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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Three days of everything Porsche. Three days of celebration. Three days about this marque from the small city of Stuttgart Germany. Three days of Porsche-gasm (my own word). I think you get the picture. How do you describe Rennsport? Other than to say that if you like (or love) Porsches then this was the event for you (and your long suffering family…).

As the Roman numeral indicates, this was the forth iteration of Rennsport. Oh…you have not heard of Rennsport, what is it you ask? Well Porsche describes it as “The largest gathering of Porsche Race Cars and the Drivers that drove them.” What it was: 800+ Porsches, 15,000+ people, the Monterey peninsula, great weather (for the most part), and enough racing and Porsche royalty to shake a stick at. In a word it was…worth it (okay that’s two words). The first three Rennsports were on the east coast. This was the first one on the west coast and for that we can thank the efforts of Bruce Canepa and his incredible west coast operation (Canepa Design). He almost singlehandedly brought this show west and the Laguna Seca track near Seaside, CA, it was the perfect west coast venue to showcase everything Porsche.

Working to promote my book, I was given a fantastic opportunity, to partner with the Children’s Tumor Foundation (The Children's Tumor Foundation - Neurofibromatosis, NF, NF1, NF2, Schwannomatosis), a very worthy organization that is fighting to find a cure and solve the Neurofibromatosis (NF) puzzle. They have a motorsports branch called Racing4Research and they do a lot of motorsports related events all over the US. At Rennsport, they were partnering with Napleton Porsche (Napleton Porsche | New Porsche dealership in Westmont, IL 60559) and of great interest to Cayman owners everywhere the Cayman Interseries (Cayman Interseries). These are racing prepped Caymans painted in the livery of famous racing Porsches from the 60’s to the 90’s. It is cool to see Caymans painted in the Gulf Racing blue, Canon red and white and Sandeman yellow racing schemes.



Our prize sponsor for the weekend was Luna-C clothing (Luna C Racing | Luna C Clothing) who had donated several pieces from their new line of racing inspired men’s fashion as the main prize and my books as a very distant second prize. Overall we raised over $1500!! It was simply wonderful to see the generosity of Porsche fans as they opened their wallets to help the NF kids. And to top it all off, Lee Davis from Luna-C won the Sprint part of the Cayman Interseries race. During the Enduro part of the weekend, he was way out in front (25 sec+) when he was punted off the track by a backmarker (not saying who it was…). Several of the NF families came to visit us and they were treated to personal tours of several racing team tents and a visit to the Porsche Pavilion along with a meeting with Dr. Porsche and other Porsche dignitaries.



Anyway back to Rennsport. I arrived Friday afternoon and went to will-call to get my ticket. To my surprise CTF provided me with a 3-day ticket and a parking pass. SCORE!! Immediately I went to the track. Not sure how many of you have been to Laguna Seca, but you have to drive on a bit of a back road to get there. The landscape is near desert with short scrub like trees, an arid landscape and steeply rolling dusty hills. As you drive over the rolling terrain, you suddenly come across a huge bowl and see acres of parking below and nestled in between, a race track twisting and turning through the terrain. Drivers love Laguna Seca, it is challenging, fast and as for The Corkscrew…need I say more?

The first day was about checking things out. I walked all over the paddock area spotting where the Cayman Interseries tent was, along with the bigger trailers towards the front of the paddock nearer to the track. Names like TRG, Flying Lizards and Brumos were there, along with a lot of privateers. But the star was a HUGE white tent. I walked inside and I saw what was surely the biggest Porsche candy store ever. HOLY MOLY…cars I had only seen in photos were arrayed before me: 917’s? Oh yeah, K’s, LM’s, Can-Am’s, it was stupid! 550’s, Abarth’s, 904’s-6’s-8’s-10’s, they were all right in front of you. You could reach out and touch them: like a little kid, I put my index finger out and touched a wing. Cold metal that felt strangely alive with racing history. A jolt of speed, endurance, and more than just a little bit of Zuffenhausen magic.



Saturday! Up real early, I was at the track by 7:15. OK, so you may think maybe I was a little excited, but actually I needed to be there early to help set up the CTF table. We were live and selling raffle tickets by 9:00 AM. I had the chance to talk to several of the Cayman Interseries drivers and they were totally stoked about the event. But who wouldn’t be? Laguna Seca, Rennsport, this was a very high profile event for this series. I would like to say that I saw a lot of racing on Saturday, but I was focused on helping CTF raise as much money as possible and well to be frank…to talk about, promote and sell some books.

