someone offers me a ludicrous amount of money for it!” he chuckles. Steve has already turned down an offer for what he describes as a “substantial amount of money,” which we can more than understand, as his journey with this car is far from over. Why? The answer is simple. “I want to enjoy it more.” After seeing Steve having a great time hustling this home-brewed hero on track for ourselves, we hope he gets that wish.

    SPECIFICATION #Vauxhall-Cavalier / #Vauxhall / #Opel / #Opel-Vectra

    ENGINE: #Vauxhall-20SEH eight-valve, gas-flowed head, Kent camshaft and pully, enlarged throttle body, Irmscher inlet manifold, Pipercross air filter, custom inboard fuel tank with internal swirl pot, high-pressure bootmounted fuel pump, full 2.5-inch Ashley exhaust (centre exit).

    TRANSMISSION: F20 gearbox, Quaife differential.

    SUSPENSION: Polybushed all round, Koni Competition adjustables, custom springs.

    BRAKES: Four-pot front calipers with 320mm discs, standard rear brakes.

    WHEELS & TYRES: 17-inch Team Dynamics alloy wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes.

    INTERIOR: Fully stripped, Corbeau bucket seat with six-point #FIA approved harness, FIA approved cut-off switch, fi re extinguisher, polycarbonate door panels, full Custom Cages competition roll cage.

    EXTERIOR: Eight-valve 4x4 shell, full GSI body kit, single wiper conversion, #1994 #BTCC Jeff Allam livery.

    “To keep the car as unique as possible, Steve wanted to go for the little known 1994 #Vauxhall-Cavalier-BTCC livery.”
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    Iconic #1972 Batmobile at auction / #BMW-E9 / #BMW-3.0-CSL / #BMW-3.0-CSL-E9 / #BMW-3.0-CSi-Batmobile-CSL-FIA-Gp4-Race-Car / #BMW

    WITH AN ESTIMATE OF BETWEEN £130-£150K, GETTING YOUR HANDS ON THIS FIA GROUP 4 BATMOBILE IS A BMW ENTHUSIAST’S DREAM!

    Spotted up for grabs at H&H’s Imperial War Museum Duxford sale last month, this genuine Batmobile CSL racecar, which has been campaigned for 30 years, was earmarked for a new racing owner.

    The brochure information for Lot 77 was a mammoth read in itself. This #Batmobile was constructed in 1981 around a 3.0 CSi shell by BMW racing guru Chris Randall of Zaprace for his own use. For a while it passed into the hands of Tim Busby who, among other things, switched it from right to left-hand drive and campaigned it in the iconic Luigi racing colours. Following Busby's death, Randall bought the car back and re-engineered It before selling the BMW to Nick Whale.

    Whale is known to have invested a lot of money in the car with #Techspeed-Motorsport , which equipped it with all the correct brake and suspension components, plus air jacks, centre lock wheels and a reliable Lester Owen engine that produced some 350bhp running on #Kugelfischer fuel injection. He and Ian Guest successfully raced the BMW throughout Europe for 10 years, running it in both Patrick Peter’s Endurance Series and the Masters championship for Post-Historic Touring Cars. They also finished first in Plateau B of the 2006 Le Mans Classic.

    In #2010 the car was acquired by the vendor who ran it last year in the Masters and Legends Series, paired with Chris Conoley of #MASS-Racing . They achieved fourth overall and first in class in the Masters at Donington, third overall and first in class in the Legends at Donington, fifth overall and class winners at Legends at Portimao and overall winners in the JD Classics Challenge.

    This Batmobile made £134,400 at auction and was sold complete with #FIA HTP papers and numerous spares and is eligible for the #2012 #Le-Mans Classic as well as Legends, Masters and Youngtimers series. What a rare opportunity to buy such an iconic race car! We can only think that the new owner is still rubbing his/her hands with glee...

    Sold For £134,400
    Reg Number: Un-Reg
    Chassis Number: 2331066
    Engine Number: 7427831
    Cc: 3498
    Body Colour: White
    Trim Colour: Black
    MOT ExpiryDate: None
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    How racing makes technology go faster. #Porsche-928 S4 #1988 advert brochure / #Porsche

    On August 7, #1986 , at the salt flats of #Bonneville , a test driver named Al Holbert set two new #FIA international speed records.

