News from Team Tuthill
Press release: 10 November 2008
Tuthill takes mighty Costa Brava victory
Richard Tuthill and John Bennie beat the cream of European historic rallying when they won the Costa Brava Historic Rally in Spain over the weekend (7/8 November).
Driving their Team Tuthill Porsche 911RS, Tuthill and Bennie won the penultimate round of the FIA European Historic Rally Championship on their first visit to the event and scored what is thought to be the first British win in the FIA championship of the current era.
"It was a fantastic rally," said Richard. "All the top drivers were there, which was great in terms of competition. It was a great result for us and there was a tremendous atmosphere." Rallying legends Bjorn Waldegaard (Ford Escort) and Sandro Munari (Lancia Stratos) started the rally but were both sidelined by early transmission problems.
Tuthill dropped a little time on the Friday evening stages while he played himself in to the tricky coastal roads. "There was a 24km stage that we did twice and we changed the tyres, which got us closer to the pace of the leaders so that we were lying fourth overnight."
Saturday started with some damp patches on the roads and competition kicked off with a fast and bumpy 5km stage. "That was more like the conditions I'm used to from Ireland and the Isle of Man," said Richard, who flew through the stage to be fastest by 15s. "That was brilliant for us and we leapfrogged into second place."
Ahead of them was the Lancia Stratos of Marco Bianchini, but the Italian ace then picked up road penalties with a starter problem and Tuthill/Bennie swept ahead with three stages left to run.
"The Stratos was ahead of us and realistically we were never going to catch him. We were taking time back, but we'd lost too much time on Friday evening. But it was a great learning experience and it was great to be on the pace all through Saturday."
To underline their speed, Tuthill and Bennie were fastest on the three final stages to underline a tremendous performance in their Dunlop-tyred Porsche.
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