The latest Tuthill Porsche 1965 911 2-litre racer had a successful debut at the recent Donington Historic Festival, coming home second in class in the GT & Sports Car Cup race.
Classic Porsche reliability was a factor in the race result. Unable to match the ultimate pace of lighter class competitor machinery including more powerful TVR Granturas weighing 720 kilos versus the 1000-kilo 911s, drivers Ross McEwen and Colin Paton clocked up consistently quick lap times and stayed the course, while their more fragile rivals fell out of contention.
“We were clocking up 1.31s while the TVR that won our class was doing 1:25s – not even Lewis Hamilton could bridge that gap,” said Colin, who also races in the GT Cup season, sharing an ex-Dino Zamparelli 991 GT3 Cup car with McEwen. This is Paton’s second full season of racing: his rookie year in a 997 GT3 Cup resulted in a fourth place in the GTB Championship. Donington was a good finish for Paton’s first race in a classic 911.
“Pitting these pretty early 911s against powerful fibreglass-bodied cars – which are permitted to run a lower minimum weight – is always going to be a challenge,” said Richard Tuthill. “Racing to the classic Porsche strengths of speed, traction and reliability offers good drivers a fighting chance. Well done to Ross and Colin for seizing the opportunity and making the most of it.”
Tuthill-built 911s have raced and won on track for decades, in events including Tour Auto, Tour Britannia, FIA Masters Historic and Silverstone Classic. Silverstone is the next outing for the Tuthill 911s, with another new 2-litre joining the team at the International Trophy weekend on May 21-22 and more 2-litre builds on the way.
“We’re not just rally boys and this is not overnight success,” says Richard Tuthill of the 2-litre trend. Richard recently updated his ARDS en route to an FIA International Race Licence and is threatening a track assault later this year. “We’ve been building winning Porsche race cars for years and our team personnel includes touring car mechanics and GT engineers. Development of so many very quick 911s, including fast road, tarmac and marathon rally cars, has led to substantial expertise in quick air-cooled 911s. If your ambitions involve a 911 going quickly, we can contribute.”
My Tuthill Safari book, created as a memento of the team’s 2015 Safari Rally win for team members and clients has just gone to press. It came out very well – I wonder if we’ll ever do a 2-litre version. Also been talking to Francis about writing a book together: he’s a man with many stories to tell.