We got lucky at the idlers 12 hour last year. Adriana, our RWB 993 Carrera 2, was spun on the grass and the hot exhaust set fire to half of the back end. We had a massive delay, but Nakai and all the guys that were helping him on the day managed to rip what wasn’t needed off and tape the rest back into place so that we could rejoin the race, drive a few more stints and actually finish.
This year things went a little differently at Twin Ring Motegi…
If you checked out my story on the 2016 idlers endurance race, you’ll already know that the second team sharing the drive of the car ran into some issues.
Their fourth driver, an RWB customer from Japan, was hit from behind as he braked for the infield right-hander that takes you under Motegi’s first bridge.
The force of the Lotus 211 hitting the Porsche was hard enough to send Adriana spinning into the barriers. At least that’s how I heard it happened, but at this point it doesn’t really matter.
This is what our trusty Adriana looks like now. She’s all bent out of shape, the headlights are pointing in different directions and there appears to be irreparable damage to the chassis.
But as you guys all know, racing comes with risks. When you put your car on track against other drivers, the chance of stuff going wrong multiplies exponentially.
Adriana may be toast but I wanted to dedicate a post to her at least; a hat tip in total respect, because this car has given me two race’s worth of fun, memories and heart-in-your-throat excitement.
Nakai and the guys that helped him out during the weeks leading up to the event really prepped Adriana well; the car was looking good as we all pushed it out to P5 on the grid for the start of the race.
The two stints I had with her were one better than the other, the chassis feeling tight and the engine responsive with a nice meaty feel from the steering and that confidence-inspiring setup that Nakai always works into his cars. Only if upset would the rear end kick out wide, and just like last year I got to slightly slide the car into and through some corners to tighten the line, mostly to avoid slower cars that were just in a bad position. Despite no ABS, the brakes were strong and progressive with a firm bite, and I loved feeling the fat ass wiggle under full braking going into the second bridge corner. All was right with Adriana and my team were taking extra special care to conserve her knowing that when the second team were done we would have to do more of the same to bring her home at the end of 12 hours.
That was the plan at least.
I strategically placed this Speedhunters sticker on one of the rear overfender canards as I knew it would get pelted with rubber coming off the tyres. Seeing it like this certainly sums what six or so hours of racing will put a car through.
The rear got one hell of a shunt. The right lower arm was ripped completely off, the right shock lower mount was snapped, and the stabiliser bar was bent. So no, this is not the all-new Porsche rear-wheel steering system.
Damage aside, I was impressed to see just how damn thick RWB flares are. These things are sturdy as hell and probably ended up absorbing at least some of the impact.
This is me on the phone to Luke Huxham, who was the second driver on the team, waking him up with the bad news.
The body and right-hand wheel, tyre and suspension assembly ended up taking all of the force of the hit, and after some underside inspections it looks like the engine will at least be saved even if the chassis can’t be.
The front impact was at an acute angle. That front wing tells you everything you need to know.
The fender bent so much that a patch of paint flicked right off exposing a previous color.
Further examination inside the trunk revealed a pretty nasty fold in the front right chassis leg.
The 2016 idlers 12 hour didn’t end well for this 993, but on the plus side the two drivers involved in the incident didn’t get hurt. Their pride might have suffered, but that’s something time can heal.
Dino Dalle Carbonare
Images by Blake Jones