Tuthill 997 RGT to return on Rallye de France with WRC star
Tuthill Porsche are to return for their second successive WRC tarmac rally with their Porsche 997 RGT car after confirming their entry into this week’s Rallye de France Alsace.
If it wasn’t enough for French rally fans to see the crowd-pleasing 997 GT3-based car on the Alsace stages, it will be piloted by four-time WRC rally winner (and local hero) François Delecour, with the competitive action getting underway on Friday.
“I am so excited,” enthused the 52-year-old French rally legend. “I have so much enthusiasm to drive this car. This is my dream, my dream to drive a Porsche in the World Rally Championship. It is more than fantastic.”
Delecour’s last WRC outing took place on this year’s Monte Carlo Rally (20 years after he secured his final WRC victory on the same event) but the Frenchman has been keeping sharp in the Romanian Rally Championship this year, securing the title this weekend.
Having travelled straight from the latest RRC round, Delecour is testing Tuthill’s 997 RGT – which finished Rallye Deutschland in 27th overall on its debut – today, before Rallye de France kicks off with the shakedown stages this Thursday.
With the FIA providing the Porsche 911 with an extra 25bhp thanks to a larger air restrictor, both Delecour and team boss, Richard Tuthill are confident of bettering the Rallye Deutschland result (as long as conditions stay dry).
“François is the perfect driver for this car – he’s so full of character and enthusiasm,” Tuthill explained. “Let’s not forget, he’s one of the finest drivers ever to come out of France.
“The driver is certainly a lot better [compared to Germany] and I think the car will suit the roads a bit more as well. I’d like to see us looking for the minimum of a top 20 and hopefully top 15.”
“What I want is the top 15 and to be at the same level as the R5 cars,” confirmed Delecour, who will also be up against a similar Porsche 997 GT3 RS driven by Porsche factory driver, Romain Dumas.
Keep up to date with all of Tuthill’s rallying exploits at Total911.com. With a few days to go until the start of Rallye de France Alsace, check out this video of the 997 RGT in action at the last WRC round in Germany.