Atlanta. At Rennsport Reunion, we celebrate the stories and accomplishments of legendary drivers that gave their all for Porsche. Each week leading up to the event, we will showcase drivers and share their stories. These are the heroes of Rennsport Reunion 7 for the week of August 25: Sascha Maassen, Jochen Mass, David Murry, and Seth Neiman.
German-born Sascha Maassen cut his teeth in karts and national open-wheel racing before moving into touring cars in 1995. Three years later, at the age of 28, he graduated to the FIA GT Championship, where he campaigned a Porsche 911 GT2 for Roock Racing. Clearly at home behind the wheel of a 911, he finished fourth in his first season of Porsche Supercup in 1999 and won the GT class at Petit Le Mans for Alex Job Racing in North America. This was a feat he would repeat the following year as a fully-fledged Porsche factory driver, sharing a 911 GT3 R with Bob Wollek for Dick Barbour Racing. The pair racked up five wins in the season, while Maassen also took second in class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Australian Porsche privateer Skea Racing International.
The following few years would see multiple class wins at Sebring and Petit Le Mans in privately entered 911s and a brace of LMP2 class victories in the Porsche RS Spyder with fellow works driver Timo Bernhard. Maassen also competed at Le Mans six more times between 2001 and 2009, his remarkable tally at La Sarthe including two class wins and three second-place finishes for Porsche, his best position an impressive 10th overall, first in class, in 2004 with Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing.
An ALMS class champion once in LMP2 and twice in GT, Maassen is also a four-time class winner at the 12 Hours of Sebring and took the NGT class crown in the FIA GT Championship in 2004 driving Freisinger Motorsport’s 911 GT3 RSR. Today he is a vital part of the Porsche Junior Program benefiting young talent with experience he garnered over an impress career.
Jochen Mass became a household name in the early 1970s as he juggled a successful career in Formula 1 with an equally high-profile presence in both the European Touring Car Championship and World Sportscar Championship. He first drove for Porsche in 1976, sharing the Martini Racing 935 with Jacky Ickx. The pair won on debut at Mugello, the first of nine victories for Mass with Porsche that year. Mass was still competing in F1 when he climbed the podium for Porsche for the first time, taking second at Le Mans with Hurley Haywood and Vern Schuppan in the 936/81.
The arrival of Group C would mark a new chapter for the outgoing and popular German as he stepped away from F1 to concentrate solely on sports cars. A firm fixture of the factory racing team for the next five years, Mass helped Porsche to dominate Group C with both the 956 and 962, taking his first win in the new prototype at the Norisring in June 1982 and back-to-back victories that same year at Spa, Fuji and Kyalami with regular co-driver Ickx.
Apparently inexhaustible, Mass continued to clock up wins for the Rothmans Porsche team in the 1983 and 1984 seasons of the World Endurance Championship while doing much the same for customer team Joest Racing in Interserie in both 1984 and 1985. His last victory aboard the 962 came at the 500km of Kyalami in November 1987 before Mass switched to Sauber Mercedes, with whom he eventually won Le Mans in 1989.
Starting out in Formula Ford in 1981, Louisiana-born David Murry earned himself a reputation for speed and consistency over a decade of gritty competition in national single-seater competition. A chance to drive a factory-entered Lotus Esprit in IMSA in 1992 culminated in a maiden win with the British marque the following year. This high-profile success in sports cars caught the attention of Porsche, who promptly lured the easy-going southerner away from Lotus to join their roster of factory drivers. Continuing a history of fan favorite American-born Porsche “works” drivers.
Murry campaigned the works Porsche LMP1-98 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and won the World Challenge Championship in a 911 Turbo. He has climbed the podium twice at Le Mans, the first time in 2000 driving a Porsche 911 GT3 R for Australian privateer Skea Racing International. Murry was also a regular in ALMS and the Rolex GT Championship for Porsche, competing with type 993, 996 and 997 derivations of Weissach’s customer 911 racers from 1999 until 2012. He has more recently competed in IMSA with a Porsche Cayman GT4 and, over a long and varied career, has made the podium five times at the 12 Hours of Sebring and six times at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Since retiring from full-time racing, Murry has run a successful track-day business from his home in Atlanta and continues to work as a Race Advisor for the Porsche Club of America (PCA).
Tech entrepreneur and Californian-based venture capitalist Seth Neiman is more familiar to Porsche’s racing community as the founder of Flying Lizard Motorsports. Neiman turned his private passion for racing into a successful team endeavour some 20 years ago, establishing and running Flying Lizard from its base in Sonoma in 2003.
The team entered the American Le Mans Series in 2004 and would go on to win six driver and team championships with 997-generation Porsche 911 GT3 race cars. In 2007, Flying Lizard became an official Porsche factory team and Porsche Motorsport North America’s development partner from 2007 to 2012.