Andreas Dahms certainly knows his way around a sodden, dirt-packed road in a classic 911. With Inka Lerch sitting in the next seat calling the stage notes, Dahms puts on an acrobatic display showing that, even with the handicap of having only two driven wheels, a well-sorted 911 can beat Lancer Evolutions and other four wheel-drive machinery on loose surfaces.
Dahms’ grass green 911 isn’t a powerhouse by any means. However, it’s stripped, lightened, and wearing a few slippery aerodynamic pieces, so it’s quick in a straight line. More importantly, it uses its inherent nimbleness—coupled with Dahms’ forceful driving style—to compensate for its relative lack of traction against the Japanese 4WD machines.
When braking assertively, the 911’s rear engine-layout becomes a serious asset. Essentially, having a static rearward weight distribution helps distribute the load evenly over all four tires when the weight is shifted forward. Then, quite assertively, a handful of lock is used to pitch the loaded nose into the corner, so that the intended line can be adhered to with as little understeer as possible.
Sometimes this means Dahms flings the 911 into a lurid slide, but that, at least, is preferable to understeer on loose surfaces. As wheelspin is a given on dirt and mud, the compromise in traction is worth the price for a car that’s rotating in the right direction. Essentially, oversteer is faster, safer, and more consistent to aim for since, if controlled, it can help the car from running wide into an oak, a spectator, or off a cliff. On the rally stage—it helps to have a few contingencies.