10. Meeting amazing drivers, both current and historically significant
From the very first evening of the event, we were treated to lovely meals in the presence of legendary drivers, both of eras gone by and the current one. On the first evening, we had a lovely dinner with Eliot Forbes-Robinson and his wife, talking about his illustrious career in motorsport, and the GTP era specifically. On Saturday night, we were invited to dinner with Fred Mako, Joerg Bergmeister, Earl Bamber, Brendan Hartley, Michael Christensen, and Mark Webber (as well as Mark's dad, who is a riot, by the way). On Sunday, the whole crew was invited to dinner at the aquarium, and we got to spend some good time with the likes of Hurley Haywood, Vic Elford, Gijs Van Lennep, and its always a pleasure to get face time with our favorite photographer, Mr. Leonard Turner. In case you weren't convinced, here's an interesting photo I took one morning depicting Joerg Bergmeister, Quick Vic, and Norbert Singer chatting over coffee. Stuff like this was happening everywhere you looked!
9. Getting to ride along in the new 2016 Carrera 3.0 Turbo
On Friday morning, we were given the amazing opportunity to ride shotgun with August Achleitner in the brand new 911 Carrera. It was an absolute treat, as only one other person not employed by Porsche had ever even been inside this car. August managed to give us a good ride-along and a pretty good pace, and even managed to answer a few of our technical questions along the way. Read more about it here.
8. Our Lovely White GTS Coupe
Porsche, being kind people, loaned us a brand new Carrera GTS coupe PDK for the four days we were in town. Getting back and forth between the track and our hotel was made all the better with this lovely motor vehicle to shuttle us and our gear.
7. The Chopard Tent
This might be the coolest collection of cars in one location, perhaps ever. If you haven't seen our write up about it yet, do yourself a favor and go do it now!
6. The Porsche Legends of Le Mans Lineup
In Laguna Seca's main straight garages, Porsche housed a few handfuls of significant Le Mans prototypes and sports cars, including quite a few overall winners (including two cars that had won the race twice). You'd almost think that there were enough Porsches in attendance for someone to get jaded. 'Peak Porsche' is still not enough Porsche for us, we were running around like children in a sweets store.
5. All of the new product launches
Inside that Heritage Tent, Chopard was also showing off a new line of Superfast watches to commemorate their relationship with Porsche and the 919 Hybrid LMP1 project. It looked pretty amazing in person. High quality timepiece, this one.
Our good friend Magnus surprised everyone by hustling to get #277 back on the road after that oddball crash he had a few weeks prior. But he wasn't just going to sit back and have that be his only Rennsport showoff. He also had been working with MOMO to design this Magnus Walker Signature Edition Prototipo steering wheel. Pretty cool if you ask us. before supplies run out.
Our friends at Hunziker were also busy debuting a new watch design, one that will never be replicated. In conjunction with B.R.M. watches, Nicolas Hunziker will personally style your own hand-painted watch face. We reported on that launch here.
4. Going hiking to see the Corkscrew
It never fails, every time we go to Laguna Seca, we end up needing to bring our hiking boots. Getting up to the top of the Corkscrew and back down 2 times a day for three days means a lot of walking. While we were photographing the racing and making treks back down to the paddock to ogle at the stationary racers, we did a lot of moving around.
We were at the track for about 1410 minutes. We walked 34.4 miles in 3 days. We took 3422 photos over the course of the weekend (here's a compilation of all of them). That's 1 mile every 40 minutes, and 2.43 photos per minute. Pretty good averages, if you ask me!
3. Walking the paddock
In the paddock, you get to see things that you just wouldn't notice out on the track. Here are a few of my personal favorites.
The lovely patina of a well-raced life, Chris MacAllister's 917-016 looked perfect in the early morning light. If you haven't already, check out the history on each Porsche 917 present during RRV.
Perhaps it is just a case of rose-colored glasses, but this ex-Alex Job Daytona prototype looks much better today than I remember it looking just a few short years ago. I've always thought these were ugly, but for some reason this one just looked right when viewed in context at Rennsport Reunion.
Vic Skirmants' Porsche-powered "Dolphin" sports racer was a sight to behold. It was a very interesting thing to see in the paddock, and it was fun to trace the compound curves of its bodywork with your eye. I can't explain why, but this car was among my favorites. The fact that it was used as a tent hold-down when it wasn't on track was just all the more amusing.
One of my favorite drivers, David Donohue, fiddling with his as-yet-to-be-raced RS Spyder for the weekend. Afterward we talked to him and he said that it was an amazing car to drive, but needed a few teething issues worked out. In this photo, he very much reminded me of photos I'd seen of his father at the wheel of the Sunoco 917/30 back in the early 1970s. Like father, like son, I suppose.
2. Seeing this car in person!
Possibly my favorite Porsche racing car, this 908 was amazing to see in person. I even laid down on the ground to see if I could get a better look at the linkages that operated the rear ailerons. Luckily, after returning from Rennsport, we asked the Revs Institute if they wouldn't mind supplying detailed photos of those linkages, and they were happy to oblige, resulting in this exposé here on Thekparksvanphu.info.
1. All of the on-track action!
It can't really get much better than this. Hundreds of beautiful Porsche racing cars hit the track for one of the best weekends of our lives. It was exciting to hear their engines at full chat. It was exhilarating to smell their brakes, exhaust, race fuel fumes, and the heat of their tires. It was beautiful to see decades of significant liveries flash in front of your eyes. This was an event that will be remembered forever by those who attended, and regretted forever by those who didn't.