There’s something wonderfully evocative about watching a modern 911 executing Scandinavian flicks and slinging gravel everywhere. It’s not without precedent either. The Porsche 911 has an incredibly rich rally history that includes several high-profile victories, including a Dakar Rally win in 1984. But, since then Porsche has been pretty quiet on the rally front.
The FIA established the World Rally Championship RGT class as a way to diversify beyond the Ford, Citroen and Volkswagenall-wheel-drive hot hatches that make up the majority of rally entries. Starting in 2011, RGT regulations allowed rear-wheel-drive GT cars to enter WRC and European Rally Championship events. So far, Lotus is the only manufacturer to build an RGT car, the Lotus Exige RGT, but it was a very short-lived program.
In 2014, the FIA changed the homologation requirements for RGT entries, allowing individually prepped cars to become eligible, like this Tuhill-prepped Porsche 911 Cup turned rally car getting wrung out by Chris Harris in this video. Richard Tuthill carved out a niche for himself building classic Porsche 911 rally cars for the East African Safari Rally and other classic car rallies, but he’s since turned his attention to more modern machinery and the WRC RGT.
The car started life as 997 911 Cup racecar. Its chassis has been raised on softer suspension, and gravel tires have been fitted at all four corners. The engine is unchanged, with the exception of an air-restrictor to meet horsepower requirements. Inside, the roll cage has been modified with side-impact protection and a passenger seat added for the navigator. It’s a massively desirable thing, and, according to Harris, it’s just as much fun to drive as you would hope.
Take-up for the RGT class has been slow partly because the cars compete directly against factory-backed WRC cars, the pace that RGT cars can’t hope to match. Still, it’s awesome to see these cars competing, and I have my fingers crossed that there are other nut-jobs out there hatching schemes to rally-prep Astons and Ferraris.