Porsche RS Spyder 9R6 704

Last in our series (at least for now) of Porsche RS Spyder chassis features is 9R6-704.  This chassis started life in the hands of New York-based Dyson Racing in IMSA competition.  Dyson ran the car in 2007 and 2008.  Drivers in 2007 as #16 were primarily Andy Wallace and Butch Leiztinger with guest appearances from Andy Lally for the longer races at Sebring and Petit LeMans.  The 2008 schedule found Marino Franchitti taking over for Wallace with Leitzinger and guest Lally remaining as the car ran with #20.20150925-251637254 20150926-261729081The best result for the Dyson team was the second place overall at the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring.  Other finishes flirted with the podium, but the team faced stiff competition from Audi for overall victories and Penske Racing for LMP2 class victories.20150925-251633101 20150925-251633382[Side note: Dyson also ran 9R6-705 in 2007 and 2008.  It ran as the #20 in 2007 and #16 in 2008.  The car suffered a crash at Lime Rock in 2008 which required a new tub.  A tub that would have been chassis 713 is believed to have been used as a replacement for 9R6-705.   The story of Dyson’s fraught race at Lime Rock which resulted in accidents for both Porsches and the very quick repair job to make the race in Mid-Ohio two weeks later is here.  The new tub was flown in from Germany and delivered straight to the Mid-Ohio paddock on Wednesday before the race where the Dyson mechanics completely rebuilt the car.  There is some confusion whether the rebuild was for 9R6-704 or 9R6-705, but the pieces appear to point to 9R6-705 as the chassis with the new tub.]20150926-261958586At the end of 2008, the car was sold to Greg Pickett and Muscle Milk Racing. Muscle Milk ran a partial schedule in 2008 with outings at Mid-Ohio, Road America, Petit LeMans and Laguna Seca.  Greg Pickett and Klaus Graf split the duties at most of the races with Sascha Maassen driving at Petit LeMans.20150926-261952594 20150926-2601162462009 saw another partial season with five outings.  9R6-704 won the LMP2 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring and then claimed an overall victory at Lime Rock in the car’s last race in July.  Pickett and Graf again did most of the 2009 driving with Maassen and Memo Gidley joining where needed.20150926-261952593 20150925-251634053As always, grateful thanks to Racingsportscars.com for full race results of each chassis. Link to 9R6-704 here.

At Rennsport Reunion IV at Laguna Seca, the car was on display with the Porsche Motorsport North America Vintage support program.  Difficult to think of the RS Spyder as “vintage”, but in 2011 it was several years removed from active motorsport competition and cars were in customer hands.  9R6-704 did not run at Rennsport IV, but was on display only.

20111014-140841101 20111014-141328262 20111014-141328513 20111014-141329104 20111014-141331485The car found its way to Bruce Canepa’s hands and he listed it for sale in mid-2014 – the listing is gone, but a large photo album is still on Canepa’s website.  (The original listing is replicated here on Flatsixes.com.)  It moved  to the Gunnar Racing stable in mid-2015, just in time for the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V at Laguna Seca in September 2015.20150926-260114305Gunnar Jeannette drove the car and showed very competitive pace in qualifying before a wiring harness problem intervened and prevented the car from making the race.20150926-261958585The photos are a mix from Rennsport Reunion IV and V.  Enjoy!


Porsche RS Spyder 9R6 709

Team Essex, a Danish team owned by Peter Halvorsen, provides the next in our series of Porsche RS Spyder reviews – this time we have chassis 9R6-709.  Team Essex had a history of running in the Danish Touring Car championship with periodic entries in prototype sportscar running.  For the 2008 season, Essex joined other privateer teams like Van Merksteijn and Horag/Lienhard to purchase and campaign Porsche RS Spyders.20150925-2517453510 20150925-2517465212

The new Team Essex car was unveiled in December 2007 in blue livery.  It ran in 2008 in the blue color before changing to green in 2009 (more on that later).

