RENNSPORT RE­UNION

Porsche Rennsport Re­union VI re­turned to Weathertech Race­way La­guna Seca in Septem­ber, to cel­e­brate all things Porsche but most no­tably the mar­queʼs rich mo­tor­sport his­tory. Itʼs gen­er­ally recog­nised as be­ing the worldʼs largest gather­ing of Porsche racec

Classic Porsche - - Contents - Words & Pho­tos: Kristina Cilia

Kristina Cilia vis­its the largest gather­ing of his­toric Porsches in the world

What has now be­come a Porsche tra­di­tion, this year ʼs sixth re­union cel­e­brated seven decades of mo­tor­sport and man­u­fac­tur­ing his­tory for the Ger­man man­u­fac­turer. Dur­ing the four day pro­gramme this ʻin­ter­na­tional fam­ily re­unionʼ, as it was re­ferred to, fea­tured track com­pe­ti­tions, celebrity guest speak­ers, an evening rock con­cert fea­tur­ing nu­mer­ous bands in­clud­ing top per­former Seal, sev­eral new cars such as the new lim­ited pro­duc­tion 935 and Speed­ster con­cept, pa­rade ex­hi­bi­tion laps, and the first ever Porsche trac­tor race.

Dr. Wolf­gang Porsche was also in at­ten­dance for the 70th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion. As one of the old­est fam­ily mem­bers rep­re­sent­ing the com­pany, it only seemed nat­u­ral that he would be the one driv­ing 356/001, the orig­i­nal Porsche road­ster, around the track dur­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion lap. Well pub­li­cised in ad­vance, the event at­tracted ap­prox­i­mately 80,000 Porsche fans who de­scended on the iconic cir­cuit to pay trib­ute to the famed mar­que through the long week­end.

This year ʼs Rennsport theme ʻMar­que of Cham­pi­onsʼ high­lighted the leg­ends of the brand: cham­pi­onship-win­ning Porsches, their de­sign engi­neers and the driv­ers who cel­e­brated vic­to­ries through­out the world. The prom­i­nent list in­cluded ap­prox­i­mately 50 well-known driv­ers: Amer­i­can en­durance driver Hur­ley Hay­wood, who took to the track dur­ing the event; six time Le Mans win­ner Jacky Ickx; five times Le Mans win­ner and ar­guably Bri­tainʼs most suc­cess­ful driver Derek Bell; co-cre­ator of the Porsche Rennsport Re­union and rac­ing driver Brian Red­man, plus nu­mer­ous other cham­pi­ons and Porsche fac­tory driv­ers, in­clud­ing 919 Hy­brid Evo pi­lot, Timo Bern­hard.

Also high­lighted were two of Porscheʼs most in­flu­en­tial engi­neers: Nor­bert Singer, fa­ther of the Porsche 962 and the Carrera GT V10 en­gine, and Hans ʻMo­toren-pap­stʼ Mezger, who was fa­mous for de­vel­op­ing the flat-six 911 en­gine as well as the flat-12 for the leg­endary 917, among oth­ers.

Each day at­ten­dees got to watch a va­ri­ety of some 350 Porsche race­cars com­pet­ing in seven dif­fer­ent classes through­out the day. When you grew tired of rac­ing (if such a thing is pos­si­ble), lo­cated in pit row was a no­table Cham­pi­ons Garage with eleven vic­to­ri­ous Porsche race­cars for you to pe­ruse, and next to that was the Chopard Her­itage

tent for you to get up close and per­sonal with many fa­mous race cars al­low­ing you to be­gin piec­ing to­gether the var­i­ous el­e­ments in this sto­ried his­tory.

There was plenty of time to check out the pad­docks as well, to see im­pres­sive dis­plays of 356 Out­laws and cars from the R-gruppe, along with a 959 col­lec­tion, and chat with var­i­ous mem­bers of the rac­ing teams. There were also prize give­aways in­side the Porsche Park plus a sig­na­ture guest­book and a Porsche RRVI bill­board for all to au­to­graph. And Porsche did not for­get about its ju­nior mem­bers with a near life-size neon green Lego Porsche car on dis­play ad­ja­cent to the large dry white board fea­tur­ing an out­line of a Porsche 356 for kids to make their own de­sign, a mini race track with mini Porsches to ride on, and a youth judg­ing event spon­sored by Hagerty.

One stand­out event, new to the Porsche Rennsport Re­union this year, was the first ever Porsche trac­tor race. Driv­ers were al­lowed a his­toric Le Mans-style start as the crowd watched 17 trac­tors race from the start­ing line to the Mother ʼs Pol­ish Bridge be­tween turns four and five. No­table driv­ers in this event were Jeff Zwart and John Oates (of ʼ80s rock band Hall & Oates), but it was Patrick Long who claimed vic­tory. This event was def­i­nitely a crowd favourite and will hope­fully con­tinue to be on the pro­gramme at fu­ture Rennsport Re­unions!

Porsche Rennsport Re­union is not only a pas­sion­ate trib­ute to the auto maker ʼs rich her­itage but to all Porsche own­ers and en­thu­si­asts as well. Al­though the event may be over, its mem­ory will live on in the smiles of all who at­tended, as well as the thou­sands – mil­lions? – of pho­to­graphs taken that helped cap­ture those mem­o­ries. See you at the next Re­union? CP

“THE EVENT WAS DEF­I­NITELY A CROWD FAVOURITE…”

Clock­wise from top left: Le Mans win­ner (1970) Richard Attwood in­ter­viewed; Chopard Her­itage Dis­play show­cased some of Porscheʼs defin­ing mo­ments in his­tory as seen here with a se­lec­tion of Porsche 917s, 908s and 910s; Wolf­gang Porsche en­ters the track in Porsche Num­ber 1; Lar­rousse Porsche 911 ST, owned by His­torika (driven by Patrick Long) flies through the corkscrew

Be­low left: Over­all view of Chopard dis­play. Im­pres­sive!Be­low right: 356s parked in the own­ersʼ Cor­ral

Clock­wise from top left: One Porsche en­thu­si­astʼs hand built trib­ute to the Type 64 parked in the Cor­ral; ʻMar­que of Cham­pi­onsʼ dis­play at the en­trance to the Porsche Park; Jeff Zwart (of Pikeʼs Peak fame) does his best to gain more speed dur­ing the first ever Porsche trac­tor race at RR; Porsche 917/30 en­ters the track for an ex­hi­bi­tion lap

Be­low left: A group of RR at­ten­dees pose for a photo with Chad Mcqueen un­der the Chopard tentBe­low right: Now thatʼs what we call a pit lane…

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