Some time ago I posted the paintwork on a Porsche 956 LH (here's the shortcut), which was prepared to contest the 4 rounds of the 2009 Group C Championship. Now that the season is finished, and since I got back to finishing on the podium (3rd place), I think it's time to honor one of my rare well-born slot cars.
Being a Ferrari fan, driving a Porsche may sound like sheer heresy. Maybe not. I'm a global motor sport fan, and even the most hardcore Tiffosi must recognize Porsche as a fierce rival - why? Because they DO know what racing is all about. No one can contest that the Porsche 956 has earned its place on the "all-time greatest sports cars of them all".
As I said in the painting article, this car was being prepared in two fronts (some dedication, huh?). While all the paintwork was being carried out, I was losing precious track time, so in order to make up for that, I fitted all the mechanical parts I was intending to use on the most comparable machinery I had at hand: a Slot.It Porsche 956 KH, "Warsteiner" livery.
The machinery testbed... much of the black and silver 956 LH success started here.
Since the 956 KH is a proven less efficient Porsche, I was more interested it getting to grips with the mandatory Slot.It silicone tires, which proved quite tricky in Carrera tracks. Still, I liked the "loose rear" feel. I spent many laps with low-grip tires in my learning days and even to my best efforts, I never managed to produce extra-grip "vintage" rubber tires as many of our local racers do. So, one point in my favour, I was hoping...
First race, at the CSB track:
With many of us in the dark about the real capacities of each car, I got a surprising 2nd place amongst 15 drivers! And the greatest surprise was seeing my car lapping the track 2 tenths fastest than my best times in practice. I had and still have no clues on that sudden performance increase, but I would like it to happen more regularly!
The "parc fermé" after the race, with the podium finishers standing out. Mine is the silver and black.
Second race, GT Team track:
The evolution of the car was not significant during the week, but I knew I had a reliable, easy to drive car. That was important for this track, but not critical. In a race where the Porsche "gang" were racing on a class of their own, I was a bit off pace to a couple 956 "cousins". This is the race where I first used my new electronic controller, a NSR clone. After turning 5 lanes without any incident of de-slot, it seems I saved them for the last one, when the car behaved absolutely unstable! Luckily I was able to keep 3rd place, but I only secured it by meters!
Here I am, pointing at my new electronic controller. It was the first time I raced with it...
Another podium finish, 2 out of 2 races. This time, a 3rd place...
Third race: CSB track
The return to the CSB track proved a more closer fight. My car was quite fast on the middle lanes, but lost some performance on the outside ones. With a couple of stability issues left to solve, I was hoping for the best, despite my motor proving to be one of the best around. With similar gear rations, I was leaving everybody behind on the main straight - but not seeming to lose acceleration on the narrower sections. To my best efforts, I had to concede a podium finish here but managed a 4th place, by a couple of meters to the 5th placed driver. Still, the odds of finishing 3rd in the Championship were good - unlike the odds of finishing 2nd or even 1st (the mathematical chances were there, though...)
My car, standing 4th on the starting grid. This was the only race this car failed to finish on the podium.
Fourth and final race, GT Team track
While attempting to solve the stability issues that marred my performance on last race, I opted for some bigger 16,5mm magnesium Slot.It rims at the front (I was fitting 15,9mm plastic Slot.It rims), and now I had a more stable "nose", which was a gladly welcome improvement. My rivals for 3rd place did not show up, so all I had to do was keeping my head cool to secure the last step on the championship podium. I did it securing 3rd place in the race, behind the guys that dominated this season.
Another 3rd place for my car's final race...
A proud owner (to the right). At the center, the young Luís was champion for the first time ever. Congratulations!