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Zen and the Art of Rally Porsche Maintenance

By John Glynn. Pics by Hayden

We are into the last week of the London to Cape Town rally. The Porsche 912 of Burvill and Caldwell is in 7th position, one hour ahead of its nearest class competitor. Between the 912 and the lead lies three 4x4s, an MG and a Porsche 911.

Thoughts now turn to reaching the finish.

The 912 has been reliable, but it’s taken a pounding on these tough desert roads. Pictures from the event show an emerging collection of dents on the previously straight body, which is to be expected when pushing as hard as this. Hayden and Alastair have recently been applying themselves to ongoing maintenance with the aim of crossing the line not first in class, just in fact.

I’ve just had some pictures from the Australian showing the sort of stuff he’s been up to: pretty funny if you know Hayden. Looks like pretty hard work whether you know him or not! We’ve also got a video of Alastair carrying out contemplative adjustments to the 912’s front skid plate while the tank was out being welded.

Oh, the joy of Rally Porsche maintenance: I can sense the Zen from here. Here’s Hayden’s latest texts:

Did the nightly list in Lusaka. Had the tank out again to reinforce the top of the front X-beam mounts. Francis gave good advice on how to tackle it and we are at a great shop called McFarlanes. AC had the night off, fighting fatigue and road weary. I helmed the ferry for 450km that morning to take some load off. Short World Cup section that afternoon. 11km, we dropped 43 seconds off target time, I doubt it did anything for the results, or the margins in the classes.

Our Yellowbrick was stolen by a snatch and grab in the Lusaka traffic yesterday. We have another unit in the car now, but I don’t know if it is associated to our car number yet. Our original was last tracked at 0430 in Lusaka, but forensics were not on today’s agenda. (The new GPS is working: JG)

Job for tonight is raising rear ride height. We have accumulated some middle distance sag, not uncommon. Simple job, just knocking it out to the melody of Vic falls and the tourist choppers overhead.

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