Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV

Monterey, CA (October 17, 2010) – With the much anticipated Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV behind us, it’s hard to believe we actually waited for four years since the last one. This one will be truly be one to remember for a long time. This year’s event (held Oct 14-16) was the first on the west coast at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, great for all the people that have Porsche’s on this side of the Rocky Mountains. I heard the fans of the German automaker have been clamoring for it to be at Monterey and why not? As usual, the weather was perfect, I guess that’s why it’s not at Watkins Glen this year, don’t worry New York, it’ll be back.

This was my third Rennsport and with more than 35,000 spectators attending over the three day affair, they enjoyed all sorts of events. There were many autograph sessions with 50-plus legendary Porsche drivers, German music and food in the popular beer garden. Don’t forget the museum quality cars on display and plenty of on-track Porsche action.

I loved seeing the still-young 356’s to the now retired ALMS RS Spyders. Some race teams were just racing them in competition last year. There were six of them present, more than were every raced at any one time. It was nice hanging out with my buddy, Sascha Maassen. He was there as a guest of Porsche and is one of the most successful Porsche drivers in North America. He has been to the other Rennsports but said this was by far the greatest collection of Porsche cars he has ever seen at one race track. He spent most of the time walking around and taking it all in, enjoying the ambiance.

The car really I could not wait to see was the L&M Porsche 917-10 that George Follmer drove to his Can-Am championship in 1972 the same year he won the SCCA Trans-Am championship. George is the only driver to seen this car which has been out of the public eye for five years, it is a one of kind. George also drove this car in 1973 with RC Cola as the sponsor. George Follmer is one of the great drivers of all time in a sport and era that lost a lot of drivers. Back then, they did not have the driver aids they have now like traction control, power steering and cool suits as George said, “We drove by the seat of our pants and when I drove the L&M Porsche it had over 1,200 horsepower. We had to muscle the car around the track and we did not have cool suits or such. When I was driving in Trans-Am, both cars where very different in the way they drove.” He also said it was really great to have all these cars in one place and see all these drivers that he raced with back in the day. “You don’t get many of these chances anymore.” He added.

The event also had Norbert Singer and entertainer Jerry Seinfeld as co-Grand Marshals. Just to mention some of the drivers there (I apologize to those I have omitted), Derek Bell, Vic Elford, Jochen Mass, and Hurley Haywood, these drivers that really made a name for them self by racing Porsche and paved the way for the drivers today. Also you do not want to leave out this man, Brian Redman who really made this happen and has made the event what it is today. Rennsport would not be the same without Brian Redman and when everyone is taking it easy Brian is helping with the photo shoot and is also finding time to race. Redman raced a 908/3 to beat a trio of 917’s in the Weissach Cup race at Rennsport Reunion IV. Brian said that car back in the day was the car to have. It was light and with big tires it stuck. What more can a driver want?

Porsche and Laguna Raceway were happy with the event and attendance. Rennsport Reunion IV has exceeded our wildest expectations, and the entire Porsche team is both grateful and a bit proud that our dreams and hard work have paid off,” said Detlev von Platen, president of Porsche Cars North America. “But it took more than just our efforts to make this weekend a magic one. It took a perfect race track, a beautiful countryside, picture perfect weather and the tireless work and cooperation by the professionals of SCRAMP to make Rennsport Reunion IV unforgettable for our many racing legends, the hundreds of participants, the tens of thousands of race fans.”

“We were pleased to be a part of Porsche history,” says Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Judging by the smiles on the faces of spectators and participants alike, we feel the event was a huge success. Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV is the capper for what has been a tremendous 2011 season.”

I can’t wait for the next one.

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