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Old April 12th, 2003, 03:50 PM   #1
Tom S.
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Racer's Group Secret Plan for Le Mans 2003 Revealed

Reprinted from the Nugget, the GGR PCA newsletter from April 2003:

RACER"S GROUP SECRET PLAN FOR LE MANS 2003 REVEALED

On the heels of last years victory at Le Mans, Porsche racing mogul Norbert Singer awarded Kevin Buckler and the Racerís Group a chance to participate in a secret project Ė known internally at Weissach as "Project EX1". A Nugget investigative reporter (who for obvious reasons must remain nameless) uncovered details of this mysterious "Project EX1" at the Porsche Cup awards ceremony held late last year in Stuttgart, Germany.

Project EX1, it seems, is Porscheís effort to campaign the Cayenne Turbo XL at LeMans 2003. For months late last year there was a fierce internal power struggle at Porsche concerning who would drive this "Cayenne GT2." Hans Stuck had already been snagged by BMW to drive BMWís X5 entry, with the Mercedes, Cadillac, and Acura drivers also announced. In Weissach, Lucas Luhr and Timo Berhard had been pegged as local Porsche favorites, but in the end, a strong lobbying effort in Zuffenhausen paid off for the Racerís Group.

So it seemed official, in addition to the 2-car stable that everyone expected, the Racerís Group was also about to campaign the Cayenne GT2. Competition to drive the Cayenne was fierce. Due to the single driver rule for this class, a mudslinging campaign (literally) between drivers Buckler, Schrom, and Cunningham nearly caused Porsche to withdraw its offer. "Iíve seen Bucker in the mud," said Cunningham. "and itís not pretty at all." Bucklerís business partner, Michael Schrom said "Marcus Grunholm is a friend for mine, and Kevin is no Marcus Grunholm!" Buckler, in his defense said "Marcus WHO?" In the end, it was determined that Soccer Mom Debra (Kevinís wife) had the SUV experience in the room, and therefore would be the sole driver. The Boss had spoken.

But what about this Cayenne GT2, and how will it perform on the newly realigned track? A special section of the Mulsanne Straight has an offshoot for vehicles competing in this new class. " It will be mostly mud with a few large rocks thrown in as obstacles." Says April Scherz, Managing Director "La Sarthe." " The vehicles in this class will exit the Mulsanne just past the Playstation Chicane, negotiate the special stage, and reenter the normal circuit just past the Michelin Chicane."

The Nugget obtained secret documents that describe some of the modifications that the Racerís Group is making to the SUV to ensure a class victory. Key to the Cayenne GT2 is the revolutionary 5-wheel drive system. Conventional auto technology has the steering wheel rigidly anchored to a gear reducer and that gear reducer has always been firmly secured to the main frame. Porsche has added a unique shock absorbing system to the entire steering command, including wheel. Shaft and driverís seat. By integrating the steering wheel to the seat, they have essentially isolated it, and the driver, from the frame. This virtually eliminates all of the bone shattering vibration that can rob a driver of control. As a result, Buckler estimates that he would be able to drive at speeds of 160 mph over rough, bumpy roads, something the current stable of Cayennes have not been able to accomplish.

Posing as a potential customer looking for T-shirts and key fobs, the Nugget sent a reporter to the Racerís Group Headquarters at Infineon Raceway to see what was happening. Racerís Group engineers are still struggling with some key aspects of their entry. "We bought this Cayenne GT2 off the factory floor" one engineer was overheard telling someone on his cell phone. "We had it shipped over here air freight, completely stripped it and put it back together our way. But, we seem to have a few leftover parts that nobody can identify. And, weíve misplaced the car seat."

But, despite all that, spirits remain high within the Racerís Group think tank. Late in the evenings, Buckler and crew can be seen practicing in local vineyard, creating a blush among the merlot and chardonnay vines, while Racerís Group marketing works on the bottle labels for the new libation.

Very interesting news and about time for a factory supported effort at the top of racing.

Tom S.
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Old April 13th, 2003, 05:57 AM   #2
Magic Mtn Dan
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Ya just gotta love that hilarious Cayenne humor

Musta been written by some guy with a really old Porsche who swears that his model was the last "real Porsche."
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