944 Turbo ( 951 ) Race Car
Until 2003 all the race cars I have owned have been built / converted by me or for me. I have never bought anyone elses race car before. The DDMC series which I have competed in for several years has become more & more popular and the level of competition has increased considerably, which left me in a car which was both heavy and underpowered as a result of having to run to Porsche Club Championship regulations. The solution was obvious, get another car for the Northern Saloon & Sports Car series, but which one ?
When I first started racing in 1989 one of the other drivers who started at the same time was Chris Heeley. After considerable success in a 2.7RS he moved into the Porsche Cup in the mid nineties with a 944 turbo. Yet again he was often the man to beat, and, after a major accident in testing in 2001 at Donington Park, he had a new car built, which was based around one of the original Silver Rose chassis cars. Following the changes to the Porsche Cup a couple of years ago, which made his car ineligible after the move to a GT3 only series, the car had only been out a couple of times and he approached me during the 2003 season to see if I would be interested in buying his car.
I took part in a winter series race at Croft at the end of 2003, having only driven the car on and off the trailer, and never used slick tyres before. None the less, in damp conditions, I qualified in 8th place, the fastest slick tyred car. Race one was compromised by my tyre choice, but I still progressed to finish 4th on the track, and in the second race led for over 3 laps before finally succumbing to Robert Pritchard in his Caterham who was hanging around playing with me & Andrew Morrison.
Here's a couple of pictures from that day, the first picture was taken at the end of lap 1, and the other was taken pre-race in the paddock.
Eventually, the deal was done and winter 2003 was spent making some changes to the car, the most noticeable of which was a change of colour. Both Dave Forrest of Strasse and Chris Sargeant of GCR suggested that I should paint the car a nice strong primary colour, like orange. Well that's what I did and chose a 1976 colour called Continental Orange. It's difficult to hide now.
The above pictures were taken just after the car came out of the bodyshop. Decals etc still have to be applied, and the first test is on 29th March 2004 with a race at Silverstone on 3rd April.
Here are a couple more pictures taken at the Croft test day on March 29th/30th
Ian Hardy was at the test day and as a semi-pro photographer has kindly uploaded a number of photos, including some on circuit shots to his own website. Here is just one example.
The original 944 turbo was heavily damaged at Mallory Park in 2005, and so the car was reshelled and is now a classy silver
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