2017 Bathurst 12hr – Wall Racing Porsche 997 Cup

Number 6 in the 2017 Bathurst 12 hour field was a local entry with four Aussie drivers in a bright yellow Porsche Cup car.  The amateur entry included Richard Gartner, Aaron Zerefos, Indiran Padayachee and Ric Shaw.  They finished, credited with 22nd place over all and 4th in class.  I can not find a photo of the car showing any damage or even so much as a wheel rub tire mark on its flanks or dent on its nose.  Congrats to the drivers and team on a clean run and a finish!  Enjoy the pics.

2016 Sonoma PwC Paddock – Wright Racing 959 and 911 Race car

Walking through the paddock can provide interesting visual comparisons if you keep a keen watch for such opportunities.  A black road going Porsche 959 resided with the Wright Racing team for the weekend in the Pirelli World Challenge paddock.20160918-20160918-076a8431 20160918-20160918-076a8457

Getting a chance to have a close look at a 959 is always a treat but after the second race on Sunday, the team parked the black 959 against the fence alongside one of the team’s team’s 911 race cars.  The chance to visually line up the 1980s supercar with its modern day racing brother was not to be missed.

The Southwest Star 4Q 2016

Hot off the virtual presses – check out the 4Q 2016 issue of The Southwest Star:

And More!!

Porsche 911 GTLM Repairs

076a4508Unfortunate contact between Johnny Mowlem in the #20 BAR1 Prototype Challenge car and Nick Tandy in the 911 GTLM car in Turn 3 resulted in both cars spinning, but the Porsche suffered the worst of the damage.  The car backed into the barrier to driver’s left doing major damage.  At the time of the contact, the Porsche was running third in class with four hours to go.

Tandy drove the very damaged car back to the paddock and the crew descended on it.  While clearly out of contention, the crew methodically rebuilt and repaired the car to ensure it could re-emerge before the end of the race and take the checkered flag.  As might be expected of top-line professionals, the work was urgent but not hurried.  Few words were exchanged as the team worked closely together.  A group of spectators gathered around the Porsche tent to watch.

Yes, the repaired 911 returned to the track – at 9:02pm.  Enough time to see the white flag and then take the checkered flag at 9:10pm.

Camera Settings – 1/125 shutter speed, f/3.5, ISO 100, 88mm.

Park Place Porsche at Speed

076a4322Nothing magic about this shot, but photographer’s prerogative to include.  The nose of the Porsche is in focus while the blur towards the rear of the car and in the foreground and background gives the sensation of speed.  The shot was taken between Turn 2 and 3 at Road Atlanta.

The finish was not as pretty.  The Park Place Porsche ran afoul of the rule for driver times and was demoted from its second place GTD finish to the back of the GTD field.  The team had Balance of Performance objections and made very clear it wouldn’t have elected to run in the race but for prior sponsor and business obligations.   Note the Justice Brothers sticker in front of the left wheel.  The Justice Brothers have been in motorsport for years and have been a very active supporter of all forms of motorsport through their sponsorships of both teams and drivers.

Camera Settings – 1/200 shutter speed, f/5.6, ISO 100, 200mm.

Porsche 912 Pit Stop Practice

076a3355A pit stop has many moving parts.  Practice doesn’t eliminate the risk of error, but it does mitigate it.  The importance ought to be clear by all of the big factory-backed squads doing full scale practice as the very last thing at the end of the very last practice before the Petit Le Mans race on Saturday at Road Atlanta.  All the drivers for all the cars were busy doing the same thing.

In the midst of the full dress rehearsal for the Porsche 912 car, Frederic Makowiecki’s hand on Michael Christensen’s back signals the urgency.  Unseen in the photo is the ever-present stopwatch used by the Porsche crew chief to time the practice stops.

Even though the time sheets from the morning session were irrelevant, given all the activity up and down pit lane, watching pit lane for this 30 minutes or so on race morning was one of the highlights of the weekend.

Camera Settings – 1/320 shutter speed, f/6.3, ISO 100, 420mm.

Porsche GT3 Race Safety Car

076a1333

Porsche simply has ruled single make racing for years and the GT3 Cup is the current American version of the Carrera Cup formula that races in many venues globally.  The two Road Atlanta Petit LeMans Porsche GT3 support races enjoyed healthy grids and very right racing.  These types of series provide the training ground for the drivers that may run someday professionally in the main event.

Single make racing usually proves for extremely close racing and passes are made by bravery and craft and taking advantage of mistakes made by others.  The first of two GT3 races during the weekend took place on Thursday and had the members of the media center glued to the start and watching the action.

The safety car board and double yellow flags waved at the start-finish flagstand slowed the field to address an incident during the race.

Camera Settings – 1/250 shutter speed, f/11, ISO 100, 420mm.  With the benefit of some sympathetic cropping, this photo captures both the starter’s stand and the first 10 cars of the large field along pit straight.  The challenge of such a shot is to keep all of the actors in focus and avoid too much blurring of either the flagstand or the cars passing below.

#7 Rebel Rock Porsche into the 10a Gravel Trap

076a0812

Turn 10 is ripe for action and a great place to watch at Road Atlanta.  The hard left turn is situated at the end of a long downhill straight.  Cars carry significant speed at the end of a long downhill straight before encountering a hard left and right turn sequence.  The left hander is known as 10a and the right hander is known as 10b.  It is one of the best opportunities to pass on the entire track.

Practice is the best time to watch drivers test their braking marks into Turn 10.  In Thursday practice for the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge, the #7 Rebel Rock Racing Porsche Cayman spun on its own and into gravel trap – throwing up a spray of gravel before coming to a stop.

Drivers for the Street Tuner class car were shown as Lee Carpentier and Kieron O’Rouke.

