Porsche Rennsport Reunion

Published: 05 December 2007

That’s quite some collection you’ve got there

If only. This is a selection (yes, there were lots more) of Porsche race cars from the Rennsport Reunion held recently at Daytona Beach, Florida. The event runs every three years, organised by Brian Redman (of Can-Am and F1 fame) and his son James with a helping hand from Stuttgart.

The 917-based racers hog the foreground of this shot with Richard Attwood and Hans Hermann’s 1970 Le Mans winner at the front left wearing number 23, the 917PA 16-cylinder prototype (count those intake trumpets) sat alongside in plain white, the camera car from Steve McQueen's Le Mans that’s now owned by Jerry Seinfeld (right, wearing Gulf colours) plus the memorably tagged 'Pink Pig' (centre right, the bodywork divided into cuts of meat) and the psychedelic 'Hippie Car' (to the left wearing number 3)

See the full report in the January 2008 issue of CAR Magazine, out now

So it’s just a static display, then?

No, a huge part of the Rennsport Reunion is seeing these hugely valuable cars – some, like the Gulf-liveried 917 shown, worth six-figure sums – used in anger, barrelling round the steeply banked Daytona oval and racing head-to-head. This year saw some interesting tie ups, too, Porsche 956s running alongside 935s, celebrity racers mixing with wealthy drivers. Thankfully – and surprisingly – there was no expensive crunching of metal throughout the weekend, though a GT1 was badly fire damaged.

Celebrities you say?

Well, most people won’t recognise them, but there are plenty of familiar faces for motorsport fans to bump into. Pictured from left to right are Brian Redman (Rennsport organiser and Porsche racer), David Piper (917 driver who’s kept his own green 917 since new and who shipped it to the event from the UK – though it’s absent from the opening shot after being held up at customs) and Richard Attwood (the man who, alongside Hans Hermann, gave Porsche its first outright victory at Le Mans in 1970).

This year’s celebrity guests also included Derek Bell (along with his Rothmans 956), Vic Elford (feted as possibly the most versatile driver of all time with wins in everything from rallying to endurance racing) and Jurgen Barth (a Porsche engineer, racer and Le Mans winner).

So it was full of people we don’t recognise and cars we can’t afford?

Not so. Even if you didn’t recognise the racers, there was always the chance to acquaint yourself with each and every one of them at the incredibly laid-back autograph signing. And Rennsport did welcome clubman-level competitors, including 914s and race-worn 911s – though they were left to run in their own groups in the name of equality and for fear of some over-enthusiastic amateur taking out a priceless Can-Am racer. Of course, when the star attractions have such provenance, it’s the less valuable racers – and less-skilled pilots! – that provide the most entertaining racing.

I’d like to see that on the oval. What did it do?

Sadly this tractor was just a static display. Details are sketchy – so please feel free to correct us by adding a comment below – but we suspect this is the Junior AP109, the smallest of four Porsche tractors. Built at the end of the 1950s, it makes just 14bhp from a single-cylinder 822cc, air-cooled diesel engine. Yes, there were faster machines at Rennsport, but this agricultural gem drew a constant stream of intrigued visitors.

Forget the tractor. That’s more like it.

Yes indeed. This is what happens when tuners Ruf gets its hands on a new 997 GT3RS: the RUF RGT. You had to look to find them, but the Dallas-based outfit was proudly showcasing its wares at Daytona.

Reading the spec sheet is slightly bewildering, as it’s easy to confuse the standard Porsche equipment with that supplied by Ruf. However, Ruf claims the 1973 Carrera RS was the inspiration behind the project and modifications include more aggressive front and rear bumpers, GT racer-style arches, new three-piece OZ Superleggera19s, a lower ride height and an even more extreme carbon wing. Inside there are new leather-trimmed bucket seats complete with dubious green colour-coding while power is claimed to be 445bhp – a 30bhp hike.

See the full Rennsport Reunion write up in the January 2008 issue of CAR, out now

Forget the tractor. That’s more like it.

Yes indeed. This is what happens when tuners Ruf gets its hands on a new 997 GT3RS: the RUF RGT. You had to look to find them, but the Dallas-based outfit was proudly showcasing its wares at Daytona.

Reading the spec sheet is slightly bewildering, as it’s easy to confuse the standard Porsche equipment with that supplied by Ruf. However, Ruf claims the 1973 Carrera RS was the inspiration behind the project and modifications include more aggressive front and rear bumpers, GT racer-style arches, new three-piece OZ Superleggera19s, a lower ride height and an even more extreme carbon wing. Inside there are new leather-trimmed bucket seats complete with dubious green colour-coding while power is claimed to be 445bhp – a 30bhp hike.

See the full Rennsport Reunion write up in the January 2008 issue of CAR, out now

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

Comments