    171.110 mph for the flying mile. And 171.926 mph for the flying kilometer.

    Afterward, he remarked that the run was very smooth and comfortable. And that his only regret was that he had not played the stereo as there was virtually no noise from the engine.

    The air he was driving was a stock Porsche 928S4. The most technologically advanced Porsche you can get.

    'The 928S4 has a near 50/50 weight distribution, which, combined with its patented Weissach Rear Axle, gives not only a feeling of unwavering stability, but the kind of precise, responsive handling that makes driving a celebration, instead of mere transportation.

    Its electronically monitored Anti-Lock Braking System brings it to a quick, sure, arrow-straight stop, regardless of road conditions.

    Its front mounted, liquid-cooled fuel injected V8 engine produces 316 horsepower which is capable of accelerating the #Porsche-928S4 from zero to sixty in 5.7 seconds.

    This is due, in large part, to a four valve head design that was the direct product of Porsche racing technology, adapted from the 956/962C endurance Le Mans. Six times. In a row.

    At Porsche, our engineers have always believed that driving cars fast is the best way to learn about building fast cars. It is a belief whose effectiveness is best illustrated by another remark Mr. Holbert made as he stepped from the record-breaking 928S4 he drove on the flats. You do gather up some road pretty quick?
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    SPIRIT OF #1977 #BMW-E12 530i RACE CAR

    A wonderful evocation of the #BMW-E12-UFO Five under the spotlight. Phil Perryman’s E12 #BMW-530i-E30 caused quite a stir at Goodwood’s 73rd Members’ Meeting this year – those swirling stripes had everybody hypnotised. We get to grips with 2015’s most colourful tribute act… Words: Daniel Bevis /// Photography: Gary Hawkins

    It may be painted like a big top, but it’s more scary than it is jovial. And the sound from that cannon-bore side-exit exhaust? It’s shouty on an interstellar level.


    A heartfelt tribute is a wonderful thing. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as the hackneyed old cliché goes, and the world is jam-packed with people and places paying tribute to the things that inspire them. When notable art forgers are arrested, they usually claim that their efforts are in tribute to their creative heroes rather than trying to steal a little of their reflected glory, and you can see the logic of that (even if it’s not always true). The glimmering city of Las Vegas is so enamoured of global architecture that it features its own replica Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, Egyptian pyramids, and even a little Statue of Liberty. And there’s another Statue of Liberty replica in Kosovo; Thames Town near Shanghai replicates much of London; heck, in Virginia there’s even a copy of Stonehenge made entirely of foam. It’s called, as you might imagine, Foamhenge. A little respectful copying is what keeps creativity vibrant and alive – this sort of behaviour is effectively a dedicated real-world version of clicking Facebook’s ‘like’ button. Wear your influences on your sleeve, that’s the key.

    The car you’re looking at here is a very real embodiment of this train of thought. Its colourful lines seek to evoke the #1977 Luigi Racing #BMW-530i , a brawny Big Six-powered Bavarian bruiser that proudly wore the disco livery of UFO Jeans. UFO was a brand noted for its ostentation and flair – literally, in the case of its galactically broad bell-bottoms – so the swooping stripes of the race car do much to reinforce this corporate ethos. It’s like World War I dazzle camouflage, refracted through the lens of LSD culture.

    The original car was a very notable thing as well, taking copious scalps over a reign of terror that took in much of Europe, pivoting around the team’s Belgian base. It had a long and illustrious racing career, entering the Spa 24 Hours no less than five times and campaigning in the #ETCC in #1977 , #1978 , #1979 , #1980 and #1981 , as well as kicking no small amount of backside on the Belgian Touring Car Championship.

    The livery may not be as iconic and ubiquitous as, say, Jägermeister or #BASF , but to those who remember, this UFO 5 Series was pretty hot stuff. It really seems to mean something at Goodwood too, which is where we first laid eyes on this loving tribute in all its technicolour glory. Indeed, as the 530i’s owner Phil Perryman cheerfully admits, it was the organisers at Goodwood who helped him come up with the livery. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though… if this isn’t the original UFO 530i, what is it? “Well, it’s actually a car that I remember racing against in the early 1990s,” Phil recalls, luxuriating into the tale like a pub raconteur in an old leather armchair. “When Goodwood announced the 72nd Members’ Meeting for 2014, and that it would include a race for 1970s Group 1 cars, I immediately thought of this BMW. I contacted the owner, but unfortunately he refused to sell at that time, and I ended up failing to find a car for that meeting. But by October of last year, the car ended up becoming available to buy, it was offered to me, and I snapped it up! I approached Goodwood, which was very excited about the idea of having such an iconic car on the grid, and the scene was set…”


    It’s worth pointing out at this juncture that Phil is a racer with some pedigree. A few of you will be familiar with his form already, of course, but for the uninitiated, here it is in a dinky little nutshell: He began racing in the 1970s with grasstracking, hot rods on short ovals, all the kinds of motorsport that involve picking flies out your teeth and having a fairly broad view of one’s own mortality. Some karting and a smattering of circuit racing followed through the 1980s, since which time he’s been heavily involved in race car preparation. “I have been building and preparing historic race cars for myself and customers for many years now,” he explains, “including Austin Westminsters, Corvettes, Camaros, Cobras, Capris, Minis, GT40s…” (this list continues for some time – he’s been a very busy man – and we return from sticking the kettle on to catch the tail end of it) “…BMW CSis, CSLs, M5s, and now this E12.” So we can say that he’s a man of manifold talents, both figuratively and literally, and his CV speaks for itself.

    Having a grounding in hands-on motorsport certainly does develop a keen eye for what a race car needs. So, back to this E12. A classic and proven entity, ready for action at Goodwood and all plain sailing, right? Er, no, not quite: “Having purchased a race car and thinking I could just make some modifications and it would all be done, it turned out not to be the case. In fact, the E12 revealed itself to be a very well used and tired old race car – although full of character, there just wasn’t enough performance for Goodwood! After dismantling the thing, it was clear that we would have to do a complete nut-and-bolt rebuild, and this took a full three months of sevendays- a-week and long hours, including Christmas and New Year; all of this was done in-house at Wheelbase by myself and my colleague Paul, who almost lived at the workshop for three months! On completion, we only had time for two shakedowns at Brands Hatch and a test at Goodwood, and this threw up more work as you would expect!” A true labour of love, then, and a mark of the dedication that Phil effervescently pours into his race car builds. He’s like the Terminator – when he’s got a job to do, the world transcends into neon-flashed binary darkness, with targets and goals the only things visible.

    What resulted from this epic slog of all-nighters and tea-stirred-with-oily-spanners was an E12 that’s as straight as an arrow, its trusty Big Six M30 motor accessorising its brawny 3.0-litres of displacement with a big-valve race head, Schrick cams, a modified inlet and tubular exhaust manifold to get the engine acting as a more effective sort of air pump, and a peak power figure of 270hp. Oh, and there’s that jazzy colour scheme, of course…

    “The livery was chosen in conjunction with Goodwood. It’s a car that’s been racing for many years and although it’s white all over, there were bits of red paint around the car in various places, so we decided to recreate the UFO colours. We painted all the red livery with lining tape and spray, copying the design exactly from a photo of the car at Zandvoort in 1977. This was a solid week’s work for two of us!”

    It must have been a lot of fun to draw up, if perhaps a little stressful. In profile, the arcing lines mimic the whorls of a fingerprint, humping up and down like some deranged rollercoaster. The fat stripes offer a beautiful counterpoint to the delicacy of the car’s brightwork and slender window frames, whilst perfectly complementing the high, chunky sidewalls of those Dunlop control tyres. And you can just imagine what an intimidating presence it would create thundering up in your rear-view mirror, jutting sharknose flanked by brutal deckchair bonnet stripes and large-scale ‘UFO’ lettering. It may be painted like a big top, but it’s more scary than it is jovial. And the sound from that cannon-bore side-exit exhaust? It’s shouty on an interstellar level.


    “The car’s certainly caused a lot of interest!” grins Phil, rightly proud of his colourful creation. “There were pictures in the motoring press even after its first shakedown, and its first race appearance at the 73rd Members’ Meeting this year saw it being a star attraction – we spent most of the weekend talking to enthusiasts about it, and it seemed to dominate the TV coverage!

    “After #Goodwood had sent me the official invite, it offered Emanuele Pirro as a celebrity driver,” he continues. “He’s a very nice man and a fantastic driver, and having worked with him at the previous year’s Members’ Meeting while preparing John Young’s Capri, I jumped at the chance to have him in the car.” We don’t doubt that – having sacrificed so much daylight and human contact in the task of getting the 530i race-ready, it’s a ringing endorsement to have such a big name giving the car a thorough workout for the crowds, particularly given his history in the #ETCC with the #Schnitzer #BMW team.

    It may have been an arduous journey to transform the car from tired old racer to tight-as-a-drum contender in time for its stellar debut in the UFO colours, but the job’s been done with alacrity. And as a tribute to that relentless, unstoppable meisterwerk of 1977? Well, it couldn’t be any better. Luigi would undoubtedly be proud.

    TECH DATA BMW ‘ #BMW-UFO ’ 530i E12 /// #BMW-530i-E12-UFO

    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: #M30 / #M30B30 3.0-litre straight-six, big-valve race head, #Schrick cams, tubular exhaust manifold, modified inlet, #Getrag gearbox, #ZF limited-slip diff, 3.6:1 ratio. 270hp.

    CHASSIS: 8x15-inch #BBS replicas with 475/1000-15 #Dunlop CR65 control tyres, #GAZ shocks and modified front legs with bespoke springs and valving set up, #Polyflex bushes and rose-joints (to permitted specs), modified anti-roll bars, solid-mount rear subframe, strut brace, adjustable top mounts, #Wilwood front brakes with #Pagid pads and cooling ducting, stock rear brakes.

    EXTERIOR: Stock body, hand-painted recreation #UFON Jeans 1977 livery.

    INTERIOR: Original dash with #Alpina clocks, extra gauge pod with #VDO gauges, original doorcards, full #FIA rollcage, Sparco seat, Sabelt harness.

    THANKS: Paul at Wheelbase for his dedication and hard work with us getting this car ready and competitive in such a short time – without his efforts it would not have got done.
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    REMEMBER HIM THIS WAY
    JULES BIANCHI #1989 - #2015 // PHOTO: JAKOB EBREY/LAT

    The unwelcome but not unexpected news arrived via an email sent in the small hours of Saturday 18 July: #Jules-Bianchi had passed away at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Nice, nine months after his accident at the #Japanese-Grand-Prix on 5 October 2014 .

    Jules was born into a family already familiar with the tragedies as well as the triumphs associated with motor racing. His great-grandfather Roberto was a Scuderia Ferrari mechanic in the 1930s, later moving to Belgium - along with his family - in the service of the jazz-trumpeter- turned-racing-driver Octave John Claes. Roberto’s sons Lucien and Mauro would become successful racing drivers in their own right; Lucien won both the 1962 Sebring 12 Hours and the 1968 Le Mans 24 Hours.

    There were just two hours to run at Le Mans in 1968 when Mauro crashed the Alpine 220 he was sharing with Patrick Depailler. He was on an out-lap after an extended pitstop to change a front brake disc and the starter motor, and as he braked for the Esses the car turned sharply to the right and went straight into the barrier. The recently filled fuel tank burst and the car caught fire, burning Mauro’s hands and face. Lucien won in the Gulf-sponsored Ford GT40 he shared with Pedro Rodriguez, but a year later the Alfa T33 he was driving at the Le Mans test weekend suffered a mechanical failure and departed the road at speed on the Mulsanne Straight. He was trapped in the car as it caught fire, and died. He was 34.

    Mauro quit motor racing, but his son, Philippe, later ran a kart circuit in Antibes after the family relocated to the south of France. There Philippe’s son Jules got his first taste of motorsport and decided that he liked it.

    Within three years of driving a kart for the first time Jules made his international debut, at the age of 13, driving for the Maranello Kart team.

    A change to the Intrepid team in 2004 resulted in Jules winning the French national title and taking second place in the Junior ICA European Championship. Returning to Maranello for 2005 - appropriate, given his later status as a Ferrari Junior - he won the Asia-Pacific Formula A championship and the ICA Copa Campeones Trophy (beating, among others, Jaime Alguersuari and Jean-Eric Vergne). Later, he won the ICC WSK International Series and was runner-up in the Formula A World Cup.

