Asphalt aces aim to rein in Pärn
Drive DMACK leader Sander Pärn faces toughest challenge in Germany
The Tuthill-built Porsche makes its World Rally Championship debut on Trier’s all-asphalt round of the series, thanks to an FIA initiative to bring GT cars to the WRC.
After a day testing in the vineyards, Tuthill said: “What an unbelievable experience. We’ve had the perfect day of driving. The car hasn’t missed a beat and the weather has shown all its faces, from rain in the morning to a dry afternoon. But what has impressed me is the reception for this car. We’ve had so many drivers coming over to talk to us about it and the fans haven’t left our side all day.”
The Tuthill name is famed most recently for worldwide victories with historic Porsche 911s, but the FIA’s RGT category has opened up a world of possibilities for some of the finest and most fancied cars around.
Tuthill himself is usually the man overseeing success on such events as the East African Safari Classic Rally, but this week he returns to the WRC for the first time in 14 years.
“It’s great to be back,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do running the business and the team, but driving cars like this is an absolute joy. I’ve come to Germany to show people what’s possible with the help of the FIA and this brilliant RGT initiative and already I’m amazed at the reception; I’m just worried this might become a full-time return!
“The car is working really well. Even when it was really wet, the car and the Michelin tyre was progressive and predictable. Just beautiful. And the noise is something special as well. People were coming to me and offering me their telephones to listen to the noise we’d just made – it’s very special to be in at the beginning of something like this.”
While Tuthill might not have competed at this level since retiring a Subaru Impreza from the 2000 Rally of Portugal, his co-driver, Belgium’s Stephane Prevot, has slightly more experience.
Prevot is no stranger to this rally or to success in Trier, having twice stood on the podium beneath the city’s famous Black Gate. Prevot has 157 WRC starts under his belt – the most recent being his seventh-placed finish with Hyundai Motorsport star Chris Atkinson on Rally Mexico earlier this year