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This Is What An F1-Powered 1986 Porsche 930 Sounds Like

Understated but sporting a very special.

The elusive TAG V6-powered 930 has become stuff of legend—more myth than reality. Hearsay about a small batch of these development mules have circled around the internet, with only a few grainy photos as evidence to their existence. For fans of Porsche and F1, this wedding of greats is something truly special to finally see in action—like spotting an elusive white whale.

Fans of ’80s Formula 1 will no doubt recognize the trademark throaty burble of the TAG TT1 P01. The 80-degree, 1.5-liter V6, force-fed by two KKK turbochargers and soaring to 12,600 rpm, made as much as 1,100 horsepower in qualifying trim. While not the most powerful as the contemporary Honda, Renault, and BMW engines, the Porsche-TAG engine was one of the most successful.

In an era dogged by unreliability, this motor was one of the more robust. Rather than peak power, Porsche chased reliability and a seamless chassis-engine integration. This foresight resulted in this motor three drivers’ championships, two constructors’ championships, and an astounding 25 wins from its 68 races.

Though justifiably conservative with the 930, it’s still extremely quick down the front straight.

It was also extremely light at just 320 pounds without turbos, intercoolers, or exhaust. When thrown in the rear of the 930, it brought the total to 2,425 pounds. This car was used as a development mule to get the most out of the motor at the time, though this example was detuned slightly. Rather than running full boost and revs, they dropped both for a total of 510 horsepower at 9,000 rpm. Remember, these motors — sometimes referred to as « grenades » — were boosted at 50+ psi in race trim, so some changes were needed for reliability’s sake.

Lanzante will be building 11 of these at the price of $1.45 million a pop. Even with the restrained run and poor camera work, it still looks like it’s worth every dollar. Time to start searching through the couch for any misplaced coins.


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Mark Webber Lends His Two Cents on What It’s Like To Drive The First Porsche 917

As part of the grand celebration of the 917’s 50th birthday, several major names were given the chance to parade some of the most iconic variants of the car at Goodwood’s 77th Members’ Meeting last month. One of those names was the affable and straight-talking Aussie who’s done quite well at the top of the racing ladder for the last two decades: Mr. Mark Webber.

Barely fitting his lanky frame inside the cramped cabin of chassis #001, Webber explains how ergonomics weren’t the top priority for the 917’s engineers. An awkwardly placed wheel at a canted angle and a roof that forces the 6’2″ Webber into the seat don’t make for a comfortable jaunt around Goodwood, but he’s pleased nonetheless.

Webber livened up Goodwood’s 77th Members’ Meeting with his famously cheeky sense of humor.

Getting to sample a car with so much history is worth a little discomfort—even a few compressed discs. Prior to the event, 917-001 underwent a full restoration to the exact specification in which it left Zuffenhausen in 1969, bound for its international debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Having been thoroughly reworked, we can only imagine what it was like to campaign one of these cars at Le Mans; what it was like to drive one in the lashing rain for hours on end.

917-001 is finished in Porsche’s traditional racing white with the green nose that adorned all 25 of the 1969 homologation cars.

When asked if he’d liked to have raced one in its heyday, we get an answer that seems quite diplomatic from the typically blunt wisecracker. While he admits to wanting to, he implies the danger inherent in driving such a car—a car with the driver’s feet well ahead of the front axle. Webber’s seen some wild accidents in his 30 years of racing, and sensibly, he feels some trepidation at the thought of racing such a wild animal. It’s hard to blame him.


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Mark Webber Scares Tennis Pro in a Carrera 4S Cabriolet

In addition to being Porsche’s most famous brand ambassador, Mark Webber is a genuinely warm-hearted bloke. Never staid, tight-lipped, or solemn, the affable Aussie has natural charm that is only bettered by his superhuman driving ability. Those two qualities come in quite handy when guiding a tennis star around a testing circuit in a very quick 911.

As part of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix supporting program, Webber gave Elina Svitolina a few lessons in the prize for this year’s WTA tournament’s main prize: a 991 Carrera 4S Cabriolet. With Porsche’s Development Center Weissach as the playground, these two could enjoy the dynamics of the renowned chassis and ferocious acceleration of the 3.8-liter turbo motor, which propelled them to 62 in just 3.8 seconds.

Svitolina discovering her natural driving ability.

The mere mention of Webber’s gets fans excited, but seeing him test the limits of this car with a (likely) uninitiated passenger sitting alongside is quality amusement. The man who’s been at the top for so long never seems to lose his passion for racing, he always wears a smile, and he never fails to entertain.

Webber and Svitolina share a laugh before another hot lap.

What I wouldn’t give to have Mark Webber as a personal driving instructor for the day. That’s a very cool opportunity.


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Mark Webber Hustles the GT2 RS Clubsport Around Bathurst

In a world of clean-cut, politically correct sportsmen, Mark Webber is refreshingly honest, humorous, and occasionally a bit rude. Webber is candid and transparent in front of the camera, which makes his love for the Porsche marque all the more special; he’s never playing the insincere corporate spokesman.

With a two-day beard and an open-faced helmet, Webber hops into the fearsome GT2 RS Clubsport and threads the track toy around Mt. Panorama with the smooth style which made him such a success. As part of the Bathurst 12 Hour, Webber ran a series of demonstration laps in the GT2 RS Clubsport.

Webber posing against 1 of the 200 GT2 RS Clubsports.

Though he hadn’t driven the track since 1995, when he raced there in Formula Ford, Webber clearly got up to speed quickly and had no problems brushing the barriers coming over the hill. In fact, the speeds he reached down the Conrod Straight dwarfed whatever the Formula Ford could muster.

“The last time I drove at Bathurst was 24 years ago in the Formula Ford. Driving now on this wonderful circuit with this sports car was a sensational experience for me,” says the world endurance champion of 2015. “It’s incredible how much punch the engine has. Although I wasn’t driving at the maximum racing speed, I still reached 296 km/h at the end of the straight. Crazy!”

Even driving below the limit, Webber hit 183 miles an hour down the Conrod Straight.

Even after an illustrious career in the world’s fastest cars, the GT2 RS Clubsport still wows the gritty Aussie—a testament to the seriousness of the build. Webber may have retired from competition in 2016, but it’s clear that he’s not quite ready to give up on the thrill of driving some of the greatest cars in the world.


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Mark Webber Shows a Tennis Legend the Quick Way Around Silverstone in a GT3 RS

With 11-time Grand Slam champion Rod Laver sitting shotgun, Mark Webber showcases his textbook-smooth driving, his dry wit, and his affability. These qualities help convey some of the sensations that a professional racing driver experiences on a regular basis, and some of the exhilaration that makes someone want to strap themselves into a 500-horsepower supercar. It’s enough to put a mile-wide smile on Laver’s face.

Always a cool customer, the octogenarian tennis legend listens calmly as Webber relays the basics of road course racing and demonstrates the absurd stick and speed of the GT3 RS. Webber’s smooth style converts Laver’s initial expressions of shock and awe into joy. There’s a special mixture of comfort and concern that anyone riding in a thoroughbred sports car with a world-class driver gets to experience.

Though this conversation is occasionally drowned out from the roar of the 4.0-liter engine, the two have obvious rapport. Their sincere, broad smiles demonstrate they’re both on something of the same wavelength while negotiating the technical Porsche Experience Center at Silverstone, despite the obvious difference in experience. Chalk some of that up to a wonderful teacher—and a pupil whose mind is still open to new experiences despite spending eight decades on this earth.

The two Aussie sporting legends beam before leaving the pits.


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