    He won the French Formula Renault 2.0 championship in 2007, his first year in car racing, and in 2008 he began a relationship with the crack ART Grand Prix squad which, along with co-owner #Nicolas-Todt (later Jules’ manager) would ultimately convey him to Formula 1. In Jules’ rookie year in the #Formula-3 Euro Series he finished third as team-mate Nico Hulkenberg lifted the title, but at the end of the season he beat Hulkenberg to the win in the Masters of F3 race. The following season he took the Euro Series title by a 39-point margin in a field packed with competitive drivers, including Valtteri Bottas, Christian Vietoris, Alexander Sims, Roberto Merhi, Sam Bird and Stefano Coletti.
    But as he set foot on the rungs just below FI, Jules’ career trajectory began to stall. It was a time, he later reflected, in which he put himself under too much pressure to win, and he became involved in too many accidents. In 2010 he fractured a vertebra at the Hungarian round of the GP2 Series, and while he returned sooner than expected, the season was already a write-off. The following season was little better, so with Bianchi now part of Ferrari’s young driver programme, Todt elected to place his charge in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship for 2012.

    Away from the scrutiny of #Formula-1 Jules thrived and would have won the FR3.5 title but for an incident with rival Robin Frijns at the final round. Frijns was punished for the contact but not, Bianchi believed, enough - after all, Frijns beat him by 189 points to 185. By then Jules had signed as Force India’s test driver, but the offer of a 2013 race seat evaporated weeks before the start of the season. Once again his career hung in the balance, so he seized the offer of the Marussia drive gladly. Bit by bit he continued to rebuild his reputation, driving with speed and maturity and never conducting himself with the air of entitlement you might expect of a driver with Ferrari patronage. Though he dreamed of racing for the Scuderia, he never let it divert him from doing his best for Marussia and treating his colleagues with courtesy and respect. The media conferences held by back-of-the-grid drivers are seldom well-attended by journalists seeking front-page news, but the regulars who visited Jules’ were kept informed and entertained by his insight, modesty and impish wit. His talent was rewarded with just one points finish, but he was capable of so much more.

    Following the accident at Suzuka, family, friends, colleagues and fans had adopted the hashtag #JB17 as an emblem of hope on social media. That hope has now been dashed. As a gesture of respect the #FIA has retired Jules’ race number, 17.
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    Weight Lifting / #Porsche-911-Carrera-RS / #Porsche-911-Carrera-RS-2.7 / #Porsche-911-2.7-Carrera-RS

    The #Porsche-911-2.7-Carrera-RS is perhaps the most coveted and iconic #Porsche-911 of all time. We didn’t need much of an excuse to bring one together with its Lightweight counterpart. Story: Simon Jackson Photography: Gus Gregory / #Porsche-911-Carrera


    For all the magnificent advances in technology, the tremendously fast, wonderfully efficient, proficient incarnations of the Porsche 911 to have emerged over the decades, there is one model that remains absolute ruler. Is it the quickest? No. Perhaps it’s the rarest? It is not. Might it be the dearest? Well, it might be, but that’s extraneous here… This Porsche has remained king of the 911s for over 40 years through sheer status, and it’ll probably continue that way for another 40 to come. It’s an automotive icon, and for many the very definition of the term ‘sports car’. The Porsche I’m talking about is the 2.7 Carrera RS. Reputations don’t come much greater, or Porsche driving machines a great deal purer, but exactly what makes these cars so revered, and are they really that outstanding?


    Like so many of Porsche’s iconic model variants, the 2.7 RS was born through racing. Its genesis can be traced back to the 911 R of 1967, Porsche’s first dabble with the concept of a lightweight 911 built expressly for racing. The R was derived from the 160hp 911 S of 1966, and made use of timeless automotive weight-saving devices such as fibreglass panels and thinner glass to tip the scales at a measly 830 kilos. The car was extensively modified, running a 2.0-litre flat-six engine from the Carrera 6 producing 210hp, a prototype #Teldix anti-lock braking system, and certain key aerodynamic alterations – the car fleetingly served to quench the appetites of those wishing to race Porsche’s popular coupé in suitable top-level competition, just 22 were built. Certainly short lived but not lacking in achievements, the 911 R chalked-up some eyeopening endurance racing results in a short time; amongst them a win on the Targa Florio.


