Rennsport Reunion V
Awesome! BJ and I had attended Rennsport Reunion I thru IV but this was the best. The first reunion was at Lime Rock in 2001. The venue switched to Daytona for 2004 and 2007. Then to Lagua Seca in 2011.
At Rennsport V, 321 Porsches took the track and there were 1400 Porsches on display from the first Gmund 356 to the latest 919 Hybrid prototype. There were 75 Porsches that competed at Lemans.
The Porsche Club of America arranged corrals for various Porsche models and these corral held over 1300 Porsches.
We had hoped to enter our 356 race car. After the success we had at Circuit of Americas in 2013 at the Inaugural National Vintage Championship we were sure we could be competitive. Scot Petitt would drive as he did at COTA. However, we were not accepted (politics). BJ and I had to scramble to find accommodations as the event had booked up Monterey and Carmel since the day that it was announced.
We found a Ramada in Marina which turned out to be better for track access then our previous visits to Laguna Seca.
Not on the tourist maps but on the map provided by the race track there is an access road on the north side of the track. No permanent signage but the track puts out a small sign on the turnoff road. From the motel to track parking it took twenty five minutes. Much better than the hour or more coming thru the main entrance. Very few cars on this North entrance road, you just have to watch for deer in the fog.
The first day Friday we first did a quick tour. A huge tent with seventy five historic Porsches would take more time later, but first BJ would hit the souvenir store. Souvenirs sell out fast and we have learned to get there early. BJ stood in line for an hour and only a few people were admitted at a time due to demand. While BJ stocked up on posters, pins and programs. Jim watched the first practice sessions. The Gmund Cup race includes the 356, RS60s, 550As and prototypes. The practice sessions went well, a few spin outs but no incidents. One of our favorites is the RS Spyder. It is blindingly fast. We were talking to Steve Rowe in the pits. He was the crew chief on the Jagermeister 962 and told us that they had to warm up all the fluids in the RS Spyders before it would start. One of the best views at Laguna Seca is at the corkscrew. BJ and I went there to not only watch them come through the downhill twisty turn but also to look for the 356Restore paver. Pat had bought one as a gift for Jim and we found it in the courtyard at the corkscrew. Jim also has a paver in the shop. The 919 Hybrid was there only for exhibition runs after it won the endurance race at COTA a few weeks before. Even on an exhibition run it was the fastest Porsche at the track.
Back to the exhibition tent called the Chopard Heritage Display. Seventy five significant Porsches. Better than the Porsche Museum; no ropes to keep you away. Numerous photo opportunities. We noticed that many of these historic Porsches had keys in the ignition; the reason, they were not on display but would be driven on the track.
The event was packed as you could imagine. If you have never been to a vintage racing event, you should attend. No pit pass, the paddock is open to everyone. Take close up pictures, talk to the owners and drivers, listen to the great sound of the Porsche engines.
We received the transmission from the roller we sold. Nice to know there are honest people. Little 356 work this month as BJ continues on the Shop ’62 Coupe “Barney” and then he and Jen took Alex and Sammy on a Disney cruise during Fall Break. Jim started disassembly of the shop and garage in preparation for the move. All of the posters were taken down and the good ones put on poster board. Jim “Never throw anything away” had some classic stuff on the walls. From the entry list for the 1970 Can Am Cup race held at Donnybroke to the results from the Steamboat race in 1997. This was the race where Bill Frey was black flagged and came into Tech only to be told to go back out. As a result he only ran half the track and posted the best tine of the day. A corner worker had meant to throw the debris flag (blue with yellow stripes) but had thrown Bill the black flag (report to Tech).
Its been a long wait and a big disruption to 356Restore but we are getting close. We asked the carpenters for a priority on the basement as this would be the new shop. There are lots of parts to move and arrange in an efficient manner. This would be weeks of work before the actual move. So, finally the sheetrock was up in the basement but then you have the tapers and painters and the trim work. Finally Jim could move parts to the new shelves and of course BJ was on a cruise. Many of you volunteered to help the parts move and thank you but it was best Jim did this himself. Just load the truck, drive next door, unpack and place parts on the shelves in a efficient manner that Jim had been thinking about for a year. First on the shelves was engine stuff. 356Restore doesn’t do engines but many of the Shop 356s we’ve purchased came with engine stuff. And Bill Frey had engine stuff and the parts from Montana had a lot of engine stuff. Many of these parts are used and may never be used again but now they are efficiently stored in the 356Restore’s new shop.
A couple of times a week Barb will receive a text message from Sammy. Usually a smiley face or many letters, this is funny that Sam can text but doesn’t read or spell yet.