Dane John Nielsen took his LeMans experience to join the squad to join Caspar Elgaard.  Nielsen had significant and successful prototype experience, notably with the Jaguar factory prototype teams and the West McLaren F1-GTR in the FIA-GT series.  Nielsen shared a few prototypes with Caspar Elgaard over the years.  Elgaard made his name as the five time champion of the Danish Touring Car Championship, but also ran at LeMans in various cars for several years with a third in class in 2007 in an Aston Martin with Larbe.20150925-2520041224 20150925-2520145341The new Porsche 9R6-709 ran at the March 2008 test at Paul Ricard before making its race debut in April at the 1000km of Catalunya.  It finished 9th over all and 3rd in class.  (The Van Merksteijn Porsche RS Spyder 9R6-708 won in LMP2 class.)20150925-2520084829 20150926-2620194947 Later in April 2008, the team claimed its first win at the 1000km of Monza with a win in LMP2 class and an eighth overall.  The 1000km of Spa saw a third in class with another eighth overall finish.20150926-2619523218 20150926-2601155557 20150926-262009293All of the prior running led to the 24 Hours of LeMans in June 2008.  The team added driver Sascha Maassen for the endurance event.  The car finished second in class (again to the Van Merksteijn RS Spyder) with a 7 lap deficit and 12th overall. The 2008 campaign finished out at the Nurburgring (3rd in class and 10th overall) and Silverstone (5th in class and 12th overall).20150926-261927119 20150926-2619272310 20150926-2619523219 20150926-2601140554In September 2008, the team announced that it was ending all motorsport activities.  Essex was apparently involved in the property investment business and presumably the financial credit crisis was requiring attention elsewhere.20150925-2520132237 However, the team returned for a LeMans run in 2009.  The driving team was comprised of Emmanuel Collard, Caspar Elgaard and fellow Dane Kristian Poulsen.  A class win in the lead-up at the Spa 1000km was followed by a class win and 10th overall finish at the 24 Hours of LeMans.  Fans used to seeing the traditional blue needed to adjust to the new green and white livery which ran at LeMans in recognition of the partnership with Michelin to raise awareness of the new “Green Challenge”.  LeMans was the last competitive outing for the car.  While it ran in blue for most of its life, it remains in the green and white colors of the 2009 LeMans class win.  Results data courtesy of Racingsportscars.com.20150925-2520054627 20150926-2620020234The #31 2007 Porsche RS Spyder 9R6-709 appeared at Porsche Rennsport Reunion V at Laguna Seca in September 2015.  The car is part of David MacNeil’s collection and was driven at the event by son and IMSA GT driver Cooper MacNeil.  Cooper wheeled the car to a second place in the Group 6 race at the event, behind another RS Spyder.20150926-2620105840 20150926-2620045936 20150926-2601250661 20150926-2619523219

Porsche RS Spyder 9R6 710

Next in our series of Porsche RS Spyder chassis reviews – this time our subject is 9R6-710. This car ran in IMSA competition as a Penske Racing entry in the hands of Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard.  It contributed to Porsche’s LMP2 manufacturer title in 2008.20150925-250218222 20150925-250218403It ran 10 races in 2008 with success.  It won overall in Salt Lake, but also claimed wins and podiums in the LMP2 class.  It won in class in its debut at the St. Petersburg, Fl. street course and then again at Mid-Ohio, claimed 2nd in class at Long Beach, Lime Rock, Road America, and Petit LeMans (Road Atlanta).   It finished third at Laguna Seca, fourth in Detroit, and sixth at Mosport.   Credit and much thanks to Racingsportscars.com for the data, available here.20150925-252302293 20150925-250219016 20150925-250219167After its competition life, 9R6-710 became one of the few RS Spyders to be retained by the factory.  It lives most often in the Porsche factory museum in Stuttgart, but does get out to see the public periodically.  In 2014, the car made an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and in 2015, the car was among the group that the factory brought from the museum to Rennsport Reunion V.20150926-261722511 20150925-250218555 20150925-250218514 20150925-2502163919R6-710 did not run at speed with any of the race groups at Rennsport, but did participate in the parade.  Thanks much to Klaus Bischof and the team at Porsche for bringing the car to the event.  Enjoy the pics.20150927-270019332 20150927-27003351420150925-251639541


Porsche RS Spyder 9R6 711

20150925-251728257 20150925-25172837820150925-2520050426Time for another set of photos featuring one of the Porsche RS Spyders at Rennsport Reunion V.  This time, our feature car is 9R6-711.  As far as I can tell, this car had no competition history.  It was built in 2007 and served as a backup car for Swiss Horag Racing in 2008 (primary car was 9R6 707).  Horag combined with Fredy Lienhard to field a car in ELMS and an entry in the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring.  The car was shown for sale via racingcars24.com in March 2009 for €850,000.20150925-251954261 20150925-2520172646It was driven at Rennsport Reunion IV at Laguna Seca in 2011, entered by Doran Racing and driven by Fredy Leinhard.  Doran and Leinhard have a long history together. In June 2014, the car was acquired by Christian Zugel with support by Gunnar Racing. Arrival video from Gunnar Racing is available here.

