Sometimes a new car build is preceded by so many Chinese whispers that it’s hard to discern the truth from fiction, hearsay or outright, trumped-up nonsense. Consequently, we kept our expectations in check when we went to take a sneak peek at the car known only as “RP 968″.
Nothing could have prepared us for what was wheeled out for its first glimpse of daylight at PR Technology on Sydney’s Northern Beaches last weekend.
This is, in every regard, one of the most extreme builds we have ever seen. Whilst the team at PR Technology are working day and night to get the car ready for its debut at WTAC 2015 we decided we could wait no longer. Here it is – RP 968!
Rod Pobestek has a thing for Porsches. He has played around at Porsche Club days and Supersprints in his 968 Clubspec car and after attending WTAC as a spectator for several years he harboured a passion to build a pretty cool Open Class car and, of course, it had to be a Porsche.
The planning started in mid 2014 with many a late night conversation to Patrick Garvan (the owner of the Evolution Industries built black 944 Turbo) with a view to going head to head with this car as a bit of friendly rivalry.
Then two very pivotal things happened. First, he spent the days at WTAC 2014 cruising the pit garages and checking out what it would take to build an Open Class winning car. He ventured into the garage containing Under Suzuki’s car and his world was virtually changed from that moment on.
“I can remember just staring at it for several minutes saying: man, oh man, this is just crazy. To be able to build something like this…” As it happened, in the pit garage next door was the Sutton’s Brothers Silvia and that’s where the second important moment took place.
“They had a guy named Sammy Diasinos helping them and we got chatting. Sammy is ex Formula One having worked for many years with Toyota, Williams and Caterham so we had an interesting chat and exchanged numbers.”
“From there we returned to PR Technology whom I have worked with on my other projects and started the build of an Open Class 968” said Rod. “But when we contacted WTAC about running all GT3 suspension and subframes we discovered that this would move us up to Pro Class.”
“After discussions with Richard Den Brinker from PR it became obvious our initial plan would certainly not produce a car competitive in the Pro Class. If we were to go down this road, we would have to totally change our direction and build a proper “aero” car. Once that decision was made, the whole thing just snowballed into what you see here.”
“It is certainly without compromise and although it is not what we had originally planned, the end result is pretty damn cool you have to admit! “
“This was certainly a fantastic project to be involved in” said PR Tech boss Richard Den Brinker “We are proud of the fact that we built almost all of this car in-house. With the exception of the body which was built by a carbon fibre boat builder in Nowra and a few other bits and pieces we built everything here.”
“The fabrication, the wiring, the engine, tuning the lot.We worked hand in hand with Sammy Diasinis to design the aero and engineer Dijon Ninic on the vehicles dynamics. We still have a bit to go but will certainly be looking to hit the ground running. An awful lot of work went into the planning to ensure we get it right long before we pick up the tools.”
“We built the whole car on the computer first, simulated it, made changes until we got it right. After all this work we are certainly all looking forward to see the fruits of our labour and that means taking the win on debut. This car was built to win WTAC nothing else. But as you know in racing anything can happen. Regardless, we go in extremely positive.”
[pullquote]This car was built to win WTAC. Nothing else. [/pullquote]
The engine, like the rest of the car, is a serious work of art. Using the original 968 engine with 3 litres in capacity, the PR team then stuffed the bottom end full of forged internals retaining only the standard crankshaft.
The cylinder head was ported and then reversed on the block putting the inlet and exhaust on the opposite side from OEM. “This was mainly for better packaging” said Richard “It moves the hot side up high in the engine bay and away from all the aero ducting.”
A big Borg Warner EFR turbo sits up on a PR Tech manifold and a pair of Tial wastegates. PWR have handled the entire cooling system. The power output can be varied from anywhere from 600 to 900hp via controls mounted on the steering wheel.
“We can change the boost, ABS, traction control and many other things on the fly” said Richard “we have over 100 sensors monitoring every minute detail and this should enable us to dial all this in very quickly.”
