At the Rennsport Reunion he discovered the GT1 that he had once idolised amongst the other historic Porsche race cars. He thinks he would like to buy a historic Porsche one day, “but first I need to contest a few more races.”
Porsche’s LMP pilots Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Neel Jani made their first appearance at a Rennsport Reunion. They were in hot demand for interviews with journalists, and fans waited in long queues to get their autograph.
...Gijs van Lennep (1976), Hurley Haywood (1977, 83, 94), Jürgen Barth (1977), Derek Bell (1981, 82, 86, 87, pictured), Vern Schuppan (1983), Hans-Joachim Stuck (1986, 87) as well as Nick Tandy who won Le Mans this year with Earl Bamber.
When asked what his favourite car is, his brow furrows. “That’s like asking a father to name his favourite child. I have a very special connection to them all.” After contemplating a while he then decides: “I’ve always had a soft spot for the Porsche 936 with which Jacky Ickx, Jürgen Barth and I won Le Mans in 1977. The car in which you scored your first Le Mans win always holds a very special place in your heart.”
Eleven Le Mans winners from Porsche fielded questions from fans at the Rennsport Reunion, talking of the old days while busily signing autographs. The youngest was Earl Bamber at 25 years old, the oldest Hans Herrmann, who won the long distance classic in 1970 and turned 87 on 23 February. The other Le Mans winners in attendance were Richard Attwood (1970), Jacky Ickx (1976, 77, 81, 82, pictured)...
The only Porsche racing legend who has attended all five Rennsport Reunions between 2001 and 2015 is Hurley Haywood. “The event has never been as organised as this and we’ve never seen as many beautiful cars as we’re witnessing here this weekend,” says the American, who has won Le Mans three times for Porsche and the Daytona 24-hour classic five times. “I’m particularly delighted to see how many visitors have brought their children to share the fascination of Porsche with them. I’m sure they’ll be fans for the rest of their lives.”
...Wolf Henzler, Michael Christensen, Earl Bamber (pictured l-r) as well as Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long. Another highly sought-after photo subject was the Porsche 911 RSR, which can be admired again in the USA this coming weekend: On the storied Road Atlanta circuit, it contests the final round of the 2015 Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
...and the best thing is that I’ve contested races in many of them.” This is the first time Hans-Joachim Stuck has attended the Rennsport Reunion. “I’d received invitations before but somehow it always coincided with a race weekend. If I’d known just how fantastic this event was I would have immediately cancelled all the other commitments and come straight here.”
Hans-Joachim Stuck’s favourite car at the Rennsport Reunion was one of the few that fans did not get the chance to admire on the Laguna Seca circuit. The Porsche 962 in which he won the Sebring 12-hour race with Bob Akin and Jo Gartner in 1986 is just being rebuilt. “That victory was one of the milestones of my career,” he said and was obviously impressed by the great atmosphere and enthusiasm at the Rennsport Reunion. “The cars you see here are just amazing. They’re all in incredible condition...
Earl Bamber was a kid of seven and had already launched his karting career when the Porsche GT1 1998 claimed the 16th outright victory for Porsche at the Le Mans 24-hour race. “Back then I dreamed of sitting in such a car one day,” says the New Zealander, “but I never thought that I would be one of the drivers to secure the next Le Mans victory for Porsche.” But that’s exactly what happened. When Porsche notched up its 17th victory at the world’s most famous long distance race this year, he was one of the winning drivers at the wheel of the Porsche 919 Hybrid with Nick Tandy and Nico Hülkenberg.
The new engine generation with bi-turbo charging raises the emotional driving pleasure in the 911 Carrera to an even more intensive experience: 272 kW (370 hp) of power at the rear of the 911 Carrera is waiting to be unleashed and converted into sporty propulsion. The engine in the 911 Carrera S now delivers 309 kW (420 hp). In both cases this represents a power increase of 15 kW (20 hp).
One of the many highlights of the Rennsport Reunion was the US debut of the new Porsche 911, unveiled by the model range director August Achleitner. For decades the 911 has been the top selling sports car in the world. Featuring an innovative turbo flat engine and an advanced chassis, the new generation 911 is well-equipped to continue this trend. Thanks to more than four decades of experience with turbo engines – in both motor racing and production sports cars – the new engines in the new 911 Carrera set benchmarks in terms of performance, driving pleasure and efficiency.
The Porsche RS Spyder was built in 2007 – but it only celebrated its race debut at this year’s Rennsport Reunion. Kevin Jeanette, one of the big names in the American racing scene for the last 37 years, managed to acquire the race car just three weeks ago from a private collector.
At the Laguna Seca Raceway, David Donohue sat at the wheel of the sports prototype, with its Sunoco livery evoking memories of his legendary father Mark Donohue. In 2009 David won at Daytona with a Riley Porsche. His 0.167-second advantage went down in history as the closest finish at the 24-hour race.