Porsches may have won Le Mans 16 times but the marque`s contribution in UK modified racing such as in Modsports and Donington GT is often overlooked. For 10 years , 1974 to 1984 modified 911 mixed it regulary with the more traditional Modsport cars , so here we take a review of how succesful these Porsches actually were.
Porsche arrived in UK Modsports in 1974 ushering a new era of modern mid-engined GT cars against the ageing TVR Tuscans , Healeys and Jaguars. In the BARC `Blue Circle Cement`Modsports , Nick Faure , Giovanni De Stefano and Alan Broad all had class wins in the 2000-3000cc class , Broad twice winning outright. It only took the skills of Win Percy in the Samuri Datsun 240z to prevent a Porsche class win in an exciting season .
The Broad car was chassis 9113601500 , one of 19 lightweight RS Carreras to come to the UK. Its 280 bhp normally aspirated 2.8 RSR spec flat 6 engine was of course very reliable and these cars running homologated factory race parts were a real challenge to the traditional , often `home modified`, Modsport machines in the UK.
John Cooper bought the Broad car for 1975 for the BARC Modsports , now sponsored by Miller Organs and won the class ahead of Nick Faure now in Dick Lovett`s version.

In 1976 all the `big` cars were in the put in the over 2000cc class and Cooper now with a 3.0 unit won his class at every round competed , 13 of the 16 BARC rounds to win both the class again and overall title. The Swinford Motors car typically heading the likes of Robin Gray ( Morgan ) , Jonathan Palmer ( Marcos ) and Richard Scantlebury ( Jag E ) in the class. This would be Porsches only outright BARC Modsport championship win. Cooper had a busy year with the car , taking 2 overall wins in the rival BRSCC Modsport series in its inaugural year and also contested the Silverstone 6 hours in the FIA Group 4 class but retired. He sold the car late in the year to Mike Fisher who along with a young Danny Sullivan raced it in the 1977 Brands Hatch + Silverstone 6 hours races.
Tony Wingrove had also run his Carrera in 1976 Modsports and was joined for 1977 by another Carrera ( chassis 460 9075 ) of Mike Franey to uphold Porsche honours now reigning champion Cooper had left. British cars though gained back class honours with the likes of overall champion Jonathan Palmer ( Marcos ) and Richard Gamble ( Jag ). These Porsche privateers had no British GT series to race in back then to prepare for international events so Modsports was their home series . Franey raced his in that years Brands + Silverstone 6 hours races ( in FIA Group 5 ) , Wingrove also at Silverstone but in the more production-based FIA Group 3.
For 1978 Wingrove bought the ex-Broad/Cooper car from Fisher and contested both the BARC STP Modsports and BRSCC Modsports. In both he finished runner-up to Richard Gamble in the Marcos aquired from future F1 man Jonathan Palmer. By comparison Wingrove`s best time around Brands was still a second and a half slower than the best set by Modsport stalwarts Bob Jarvis ( Davrian ) and Jon Fletcher ( Elan ) such was the giant killing nature of Modsports back then. Wingrove finished 10th at the Silverstone 6 hours with regular co-driver Pete Lovett , running in FIA Group 5.
n 1979 Tony Wingrove won the BARC Modsport big class in placed 3rd overall in the same car Cooper had won the class in 1976, taking 10 class wins and also appeared in the Donington GT.His 1980 season wasnt so easy after blowing the engine at the Silverstone 6 hours and resorting to his road/rally Carrera for the rest of the season taking just 2 wins. The old car was bought back by Fisher and retired after 7 very hectic seasons.
Three more Porsche privateers were coming on well though. Barry Robinson , a demolition expert from Hertfordshire took his 3-litre RSR to overall victory in the 1979 BRSCC Modsports. This car was destroyed though in the tragic accident with Martin Raymond in the Brands 6 hours in March 1980. Robinson missed some rounds before a replacement was found but still won the big class in the BARC series ( 3rd overall ) and 2nd in class in the BRSCC series. Robinson continued in 1981 before moving into Thundersports with Dudley Wood in an ex-Kremer/Charles Ivey 935 . That BRSCC class in 1980 was won by Paul Edwards in his version taking 2nd overall. Edwards also finished 3rd in the big class in the Donington GT against the likes of Mick Hill and Walter Robertson`s hybrid cars. Before moving into Porsche modified / intermarque races Edwards was an occasional and usually succesful visitor to BARC Modsport , 750 MC Modsport and Castle Combe GT up to 1984.

Moving onto `flat nose` Porsches the first regular competitor on the UK club scene was probably Brighton`s Adrian Yates-Smith. A prolific Porsche competitor at various levels he`d ran his 911SC 1979 Brands Hatch and Silverstone 6 hours. For 1980 his car was rebuilt featuring a flat-nose similar to a 935 and sponsorship from Malaya Garages for a busy season winning 7 races and 9 second places. Running in BARC Modsports ( 3rd in class ) , Donington GT , the Group 5 race at Donington , a remarkable 6th in the Brands 6 hours and Silvertone 6 hours , the latter 2 with Barry `whizzo`Williams co-driving . A real 935 did race in the 1980 Donington GT with Dudley Wood taking joint 4th in class with Jeff Wilson`s Beetle-Chevy ! Wood in the Charles Ivey ex-Kremer car getting some racing miles in ahead of his entry at Le Mans with the aforementioned John Cooper and Pete Lovett.
One of the last modified Porsches still appearing in open club events was the 959 clone of Richard Chilton who popped up in 750 MC Modsports and Donington GT in 1986 shortly before the decline of both Modsports and the Donington GT Championships.
As the 80s wore on the Porsche modified series and AMOC Intermarque increasingly provided a home for the modified Porsche brigade to flourish. More flat nose / 935 clones ( or real ones ) would appear , like Autofarm Boss Josh Sadler`s ex-Max Moritz RSR , Mike Holland`s flat-nose 911 , the Blue Coral 935s of John Greasley and Ross Hyett , Steve O`Rourke 935 K3 , Gavin Mortimer`s flat nose 911 , Bob Watson 935 and as the 90s wore on the likes of Richard Chamberlain and through to Mark Ticehurst still racing today.
So Porsches did make their mark in Modsports at a period in time when privateer racers competed in 6 hour international endurance events whilst also campaigning in club level Modsports. Todays equivalent would be the British GT Championship providing the launchpad for assaults at Le Mans or GT3 races.

John Cooper - Swinford Motors Porsche Carrera - 19
Yates-Smith 2
Chilton 959-1986

PORSCHE RS Chassis 9113601500

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player