Mark Donohue's IROC 911 for Phillip Island Classic
SYDNEY – Feb 7,2014: One of the world’s most famous and valuable racing 911s – the 1974 Carrera RSR 3.0 litre coupe in which CanAm champion Mark Donohue scored his final race win just months before his death in early 1975 – will compete at this year’s 25th Anniversary Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motor sport from March 7-9.
The distinctive ‘Continental Orange’ RSR 3.0 was one of just 15 special, mechanically-identical 911 Carrera coupes built by Porsche for a ‘who’s who’ of racing drivers to contest the International Race of Champions (IROC) series in the United States during 1974.
Bright colours were used on all the Porsches to excite the television audience, as colour TV was becoming a necessity in every American home during this period.
Donohue, regarded as one of the world’s most gifted racing drivers of his era, was the primary test and development driver of Porsche’s monstrous 1500HP Type 917/30 Can-Am sports car that won all but one race of the 1973 Championship.
His Porsche skills were underscored in the IROC series the following year when he won three races in two different IROC 911s and finished second in another. Donohue’s rivals in the series included Bobby Allison, Peter Revson, A.J. Foyt and Formula 1 drivers Emerson Fittipaldi and New Zealand’s Denny Hulme.
He clinched the 1974 IROC series when he drove the orange 911 – chassis number 911.460.0090 – to victory in the final round at Daytona, Florida.
Donohue ‘retired’ after that final victory, but died in a practice crash for the 1975 Austrian Grand Prix at the Österreichring after being enticed back to compete in Formula 1.
The famous IROC RSR arrived in Australia late last year after being purchased from a Californian collector by Melbourne rare car dealer Jeff Dutton and his new Dutton Garage business partners, Gavin Fernandez and George Nakas.
Although still in excellent condition 40 years on, the 911 required some work by Porsche Centre Melbourne Racesport specialist Peter Bowen to return it to its original factory specification.
The 2014 Phillip Island Classic, where it will be driven in Regularity (average speed) events by Jeff Dutton under the Dutton Garage banner, will be its first competition outing in Australia.
The Donohue RSR is not the only famous racing Porsche at Phillip Island, as George Nakas will drive Dutton Garage’s newly-acquired 1988 Le Mans ‘Blaupunkt’ Porsche 962 in the meeting’s Sports Car feature races.
Dutton Garage will also display the ex-Peter Brock 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour-winning 7-litre Holden Monaro 427C in the Phillip Island paddock – joining the late Champion’s 1973 XU-1 and 1974 SL/R 5000 that will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Brock’s back-to-back victories 1973-74 Australian Touring Car Championship.
The 2014 Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motor Sport presented by the VHRR is again being supported by Shannons, CoolDrive and Penrite, with additional support this year from Dutton Garage, Repco, Zagame, RDA Brakes and Trico.