Safety is a serious priority as you would expect in a car of this calibre and the team have gone over and above to ensure no stone has been left unturned in this regard. Whilst the car is constructed almost entirely of carbon fibre, the roll cage is extensive and draws on PR Technology’s years of motorsport experience to ensure occupant safety.
The front floor is all original Porsche as is the firewall to meet the WTAC Pro Class rules. The wiring was still being finished as we shot this car and we were informed the car went on the dyno as this story was being published.
Moving down to the rolling stock we see Japanese RAYS Wheels wrapped in 295/35/18 Yokohama AO50 tyres. Hidden in behind are a set of genuine Porsche Motorsport monoblock brakes that are a nice touch. The side panels were still to be added but everywhere you look this car just reeks “business”.
If the front of the car looks impressive when you walk around the back you really go into sensory overload. The wing is still yet to be mounted properly and has the sideplates installed but you get the idea of how crazy this car looks.
The really cool thing is you can pick it straight away as a 968 Porsche – something many of the pro cars have struggled with in recent years.The big dorsal fin on the roof is reminiscent of a LeMans car but is there for a reason. It greatly aids in lateral stability and that means faster corner entry speed.
The deep tunnels hide a 6 speed paddle shift Albins transaxle and you can just tell everything is there for a purpose. And that purpose is One Perfect Lap.
The detail work is amazing and precise. If you look underneath you will see that even the A-arms are made from streamline chrome moly tube and are angled up or down as they too form part of the overall aero package.
“We spent many days just filling in holes” said Richard “This is so important when you run aero at this level. Everything must be sealed off. The engine bay, the cabin, the lot.”
When you park it next to Rod’s street 968 that the craziness of this build really sets in. While it still clearly retains its identity, there is no denying it is on some serious steroids!
The original Porsche door handles are a cool touch, one of the few remaining OEM body parts. The Porsche mill is just peeping through the bonnet vent and the evil dorsal fin looms over the roof like some kind of shark searching for dinner.
We can’t wait to see what sort of color scheme this car will be rocking at WTAC but you can bet your life it will be as cool as the rest of the build.
If these guys look tired it’s probably because they are! This is just some of the build team that helped create this monster. On the left at rear is Rod Pobestek (owner) next to him is Richard Den Brinker (PR Technology MD) and on the right standing at rear is Dejan Ninic (engineer) and Sammy Diasinos (aero engineer).
Whilst all of the design of this car was done via extremely hi tech software normally only used in F1, Indycar or LMP1, the team were able to integrate the actual finished car into a SIM using tyre models to simulate the tyre and downforce levels and give the driver David Wall some real life experience as to what this car will be like to pilot around Sydney Motorsport Park prior to actually driving it.
We will leave you with a few words from the engineers Sammy and Dejan.
“I was very excited to have the opportunity to work with the team to develop the aerodynamics of the RP 968 in what has been a very unique project. My involvement was to shape every surface that is in contact with the air to ensure that the maximum downforce possible was obtained without deviating from the original appearance of a Porsche 968.”
“Over 300 iterations have been tested on the bodywork using CFD to achieve, what we hope, will be a very competetive aerodynamic package. Additional to the aerodynamic development, I followed the manufacture of the bodywork, provided predictions of the aerodynamic loads and characterized the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle as it moves around the track.”
“This project had many similarities to the work I undertook whilst being head of CFD development for Caterham F1 team and I really look forward to continue working on this and similar projects“
Dr Sammy Diasonos PHD Dynamic Aero Solutions
“Envirage has been involved in the structural design and analysis of the chassis, suspension and structural carbon components. We also designed the suspension kinematics and dynamics.”
“Envirage has been involved in WTAC since the inception in 2010 and brings a wealth of real life event experience including a strong familiarity of thew characteristics of the Yokohama Ao50 control tyre we will be using. “Our passion is to bring advanced methods of design to motorsport in Australia. Other activities we are involved with include WRC (Citroen), Australian GT and Carrera Cup.”
Dejan Ninic PHD Envirage Pty Ltd
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