Rendezvous of champions: The 919 Tribute at Rennsport Reunion VI
Around 50 legendary drivers, some 2,500 classic sports cars, more than 80,000 delighted Porsche fans, the entire Porsche factory team and endless amounts of passion – this year’s sixth staging of the Porsche Rennsport Reunion from 27th to 30th September 2018 at the Laguna Seca Raceway was presented as a festival of superlatives and once again exceeded all expectations.
Compared to the previous Rennsport Reunion in 2015, around 20,000 more visitors travelled to the picturesque Monterey Peninsula for the world’s largest gathering of Porsche enthusiasts. They all wanted to feel the unique festival spirit. Experience the fascination of the traditional Porsche brand up close. And marvel at all the memorable motorsport icons and racing dreams from a story of success stretching back more than 70 years live and in full colour – from 356 No. 1, the first licensed Porsche sports car, to the three-time Le Mans winner, the 919 Hybrid.
Former Porsche champions such as Jacky Ickx, Hurley Haywood and Derek Bell were present alongside active Porsche factory drivers, including the 919 drivers Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber. But two of the most influential racing car designers in motorsport history, the Porsche engineers Norbert Signer and Hans Mezger, also took the opportunity to be there in person in Laguna Seca.
As well as the impressive exhibition of Porsche sports cars spanning all eras, the event also featured engineering and design seminars, autograph-signing sessions, races, competitions, podium discussions with members of the Executive Board and decorated Porsche drivers as well as exciting glimpses of the paddock.
One of the many highlights was undoubtedly the rapid appearance of the Porsche 919 Tribute. Porsche factory driver Earl Bamber from New Zealand ceremoniously “flew” in the Porsche 919 Tribute over the challenging race circuit with the legendary corkscrew turn: “Everyone wants to try driving in Formula 1. I don’t need that anymore. What this car is capable of is beyond anyone’s imagination,” raved the Le Mans Champion after completing his demonstration lap in Laguna Seca.
As well as the 919 Tribute and the many other veteran classics, a brand-new sports car also created a real stir. The new version of the Porsche 935 was unveiled as part of an astounding presentation. The 700 bhp vehicle honours the famous Porsche 935/78 with the name “Moby Dick” and a limited number will be delivered to their proud owners in the middle of 2019.
Great attention was also paid to the drive by Dr. Wolfgang Porsche in the 356 No. 1, which Ferry Porsche developed in 1948. “The drive was a real pleasure. Back then my father couldn’t find his dream car anywhere. So he built it himself,” says Dr. Wolfgang Porsche.
More than 30,000 race victories make Porsche today the world’s most successful motor racing brand. This year’s festival motto “Brand of Champions” very much hit the nail on the head in summarising the company’s outstanding track record. The Rennsport Reunion, which was initiated by Porsche Cars North America, takes place every three to four years. The success story continues. And the Porsche family grows and grows.