    Ultimately, though, with the 911 R a point had been proven by #Porsche , and it would add ammunition to an already burning blaze raving between #Stuttgart and the #FIA , inherited by #Ernst-Fuhrmann when he rose to power at Porsche in #1972 . The motorsport’s governing body seemingly refused to grant the 911 #Touring-Car homologation eligibility, something Porsche so desperately wanted in order to support its efforts competing in the rather expensive business of #Can-Am racing with the #Porsche-917.


    At the time, Porsche could scarcely afford to race in such high-level motorsport, and the costly nature of the 917 wasn’t reaping direct sales rewards in the showrooms. The brand needed a more relatable racing car, and despite its scheduled upcoming obsolescence (the 928 and 924 were already at drawing board stage), the 911 was the car Porsche wished to wheel into position to plug the perceived PR gap.


    Fuhrmann’s predecessor, Rico Steinemann, had long been losing the battle with the FIA, but he and Fuhrmann figured there was nothing the French authority could do to prevent the homologation approval of a new car, which would become the 2.7 Carrera RS, as a Group 4 Special Grand Touring car. And they were right – finally the 911 could go GT racing. Under Norbert Singer, boss of motorsport at the time, Porsche devised a plan to create a series produced 911 built for racing, all that was left to do was determine exactly what form that car might take and to work out the logistics of building the required 500 road-going vehicles required under FIA homologation regulations. In October 1972 Porsche displayed its new car at the #Paris-Auto-Show . The 911 2.7 Carrera RS joined together a pair of nomenclatures not seen in unison before, Carrera and RS. ‘Carrera’ to commemorate Porsche’s exploits in the Carrera Panamericana, ‘RS’, or Rennsport, having only previously been deployed on full-bore Porsche racers like the 550 Spyder. You could argue that it was a brave move to attach such significant monikers to this new car, but as we now know, the 2.7 RS was more than worthy. Using what had been learnt through the 911 R project, the 2.7 RS was stripped down to its bare essentials. Anything superfluous, like sound deadening or undersealing material, was deleted as was the case with the R model before it, thin glass was employed and lightweight bucket seating fitted – the rear seat was removed altogether and the glovebox lid binned. Even the passenger sunvisor was removed! Fibreglass panels were also used (the engine cover and rear apron amongst them), even the existing metal panels were reduced in thickness by around 0.30mm. The strictly competition cars featured laminated safety glass in place of the traditional stuff. For the first time Bilstein shock absorbers were fitted, saving 3.5kg of weight.

    Singer’s RS Lightweight was just that at 960kg, but it wasn’t the only version of this particular 911, there was also the Touring filled with a few more creature comforts, itself weighing just 1037kg. In order to meet homologation regulations, all RS models rolled from the production line in lithe Lightweight trim, and were later converted to Touring specification. What was the difference? Well, the Touring models came complete with an interior akin to that found in the 911 S; a fully trimmed cabin, steel bumpers, and a host of ‘optional’ extras, such as electric windows, sunroof, an aerial and speakers, and so on. Whichever version was purchased, the same 2.7-litre engine was fitted out back, derived from the 2.4-litre mill in the S, bored-out to 2687cc, an engine designed to be versatile providing Porsche with the option to further increase its capacity out to 2.8 or even 3.0-litres in future.


    It’s quite an achievement when you consider that this is the same engine which was first conceived as a 2.0-litre unit, its incredible expansion only plausible thanks to Mahle’s Nikasil-coating technology allowing Porsche to increase the block’s bore from 84mm to 90mm (the biggest used for a 911 at the time). When applied to the cylinder bores, the Nikasil-coating provided strength and reduced friction, a technique honed on Porsche’s 917 race cars. The engine featured the same compression ratio (8.5:1) as the 2.4-litre engine and the same 70.4mm stroke. Once more Bosch mechanical fuel injection was utilised, the valves and timing were cribbed across from the 911 S of 1972/3. All this equated to peak power of 210hp at 6300rpm, a 20hp gain on that of the 911 S. Likewise torque rose from 159lb ft to 188lb ft, and the whole lot was linked to a 915/008 five-speed gearbox.

