2017 marks forty years since the Porsche 928 made its debut, and in the four decades since the front-engined, V8-powered GT first went on sale, it has carved a special niche in the admiration of Porsche enthusiasts and car fans around the world.
To celebrate this significant anniversary, Porsche Cars GB and its four Classic Partner Centres - in Hatfield, Hertfordshire; Swindon, Wiltshire; Leeds, Yorkshire; and Glasgow, Scotland - will be racing a specially-prepared 928 in the 1970s Roadsport Championship of the Historic Sports Car Club.
And in a further highlight, the driver will be 1970 Le Mans winner Richard Attwood. Familiar to many enthusiasts for clinching the first Le Mans 24 Hours win by Porsche in the fearsome 917, Richard (77) also raced a 928 in period in the 1984 Daytona 24 Hours for the Brumos team. The livery of the new car hints at that worn during the Florida endurance race. And, in recognition of the anniversary of the 928, the car is racing with number #40.
Today, Richard divides his time between instructing at the Porsche Experience Centre Silverstone, working as a Porsche ambassador and participating in historic motor sport events. Last weekend, 20 May, he combined all these pastimes as he began the first race at the famous Silverstone circuit, supported by the technical expertise of colleagues from Porsche Centre Swindon.
The 928 entered by the Porsche Classic Partner Centre team has a particular allure, having started life as one of the very earliest examples to reach the GB market in 1978.
Powered by the charismatic 4.5-litre V8 engine that was specially designed for the car, and driving the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission, the standard car developed 240 hp. At launch, the 928 was a remarkable GT performance car that offered an appealing combination of power and panache.
With assistance from Road and Race Restorations of Manchester, a Porsche Recommended Repairer, the car has been completely stripped, re-conditioned, re-sprayed and prepared for the race. In addition, the engine has been overhauled to return it to pristine and purposeful condition. In every respect, the modifications respect the rules of the racing Championship, and consequently the car has a very authentic appearance.
The tradition of road cars making a seamless transition to the circuit has a long tradition at Porsche, where lessons from the race track are fed in to every stage of the product development process. The challenging Nürburgring circuit in Germany plays a fundamental role in the fine-tuning of every Porsche, and this unrivalled procedure ensures the chassis, brakes and drivetrain deliver the dynamic responses expected of a sports car – in every segment Porsche is represented.
The 928 will be run at each race (where it participates in ‘Class A’ of the 70s Roadsport category) by one of the four Classic Partner Centres in the Porsche Cars GB network.
Those participating Centres will be using the race campaign to demonstrate their proven expert knowledge of all Porsche technical topics. In addition, they will be continuing to exploit the skills that contributed to success of the previous Classic Partner Centre project; the restoration of a historic 1980 Porsche 924 GTP Le Mans racer owned by the Porsche Museum, Stuttgart.
During the season, it is intended the 928 will also be proudly displayed in the showrooms of the Porsche Centres responsible bringing this significant era of Porsche history alive.
Catch the 928 in action on these dates around the UK
The car made its debut at the famous Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire on May 20 - 21, where Richard put in a solid performance around the Grand Prix track. He qualified in ninth place out of an entry of 35 cars, and in a wet race finished third overall and first in class.
The car will now complete the race season on the following dates:
June 17 - 18 Wolds Trophy, Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire
July 1 - 2 Legends of Brands Hatch Superprix, Kent
5 - 6 August Croft Nostalgia Weekend, North Yorkshire
26 - 27 - 28 August Oulton Park Gold Cup, Cheshire
21 - 22 October Silverstone Championship Final, Northamptonshire
4 - 5 November Walter Hayes Trophy, Silverstone
Porsche Classic is the factory department responsible for the supply of parts and technical support for all Porsche cars from the earliest 356 from the 1950s up to the ‘Type 996’ 911 from 1998-2004 and ‘Type 986’ Boxster from 1996-2004 – and everything in between. Over 70 per cent of all Porsche cars ever made are still on the road, and over 50,000 original equipment parts are available from Porsche Centres to service and maintain these. The Porsche Classic Partner Centres in Glasgow, Hatfield, Leeds and Swindon have invested further in offering drivers of older Porsche cars additional support, and a dedicated area of their Centre showrooms highlights this special focus.
For more information on Porsche Classic vehicles please contact ours specialist Porsche Classic Centre.
Porsche Centre Swindon
01793 398 525