Porsche 911 2.5 ST/RSR (original model 2000S MY69)
Passato sportivo documentato, originale e conservata | original racing car with well known and documented history
In the first 70s, Italy was the second market for Porsche, outside Germany after the USA. The popularity of the sports cars made in Stuttgart came from a long tradition, since 1951, when the first 356s apperared on the italian roads. Then many races hillclimbs, Targa Florio, 1000 Miglia, Circuito del Mugello, the first rallies and, in 1965, the new 911. It was a revolution for those who were tighen to the design of the 356, but thanks to the new model many young italian drivers began a long career full of victories, both for themselves then for the 911.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA were unbeatable with the first 911 Solex carbs 2 litre engine; the satisfactions started with the S model, before with the Weber carburetors then with the first mechanical fuel injection by Bosch. After the successes of the R and T/R models, the incessant development of the 911 brought to the 2.2 S, launched in August 1969: it has been the basis for the 1970 2.3 ST, the ideal light and enlarged weapon to win both on racetrack then on rallies, against lighter or more powerful rivals.
No De Tomaso Pantera, Ferrari Daytona, BMW nor Ford was able to get as many podiums as the 911 did in so different disciplines. In 1972 the upgrade to 2.5 litres based on the new 2.4 model, following the FIA appendix J,
Apart from a bunch of official works 911ST (no more than 20 among 2.3 and 2.5), many racing teams used to buy the ST kits at the racing department of Zuffenhausen to modify the 911S; there were two versions, one for rallies and one for racetracks: while in the first kit usually the body remained the narrow one, typical of the 911 with just some modifications on engine, gearbox, safety equipment and some protections to get more reliability, the track version of the ST kit had larger flares, fiberglass hood, front and rear bumpers, deeper wheels, bucket seats with safety harnesses, the rear arch rollcage, a 110 litres fuel tank for endurance races, short ratios gearbox and all the needed material to bring the engine to 2.3 (then to 2.5) cmc with carburetors or fuel injection and pull out 230/250 and, some said, 270 hp.
There was a third option, which is the case of the 911 shown in this article: mechanics and teams bought just what they needed by Porsche racing department, in order to prepare the car according to the needs of the driver: for example, if you raced on hillclimbs the 100 litres fuel tank or the latter upgrade of the brake calipers introduced on the 2.5 ST - directly taken from the 917 - were useless.
The italian ST
It was the case of Salvatore Patamia, a young gentleman driver from Calabria region with the dream to race with a Porsche as he used to see at the Targa Florio, in Sicily, region very close to him. In 1972 Salvatore finally bought a second hand 911 S 2000 delivered in May 69 to the first owner; it was one of the last 2000 with MFI before the 2.2 version, delivered new in Italy, built on March 1969, original colour silver (9369), with black leatherette interior and the following options (9311) rear wiper, (9367) side tinted glasses, (9236-9237) Recaro sport seats, (9348) front tinted windshield. A good basis for an ST, as suggested by Carlo Noce, the Sportwagen workshop principal, one of the best to prepare that fast and reliable model. There was even Ennio Bonomelli, another “big name” among the italian Porsche teams, but he had more experience on prototypes, as 908 and 910.
The 2 litres engine was upgraded with a stronger silumin crankcase, a bigger fuel injection pump, specifics cylinders and pistons go get 2500 cmc, twin spark, direct air intake without filter, forged piston rods and specific camshafts. They chose the new 915 gearbox, stronger than the 901 and 911 version with the bottom 1st gear, and lightened the car taking out everything was useless. The front and rear tracks were enlarged using the factory front fenders, while the rear ones had a slightly different shape, very well recognizable, that you can still nowadays find on the car. The front bumper was the original made of steel with just the sides linked to the shape of the larger fenders (the fiberglass model with the front radiator would have been introduced in 1973). For the livery they chose a classic white but with light blue stripes all around and in the middle.
