Just minutes after I drove out of our driveway at 06h15 on Thursday 18 July en route to the inaugural Rennsport Collective track day, so Darren Clarke teed off in the first covey to start the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Port Rush, in Northern Ireland. Both events were momentous in that The Open is an internationally famous golfing contest where the best in the world battle it out over four days, often in challenging conditions, to win one of the most coveted trophies in the world of golf. The other event saw a paddock full of some of the most significant Porsche sports and racing cars that have won, or competed in, some of the most important races in the world in their day.
The Rennsport Collective is a newly formed, discrete group of like-minded Porsche enthusiasts, where the best of Porsche’s vast family of sports and racing cars can come together for the benefit of its members. The Rennsport Collective is the brainchild of Paul Geudon and Nick Trott, and was created to provide a platform for its members to share their enjoyment of this great marquee.
The Rennsport Collective Track Day, on Thursday 18 July, was a member’s only opportunity to let the cars loose around the Donington Park Circuit. Arriving at the circuit, I was greeted by a sight that would warm the heart of any Porsche enthusiast, as many priceless and iconic sports and racing cars were visible wherever you looked. The unmistakable sound of flat-six engines being warmed and revved up filled the air, and my pulse quickened. I hurried through the media sign-on process as quickly as I could and made my way down to the pit garages where I found the owner of the 2007 #77 Felbermayr Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Unfortunately this car had developed a fuel leak that could not be fixed at the circuit and so we could not enjoy the sight of this great racer at speed.
The mix of Porsche race cars ranged from a 1965 2-litre 911 right up to one of the latest 911 RSR racers, and included some absolutely fantastic and iconic race-winning cars. Also in the pit lane, sat the 1970 #12 Gulf Porsche 917 (chassis #008), with the names of Vic Elford and Richard Attwood displayed on the car’s flanks. Porsche enthusiasts will know that Vic Elford never drove a Gulf liveried 917, but he did drive this chassis the year before when it was fitted with Langheck bodywork. In 1969, Elford was partnered with Richard Attwood, and the pair led the Le Mans 24 Hours for 18 hours until the car was retired with clutch problems.
Then I spotted the #59 Brumos Carrera RSR being offloaded from its transporter, this being the 1973 Daytona-winning car in the hands of the Hurley Haywood/Peter Gregg pairing. What a jaw-dropping moment it was when the car was pushed across the paddock and readied for a few laps of the circuit. At that moment, I made my way out towards Starkey’s Bridge to capture these cars as they lapped the circuit for a once-in-a-lifetime display of Porsche’s rich motorsport heritage.
Just after lunch a group of six race cars were formed into a pyramid-shaped squad, headed by the Gulf 917, which then lapped the circuit behind a camera car – an awesome spectacle! The track was then cleared and the rest of the cars were released for some great high-speed laps. But it seemed that no sooner had that started and the cars settled into a regular rhythm than I had to leave, but comfortable in the knowledge that I would be seeing them all again, plus many more, on Saturday.
Saturday’s display at Donington Hall is the first event for this Collective and is open to the public to view. They are keeping this first event low key, but they plan to expand it for next year. Other events may be added to the Rennsport Collective calendar in the future, but this is still year one, so the future for Porsche’s classic sports and racing cars is looking bright.
PORSCHE ROAD & RACE will bring you part two of the Rennsport Collective’s inaugural weekend from Donington Hall early next week, so be sure to check back with us soon.
Written by: Glen Smale
Images by: Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale