Pilgrimage to Porsche Mecca: A Saturday at Rennsport

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Category: DriveApart

For those of you uninitiated in the ever-muddled world of sports cars and more specifically, Porsche sports car racing, the fifth installment of Porsche’s Rennsport Reunion was recently held at Monterey’s famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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As the name suggests, this legendary event is focused around Porsches, and not your average road-going Carrera. Rennsport, which is German for racing, is the largest gathering of Porsche racing cars in the entire world. Period. It even featured cars shipped over from Europe and the Porsche Museum IN GERMANY.

This weekend, which comes every four years, was the ultimate fantasy experience, pilgrimage, or whatever you care to call it for any Porsche fan. And if the rumors are true, I believe there were some 57,000 of them in attendance.

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It was a comprehensive catalogue of Porsche’s racing history from the first Porsche to enter Le Mans, through the 917, Group C and GT1 eras, and culminating in the latest 919 Le Mans Prototype. You could literally smell the history in the air… the high octane and unburned hydrocarbons, that is.

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This early 356 Gmünd streamliner coupe was Porsche’s first official race entry and stood in good company at the entrance of Rennsport next to a beautiful 917 (one of my personal favorites) and the new 919 (even though this one was just a shell).

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There was a certain gravity as I walked around and experienced Le Mans' champions first hand.

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The reigning 2015 24 hrs of Le Mans champion 919 Hybrid was in attendance.

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Not only were the cars there, but the men who created these legacies were there to pay tribute as well. Names like Jacky Ickx, Derek Bell, Jorg Bergmeister, and the American Factory Driver, Patrick Long were there; both on the cars they've piloted and just interacting with them like the rest of us Porsche fanatics.

I heard even Mark Webber stopped by.

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This weekend featured absolutely everything imaginable. There were races and practice sessions throughout the day, ranging from 356 and 550 era racers all the way through the latest 911 Cup Cars. Although this is “Gentleman’s racing,” it was surprisingly hard fought on the track between such utterly priceless cars.

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Walking through the paddock alone took a majority of the day, and even then I was rushing. I could have easily spent the entire week drooling over every detail of these purpose-built works of art.

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904 Carrera GTS

It was like walking the red carpet at an awards show with all of these cars, many of which have just as much street cred as some celebrities.

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Magnus Walker’s 277

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Dakar Rally Prepped 959's and 911's in that infamous Rothmans white over blue.

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906 Carrera 6

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This beautiful 908 represents the turning point where aerodynamics and downforce began to take over the game.

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911's and 935's in Jagermeister Orange were in abundance.

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917's of every flavor!! Gulf liveried Le Mans-spec 917's

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This BEASTLY Sunoco 917.30 could put out over 1500 hp back in those wonderful CanAm Days.

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The Group C days weren't too bad either with these 962's that replaced the 956.

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