1976 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR #77
Pilots: J. Rulon-Miller, T. Vaugh, J-P. Laffeach
Team: Tom Waugh Racing
Race: 14th GC (1st in IMSA class) at Le Mans in 1976
Minichamps - 430756958 (diecast/mod)
In the early 70’s, FIA decided that sports car racing should use cars that were more similar to production vehicles. So Porsche elected the Carrera RS 2.7 as their platform. The race-homologated car was called the Carrera RSR 2.8, and a total of 52 units left Zuffenhausen. The new car had a considerably wider body and the famous “whale tail” rear wing. But the big difference was the new Type 911/75 flat-6 engine. Initially displacing 2.8 l but soon after expanded to 3.0 l, it counted with twin-spark ignition and an aluminum crankcase. When expanded to 2993 cm³, in race trim it could deliver up to 330 hp. The chassis was a self-supporting all-steel body with a lot of GFRP add-ons, and the car was stripped to the bone. Weighing just 900 kg, it was good for a 0-100 km/h in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 280 km/h.
The American Tom Waugh was one of the privateers that betted on Porsche. In 1975 he bought a yellow Carrera RSR and took it to La Sarthe. Unfortunately though, on the 16th lap an oil leak retired the car. The next year he was back, with the same car, but this time painted in red. However, his Carrera RSR #77 qualified way back in 46th (of 55 cars). But with a proficient effort they steadily climbed up and finished in 14th overall and first in the IMSA class. Not bad for second try, eh?
That year was the last time Tom Waugh raced at Le Mans. In 1977 he was in the entry list (again with the RSR) but didn’t show. His was one of those stories that makes racing in the 70’s so appealing to me. Buy a car, enlist some friends and let’s go racing in another continent. Try to do that nowadays… In scale the RSR #77 is only offered as a kit, and a pretty rare one. But it’s the same car as Minichamps’ 1975 RSR #58. So the Earl of Northumberland had the idea of making one for himself. He bought a RSR #58 and the appropriate decals and made himself the 1976 Carrera RSR #77. I liked so much his car that I decided to make one for myself.
So with a little sweat and only some minor swearing, here it is. And I have to admit it came out okay. Pretty okay, in fact. I kind of documented the whole process, so if you want to see how I made #77, click HERE.