Rennsport Reunion IV – Part 5: The Event

Mazda Raceway Leguna Seca is an amazing place.  If there were an Olympus for the car gods, Leguna Seca would be it.  You get there by leaving your hotel in Monterey and climbing near-vertically up an imposing slope, often through the low-hanging marine clouds.  When you emerge into the sunshine, there it is: eleven corners and 2.238 miles of raucous racing bliss.

Now, typically when I see a Porsche on the street, it brightens my day a bit.  It is therefore difficult to express the boundlessness of my joy when I see thirteen hundred Porsches in the parking corrals at Leguna Seca.  That’s one thousand, three hundred.  Every color, every level of customization and modification, every year, every type imaginable.  It was fantastic.

Yeah.  That’s just one of the corrals.  There were several.

The first thing we stumbled upon when we first arrived on Friday was part of the 911-specific display.  I say “part” because there were 38 cars in the display, so they weren’t all in the same place.  These weren’t museum Porsches either–these were PCA member cars, driven hard and impeccably maintained by loving owners.

I think this one was my favorite of this particular group.  A 1997 Turbo S Coupe, blue turquoise on black, with yellow calipers and matched yellow seat belts.  You laugh at the seat belt thing for about five seconds, and then you realize a) how awesome it is and b) that you want some caliper-color-matched belts too.  But wait, how could this be my favorite when right next to it is a bright yellow 964 RS America?  And when immediately to the right of this picture is a brand-new GT3RS 4.0?  Impossible to say.  Like Michael says in Office Space, “I guess I kinda like ’em all.”

I wasn’t going to tease you with “brand-new GT3RS 4.0” and then not deliver a picture.

Limited by the temperament of the children, we were not able to sit and carefully watch any of the weekend’s races.  Still, the glorious howl of the engines and the sight of some of the most timeless, most iconic cars in automobile and racing history hurtling purposefully along one of the greatest tracks in the world was a truly epic experience.

Saturday morning was a bit foggy, but that couldn’t dampen our spirits–all that did was lend some seasonally appropriate Halloween spookyness to my pictures.

Of course, the highlight of the visit for our boys was meeting Sally Carrera from the Disney/Pixar film “Cars.” She was on display in the “Porsche Park in the Paddock,” which also included a stage, a full-size movie screen, a fully stocked biergarten, the new 991s, and the 918 RSR.

The last three pictures there aren’t actually mine.  I have a very similar one of the 918 RSR with the boys sitting in front of it, but you’re here for the cars, not the kids.  I confess to not taking any pictures of the 991s, figuring Porsche would release plenty of higher-quality shots of their own.  They have, but I’m still kicking myself for not having some pictures I can call my own.

Lastly, the racecars.  Of course they were all studies in pure awesomeness, and I’m disappointed in myself for not bringing home more pictures.  Still, I got enough to drool over for awhile.

Gulf-liveried 917s.  If you haven’t seen Steve McQueen’s “Le Mans,” just get on it.
The GT1 during the parade.
The 2011 Flying Lizard Le Mans GT3 RSR.  The pit crew were  showing off demo pit stops on this car, changing all four tires in right around 9 seconds.
RS Spyder, now-retired king of the ALMS LMP2 class.

That about sums up the RR4 coverage.  We’ll put this trip to bed with the final installment, Part 6, which will cover the return home back through Yosemite with more time to gape at the surroundings.

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