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Dual Mt Buller Sprint winner, Jim Richards, will shake down a brand new car at the Mountain this weekend.


 

Richards recently took delivery of the all-new Porsche 911 Turbo and has been preparing the car at his Melbourne workshop in between racing commitments at Bathurst and the Lexmark Indy 300.

The new 911 Turbo (Type 997) made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in February this year and is only just on sale in Australia.

According to Porsche, the car has maximum power of 353kW at 6000rpm – or around 44kW more than its predecessor (Type 996). Maximum torque is also increased from 560Nm to 620Nm over an increased engine speed range.

Factory performance figures suggest the new car will accelerate from 0-100kmh in 3.9 seconds and will push from 80 to 120kmh in fifth gear in 3.8 seconds, while top speed is reputed to be 310kmh.

Richards says, at this point, he’s not expecting too much more from his new car other than the official performance figures would suggest – which is probably not particularly comforting for his rivals.

“I’m counting on that sort of performance this weekend. Eventually it will be more, but I really haven’t had the time to do much to it.

“I’d like to think we will be a bit faster than we were in January, simply with the way the car is now.

“We set the record of 8m.45.5s in January 2005 [in a 2003 GT2] and we came within about point-four of it in January this year [in a 2004 GT2].

“I think we can do better, but it will be interesting to see if this car is as fast straight out of the box as the old cars, or whether we still have to do some more work on it to match the speed.

“We’ll just do the best we can on the day. The fact that the event is now in November rather than January means the weather might be a bit cooler and the road surface should be a lot better," Richards said.
 
Jim will share the new car with long-term co-driver Barry Oliver, the on-course ‘voice’ of V8 Supercars, and says they are looking forward to their weekend ‘in the country’.

“We’ve both been pretty busy over the last month, with Bathurst and then Indy. It’s going to be terrific to get back to Mt Buller. We always enjoy that road.”

In case his rivals aren’t wary enough about their chances against ‘Gentleman Jim’, they probably won’t be pleased to know that Richards’ new Porsche features a redesigned all-wheel drive system with an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch.

The press release says the all-wheel electronics system constantly determines the optimal torque distribution to ensure the best-possible drive which translates into high agility on narrow country roads, outstanding traction in rain and snow and optimal active safety at high speeds – in other words, perfect for Mt Buller.

Richards, Oliver and this car will be hard to beat.
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