Holy shit. The 2018 Le Mans-winning #91 Porsche 911 RSR hammers down the Goodwood start straight towards me, smoke pouring from the rear tyres and the sound of its mid-mounted 510hp 4.0-litre flat six reverberating around the tree-lined avenue.
The sight of it, the spectacle, the noise. It’s a proper chills-down-spine moment.
If there’s something that intensifies my fascination with these important machines, it’s when the dirt, grime, battle scars and splattered remnants of unfortunate wildlife is left intact (maybe that’s the wrong word?) for all to see.
Thankfully it’s an approach that has become a tradition over the years, and cars that have won important victories at prestigious events around the world are often left in their race-winning condition at future appearances. The scars, grime and wounds that these incredible cars with such heritage, be it recent or long past, gathered along the way is a vital part of their story – it shows the battles that were won, the struggles that both man and machine endured in the pursuit of greatness on the circuit.
I’d much rather this than see them cleaned, repaired and restored back to new. Who would possibly be interested in that?!
A particular personal highlight of this year’s Goodwood Festival Of Speed was getting to see, touch and explore this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans LMGTE Pro winner, operated by Manthey Racing, fresh from its victory.
Insert joke about ‘bringing home the bacon’ here.
For this year’s Le Mans, Porsche brought two classic liveries back to endurance racing, in celebration of its 70th year anniversary – the legendary Rothmans livery, and the classic Pink Pig. The Rothmans car, which came second at this year’s Le Mans, was on display in the Porsche Cafe at Goodwood, while the victorious Pink Pig was running big, smoky-bacon sprints up the hill to entertain the Goodwood crowd.
First seen on the illustrious Porsche 917/20 in 1971, the famous livery was first created by Porsche designer Anatole Lapine, with the pink body colour accompanied by markings of butcher-style cuts on a pig’s body. The 917/20 Pink Pig went on to destroy the competition in qualification at Le Mans that year, although dropped out of fifth place in the running following an accident.
Across a timeline of rememberable colourways and schemes, it remains one of Porsche’s most loved and unique liveries to this date.
The roadkill that now adorns the front of #92 RSR is an important part of its heritage, and I certainly hope that the car remains in this condition for future generations to see. The casualties are pretty much engrained in its paintwork – apparently drivers at Le Mans can easily hear the local wildlife peppering the front of the cars as they approach the end of the Mulsanne straight at 200mph+ entering the braking zone.
Using your wipers is a risky strategy, and can reduce visibility down to near enough zero due to smearing. The cars are fitted with windscreen tear-aways so that pit crews can provide the drivers with a clearer view when it gets too obscured.
A golf course to the inside of the track at Mulsanne means that the area is littered with bugs, moths and flies about to meet an untimely – and rather speedy – end. What a way to go though.
Want to hear that glorious exhaust note? Of course you do! Turn up the speakers and knock yourself out.