The crowds attending the Masters Historic racing weekend at Zandvoort were treated to a festival of racing in brilliant weather. To spice up the cars on the race weekend menu, five iconic Porsche racing cars were driven around the circuit which is located in the dunes north of Zandvoort, Netherlands, near the North Sea coast line – the Porsche Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort.
The drivers selected for the demonstration laps were taken from the top drawer, and included: Jürgen Barth, Gijs van Lennep, Jan Lammers and Porsche design chief, Harm Lagaaij. They took turns behind the wheel of different Porsches each time the cars took to the track, and we have brought you a selection of images from that event.
Porsche 908/03 Spyder (1970)
Developed from the 909 hillclimb model, this 908-version had its engine located further forward by repositioning the gearbox in front of the diff. This car was only used four times, winning on three of those occasions – on debut, the car won the Targa Florio in 1970, and it twice won the Nürburgring 1000km race (1970 and 1971). The car was powered by a 2997cc boxer 8-cylinder engine developing 350bhp for a top speed of 275km/h.
Porsche 917 KH (1971)
Car #21 was driven to victory in the 1971 Spa 1000km by Pedro Rodriguez/Jackie Oliver. This car features the short tail (KH) body and is fitted with a 4.9-litre flat 12-cylinder engine developing around 600bhp for a top speed of 340km/h. The Gulf-liveried 917s were run by the John Wyer team for Porsche.
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR (1973)
Powered by a 2992cc flat 6-cylinder engine developing 330bhp, this 911 could power to a top speed of 280km/h. A similar, privately entered Carrera RSR, won the Daytona 24 Hour race in 1973 in the hands of Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood. Herbert Müller and Gijs van Lennep (he was also one of the drivers in this weekend’s Porsche demo laps at Zandvoort) won the 1973 Targa Florio in such a car.
Porsche 936/81 Spyder (1981)
Having already won in 1976 and 1977, this Porsche 936 was rolled into the Museum as a static display. It was rolled back out of the Museum for the 1981 Le Mans race where it was driven to victory by Derek Bell and Jacky Ickx. This car was powered by a 2650cc flat 6-cylinder engine developing 620bhp and giving a top speed of 360km/h. The familiar ‘Jules’ livery was that of its sponsor, a Christian Dior men’s fragrance.
Porsche RS Spyder (2005)
Porsche created the RS Spyder which was entered in the LMP2 class. Roger Penske entered one race at the end of 2005 and the RS Spyder won on its debut, finishing fifth overall. Penske proceeded to win the LMP2 class in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in the ALMS championship in the US. The RS Spyder was powered by a 3397cc, 90º V8 engine developing 503bhp. A RS Spyder entered by the Dutch team Van Merksteijn Motorsport and driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen, Peter van Merksteijn and Jos Verstappen, came first in the LMP2 class and tenth overall in the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours, with the Essex team coming second in class and twelfth overall.
Written by: Glen Smale
Images by: Pim Hendriksen