Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI, Saturday notes
Sunday marks the final day of activity from Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI. Saturday saw a number of highlights and with great weather all day, there was a wealth of moments to capture.
Thursday and Friday notes from the weekend are linked here. The weekend photo feed is linked here.
Welcome to the… Porsche tractor race?
Saturday’s on-track activity didn’t just feature standard Porsche race cars. It also featured tractors – Porsche diesel tractors – as part of the first ever Porsche tractor race.
Some 17 tractors started the race. Porsche built these tractors between 1956 and 1963 and several of the teams entered this week, notably Gunnar Racing and WeatherTech Racing, entered tractors for the race.
IMSA regulars Patrick Long, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Cooper MacNeil, Gunnar Jeannette and Patrick Pilet were among the drivers.
Two others stood out. Cooper’s father David MacNeil, founder and CEO of WeatherTech, raced on a tractor in a specially designed Stand 21 firesuit that had “Farmer Dave” as his name badge.
Meanwhile music legend John Oates of Hall and Oates drove the 1971 917/30 “pink pig” liveried tractor – complete with “piglets” on the back!
Hitting the 250 mph barrier… no big deal
Gijs Van Lennep, Gerard Larrousse and Vic Elford held a long chat in the media center Saturday morning.
As if it was nothing, Elford reflected on how fast they could go on the Mulsanne Straight in the 1970s.
“Yeah, we’d hit about 250. No problem,” he said. The Mulsanne at that point did not have any chicanes, as it does now.
Van Lennep and Helmut Marko won the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans in the No. 22 Martini Porsche 917K, pictured above. Elford and Larrousse shared the No. 21 car, but retired before half distance with engine issues.
Bernhard, Lotterer run the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo
Saturday morning, the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo made another round of running. This time, Andre Lotterer and Timo Bernhard had the opportunity to get back behind the wheel.
Bernhard’s Nurburgring Nordschleife record run stands as the ultimate testament to the car’s performance. For Lotterer, his run Saturday morning marked a chance to get behind the wheel of the car.
“The Earl and Larry Show”
Porsche GT Team teammates Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor (above) took the stage Saturday afternoon for a more humorous bit of banter – an attempt at playing the “Newlywed Game.” After getting a question from the moderator, Bamber or Vanthoor would attempt to answer on a white board and see if their answers would match up.
Vanthoor – who Bamber affectionately calls “Larry” in the U.S. – held the lead throughout the game until it came to a dead heat near the end of it. If you follow these two on their social media channels, you’re aware they have a pretty dynamic back-and-forth relationship.
“I think my wife is getting jealous!” Vanthoor laughed at one point.
The drivers of the No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship conclude their season at Motul Petit Le Mans in Road Atlanta, Oct. 10-13.
Christina Nielsen’s dream Rennsport weekend
Two-time IMSA GT Daytona class champion Christina Nielsen is at her first Porsche Rennsport Reunion, as a Porsche Selected Driver. Nielsen was at the track by Friday. She and Long share the Porsche Consulting-supported No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R in IMSA.
She’s had a couple special moments this trip. She’s gotten to attend it with her father Lars-Erik. Additionally, she had the opportunity to meet tennis star Maria Sharapova, who is a Porsche brand ambassador. They met on Friday.
“To me, Rennsport is a place where really passionate people come together,” she said. “There is so much enthusiasm that goes around the brand, the technology, the development and the cars. Everything goes into building this Porsche event.
“My dad is a huge Porsche fan, so I grew up with a huge love for Porsche. To come and see it with your own eyes has been an absolute pleasure.”