In the late 1970s, Porsche, and more specifically Helmuth Bott, had a desire to display the car’s versatility in multiple motorsport disciplines. Rallying showed off the car’s innate abilities to endure and overcome many an obstacle. Concurrently, Porsche had teamed up with the Rothmans cigarette brand as a title sponsor of their sports car circuit racing efforts, which had been nothing but a resounding success on all fronts – Rothmans 956s won overall at Le Mans in 1982 and 1983. When the FIA introduced a rally raid championship to run through much of Europe and the Middle East to debut in 1984, Porsche knew they had their chance to show off what their sports car could do off road, and Rothmans had great interest in expanding into those Middle Eastern markets.
The new 3.2 liter Carrera was launching in 1984, but Porsche had not built enough of the larger engined cars at that point to gain homologation status, so they were forced to build 20 RS models from their outgoing 3 liter SC platform to fit the FIA’s “Group B” classification. Porsche then teamed with a brand new rallying team called “David Richards Autosports” (which would go on to become what we now know as Prodrive), sending them six of these street legal terrors to be converted to pure racing specification. With the power bump and the huge weight loss, the cars managed to sprint to sixty in just 5 seconds instead of the 6.8 seconds needed for a standard series-production SC. These beautiful cars are among the rarest Porsches ever built.
The car was driven by legendary sports personalities including Henri Toivonen, Juha Kankkunen, Saeed Al Hajiri. In the 1984 season, this car won the Belgium round and the Portugal round of the championship. In 1985 the car won the Jordan rally. 1986 saw the car finish well in Greece and the Netherlands, but no outright victories. For 1987, however, still soldiering on after four years of grueling competition, #008 won the FIA Middle East Rally Championship with a pair of victories in Kuwait and Qatar, and a second overall at the Jordan rally.