It was back in 2001 that Brian Redman organised the first Porsche Rennsport Reunion in Lime Rock, Connecticut. However, the origin of the largest one-make car gathering must be found in California at the home of the legendary corkscrew: Laguna Seca Raceway. The idea of the Rennsport Reunion came from the two events held in 1999 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Porsche. The first was the Monterey Historics where Porsche was the featured marque. The other was the 50/50 event at Watkins Glen, organised by Brian Redman and his son James. Since then the Porsche Rennsport Reunion has drawn more and more Porsche enthusiasts into its orbit and the 7th edition, which took place from 28 September to 1 October was spectacular. Lifelong Porsche enthusiast Tim Havermanns was there and living the Porsche dream…
As soon as Porsche North America announced the dates of the 7th edition, tickets started flying out of the box office. Amongst other things, the four-day event celebrated some anniversaries, including ‘75 years of Porsche sports cars’ and ‘60 years of the 911’. The biggest-ever Porsche gathering saw over 91,000 guests, coming from all over the globe to see over 300 race entries and countless Porsche cars in displays and in the Laguna Seca car parks. Seven race series brought cars out on track, representing the complete history of Porsche Motorsport. For four solid days there was nothing but Porsche on track.
It would be easy to think this gets boring, but that is not how it was. Never before have there been so many Porsche 956 and Porsche 962s in a single race. And the occasion to see multi-million prototype racers on track can be counted on the fingers of one hand. What are the odds of ever seeing two Gulf Porsche 917Ks, 2 Porsche 917-10s and a Porsche 917 PA Spyder in one race? And hate it or like it, imagine a race with the Porsche tractors from the 1960s? Unfortunately, Saturday clouds covered the sky and rain showers made the track slippery and wet.
Legends like Jacky Ickx, Hurley Haywood, Brian Redman, David Piper, Mark Webber, Gijs van Lennep and Norbert Singer to name just a few, enjoyed the party as much as the thousands of visitors. Alwin Springer, former head of Porsche Motorsport North America, and local hero Patrick Long had the honour of being Grand Marshals of the event.
Next to the race action, a good deal of entertainment was on offer for the visitors. A little village was created with dozens of tents, housing merchants of Porsche after-market parts, literature, books and artwork. Huge crowds wherever one went, and the Porsche only parking housed hundreds and hundreds of cars, from the early Porsche 356s on towards super cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder. People gathered at the food court, chatted and laughed. A Porsche Cayenne Shuttle brought visitors in a spectacular way up to the legendary Corkscrew corner, doing the steepest possible climb.
The huge TAG Heuer ‘Icons of Porsche’ tent showcased some of the most important cars in the history of Porsche Motorsport, among them the iconic #46 Porsche 356 Gmund SL that took class victory in the 1951 Le Mans 24 hours. Autograph sessions gave people the opportunity to have memorabilia signed, and on stage, live interviews and even a concert by the Doobie Brothers made sure nobody would return home and complain they’d been bored.
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