After the raffle ended, I took a tour of the vendor area and the Porsche pavilion. If you were in the market for a Porsche souvenir, most likely you would be able to find it; model cars, hats, tees and jackets, rare automotive inspired art, posters, books galore, parts, parts and more parts. Man…how were people gonna get all that stuff home. Some of these items would be straining the “shared” overhead space on a plane…Me? I snagged the official Porsche Rennsport long tee-shirt, the official Rennsport men’s jacket and a Steve McQueen #20 cap with “Racing is life” stitched on the back and a Porsche 911 GT3 lanyard. It does not get any better than that!! Wallet significantly lightened, I headed out as it was way past 6 PM and I was beat. The first full day of Rennsport was over. I would call it a success, no matter what you used to measure it against.



Sunday. I was on my own! No raffle, no book or charity obligations. Well, I did take several books with me to give to certain people…you just cannot stop me when it comes to promoting the book. I think I actually told one of the TRG people – “just call me Robert ‘Pimp my book’ Turner”. They laughed…thankfully. Getting there before 8 AM, it was very quiet. See the crowd had not arrived yet, just a few die hard souls…like me. I walked back to the big tent; nobody was inside. I got incredible photos without dozens of others standing in the background trying to get their perfect shot too. I went to the 911 display (they were set up in the garage area usually reserved for the race teams to have direct access to the pit area) and took photo after photo. The sun was directly behind me so I had to crouch low, aiming my camera (well actually my iPhone 4) just above the bumper to get a shot of the front of the car, the top obscured by shadows. It was (at least to me), very dramatic. Said Hi to all my friends at Napleton, TRG, Flying Lizards and IMSA-ALMS and set myself up at Turn-5 to watch the racing.



I saw the Cayman Interseries Sprint race, won by Lee Davis driving the Luna-C car (as noted above). He had this one sown up from the start. Next up was the PCA club Group 7 race, won by a Cayman, a very wicked looking flat black racer, number 203. It destroyed the competition, two 996 Cup cars falling way behind. Next was the big race…at least for me. This was the Group 4 Weissach Cup or the big historic cars: 906’s, 908’s, 910’s and the incredible 917’s. Brian Redman won it in a 908/03 from the 1971 season. It was painted in the Gulf racing colors, which to my eyes are the perfect color combination for a vintage racing Porsche. Two 917 K’s taking the second and third spots.

But the clock struck One and it was time to run, I had a flight to catch. Going around the paddock, I said a few good byes and walked to the Canepa tent - nobody was around the 917’s, it was just me and my camera. I crouched low to get shots of the cockpit and standing up saw the familiar sight of Brian Redman and his son James. Nobody was talking to them, they were just chatting…father and son. Brian has a long history with Porsche and a lengthy F1 resume and he is one of the main reasons Rennsport exists. And nobody was talking to them…

I asked for a photo and James positioned his father in front of the 909/03, but I wanted a photo with James in it too. His huge smile a beam of light in the shadowed tent. I captured a great shot of a man who could wrestle frighteningly fast and dangerous cars around the fastest of tracks. He lived during a time when there was the all to familiar news of another race claiming a driver’s life (as would happen just a short time later in the INDY race in Las Vegas). But also I caught the image of his loving son, keeping his fathers career and accomplishments alive. A good life’s work no matter how you measure it.



I had the chance to talk to James and he is a very nice man, incredibly humble about the Rennsport experience. His love of his father and what they have helped to create shines though. I left with that memory and for me it was the best one from the whole weekend. The next one is in four years and I have got to tell you, I am hooked. I will be there!

Trivia Question: the first four people that PM me with the answer will receive a limited edition Rennsport IV sticker / decal that I got directly from Brian / James Redman AND an electronic (eBook) version of my book The Driver Book I - Decision.

What was the “official” name of the PCA area in the infield section of Laguna Seca’s paddock?


And on that exhaust note, see you all next time.
 

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Rob: Great review, thanks! You really conveyed the thrill of being there and seeing all those wonderful cars up close.

btw, the race car #203 wasn't actually a Cayman, but a very special GTP-1 car with a tube frame, Boxster-shaped body panels and a Cayman hatch mated to a fabricated "roof" for the Boxster. I had a long, hard up-close look at the car, and it was a twin-turbo six (don't know if it was a 3.8L, but I'd guess so given how fast it was going!) The car was a Porsche in engine only, with body panels that resembled those of a Boxster with a Cayman roof.
That said, it was incredibly fast, and wooped every other car in that class. Although it was great to see it race, it really should have been in a different class, not the catch-all of PCA racers.
It was funny to hear him say to his head mechanic, as he headed out to take up pole position in the race that he was a little nervous and had butterflies. In the end, he didn't need to be so worried...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dr Phil, you are right. The 203 car was really something else. You just knew that it had little sump'n-sump'n going on in there...
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Thanks for posting a pic of my car in the "place of honor" at Cayman Island. Actually, the PCA guys directed me to park there, don't know why, except possibly because of the unusual color.

