Any rally race is brutal on a vehicle. Constantly changing terrain, high speeds, and steely eyed competitors conspire to wreak havoc on a vehicle. The East African Safari Classic Rally is one such bit of motorsport, but it ups the challenge by restricting the field of entry to classic racing machines. If a rally race is difficult in a fresh, factory-built race car, could you imagine attempting the same in a car many decades older? One bright spot to consider, however, is just how much knowledge a team can accumulate about a car that’s been doing this type of thing for 40 years.
A Porsche 911 is a great example of this type of rally car. Yes, the ubiquitous road racing icon is also an accomplished and beloved rally racer. Slap on big lights, a raised suspension, proper wheels and tires, and the car becomes a Safari 911. One of its proper hunting grounds is an event like the East African Safari Classic Rally, and that’s where rally racer Stig Blomqvist and co-driver Mattias Adielsson found themselves when their old Porsche broke down in a bad way.
While leading the 2017 running of the EASR, Stig’s Porsche experienced mechanical failure. That’s when the team got to work. Prior to the video shown above, the engine and transmission were pulled.
The car was then towed to this awaiting crew and the video began and the timer started. Several pushes and pulls were needed to get it into a proper spot. It’s in that spot where Stig’s racing crew set to work with wrenches, knowledge, and a tremendous level of attuned teamwork.
The rear of the car went into the air, and a fresh engine and transmission were bolted into place. It all took about 11 minutes, at which point the car fired to life once again. Within a few seconds, Stig, Mattias, and the Safari 911 were back in the race.
Of course, a lot more work was involved than simply bolting in a new engine and transmission. A number of hoses, lines, and shafts had to be connected. Various fluids had to be filled, and they couldn’t be spilled all over the ground. The crew had to work quickly but also smartly and, more importantly, safely. This team managed to demonstrate all three of those traits in an amazing display of technical aptitude.
If you think you’re quick with a wrench, you should watch this video and reflect. You might be quick, but you’re not install-an-engine-and-gearbox in 11 minutes quick.