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Rennsport Reunion V

by • November 2, 2015 • EventComments (0)5535

Hosted by Porsche Cars North America Rennsport Reunion V took over Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and is the largest gathering of Porsche race cars in the world. The event brought together an extraordinary gathering of significant vintage and current racecars, as well as the motorsports figures who have designed, engineered, and driven them to victory in the world’s most famous sports car races.

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A very special ingredient of this year’s Porsche Rennsport Reunion V was the Porsche Factory LMP1 team. Direct from its overall victory at the Lone Star Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas the 919 Hybrid. Over 10 current factory drivers were on hand, including local Patrick Long, Jörg Bergmeister, Mark Webber and the 24 Hours of Le Mans winning pair – Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy.

Jacky Ickx and Hurley Haywood were the natural choice for Grand Marshals at the Reunion as they are the two most successful racers for Porsche at Le Mans. Ickx is a six–time winner and Haywood has three overall victories at the French race.

Other notable drives include Derek Bell, five time winner for Porsche at Le Mans; George Follmer, Can-Am Champion in the mighty 917/10; Vic Elford, Monte Carlo and 24 Hours of Daytona winner, on back-to-back weekends; Hans Hermann and Richard Attwood, first overall winners at Le Mans for Porsche in 1970; Hans Stuck, Dany Sullivan, and many others.

And it’s not just drivers that made their Porsche race cars famous. Attendees included Norbert Singer, retired Porsche Motorsport engineer, known as the father of the Porsche 962; Alwin Springer, past president of Porsche Motorsports North America and Hartmut Kristin, recently retired Vice President of Porsche Motorsport responsible for GT Racing and the return of the Porsche Factory GT teams to Le Mans.

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And of course, the racecars brought in from the museum in Stuttgart, Germany:

1962 Porsche 718 W-RS – Porsche’s first two-liter, eight-cylinder vehicle; nicknamed “Grandmother” because it competed from 1961-1964; class victories in the 1962 Targa Florio and 1,000-kilometer race at the Nurburgring; dominated the 1963 and 1964 European Hill Climb Championship with driver Edgar Barth

1971 Porsche 917 LH – Built specifically for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the long-tail version of the Porsche 917 is one of the fastest cars ever seen at the 24-hour classic; hit over 240 mph in race trim on the 3.7-mile Mulsanne Straight in 1971.

1987 Porsche 962 – Porsche introduced a new three-liter engine at the 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans that both maintained reliability and increased horsepower; the result was a sixth consecutive Le Mans victory.

1995 Porsche WSC95 Spyder – Overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 1995 and 1996, the third time in Le Mans history, and the second time for Porsche, that the exact same car had consecutive victories at Le Mans.

1998 Porsche 911 GT1-98 – Almost 50 years after the first Porsche sports car saw the light of the day, the 911 GT1 98 achieved the record 16th victory in 24 Hours of Le Mans. The last Porsche overall winner until 2015 when the 919 Hybrid extended the record to 17.

Overall there were 320 Porsche racing cars in seven race classes. The groupings ranged from a special class for the Porsche Club of America to run groups ranging from 356 and 550 Spyders, to the 917 and modern 911 RSRs.

While most were more than content to take in the amazing view, a small group of legendary Porsche drivers and key Porsche executives constituted a judging committee that presented awards in 17 different categories. The concours’ top honor, Best in Show, went to a 1969 Porsche 908 LH (Serial No. 908 025) owned by the Revs Institute for Automotive Research, the premier destination to study and explore one of the largest archives of automotive history ever preserved for scholars and connoisseurs.

The Ingram Collection, Brumos Racing, Revs Institute, Gunnar Racing, Canepa Design and many others joined thousands of Porsche Club members in bringing their prized Porsche cars to display and race. Celebrating their 60th year, the Porsche Club of America (PCA) had amongst their 1,400-car corral a special display vehicle for each year since 1955.

Hotchkis Racing was one of the most successful privateer racing teams in the 1980s and its Wynn’s Porsche 962 was an icon of the Camel IMSA GTP series. Father and son team of John Hotchkis and John Hotchkis, Jr. along with Jim Adams successfully campaigned this amazing car against some of the biggest names in racing. After retiring from IMSA, it came back to race in many vintage races in the 1990s and early 2000s with Mark Hotchkis added to the driver roster. The Hotchkis family still owns this car today and has kept it race ready for their next vintage racing adventure.

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“I think Porsche Rennsport Reunion V overwhelmed everybody: the cars, the people, the atmosphere,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “There is a spirituality about Porsche that is unparalleled in any other marque. But looking at 57,000 people’s smiles this weekend, you go away from this without saying, ‘Wow, that was awesome. Let’s do it again in four years.’”

From the three days of nearly nonstop on-track action with 320 racing Porsches, to the more than 100 cars on display Le Mans-style for Saturday’s Concours on the Pit Lane, to multiple autograph sessions, to the 75 cars in the Chopard Heritage Display to the more than 2,000 Porsche cars in the corral parking areas, Porsche Rennsport Reunion V will long be remembered and not soon to be surpassed until Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI.

The following is the list of race winners in the seven groups of racing that took place Saturday and Sunday:
Race Group 1: PCA Sholar-Friedman Cup – Alan J. Friedman, No. 23 1973 911 RSR
Race Group 2: Gmund Cup – Cameron Healy/Portland, Ore., No. 55 1953 Porsche Cooper Pooper
Race Group 3: Eifel Trophy – Alan Terpins/Sao Paulo, Brazil, No. 40 1968 Porsche 911 T/R
Race Group 4: Weissach Cup – Bruce Canepa/Scotts Valley, Calif., No. 2 1969 Porsche 917K
Race Group 5: Carrera Trophy – Charles Nearburg/Dallas, No. 70 1980 Porsche 935 K3
Race Group 6: Stuttgart Cup – Jeroen Bleekemolen/Tavares, Fla., No. 5 2006 Porsche RS Spyder
Race Group 7: IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge – Elliott Skeer/Huntington, N.Y., Wright Motorsports No. 14 Porsche 991/2015

Below is the full list of Concours on Pit Lane award winners:
Gmund Class Award – Rick Grant, 1958 Porsche RSK Center Steer
Eifel Class Award – Jeff Lewis, 1967 Porsche 911 Trans-Am
Weissach Class Award – Chuck Harris, 1966 Porsche 906
Carrera Class Award – Alan Benjamin, 1975 Porsche RSR 3.0
Stuttgart Class Award – Rob Dyson, 1984 Porsche 962 IMSA
Heritage Class Award – The Revs Institute, 1958 RSK Spyder
Best Design Award – Charles Nearburg, 1980 Porsche 936 Spyder
Bob Carlson Award – Joe Lacob, 1959 Porsche RSK Spyder
Bob Snodgrass Award – Stanley Gold, 1952 Porsche America Roadster
Hurley Haywood’s Favorite – Robert Weber, 1976 Porsche 934.5
Jacky Ickx Favorite – The Ingram Collection, 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder
Hartmut Kristen Favorite – David MacNeil, 2007 Porsche RS Spyder
Detlev von Platen Favorite – The Ingram Collection, 1955 Porsche RS Spyder
Alwin Springer Favorite – Rob Kauffman, 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder
Best Le Mans Production Race Car – Bruce Meyer, 1979 Porsche 935 K3
Best Le Mans Prototype – Reinhold Joest, 1984 Porsche 956 Group C
Best in Show – The Revs Institute, 1969 Porsche 908 LH Coupe

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