PORSCHE Rennsport Reunion V – Laguna Seca, Sept 2015
Porsche racing history came alive this past weekend at the Rennsport Reunion V at the Laguna Seca Raceway in California. The unique class reunion is the largest gathering in the world for legendary Porsche race drivers and historic Porsche race cars. And, for the second time, BRracing Motorsport was able to participate in this amazing event, this year with three cars participating the racing. Jesse M was participating and making his debut in the IMSA finale, in his Porsche 991 2015 Cup Car, John T was running in his Porsche 2012 997.2 Cup Car in the PCA Scholar-Friedman PCA Club Race, and Craig A was participating in his monster Porsche 997.1 Cup R.
This year marks the fifth time that Porsche enthusiasts and collectors have traveled from all over the world to the demanding circuit in the dunes of Monterey. The three-day event saw more than 75,000 visitors, with a diverse range of activities on the program, from races in seven different classes and exhibitions to autograph sessions.
Nowhere else in the world have so many Porsche come together in one place: with 320 historic Porsche cars contesting races, as well as nine current Porsche works drivers and race legends like Hans Hermann and Richard Attwood, who in 1970 scored the first victory for Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours – the Rennsport Reunion V leaves no wishes of Porsche fans unfulfilled.
Attending as prominent patrons of the event are two of the most successful Porsche Le Mans pilots from Europe and the USA: Jacky Ickx and Hurley Haywood. The Belgian won the world’s most famous long distance race six times, with the American notching up three victories. Moreover, Haywood won the Daytona 24 hour race five times.
Fifty well-known names stand on the list of legends who will turn their demonstration laps at Laguna Seca at the wheels of race cars in which they once celebrated their greatest successes: Derek Bell for example, the five-time Le Mans winner, or Vic Elford, who once achieved the remarkable feat of winning the Monte Carlo Rally and the 24 Hours at Daytona for Porsche on two consecutive weeks.
Two successful Porsche drivers from Germany attending the reunion of the best are Hans-Joachim Stuck and Jochen Mass. Also at Laguna Seca as one of the legendary Porsche engineers is Norbert Singer, the father of the Porsche 962.
The Rennsport Reunion V offered fans a fascinating journey through Porsche’s illustrious motor racing history spanning from the legendary Porsche 356 to the groundbreaking Porsche 919 Hybrid.
The 356 was the first Porsche to contest Le Mans in 1951. It finished first in class. This year at the long distance classic in France, the 919 Hybrid clinched the 17th outright victory for Porsche. And, if you wonder about the performance of the new 919, after coming out of the last turn, Turn 11, and accelerating up the front straight, by the time it crossed under the bridge at start finish, the car was doing 157 MPH. Just to give you an idea, a Porsche RS Spyder or a 997 Porsche Cup RSR, was doing about 135MPH as they crossed the start finish line. It was amazing and astonishing to watch.
Every year since the first outing of the 356 to today, at least one Porsche has competed at Le Mans. This record is again reflected at Laguna Seca following the moto: Le Mans is Porsche, Porsche is Le Mans.
On the expansion grounds of the Laguna Seca Raceway, around 1,400 Porsche vehicles can be seen this weekend in so-called “Porsche Corrals”. Most have been driven by their owners to Laguna Seca.
The famous Le Mans Porsche display features 75 exhibits. In addition, there are numerous Porsche vehicles from famous collections.
The Porsche Museum alone has flown eleven vehicles from Zuffenhausen to the USA – including the Porsche 718 W-RS from 1962 to the Porsche RS Spyder, which fittingly launched its successful racing career here at Laguna Seca in the 2005 American Le Mans Series.
Everything you could want was there. Car corals, for multiple models of Porsche, the Porsche Museum, the Porsche Park…where you could get autographs from many of the famous Porsche factory drivers, including Mark Weber (who drive some of the laps in the Porsche 919), new models on display, all the race cars themselves, a Vendor row, w everything Porsche, great food options, great weather, a huge crowd, great racing, ability to watch many of the factory Porsche drivers fight fender to fender with each other….just an amazing event.
We didn’t talk to a single person who didn’t think this was THE EVENT of the year for them.
BRracing also had a party at its trailer / canopy, put on and organized by PCA Golden Gate Region, with the wine provided by Trefethen Winery….that alone was a perfect party. If you have never tried the Trefethen Winery wines…..all you have to do is try them, and you will immediately understand why they are so highly acclaimed.
BRracing Motorsport customers did outstanding in their events. Just to get here you had to be invited by Porsche….in one of the race classes that our customers participated in, there were over 375 entries received for a single class, but only 20 cars were admitted. This was special.
We even had an amazing new Porsche 918 Weissach Edition under our canopy (coutesy of Rodrigo S)….some have only seen pics of this car in magazines…but here is one in the flesh…stunning car.
Over the TOP WOW!!!!!
The racing was great too….most races had LOTS of cars in them, normally a recipe for disaster…but not the case. Not because they were not running hard, but they all played nice together. In the hierarchy of sports car racing, and with Porsche’s, the top tier is PRO RACING w the IMSA series. This is big time stuff. Major teams, major players, very fast drivers, lots of knowledge…you don’t come to play at this level, if you are going to play, you need to bring your “A” game. BRracing Motorsport was participating at this level for the first time w one of its customers, Jesse M, in his 2015 991 Cup Car. We had set a target of reaching the top ten, and that was exactly where we ended up. We had the speed….our best lap would have put us at P3 overall, but you can’t just play here, you have to be on top of your game every minute you are in the car. With it being a “spec” series, the racing is very close, and if you ever make a mistake, they will pounce, and take advantage, and you may not just drop a position, you may drop several positions.
Heck…even your car has to look the part. You don’t come w a plain looking car, almost all the cars scream AMAZING at you –
Participating is one thing…just to get here, but to WIN is a whole different achievement. And one of our customers, John T, in his 2012 Porsche 997.2 Cup Car, WON. Woo Hoo….that’s hitting it out of the park.
I loved the determination of our customers when they drive….while they came to drive, and to have fun, they all take it very seriously. Craig A had a mean machine, and was consistently one of, if not “the” fastest car in the PCA Club Racing group. After a quirky qualifying session (how do you get a decent time when you start from the back of the pack w 55 cars on the track at the same time?), Craig set out to make his run to the front. A spin cost him positions, but Craig never relented, and pushed thru the whole event, and was slicing and dicing and passing as many as 5-8 cars a lap. There was just not enough time or laps, and we needed a “yellow”, but never got it. Nonetheless, Craig drove like a man possessed, and ran some of the fastest laps near the end of the event. A great showing.
See our FACEBOOK page for many pics, or our gallery in our website. All of our photos coutesy of our awesome team photo guy, Ryan Holst, and you can also see images there (Ryan Holst Photography).