In this configuration Salvatore Patamia made his debut the in August 1972 at the Hillclimb San Giustino-Bocca Trabaria in umbria region region; in September the Coppa dei Monti Iblei in Sicily, ended with a great 2nd in class and 5th overall: this was also the race of the debut of the livery, because for the first one it still was silver with unpainted large flares! Before the end of the year, he even won a 1st in class - 7th overall - at the Coppa Val d’Anapo and ended the season at the Coppa Primavera Amalfi – Gerola hillclimb, 4th in his class.
For the 1973 season he had the dream to race the Targa Florio and so he did: Sportwagen team from Sassuolo, near Modena, upgraded the 911 ST with gold magnesium Campagnolo wheels (lighter than the Fuchs and the Minilite) and a new bumper from the RSR. Together with Angelo “Carab” Rizzo, Salvatore Patamia entered and started the 57th Targa Florio but unfortunately they didn’t saw the chequered flag because of mechanical problems. In June of the same year, Patamia won his class at Coppa della Sila hillclimb and one month later he lended the car to Romano Bartoli “Bramen” to race the Trento-Bondone, but he had a small accident during the race, argued with Patamia and the only solution was for him, to purchase the car and fix it.
It was love at first…brake
Once repaired, Bramen tested the car at some free practice sessions in Varano, Magione, Imola and other circuits; during one of these sessions, Odoardo “Dino” Govoni was testing his De Tomaso Pantera GTS, a works car, so the best he could drive, nevertheless the small 911 was always slightly faster than the clumsy Pantera: it had half of the power, half of the weights and an incredible braking, ideal for small circuits. Something that Dino never found on the Pantera.
Dino Govoni looked fashinated at the performances of the 911: his racing career started in the mid 50’s with Maserati, then with Abarth, Bandini, AMS and many other italian makes; he touched the chance to become a Ferrari works driver but things went wrong by a misunderstanding with Enzo Ferrari. By the way he achieved satisfactory results: the last was to become a “works-privateer” driver for De Tomaso in the first 70’s with the Pantera GT and GTS.
Being half an official and a half privateer race-driver, he could drive not only the Pantera: so he made a deal with Bramen and bought the Porsche. It should have been the right car to alternate with the Pantera in those races where reliability and agility were fundamental: he used to say that the 911 was as easy to drive as a bicycle.
With the lower part of the car painted in orange, Dino raced the car for his first time at the Cronoscalata della Castellana, looking forward to be again in Sicily for the 1974 edition of the Targa Florio: there he shared the wheel with Luigi Moreschi, but they didn’t end the race because of a geaxbox fault.
In the meantime the 911 received the famous ducktail spoiler from the RS/RSR, pretty useful on track to downforce at high speed. Always followed by Sportwagen team, from 1974 till 1976 he drove the car both on track than on hillclimbs always achieving podiums in his class.
The good results of the 911s had been the inspiration for many young mechanics to open their own workshop specialized in Porsche: one of them was Orlando Redolfi from Bergamo, a young guy that nowadays, with his team “Autorlando”, is one of the satellite teams of Porsche AG; Dino Govoni and his 911 ST had been the first customer of this new team.
With the new team the ST took part to many races in 1977, starting from the 6 hours of Mugello, appointment of the World Makes Championship, ended in 11th position overall, then Giro dell’Umbria, Coppa Intereuropa in Monza and the 6 hours of Vallelunga.
For the old 911 ST it was about time to go to pension, because the Carrera 3000 RSR, then the 934 and 935 Turbo and twin Turbo were the latest development of the project 911: but Dino Govoni decided to use the good old ST for the 1978 Giro d’Italia Automobilistico, a 5 days race that mixed special rally stages with races on track. Such a great race, it was the italian answer to the Tour de France. Even if they were racing quite well, they couldn’t see the end of the race because of technical problems. In 1979 Dino tried to end the race for the second time and they finished 27th overall, not bad for a ten years old car.