The car was towed out and the driver continued on his way, likely with tires in much more poor condition and gravel tucked away in deep corners of the car for the crew to find.

Camera settings – 1/250 shutter speed, f/10, ISO 100, 420mm.

Luftgekühlt – A Celebration of the Air Cooled Porsche

Why would hundreds of Porsche owners bring their toys to a dead end tucked in an industrial neighborhood of Los Angeles on a Sunday morning under threatening skies?  The answer?  The common love and respect for the air-cooled engine that powered every Porsche model from the company’s inception until 1998.20160410-1011102510220160410-10114015144The event was called Luftgekühlt which means “air cooled” when translated from German.  The hosts, designer and artist Howie Idelson and current Porsche factory race driver Patrick Long, came up with the idea while brainstorming about what they’d like to see in a car event.20160410-10122214268Manicured acres of lush green golf courses?  Sterilized displays behind ropes?  Exclusive admission to select invitees?  Nope.  The vision involved a lot more grit and a very intentional nod to design using the iconic air-cooled Porsche as a common thread.20160410-10115030197Modernica, a furniture factory and warehouse in Vernon, provided a 5 acre venue for the third edition of Luftgekühlt.  A mix of asphalt pavement and working warehouses provided the texture and setting for the hundreds of Porsches that descended on the property.  Prior editions were held in Venice at Deus ex Machina (a global design shop focused on surfing, motorcycles and bicycles) in September 2014 and Bandito Brothers (development of films, television shows and documentaries) in March 2015.  Deus ex Machina is now a partner in the effort and future events might be outside the US.20160410-1011465518120160410-1011404814620160410-10114141149For the window shopping Porsche enthusiast, attendance offered a wide selection across the hundreds of cars parked around the grounds.  Some were thematically arranged and others were less so.  Huge kudos to those who woke up early, tidied up their cars, and finished off bits of mechanical maintenance to make it to the show.  Attendees brought quite the range.20160410-10114431163Clearly Patrick and friends had done a lot of smiling and dialing to encourage attendance from particular people and cars.  Their work paid off handsomely and was augmented by many others who just wanted to join the fun.20160410-1012071524720160410-1011200911520160410-10112056116Looking for time capsule early 356 models that would compete for honors at any concours in the world?  Check.20160410-10115651215Looking for examples of almost every air-cooled 911 model ever offered for sale?  Check.20160410-1010221488Looking for models dripping with patina looking like they’ve just been recovered from a forgotten barn?  Check.20160410-10120526243Looking for the lovingly customized, but thoroughly outlaw?  Rod Emory brought a whole fleet of 356 models that met that criteria alone.  Check.20160410-1011421815120160410-10114623173Looking for two different Singer Porsches, the pure expression of one person’s vision of the best aspects of every 911 model combined with cutting edge carbon fiber and Cosworth influence?  Looking for the Bahama Yellow 1969 911E that Singer founder Rob Dickenson and TRE Motorsports built that served as the inspiration for the Singer project?  Check and check.20160410-101107229820160410-10110758100Looking for full representation from the R Gruppe – whether formal members or inspired by the concept?  Check.20160410-1011544020820160410-10115502210Looking for specialist cars from Ruf?  Some full Ruf versions and others with Ruf wheels?  Check.20160410-10115623213Looking for the outrageous fender flares of a Rauh Welt Begriff Porsche?  They may not be to everybody’s taste, but there were four versions on site. Check.20160410-10093836120160410-1009433114Looking for a supercar?  The Porsche 959 was water cooled, but a white example of the 1980s icon got a pass from its air cooled brethren and greeted visitors as they entered the grounds.20160410-10113618138Walking around, one knows that many of the cars have their own unique stories and history.  In some cases, that history might have been the story of acquisition, restoration and thousands of miles.  In other cases, the story was one of particular historical significance of a very small production run, racing pedigree, or noteworthy owners.  At some point, there is a degree of guilt when realizing that you just can’t do justice to each car and each story.  Any one of a long row of cars could be a star at any other car show.  The mind can only handle so much at one time.20160410-1010050461The parking lots at some events rival what’s inside the formal boundaries of the event and this was definitely one of those.  Your humble scribe may have wandered the parking lots for about an hour before finding the way inside the gates in the company of many goodies, Porsches and otherwise.20160410-101011077720160410-101011548220160410-101002415320160410-100958574220160410-10122613273Perhaps one of the most impressive things was the breadth of the people in attendance.  Kids were welcome and common.  Younger Porsche enthusiasts rubbed shoulders with more seasoned students of the marque.  Owners opened up their cars and readily answered questions.20160410-10120256234Ropes or barriers were nowhere to be seen.  This despite the presence of unobtanium like Jeff Zwart’s 1949 Porsche Gmund coupe – the very last car made in Gmund, Austria before Porsche moved to Stuttgart?20160410-1011252412420160410-10120054225Yes, there were various celebrities and people well known within the hobby mingling among the crowd and cars, but the knowledgeable crowd tended to focus on noteworthy cars.  Some cars are well known by Southern California residents as they are seen at weekend get-togethers, canyon runs, and cars and coffee events.  Others are famous because of builds and restorations documented on the internet.20160410-10114346157One such car was a safari rally project car based on a 1985 coupe donated by Patrick.  A variety of shops and vendors contributed to construct a unique car that was auctioned off for charity during the event.  There had been significant advance social media coverage of the project and a large crowd gathered to watch the car find a new buyer for the tidy sum of $275,000.20160410-10111706111The event was not a concours or a competition.  There were no prizes for cleanest, most original, or anything else.  It was just a simple and pure concept very well executed. The organizers had to be very pleased (and likely overwhelmed) by the support and participation.  They will take a breath and think about planning the next one at some point.  Keep an eye out and add it to your calendar.20160410-1010390791