956.110 Racing Career

956-110 Racing Career

              
24 Hours of Le Mans

18th & 19th June 1983

Among 10 Porsche 956s in the top dozen qualifiers, 956-110 was certainly in the right company and had done well to qualify 11th with the 1982-spec mechanical fuel injection. From the start #110 was on the rise. Fitzpatrick was up to 9th by the start of lap 2, 7th on lap 5 and continued to close the gap. Before long #110 was among the top four and maintaining position with Quester at the wheel. But then, at just after one-thirds distance, came huge disappointment. The 956's mechanical fuel pump had broken, putting the car out of the race after such a promising start.

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 11
    ENTRANT: Fitzpatrick Racing
    DRIVERS: John Fitzpatrick/ Dieter Quester/ David Hobbs

  • GRID POS: 11th
    FINISH POS: DNF
    LAPS: 135 (36.7%)

              
Norisring Trophäe

3rd July 1983

Running in the Norisring Trophäe, Hobbs in 956-110 achieved a grid position of 10th but retired due to overheating

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 10
    ENTRANT: John Fitzpatrick Racing
    DRIVERS: David Hobbs

  • GRID POS: 10th
    FINISH POS: DNF

              
Can-Am Road America (1st)

17th July 1983

Just three races into its career #110 scored not only its first pole position, but also its first victory and what would be the only win for a 956 in America. John Fitzpatrick drove from the front row to a commanding 12-second lead over the second place Frisbee GR2 Chevrolet.

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 11
    ENTRANT: John Fitzpatrick Racing
    DRIVERS: John Fitzpatrick

  • GRID POS: 1st
    FINISH POS: 1st
    LAPS: 40

              
Can-Am Mosport 11 (3rd)

11th September 1983

From the third row on the grid at Mosport, John Fitzpatrick drove #110 home to a fabulous podium finish.

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 11
    ENTRANT: JDAVID Racing
    DRIVERS: John Fitzpatrick

  • GRID POS: 5th
    FINISH POS: 3rd
    LAPS: 58

              
1000km Brands Hatch (1st)

18th September 1983

The Fitzpatrick Team utilised some clever aero modifications for Brands Hatch, employing a thin-edged nose section and blocked off air intakes underneath for a flatter-floor.

To stop the car overheating ventilation tubes were fitted to both sides of the engine and a turbo-driven fan provided cool air. Even before these alterations #110 set the fastest time in Friday Practice and qualified 4th on the grid, but the grey skies and looming Sunday-morning rain convinced Team Manager John Fitzpatrick to make the changes. With the race started in wet conditions Derek Warwick took Wollek for 3rd and Bell for 2nd on Lap One. Two laps later and #110 had taken Ickx for the lead and set about opening an extraordinary lead, before a full course caution cut the gap to just 100-metres.

Upon the restart Warwick wasted no time in making up for lost time and had soon lapped the entire field. As the track began to dry after 2-hours of racing in the rain, Warwick's advantage lessened and he struggled to keep his tyres from overheating. Fitzpatrick lost time in his stint courtesy of a back marker causing him to spin, while the final stint with Warwick was even more dramatic. A Group B runner had its fire extinguisher spectacularly deploy and forced Warwick to take #110 for an evasive trip over the grass, damaging the nose & cooling systems. To abate the rising temperatures #110 slowed right down, but still had enough of a lead to take a spectacular win.

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 11
    ENTRANT: John Fitzpatrick
    DRIVERS: John Fitzpatrick / Derek Warwick

  • GRID POS: 4th
    FINISH POS: 1st
    LAPS: 232

              
1000km Imola (2nd)

16th October 1983

Another stunning performance from the John Fitzpatrick Porsche, with efficient running helping to make good on a top 5 start to finish 2nd overall.

