The Porsche Fanboys Dream: Rennsport Reunion VI
“Rennsport is like the Olympics for Motorsport Enthusiasts”
If you haven’t been, there simply aren’t words to describe. The Porsche Rennsport Reunion is an event that’s only held one every 3 to 4 years and rightfully so with over 350 race entries and thousands of Porsche’s populating the corrals, making Rennsport the largest Porsche gathering in the world and a bucket list event for all fans of the Porsche marque.
Throughout the duration of Rennsport you quickly begin to learn that it’s not about questioning what cars are there, but more of finding where they are located. If there is any particular Porsche you have ever wished to see pounding it’s heart out full force on the race track it’s here. From the incredibly legendary 917K’s to the first Porsche officially built, its all there.
The 911 GT1 has always been a car I have been yearning after for years even though it’s not the most successful Porsche, it still has an entertaining history. The car first appeared in competition at the 1996 24 hours of Le Mans, and throughout its career won 42 of the 144 races entered. In 1998 Porsche built a new version of the GT1 debuting that season, allowing Porsche to store yet another Le Mans victory with a 1 - 2 finish. In it’s final year the 98 GT1’s were entered into the American Lemans season competing in the inaugural Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta where the car would gain one of the most rememberable part of its career when a gust of air caught the underbody of the car down the back straight flipping the car over 20 feet in the air allowing it to complete an almost 360 degree flip before catching the diffuser on the asphalt.
The 911 has always been an integral part of Porsche history since it first debut in 1963, a flawless design that has proved the test of time showing just how timeless the design really is. Over time it adapted to be an all out track weapon from the original RSR’s, the turbo powered 935’s and the new GT3R’s just getting delivered to customers for the 2019 season.
Perhaps the greatest surprise was the gathering of 917’s Porsche were able to bring together to throw down 30 minutes of Exhibition Laps in between some of the race groups. Which displayed the highlights of the late can-am racing series, with Hurley Haywood piloting his Brumos racing 917/10. If you thought the 917K’s displayed incredible levels of performance during its time, these bring it to a whole new level displaying power outputs from 850 all the way to almost 1600hp produced by the twin turbo flat 12. With other manufacturers such as McLaren not being able to keep up competitively with the 917/10’s & 917/30’s, it’s no wonder they led to the demise of Can Am.
After finishing an extensive restoration done by Porsche Motorsports North America this year, 962-001 made it’s public debut on track alongside it’s counterpart 962-101 which happens to be the first customer 962. 962-001 made it’s debut at the 1984 24 hours of Daytona with Mario & Michael Andretti behind the wheel. The car qualified 1st however had some complications during the race and did not finish.
Back in 2012 Porsche announced that they’d be returning to the WEC with an all new prototype for another chance at winning an overall Le Mans victory. The 919 hybrid made it’s racing debut, and within 1 year would be refined into the Le Mans winning monster it is. It continued to win the famous 24 hour race for 3 straight years showing exactly what Porsche was capable of. Although at the end of the 2017 season, Porsche announced that all good things must come to an end that they’d be cancelling the 919 program to invest assets to further develop their all electric lineup. However before they did that, they decided to do a little R&D project to develop an unrestricted version that would turn out to be the fastest, most relentless force of 4 wheeled machinery the world has ever seen. In April of 2018 Porsche debut the 919 Hybrid Evo with a new SPA track record of 1:41.77, 0.783 seconds faster than Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 car. To put that into perspective, that’s 12 seconds faster than the competition spec 919. If that wasn’t enough, the 919 EVO broke the 35 year old record with a 5:19.546, almost 50 seconds quicker than the previous record held by Stephan Bellof’s 956. After an amazing tour in 2018, the 919 Tribute Tour came to an end at Laguna Seca during Rennsport VI where it not only ran its last public laps, but also the last time this car stretched its legs on a racetrack before returning to Stuttgart where it will remain on permanent display inside the Porsche Museum. While we may see its siblings at more historic events through the years, it is unlikely we will see much of the EVO, making this event that much more special.