Video: Rally-Spec 911 Drifts in the Dirt

It doesn’t necessarily take four wheel-drive and turbocharged motors to dominate the rally stage. A car that has natural poise, a responsive motor, and the inherent traction offered by an engine resting over the driven wheels is often enough to do well. Such is the case with Andreas Dahms’ classic 911.

Outfitted with simple Fuchs wheels, snipped wing mirrors, and a stripped interior, this green Porsche doesn’t come to the party with the gamut of techno goodies. Yet, Dahms’ driving style and a snarling 3.2-liter engine compensate for any helpful gizmos; forcing the car into slides and keeping the stubborn, lightweight nose pointed in the correct direction.

Pleasing the crowd as only a dedicated driver in a screaming 911 can, Dahms brakes late and firmly; taking advantage of the inherent braking strengths offered by a rear-heavy layout. Sometimes, he downshifts without rev-matching to lock the driven wheels and loosen the rear. He then wrings the steering wheel violently; brutally shifting the weight and pitching the nose into the corner. This is the trickiest bit of the cornering process, but if Dahms’ can manhandle the car into a drift, he gets to steer with the throttle and trace a very tight line. For more elucidation on this technique with a classic 911, Colin McRae had a few words on it.

This approach isn’t done just to be thrilling, it’s done to keep the cars out of the weeds. Since there’s always going to be a lot of wheelspin in these circumstances, the driver needs to try and not overload the front axle, since understeer is dangerous and slow on the dirt. By having the car rotating regularly, they can keep momentum up, and ensure the car’s heading in the correct direction, ie. out of the trees.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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