Our high quality 11×15″ Porsche 911 Fuchs wheels had another test of strength at the recent Donington Historic Festival when an aluminum-bodied Cooper sports car span out of control and speared into the rear corner of our Guards Red 911 3.0 RS.
It had not been the best of weekends up to that point. We had qualified fifth in class in the 1965 Porsche 911 2-litre, but a wet start reduced the power advantage of the quicker cars and gave our rear-engined Porsche a traction advantage.
Mark took the first stint and, as the rain continued, he took second in class, closing on the leading Ginetta. A few laps in, the car began to misfire in the higher rev range, gradually getting worse as the race continued. At the halfway point, he handed over to Sean, also changing the fuel filter, but the problem continued.
As the race wore on, the 911 was struggling. We tried a battery change but, when that had no effect, we decided to retire the car rather than risk damaging the engine. All was not lost, as our fastest lap times had come down by four seconds since last year, proving that our exhaust developments and setup changes had improved the 65’s pace. The problem turned out to be a distributor, which we have since changed.
The RS started its race at the head of its class but was hit by disaster on the first lap. A pair of Coopers doing battle through Redgate went out of control and hit the RS square in the rear quarter at speed. In a proper test for our high-quality wheels, the rim had a section torn out by the impact, but the tyre did not deflate. The wheel held the tyre up to pressure and didn’t buckle or distort!
Damage to the car was substantial. We sent the car to Tuthills for a go on their chassis jig, as ours is occupied with the 2.1 Turbo build! The rear suspension pickups had shifted, proving the force of the impact. The lack of damage to the wheel was impressive given the amount of energy produced in the crash. We have since fitted a new rear quarter panel and one of our wide RS arches and the car is now back in pristine condition.
A run at Silverstone Classic was ruled out by the need to jig our RS, but we will be back on track for the Zandvoort Historic next month. Hope to see some of you there!