Held in California, in the US, the largest Porsche meeting the world has ever seen treated visitors to highlight after highlight, including the world premiere of the Porsche 911 GT3 R rennsport, demo laps by the hybrid prototype Porsche 963 and the fully electric GT4 e-Performance. There was also a packed race programme that ranged from modern and historic racing cars to tractors.
As the gathering at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca came to an end, organisers could look back on a successful event. “It’s been a privilege to host our seventh Rennsport Reunion,” said Ayesha Coker, Vice President of Marketing at Porsche Cars North America. “The ingredients were just perfect, from legendary drivers from our past and present through to the presence of amazing new cars and additions to appeal to wider audiences that have never appeared at Rennsports, including Esports. The common component was the enthusiasm of everyone attending, the wonder, pride and excitement – it truly made Rennsport special. Here’s to the next one!”
Spectators got to witness historic and new racing cars on the track with its famous Corkscrew. Numerous presentations, technology workshops, autograph sessions with Porsche legends, music concerts and giant Transformers robots rounded off the programme. “The Rennsport Reunion is absolutely unique. It becomes clear here what the Porsche brand means to many people,” explains Alwin Springer, who acted as Grand Marshal at the event together with long-time works driver Patrick Long from the US. The former President of Porsche Motorsport North America adds: “Once again, fans and owners of racing cars were united in their passion. That’s what makes the atmosphere so special. For me personally, I caught up with many old friends from my career. It felt like the best kind of family reunion.”
The future: Porsche 911 GT3 R rennsport and GT4 e-Performance in the limelight
One of the major highlights of the seventh Rennsport Reunion was the presentation of the new Porsche 911 GT3 R rennsport. The vehicle, limited to 77 units and based on the successful GT3 race car, the 911 GT3 R, completed two show runs at Laguna Seca Raceway on each of the four event days. “I had so much fun in the cockpit,” laughs Jörg Bergmeister. With a wide grin, the long-time works driver and current Porsche brand ambassador adds: “We barely even worked on the setup. I drove onto the track and everything felt great straight away: great car balance, lots of grip and incredible acceleration. I’ve never been this fast at Laguna Seca before!” Bergmeister clocked lap times in the region of 1:20.0 minutes. By comparison, the fastest Porsche 911 GT3 R was over four seconds slower in the IMSA qualifying at the same venue in May.
The spectacular vehicle, designed to be driven by enthusiasts on racetracks outside motorsport competitions, produces up to 456kW (620 PS) and is designed to run on modern e-fuels. The first units are planned to be finished in mid-2024.
The Mission X concept and the Porsche Vision 357 Speedster were among the cars on display in the paddock, which was filled to capacity. As part of the GT4 e-Performance World Tour, German Marco Seefried raced around the legendary circuit near the Pacific coast in the up to 800 kW (1,088 PS) all-electric race car.
The present: Porsche Penske Motorsport campaigns the 963
The racing reunion also served as a warm-up for the grand finale of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Each day, the 963 fielded by the Porsche Penske Motorsport factory team completed show laps at the very venue where the hybrid prototype claimed its first pole position in May this year. At the wheel of the 515 kW (700 PS) race car, works drivers Dane Cameron from the USA and Felipe Nasr from Brazil shared driving duties with local hero Patrick Long from California.
Porsche Penske Motorsport will send two 963 racers to the season finale at Road Atlanta on the second weekend of October. In the so-called “Petit Le Mans” over ten hours, Porsche, the works squad and the two driver crews could win the championship title in the inaugural year of the new top GTP class.
The Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America added even more action at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. In the two races, 37 latest-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars treated onlookers to some gripping race action.
The history: more than 300 historic vehicles tackle the Corkscrew at race pace
Since the first edition of the Rennsport Reunion in 2001, the event has been a celebration of Porsche’s motorsport history. This year’s event was no exception; it was legendary racing cars that provided the most passionate and emotional scenes on the Laguna Seca stage.
A total of more than 300 cars took to the track in numerous classes, including the graceful, light Bergspyder, the “horsepower monster” Porsche 917/30 from the 1973 CanAm season and the RS Spyder, which enjoyed huge success in the USA, as well as the highly innovative Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid. Two races with Porsche tractors provided some more relaxed entertainment. Among others, works drivers Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell and Nick Tandy showcased their skills on the historic tractors. Patrick Long went head-to-head with Jörg Bergmeister, who had borrowed a Porsche tractor from Long’s father Jon.