Back to the street then to a second life
Would now the car see the end and finish into a junkyard? No, obviously. Dino fully resprayed the car in white, installed some details to make the car drivable on the street and sold it to Arturo Rizzoli, a young journalist who wrote for the most famous italian car magazine, Autosprint. Arturo was a true “petrolhead”, young and crasy enough to drive around Bologna with a disguised race car! Even if the ducktail had ben removed (Dino Govoni raced few races with the whale tail also), sometime the police heard that noisy car stopped him, checked the documents and in the end let him go…just because he seemd to be a good guy! At the time the 911 ST had a quiet 2.7 Carrera engine, it had never updated outside as a 3000 or a 3.2 Carrera so it became old, unused, forgotten into a garage. In 2005 a classic cars enthusiast found the car, still as Arturo left it 20 years before, with the gold Campagnolo wheels, the front bumper with those strange holes (for the radiators cooling), the plexiglass and the large flares. He knew everything about its glorious past with Dino Govoni so he decided to repaint the body with the period livery: light blue, white and orange. The car began a second life as an historic race car taking part to some italian hillclimbs, then passed to the current owner who decided to bring the 911 ST back, exactly to the original specs. The engine, for example had been rebuilt as the 2.5 ST thanks to the knowledge of Graziano Teggi, team owner of Rennsport – Modena –, who was a 17 years old young apprentice mechanic in 1973, making the first work experiences by Sportwagen…the first team which prepared this car in 1972!
With the original 2.5 engine, developing 260 hp, the 915 correct gearbox, the preserved body with all the modification allowed by FIA homologation form 3025 (911ST) then 3053 (911 Carrera RS/RSR), this car is one of the most upright period racing 911s arrived to our days.
Full racing history
San Giustino-Bocca Trabaria, 08-1972, Salvatore Patamia, 2nd in class
Coppa di Monti Iblei, 03-09-1972, Patamia, n.462, 2nd in class and 5th overall
Coppa Val d’Anapo, 01-10-1972, Patamia, n.682, 1st in class GTS +2.0, 7thOA
Coppa Primavera Amalfi – Gerola, 15-10-1972, Patamia, 4th in his class.
Targa Florio, 10/13-05-1973, Salvatore Patamia-Angelo Rizzo “Carab”, n. 114, DNF
Coppa Sila, 10-06-1973, Patamia, 1st in class, 8th OA
Trento Bondone, 1-07-1973, Romano Bartoli “Bramen”, n.392, DNF accident
Cronoscalata della Castellana, 19-05-1974, Odoardo Govoni, n.125, 1st in class
Targa Florio, 9-06-1974, Odoardo Govoni- Luigi Moreschi, n.33, DNF gearbox
Trofeo Cementerie Trasimeno, Magione, 11-08-1974, Govoni, n.204, 2nd in class
San Giustino-Bocca Tribaria, 18-08-1974, Govoni, n.222, 2.nd in class
Gubbio-Madonna della Cima, 25-08-1974, Govoni, n.179, 2nd in class
Varano de'Melegari, 1974, Govoni, n. 454, DNF?
Pieve Santo Stefano – Passo dello Spino, 11-05-1975, Govoni, n.323, 3rd OA
Trofeo AC Parma, Varano de’Melegari, 31-08-1975, Govoni, n.283, 2nd in class
Pasqua del pilota?, Magione, 1975?, Govoni, n.211, ?
Coppa Padova, Varano de’Melegari, 22.08.1976, Govoni, n.251, 2nd in class
Magione, 1976, Govoni, n.196, ?
Mondiale marche, 6 ore Mugello, 20/03/1977, Govoni-Angelelli, n.22, 7th in class, 11th OA
Giro dell’Umbria, 23/25-04-1977, Balboni-Fazioli, n.506,
Coppa Intereuropa Monza, 10-09-1977, Govoni, n.14,
Trofeo comune di Varano, 16-10-1977, Govoni, n.95, DNF
Varano de'Melegari, 1977, Govoni, n. 234, ?
6 ore Vallelunga, 23-10-1977, Govoni, n.112, DNA (entered the car but not ran, only quali)
Pasqua del Pilota, Magione, 27-03-1978, Govoni, n.218, 1st in class Gr.5 2.5
Coppa AC Verona, Varano de’ Melegari, 21-05-1978, Govoni, n.41,
Giro d’Italia, 13/18-10-1978, Govoni-Angelelli, n.504, 12th Race 1, 11th Race 2, 20th OA
Giro d’Italia, 20/25-10-1979, Govoni-Lodi, n.581, 27th OA