Thursday 28 May 2009

Porsche Of Halifax 2009 Rally

On May 24th, I had the pleasure of playing navigator for my friend Gordon’s beautiful raspberry 2008 Boxster on a Porsche Rally organized by Porsche of Halifax.

It was a well-prepared and well-attended event, featuring Boxsters, Caymans, Cayennes, 911 Turbos, Carrera 4Ss and Carreras, 21 Porsches in all. Even with the cool wind, and the spotty rain, it was still a fun event.

Each driver/navigator was given a list of directions, quiz questions, and route maps to help them along. The route started at the base of historic Point Pleasant Park in Halifax, snaked it’s way through the historic downtown, then across the Harbour through to Eastern Passage, up along the coast, past Lawrencetown Beach to finish at Porter’s Lake Provincial Park & Campground.

At key points along the whole route, we had questions to answer on the sheets, relating to your knowledge of Nova Scotia, past and present. The most right answers were rewarded with a beautiful Porsche 911 watch. Gord is a good, enthusiastic driver, so it was fun to ride shotgun with him.

Once arrived at Porters Lake, we were treated to a beautiful buffet lunch provided by the well-known and respected caterer Scanway. It was delicious!

I met someone really wonderful people, and had lots of fun. My hat goes off to Steve Archibald of Porsche of Halifax and his great team for pulling off a successful event.

I hope there will be more like it!

Friday 22 May 2009

Porsche 917 – 40th Anniversary of the Legend - Part 2

Changing Lanes in 1972
For 1972, the Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI) changed the Makes rules, basically rendering the 917 obsolete for Group 5 Sports Cars.

At the time, Porsche was also involved with the Can-Am Challenge, having decided to re-purpose their racer to this end, and raise their growing profile in the North American market.

Can-Am racing patch, circa 1972

They created a new light-weight spyder body for the car and re-christened it the 917-10. At the time, they were also experimenting with engine turbo-charging, giving the car 850 bhp.

The new car, fielded by Penske Racing, was initially driven by Mark Donohue, but a testing accident sidelined him for the season. Driving duties were then taken up by George Follmer, who successfully broke McLaren Racing’s five-year dominance of the series, and won the Championship.

Penske Sunoco Porsche 917-30 - Can Am 1973
Pen & ink on vellum, digitally painted
© Paul Chenard 2007
Limited editions available.

917-30 – A Monster Machine

For 1973, Roger Penske and Mark Donohue redesigned the 917-10, giving a longer wheelbase, a more aerodynamic body, and a much more powerful twin-turbo-charged engine … 5.4-liters, 12 cylinders, 1250 bhp’s worth! The resulting top speed was 414 km/h (257 mph)!

The Penske Sunoco Porsche 917-30 was unstoppable, with the Donohue-driven car winning six out of the 8 races, and taking the Championship.

For 1974, the fuel-consumption rule-change, and the dwindling interest in Can-Am basically killed the series as it was, and the Porsche 917-30.

Martini Racing/Herbert Muller Interserie winner poster
80 cm x 37 cm, autographed by Muller, 1974.

The 917-30 found a renewed purpose in the European-based Interserie. In the hands of Swiss driver Herbert Müller, it was the winner of the 1974 Championship.

Friday 15 May 2009

Porsche 917 – 40th Anniversary of the Legend - Part 1

Racing in their Blood
Porsche’s history in motor sports started in baby steps.
First there were the regular cars modified for racing, such as the Gmund racers.

With their cars potential clearly evident, Porsche developed it’s own racers: there was, from that point on, a steady succession of more and more powerful purpose-made racers.

Porsche RS60 - Sebring 1960
Prismacolor on Strathmore gray archival paper 9"x 4"
© Paul Chenard 2008
Philip Powell Collection

The 550, the 718, the RSK, the RS60, the 904, 906, 908, 910 all met with success. As each new racer emerged, Porsche eyed more and more closely the possibility of an outright win at the 24 hours Le Mans.

The Beginning of the Legend

For 1968, the Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI) decided that the International Championship of Makes would run 5-liter engines and to qualify, each maker had to produce a minimum of 25 cars. Porsche decided it was time to act. They took the 908 chassis, modified and strengthened it to carry a 4.5-liter flat-12 engine, while moving the cockpit forward; the 917 was born!

Corgi #385 Porsche 917 (England) 1970's

On April 20, 1969, Porsche stunned the CSI inspectors by having all 25 of the new racers ready for their viewing.

917K - The Le Mans Dynasty

The first attempt at Le Mans with the basically undeveloped new car was not successful. It was incredibly unstable at speed, with its body and suspension in need of more development. After a fatal first-lap crash of one of the new racers, all the other 917’s failed to finish, and one lone 908 finishing an extremely close second, driven by Hans Herrmann and Gérard Larrousse.

For 1970, under John Wyer’s JWA Team guidance, Porsche chopped the tail off, reshaped the body, and tweaked the suspension and tire choice. Combined, these changes created a huge difference it the 917, which became the 917K.

Porsche 917K - Le Mans 1970
Prismacolor on Strathmore black archival paper 19"x 12"
© Paul Chenard 2009
Original art available, as are limited editions.

At Le Mans, the car was unbeatable, with a win by the Porsche Salzburg team 917K No.23, masterfully driven by Hans Herrmann and Richard “Dickie” Attwood. Porsche goal to win the celebrated race came to fruition.

The wins did not stop there, with the 917Ks of JWA, Martini Racing, and Porsche Salzburg teams also winning the 24 hours of Daytona, the 1000 km of Brands Hatch, the 1000 km of Monza, the 1000 km of Spa, the 6 hours of Watkins Glen, the 500 km of Imola, the 1000 km of Zeltweg, just to name a few.

It was also had a staring role Steve McQueen’s movie “Le Mans”.

For 1971, the amazing 917 kept on winning; Le Mans, Buenos Aires, Daytona, Sebring, the Nurburgring, Monza, Spa, Zeltweg all fell to the powerful racer.

Including that first Le Mans win in 1970, Porsche has won the historic race a record sixteen times!

Steve McQueen & Le Mans 1970
Pen & ink on vellum, digitally painted
© Paul Chenard 2007

Friday 8 May 2009

Gilles Villeneuve — Jan. 18, 1950-May 8, 1982

Sadly, it was 27 years ago today that we lost Gilles Villeneuve.

He still very much in our hearts ...

Monday 4 May 2009

Monte Carlo Rallye tin toy

Design Edge magazine featured a story on graphic designers and their hobbies and personal interests, and how they mingle.

They were interested of how the Indian toy company
Welby hired me to do the packaging for their new re-creation vintage toy.

Talk about outsourcing!