Tuthill Porsche Rallye de France-Alsace day two report

News release

04.10.14

Tuthill Porsche Rallye de France-Alsace day two report

Francois Delecour (FRA)/Dominique Savignoni (FRA) Porsche 911 RGT #92

Francois Delecour’s challenge for victory in the R-GT class battle ended when he damaged his Tuthill Porsche 911’s radiator on the Vallee de Munster (SS11) stage of Rallye de France this afternoon.

The four-time world rally winner clipped a chicane mid-way through the second run of the 18.90-kilometre test and stopped soon after. While the damage to the bumper is superficial, the car’s radiator was damaged causing a water leak.

Having completed the loop of morning stages on a high after beating rival class Romain Dumas through SS10, Delecour guided the Below Zero-backed 911 to the remote service in Colmar. The car was fitted with fresh Michelin rubber for a re-run of the trio of tests to the west of the town. It was mid-way through the first of that loop where Delecour retired from day two. 

After a lengthy inspection of the car back in service this evening, the team has decided it will return to the stages north of Strasbourg tomorrow. Francois will start under Rally 2 regulations (which permit the car to re-enter, but with a time penalty for each stage Delecour failed to complete today).

The car underwent a precautionary change of clutch this evening ahead of tomorrow’s final four stages of Rallye de France Alsace.

Francois Delecour said: “The mistake was a simple one. I was braking from sixth gear into a chicane and I just, just, just braked too late. I got through the first part of the chicane, but then we clipped the second part with the front. I was worried for the radiator, so we stopped and we saw we lost some water. This is more than disappointing.  

“I had a good feeling with the car through the morning. We had just taken time from Romain [Dumas, R-GT rival] on the stage before service and we were looking forward to a good battle through the afternoon. I thought I would remember more of these stages from when I came here maybe 10 years ago. I remember some small sections of the road this morning, but not so much. When we come to a new stage for this year, then I was able to take time from him. He competed here last year, maybe that experience counts?

“Anyway, like I said, this is a big disappointment for me and for the Tuthill team. I am really sorry for what happened. We have all worked hard to get here. ”

Richard Tuthill said: “It’s such a shame. Francois has driven very, very well and appears to have a paid a very big price for a really small mistake. It’s such a shame for him, Dominique and the team. Everything was going well and we were looking forward to taking the challenge to Romain Dumas through the afternoon. These things happen. We’re really keen to see the car back out tomorrow and that’s the plan.”

Daily data:

#92 Porsche 911 RGT

SS8 18th– 2ndRGT – 20thoverall

SS9 18th– 2ndRGT – 20thoverall

SS10 22nd– 1stRGT – 20thoverall

SS11 Retired

Weather: sunny, 13-24 Celsius

Yesterday’s data:

SS1 18th– 2ndRGT – 18thoverall

SS2 21st– 2ndRGT – 21stoverall

SS3 20th– 1stRGT – 22ndoverall

SS4 20th– 2ndRGT – 22ndoverall

SS5 21st– 2ndRGT – 20thoverall

SS6 21st– 1stRGT – 20thoverall

SS7 24th– 2ndRGT – 20th overall

Weather: sunny, 14-24 Celsius

Today in a tweet:

Superhero quick down the hill to Riquewihr ended a great morning. Clipping SS11 chicane changed fortunes and robbed #92 of water. #earlybath

Tomorrow is… all about two stages: one north of Saverne and one to the south. Both run twice, both well into the woods and both brand new for 2014. 

Longest stage: SS16/18 Foret de Saverne (19.36km)

Shortest stage: SS15/17 Foret de la Petite Pierre (12.33km)

Weather: Rain expected to arrive in the late morning.

Copyright-free picture attached for editorial use only.

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Quotes

The mistake was a simple one. I was braking from sixth gear into a chicane and I just, just, just braked too late. I got through the first part of the chicane, but then we clipped the second part with the front. I was worried for the radiator, so we stopped and we saw we lost some water. This is more than disappointing. I had a good feeling with the car through the morning. We had just taken time from Romain [Dumas, R-GT rival] on the stage before service and we were looking forward to a good battle through the afternoon. I thought I would remember more of these stages from when I came here maybe 10 years ago. I remember some small sections of the road this morning, but not so much. When we come to a new stage for this year, then I was able to take time from him. He competed here last year, maybe that experience counts? Anyway, like I said, this is a big disappointment for me and for the Tuthill team. I am really sorry for what happened. We have all worked hard to get here.
Francois Delecour
It’s such a shame. Francois has driven very, very well and appears to have a paid a very big price for a really small mistake. It’s such a shame for him, Dominique and the team. Everything was going well and we were looking forward to taking the challenge to Romain Dumas through the afternoon. These things happen. We’re really keen to see the car back out tomorrow and that’s the plan.
Richard Tuthill