Regular readers of Ferdinand Magazine will remember Björn Waldegård’s Safari-winning Porsche on the East African Safari Classic Rally last year. The car was smashed into a truck when Bjorn had momentary brain fade and misheard advice from his co-driving son! The mishap left Björn with work to take the first-ever Porsche win on this epic desert rally.
Waldegard’s eventual win was made possible by some quick Tuthill thinking. After one car had retired earlier on, Richard wanted to send it back to base, but wily old Francis insisted it travelled with the team for the rest of the event. The retiree donated some crash bars for repair and was eventually all that stood between win or bust.
Since arriving back at Wardington, the world’s first Safari-winning Porsche has received strong media attention: features in Top Gear and mainstream media like The Sun, good coverage in the niche Porsche press and attention from specialist motorsport magazines. Tuthills have enjoyed watching the car capture such imagination, but the time has come to repair the damage properly.
Team Tuthill Porsche is already well into preparations for Safari 2013, which runs from 21st to 29th November. There are two brand-new Safari cars coming through the workshops, two cars from last year have already been overhauled, as well as a car that last competed in 2009. Two more from 2011 are currently being stripped and inspected, before going through the fabrication workshops and then heading into paint.
The Blood Orange winner obviously needs a new roll cage and roof, but it will also receive a full preparation program. Björn once explained to me how he regards his rally cars’ survival ability like a fuel tank – he knows how much endurance is in them to start, and uses it up as the rally wears on. Richard Tuthill is keen to repeat the team’s success, so all the Safari cars will receive a detailed overhaul while time allows, for a good shot at another win next time out.