    The body of the 2.7 Carrera RS was significant thanks in part to its increased width. The rear end of the car featured bulbous rear arches, designed to accommodate a wider rear track (up by nearly an inch) and Fuchs wheels (seven inches) providing this particular 911 with a very distinctive silhouette. Naturally it had a practical function too, allowing the 2.7 RS to record the highest lateral G-force during cornering than any other Porsche vehicle before it. Further aiding that ability were changes to the car’s aerodynamics package. Most notably amongst them was that iconic ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler, which dated back in some form to 1970 when its properties had been investigated during wind tunnel tests in Stuttgart. Numerous versions of the ducktail were tested in an attempt to reduce the standard car’s rear lift at speed, the final design was found to reduce the car’s drag coefficient to 0.40 – in turn reducing high speed oversteer through the increased downforce. As an added bonus the tail plane also directed more air into the engine’s intake, increasing performance, and keeping the rear light clusters cleaner! During a 1000-kilometre race at the A1 Ring, a prototype RS equipped with a ducktail spoiler managed to circulate at 2.5-seconds per lap faster than one without. All that was left to do then was to apply the car’s name to the body, and given the ban on any non-essential weight, graphics were decided upon instead of metal badges. After some consideration, the words ‘Carrera RS’ were splashed down the flanks of the car – a move that would become synonymous with an utterly iconic Porsche.

    Despite concerns in Porsche’s sales departments at #Zuffenhausen over the popularity of its new stripped-back racer, and an unforeseen hurdle when the bureaucrats at the West German National Motor Vehicle Authority refused to grant blanket type approval for the modifications made to the 911, especially that ducktail rear spoiler (which was deemed a potential hazard to pedestrians), Porsche discovered it need not have worried about meeting the 500 sales deemed necessary by the FIA for Group 5 racing. Skirting around the red tape, Porsche went to the extraordinary extent of having each RS individually type approved at its local office in Stuttgart. Some 51 RSs were already sold prior to the Paris Motor Show in 1973, and by the time the doors had closed and the show wrapped, all 500 were spoken for, and it wasn’t long before Porsche announced that a further 500 would be built, which would allow the 911 to achieve homologation certification for Group 3 racing, too. This second series of cars came without the ducktail spoiler as Porsche’s type approval loophole had now closed, but owners could purchase them for retrofitting at their dealers if they so desired. All told by summer 1973 1580 Carrera RS cars had been built, comprising 1308 Touring models and 200 in Lightweight form, some 55 cars were in RSR specification for racing (with a larger 2.8-litre 300hp engine) with 17 further homologation cars. Of those cars produced, colours were limited to non-metallics due to the use of fibreglass panels, except a few which were bespoke built entirely from metal. Grand Prix white was the most popular choice of paint, with contrasting blue, red or green graphics, some 62 black cars were built, and even fewer in Gulf orange (25). The suits at Porsche need not have worried; the Carrera RS was a roaring success, but hindsight’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?


    As soon as its wheels touched the ground the 2.7 RS began building a legacy that survives to this day. On track the racing incarnation battled with the likes of V8 Corvettes and 4.4-litre Ferraris, but despite its power deficit its deft nimbleness and handling proficiency made it a competitor able to punch well above its (rather feather) weight. The David versus Goliath Porsche regularly beat its opposition in period and it’s maintained that reputation into today’s historic racing circles.


    On the road the 2.7 RS was famed for its ability to eclipse previous 911s, most notably when exceeding 100mph thanks to that ducktail spoiler. It was this ability to exceed the sum of its parts that ensured the 2.7 RS stood out from its peers at the time, the 210hp offered little in the way of persuasion on paper. In the real world 62mph was clocked up in just 5.8-seconds, pushing on to top out at 150mph, but it was the way it used that power that charmed all who drove it. The flat-six engine had teeth, but it was progressive in its power delivery, not vicious or intimidating. And that remains true today. The RS was fabled for being loud, which it is, but it’s not ridiculous, and it was known for snap oversteer mid-corner, but like any 911 you’re probably driving it all wrong if you manage to get bitten by that character trait. Slow-in, fast-out achieves the best from the RS, allowing its incredibly tractable, if not mind-bendingly quick, engine to pull you out and onwards up through the rev range to the 7200rpm redline. In period road testers reported an eye-wateringly hard ride, but when compared with a contemporary sports car the RS is actually quite tame and flexible. The brakes are not servo-assisted, but they provide composure and (fade-free) poise to scrub any excess speed off as required.


