Tuthill Porsche has won the inaugural FIA R-GT championship with its Porsche 997 R-GT rally car following victory on the 2015 Tour de Corse.
Round 11 of the 2015 World Rally Championship and the fourth round of the R-GT Cup produced a second win for the Wardington team, following an emphatic victory on January’s Monte Carlo Rally in the opening round.
Winning the FIA R-GT title is very satisfying and it’s also terrific to add Tour de Corse to our team’s list of victoriesTeam boss Richard Tuthill
French rally legend François Delecour has driven the R-GT Porsche all season but brought a new driving partner to Corsica Sabrina de Castelli, a Tour de Corse veteran with several class wins and podiums to her credit.
Castelli’s experience on this classic WRC event proved an unbeatable combination for a Tour de Corse blighted by the worst weather seen on the Mediterranean island for more than 30 years. Torrential rain washed away some rally roads and led to multiple stage cancellations.
Starting day two of the rally just 12 seconds behind season-long R-GT rival, Romain Dumas, Delecour was prepared for the slippery first stage. Dumas was soon forced to stop with a puncture and Delecour rocketed past to seize the R-GT lead.
Dumas went on to suffer further car damage and failed to arrive at the start of the next stage. Later that day, he announced his retirement from the rally.
Losing Dumas did not hand Delecour a guaranteed win, however, as the Corsican landscape with its unforgiving cliff faces and 500-metre vertical drops can always bite back. The Tuthill Porsche crew and its drivers still had to get the car to the finish.
Four stages later, a delighted Delecour stood on the podium alongside the Tuthill Porsche R-GT and both of his R-GT co-drivers: the perfect end to an FIA championship chase.
Team boss Richard Tuthill said: “Winning the FIA R-GT title is very satisfying and it’s also terrific to add Tour de Corse to our team’s list of victories.”