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 11
    ENTRANT: John Fitzpatrick
    DRIVERS: John Fitzpatrick / David Hobbs

  • GRID POS: 5th
    FINISH POS: 2nd
    LAPS: 190

              
1000km Mugello (4th)

23rd October 1983

Boutsen set a blistering time in morning qualifying, but was unable to defend it in the afternoon due to traffic on the track. Nonetheless #110 started from 3rd and was in-amongst the front runners until the third round of pit stops; a half shaft needed greasing and 2nd place was lost to a Lancia. A fourth stop to replace the right-hand rear drive shaft and hub carrier cost a further 10 laps, but relentless effort saw the team climb back up the order to 4th.

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 11
    ENTRANT: John Fitzpatrick
    DRIVERS: John Fitzpatrick/ David Hobbs/ Thierry Boutsen

  • GRID POS: 3rd
    FINISH POS: 4th
    LAPS: 190

              
1000km Kyalami

10th December 1983

956-110 started the last race of the season on row two, at the business end of the grid with four other 956s completing the top five. Predictably, the pair of Works Rothmans cars headed off at an uncatchable pace and in their wake came a spectacular battle for 3rd among the privateer Porsches. Perhaps more impressive though, was the weather. A fantastic storm engulfed the Kyalami track and, despite exercising extreme caution, Boutsen couldn't help but aquaplane off the road and take 956-104 with him. After 47 laps, #110's race was done.

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 11
    ENTRANT: John Fitzpatrick
    DRIVERS: Desiré Wilson/ David Hobbs/ Thierry Boutsen

  • GRID POS: 4th
    FINISH POS: DNF
    LAPS: 47 (19.3%)

              
1000km Monza

23rd April 1984

Having now changed the white and two-tone blue colours for the Skoal Bandit livery, 956-110 was also one of the few Porsches not to suffer the epidemic of engine failures at Monza and started 9th on the grid. Despite the reliability of the drivetrain, #110's race was cut short when a wheel broke free and sent the car into a spin at half distance.

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 55
    ENTRANT: Skoal Bandit Porsche
    DRIVERS: Rupert Keegan/ Guy Edwards

  • GRID POS: 9th
    FINISH POS: DNF
    LAPS: 96 (55.5%)

              
1000km Silverstone (3rd)

13th May 1984

With on-track traffic spoiling #110's chances in qualifying, 10th on the grid was all that could be gained from the limited running. However this Porsche was still a hugely capable car and the Keegan-Edwards duo drove though the field to catch up to the leading pack. A race incident elevated the car to 2nd place, before a collision with a Lancia resulted in a pit stop to change a wheel. But the team fought on and earned this car its 6th career podium.

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 55
    ENTRANT: Skoal Bandit Porsche
    DRIVERS: Rupert Keegan/ Guy Edwards

  • GRID POS: 10th
    FINISH POS: 3rd
    LAPS: 207

              
24 Hours of Le Mans

16th & 17th June 1984

Now under the ownership of Paul Vesty and run by the Charles Ivy Racing team, #110 was piloted by Alain de Cadenet, Chris Craft and Allan Grice for the 1984 Le Mans. While qualifying was somewhat underwhelming, the race gave Le Mans veterans de Cadenet & Craft the chance to put their experience to good use. By Sunday morning #110 had gained an extraordinary 20 places and sitting 11th overall. Such progress however came at a cost, and the engine began to lose power. After the loss of a cylinder, which couldn't be resurrected, 956-110 was retired at Mulsanne corner at three-quarters distance. 

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 21
    ENTRANT: Charles Ivy Racing
    DRIVERS: Alain de Cadenet/ Allan Grice/ Chris Craft

  • GRID POS: 31st
    FINISH POS: DNF
    LAPS: 274 (76.1%)

              
1000 km Imola

16th September 1984

Car entered but did not arrive.

  • CHASSIS 956-110
    RACE # 21
    ENTRANT: John Fitzpatrick Racing
    DRIVERS: David Hobbs/ Thierry Boutsen

  • GRID POS: n/a
    FINISH POS: n/a
    LAPS: n/a