After calling the 911 Carrera 4 GTS the ultimate car for life in Canada last week, I’m having second thoughts now that I have driven the Targa4 GTS!
Just the other day, as my mind rambled across random automotive topics as it is wont to do, I wondered if Porsche would ever be silly enough to re-invent the 912. Despite the sad reality that Porsche’s unpopular previous attempt at a four cylinder 911 is rising in value in today’s collectors market, the idea of a four pot 911 was poorly received the first time around.
As auto manufacturers work to improve overall fuel economy for their fleets, many are looking to smaller displacement engines, boosted by light pressure turbo chargers, to provide performance alongside economy. Porsche is not immune to this phenomenon it seems.
As recently as April, Road & Track reported that Porsche has been experimenting with flat four engines that had been installed in 991 and 981/Boxster/Cayman mules, but that the engines would not end up in a production version of the 911.
The HSR folks posted this on YouTube about a month ago, and I somehow missed it. 24 Hours of Daytona winner Jim Pace narrates as Jochen Mass hauls butt around Daytona in the rain, aboard a classic Porsche 911 from the IROC series. You couldn’t have a pair of better instructors than these two.
At this year’s Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, legendary Porsche photographer, videographer and racer, Jeff Zwart struggled with a failing fuel pump, which prevented his GT3 from pushing to its full potential.
As part of the lead up to next week’s new season, our friends at /DRIVE have posted a helmet cam video to provide Zwart’s POV during the attempt. Up past Devil’s Playground, the fuel pump problem got worse, which makes the video kinda hard to watch as Zwart’s head jerks back and forth.
Keen eyed viewers may notice a big, green blob on Zwart’s left at the 8:37 mark. That is your’s truly, getting the photo you see above.
So many things to write about from the 2 in TO event this weekend, but for now I am going to finish up my day with another post about Scott Hargrove and the Open Road Racing #69.
As was set in qualifying, the front row of today’s race consisted of Hargrove and rival Chris Green in the Pfaff Porsche/Castrol liveried machine. It wasn’t even a single lap before a full course caution came out for the car of Marco Cirone. I’m still not sure what happened to Marco. After what seemed like a dozen laps (although I’m sure it was only five or six), the green flag dropped.
I had moved from turn ten, over to five and wasn’t surprised to see Hargrove appear at the front of the field as he rounded four. I was however surprised to see that Green was missing from the field, until many seconds after the pack went by. I suspected this was not going to be good for the Open Road entry. I was correct.
At the exit of the first turn, the two young guns tried to occupy the same bit of track, and both knew the other was not going to lift. Green lost the battle of wills and got stuffed, which resulted in a stop and go penalty for Hargrove, handing the lead to third place Spencer Pigot.
It has been a long day, so I’m not going to race report this other than to say that Nick Tandy won in the simply wicked looking new Porsche 911 RSR GT. Awesome machine. I’m not sure whether to be impressed that the Effort Racing machines are sponsored by GOD or dismayed. Let’s face it, you need money to race, so it might as well come from reporters of a fictitious supreme being, right?
I may have grown up around one of the earliest 911s in existence, but the first time I got behind the wheel of a Porsche, any Porsche, was when I was 19. It was a sinister black 1985 911 Turbo that was less than a year old. This was the car that struck fear into the hearts of Buick Grand National owners. One of the first cars to touch the 4 second zero to sixty. It was black on black, with the requisite fat fenders and whale tail. Every bit as extravagant as the decade it was born into.
That black beast spent a weekend with a buddy and I, a debauched weekend filled with sex, drugs, booze and stop light battles. It was the first time that I had seen the high side of 160 MPH. A chance meeting with an equally sinister looking black Buick on an empty street in Hamilton on Sunday morning gave me the opportunity to see if Zuffenhausen’s weapon could slay the quickest America had to offer. The Porker did not let me down.
It was not until the drive home that I learned that the borrowed car was not exactly borrowed, rather it had been liberated for the weekend. I shudder to think how different my life would be if I had been pulled over at nearly triple the double nickle in the unlawfully obtained turbo. Needless to say, that machine solidified the Porsche brand’s mystique in my young brain.
The latest episode of driver/car feature videos from VARAC focuses on my good friend Emily Atkins and her brother Andrew as they share stories about how they got involved in racing. The partners in Big Brother Little Sister Racing also talk about their machines, a wicked Mustang and a classic Porsche 911.
The highlight for me is the recreation of the classic 911 racing pose, with one front wheel in the air as Emily attacks Mosport’s iconic turn 5.