BTW, the "Cayman Island" name was thought up by the PCA which had that name displayed on signs at the entrance bridge. The island name changes according to which event is present. At MotoGP it is "Ducati Island" at ALMS it is usually "Tequila Patron Island," though I don't remember if it had that name this year at the ALMS event.
 

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Thanks for posting a pic of my car in the "place of honor" at Cayman Island. Actually, the PCA guys directed me to park there, don't know why, except possibly because of the unusual color.

BTW, the "Cayman Island" name was thought up by the PCA which had that name displayed on signs at the entrance bridge. The island name changes according to which event is present. At MotoGP it is "Ducati Island" at ALMS it is usually "Tequila Patron Island," though I don't remember if it had that name this year at the ALMS event.
wtrplnet, it was really great to meet you on Cayman Island. Your car is stunning. Very well done. From the unique color to the silver accents. But you know what, I meant to ask you about the antenna on the fender. There were two Caymans on the island with fender antennas. What is that all about? I've never seen that on US cars. Is that some kind of option?

About the island, you are spot on. The name of the island changes with the venue, and usually requires sponsorship (Ducati, Patron, etc...). The name Cayman Island and the prime parking for your Caymans came compliments of the Cayman Register this year. Here's a copy of my explanation from another thread:

Actually, the name 'Cayman Island' was no accident. I had the opportunity to serve on the PCA Rennsport Reunion IV team as the Corral Organizer. Well, when you ask the PCA Cayman Expert to organize corrals it should come as no surprise that the Caymans got the best parking in the event, all on pavement, in the middle of the action and got an island named after them. ;)



It started as a joke actually. We visited Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca back in June for a planning meeting and site survey. We were walking the area with Gill Campbell, the CEO of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, who was giving us a tour. She told us, "we usually call this Ducati Island, but you are welcome to name it whatever you like for this event...." Being the goof ball that I am I said, "maybe we should put the Caymans here and call it Cayman Island...." The group laughed and I thought that would be the end of it.... So a couple of weeks later I was in Stuttgart having dinner with a couple of high level Porsche folks and one of them says to me, "So how cool is it that you're going to put the Caymans on Cayman Island....?" It appears that my joke made it into the follow up notes that went to Porsche, and they loved the idea.... At that point, there was no turning back. :)

It also worked out logically because the number of Caymans registered in the Green Corral would fit well on the island. We had 56 Caymans registered in Green, and 27 in Blue for a total of 83 Caymans in the Corrals, or 6.4% of the 1,274 cars registered. By comparison, there were 16 Cayennes registered, or 1.2%.
 

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To Gator Bite; The antenna is a no-cost factory option. I didn't order the car and if I had I wouldn't have ordered the "controversial" antenna. It doesn't look good and as far as I can tell it doesn't improve radio reception. To top it off, when the antenna is unscrewed (to put the cover on) the radio gets no reception at all! The only upside I can see is many years down the line the owner can point to the antenna as a "rare factory option."
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Given away 3 eBooks. One more is still left for the answer to my very difficult trivia question. ;) ;)
 

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Rob: Great review, thanks! You really conveyed the thrill of being there and seeing all those wonderful cars up close.

btw, the race car #203 wasn't actually a Cayman, but a very special GTP-1 car with a tube frame, Boxster-shaped body panels and a Cayman hatch mated to a fabricated "roof" for the Boxster. I had a long, hard up-close look at the car, and it was a twin-turbo six (don't know if it was a 3.8L, but I'd guess so given how fast it was going!) The car was a Porsche in engine only, with body panels that resembled those of a Boxster with a Cayman roof.
That said, it was incredibly fast, and wooped every other car in that class. Although it was great to see it race, it really should have been in a different class, not the catch-all of PCA racers.
It was funny to hear him say to his head mechanic, as he headed out to take up pole position in the race that he was a little nervous and had butterflies. In the end, he didn't need to be so worried...
The car is built, owned and driven by Loren Beggs of 911 Design. The chasis is a FABCAR protorype with all custom panels. According to Loren the only parts that are Porsche are the windshield frame and some parts of the engine (cases I believe). The previous motor was a Jerry Woods built turbo, but it blew at AAA speedway so I am not sure what it is in it now (maybe just rebuilt).

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Hi everyone, turns out I have one decal left from Brian Redman / Rennsport. Whoever answers the trivia question first gets the decal and I will throw in an eBook copy of my book. Read the thread for hints....
 
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