10 Mar 2014

New racer,old racer

 Porsche have announced details of their 919 LMP1 hybrid sports car which will compete in the WEC including the Le Mans 24 hours.All the pundits were expecting the new car to be powered by a version of the evergreen Porsche flat 6 as part of a hybrid drivetrain.Porsche have caused quite a stir by revealing that it is powered by a 2 litre petrol turbocharged V4 motor.The motor is only a few degrees off being a flat 4 so it's back to the future for Porsche whose first car was the 356 powered by a flat 4.
The motor drives the rear wheels and electric motors drive the front wheels and the car is fitted with energy recovery systems and a very high tech battery arrangement.It is very innovative.Contrast this left field thinking with the rigid rules imposed on F1 which completely stifle innovation.

Whilst Porsche are about to,I'm sure,start winning races again I have recently removed the harness bar from my 2.2 911 as I am sure I won't be competing with it again.Over many years I have competed in many motor sport events-rallies,hillclimbs,regularity runs,motorkhanas and supersprints and even the Targa Tasmania.Along the way I have collected a few plastic trophies as well as one coveted Targa Plate.Sadly I have decided that the car is now just too valuable to risk on the track and motor sport has become just too costly.And I have become much more conscious of the risk of running even in soft events on a track in a car without a full roll cage.If anyone wants a harness mounting bar for an early 911 please contact me.Sadly my crash helmet is out of time (10 years under CAMS rules) and the harness has only a couple of years "life" left.The race wheels and tyres have long gone to good homes.The racesuit will be retained as a keepsake.

Pic below shows my last ever track outing at Phillip Island Historics in 2010-four years ago almost to the day.Not a happy day as I was on road tyres and the car was all over the place on that very fast track.Coming down the long main straight at 180-200 kmh in a pack of cars and then feathering the brakes to go through the very fast rh Doohan Corner and feeling the car really moving about -at both ends - was a very scary experience.As it is a 2500km round trip to Phillip Island driving there on the track wheels and tyres was not an option which was a great pity.Photo thanks to Dino.
The bottom photo shows a much happier outing with me competing on the wonderful street circuit at the 2009 Speed on Tweed in Murwillumbah.Photo thanks to John M.That was a really great event - sadly no longer run - and if it was still going I could have been tempted to keep competing.

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