    The view from inside is a familiar one for any classic 911 aficionado, despite the lack of complexities in the Carrera RS, something true of both the Touring and Lightweight versions. This car does not feel delicate in either guise though, rather it feels reassuringly competent, not the threatening old girl you might be expecting. Its petite dimensions make it thoroughly enjoyable to drive on the road too, whether that might be during a cruise or a charge. This is a racing car for the road which you could use everyday, and one which you wouldn’t hesitate to take away for the weekend – well, at least that was true back in period, today things are slightly different.


    The two examples you see here are both offered for sale with Specialist Cars of Malton, and while the Touring model demonstrates its historical relevance with a beautiful mix of period patina and evidence of unadulterated care and attention having been lavished on it over the years, it’s the history of the Lightweight alongside it which is more important in many ways. A matching numbers Touring is a car that will set you back in the region of £500,000 today, and its history will not differ dramatically from a more run-of-the-mill classic 911, a Lightweight however should really demonstrate a level of historical provenance from back in period. The left-hand drive car you see here is one such automobile, as Malton’s Sales Manager Mark Mullen explains: “For many people the 1973 2.7 RS Lightweight is the pinnacle of the iconic Porsche 911, a stripped out road legal racer whose heritage has founded a whole series of RS models,” Mark said. “This particular car has been used as it was intended, for rallying, throughout its life. Originally light yellow in colour the car was painted white at some point and now looks superb with its red graphics and wheels. Period spotlights show off the purpose of the car. An iconic 2.7 RS Lightweight with a competition history is a sought after collector's piece today.”


    The car was purchased in 1995 from a dealer in Munich by the owner of a Porsche garage in Portugal, the purchaser’s family had been involved with Porsches both in business and in motorsport for in excess of 40 years. A year later he sold the car to another Portuguese man, who in 1999 swapped the car with a further Portuguese collector. From 1999 to 2014 the Portuguese collector campaigned the car in historic race events, including the Volta Portugal, where it achieved a seventh, fifth and second overall during his tenure with the car and in 2004 the car placed fourth in the Rali ACP Veteranos.


    The 2.7 RS story is an epic one you never tire of hearing. This car’s legacy created one of the most important lines of Porsche product for the past 40 years, and delivered to us some of the greatest driver’s sports cars ever conceived. The 2.7 Carrera RS may have been born out of necessity to take the fight to the likes of Ferrari, Corvette and Pantera on the track, but these original road cars spawned as a result remain part of the building blocks of modern Porsche culture as we now know it.

    Today these 911s are trading hands for huge sums of cash, but of all the Porsche vehicles created over the brand’s history, it’s the rare 2.7 RS that deserves to be valued so highly without quarrel. Perhaps the only point of contention here is that as these cars have become so precious, they have led owners to becoming too afraid to use them as they were initially intended, with purchasers preferring to wrap them in cotton wool inside secure collections, never to turn a wheel in anger again. That’s a sorry state of affairs if that notion continues to propagate. We can think of at least three important Porsche men who would take umbrage at that concept; Fuhrmann, Steinemann and Singer.

    It feels reassuringly competent, not the threatening old girl you might be expecting.

    It’s an automotive icon, and for many the very definition of the term ‘sports car’

    The 2.7 Carrera RS is a special 911, even in road trim.

    Lightweight’s cabin is track ready and tells a story of har fought battles won.

    Thanks: Specialist Cars of Malton /// www.specialistcarsltd.co.uk
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
  • Post is under moderation
    A ​​extended again accepting applications from new teams

    At the end of May this year in the #FIA ​​announced the next competition for teams wishing to make his debut in the #Formula-1 season in #2016 or #2017 with the condition that its follow-up will be selected a team.

    Initially it was planned that the competition will last until June 30, but no bids were received - then the competition was extended for the first time, and now - in the second, to be able to participate in it, those who are waiting for the certainty of the rules and the supplier of tires in season 2017.

    It was rumored that the application may be submitted by Nicolas Todt and team ART, but the son of FIA president is waiting for a decision on tires, hoping that the tender was won by #Michelin - it might solve the problems with financing.
    Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.