The Porsche RS Spyder is likely the last prototype that will be built by the Porsche factory, run in private hands in active competition and then sold to private owners. The use of hybrid technology and the relative sophistication of platforms like the LMP1 means that privateers are unlikely to have the resources and depth to maintain and run the cars. The Porsche RS Spyder ran in 2007 and 2008 in IMSA competition in the hands of Penske, Dyson and Pickett Racing.
Chassis 9R6 702 was campaigned by Penske Racing. According to Racingsportscars.com, the chassis claimed IMSA wins at Salt Lake City and Lime Rock in 2007 with drivers Ryan Briscoe and Sascha Massen. Emmanuel Collard joined for the longer race like Sebring and Petit LeMans. In 2008, the car ran as a third car in the hands of Briscoe and Helio Castroneves at Petit LeMans and Monterey. At Petit, the pair won in class (LMP2) with a 4th overall finish. 9R6 702 carries the livery as last run as the #5, showing Briscoe and Castroneves as drivers.
After finishing the 2008 season, the car ended up in the hands of Gunnar Racing and Christian Zugel and ran in several historic events before landing among the cars of the WeatherTech stable of David MacNeil in time for the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V at Laguna Seca. MacNeil wisely installed Jeroen Bleekemolen to pilot the Porsche for the weekend. Jeroen’s day job these days is to drive the Viper Exchange SRT Riley Viper in IMSA competition, but has prior experience in the Porsche RS Spyder. He was on the driving strength for the LMP2 class win in 2008. (That very car – 9R6 708 – was on-site and situated in the Gunnar Racing paddock just yards away from the WeatherTech paddock.)
Back to 9R6 702… The car ran its competitive life in bright yellow DHL colors with Penske Racing in IMSA competition. Bleekemolen drove the car hard at Rennsport rather than putting in leisurely parade laps. In fact, he not only won the Group 6 race, but set the fast lap for the race and the entire weekend. If you want to see the driver’s eye view that Bleekemolen had at the wheel of the Porsche RS Spyder, check out the 14 minutes of fantastic video courtesy of Racer Magazine.
The car is very photogenic, so all of this as prelude to a few favorite shots from Rennsport Reunion V of Porsche RS Spyder 9R6 702. Thanks much to Gunnar Racing and David MacNeil for taking good care of her over the years and bringing it out to run at speed.