Enjoy the pics from Rennsport Reunion V at Laguna Seca in 2015! 20150926-260125368 20150926-2601240760 20150925-2520125535 20150925-2520125434 20150925-2520125433 20150925-2519562718 20150926-2619521814 20150926-2619522016 20150926-2620064038 20150926-2620051037 20150926-2619521815


Much more on Porsche RS Spyder 9R6 708

Some additional digging around the internet and my files yielded some more things of interest on the van Merksteijn Racing Porsche RS Spyder 9R6 708:

Planet LeMans story from Marcel ten Caat on the first test outing for the car in February 2008.

Planet LeMans interview with Frans Verschurr, team principal of Equipe Verschurr, the organization that prepared and ran the Porsche.

Want to see 3+ minutes of Jos Verstappen behind the wheel in 2011 giving the car some exercise?  Of course you do:

Photos of the brand new car just after delivery – still in black carbon (credit to Frits van Eldik via story of Anthony Megavand, Feb 11, 2008):

Porsche Van Merksteyn Porsche Van Merksteyn

Peter van Merksteijn (l) contracteert Jos Verstappen voor Le Mans en LMS kampioenschap 2008 waar van Van Merksteijn Motorsport met een Porsche RS Spyder aan deelneemt.
Peter van Merksteijn and Jos Verstappen
Seatfitting Jeroen Bleekemolen, VM-Motorsport.
Seatfitting Jeroen Bleekemolen
Seatfitting Jeroen Bleekemolen, VM-Motorsport.
Seatfitting Jeroen Bleekemolen
24 Uur Le Mans, 2007 ©Frits van Eldik
2008 LeMans team photo (credit to Grouve Sports Management Group and Frits van Eldik)

Also found a few photos from Rennsport Reunion IV at Laguna Seca in 2011 from my files – Bruce Canepa at the wheel:

20111014-140755154 20111014-141544116 20111014-1408450610 20111014-1408455511 20111014-1413210814 20111014-1413215016 20111014-1413220117 20111014-1413221218 20111014-1413225519 20111015-1510170212 20111015-1510195013 20111016-160820111 20111016-160820322


Porsche RS Spyder 9R6 708

The 2007 Porsche RS Spyder 9R6 708 was purchased with the objective of racing at LeMans.  The Dutch Van Merksteijn Motorsport team purchased the car, with owner Peter van Merksteijn spearheading the effort.  He added fellow contrymen Jos Verstappen and Jeroen Bleekemolen as drivers and the three shared driving duties throughout the 2008 season.20150925-2520143140 20150925-251727135 20150926-26201947120150926-262016051

Peter had done a fair amount of sports car road racing over the years.  He had largely run in Porsche GT platforms in events like the 24 hour races at Daytona, Zolder and Spa.  In 2005, he ran several races in the Dutch Spyker Squadron car as well.  Jos Verstappen is well known from his Formula 1 days, but little (no?) sports car racing before the RS Spyder came along.  Bleekemolen had a lot of GT experience, including stints with Jan Lammers and the Spyker program.  He obviously continues to operate at a very high level in professional racing, these days in the IMSA SRT ViperExchange program.20150925-2520173747 20150925-2520111432

The Van Merksteijn team is perhaps better known over the past few years by its rally adventures.  The rally cars, like chassis 9R6 708, carry familiar and distinctive purple colors.  The car won in class at its debut at the April 2008 Catalunya 1000km race.  Later in the month, the car ran at Monza (ironically settling for second place due to crash damage in a meeting with a Spyker) before claiming another class win at the 1000km of Spa in May.  Momentum continued into June with a class win at the 24 Hours of LeMans (with a 7 lap gap) and a 10th place overall finish.  Bleekemolen had run in several tests with the car, but LeMans was his first race with the van Merksteijn/Verstappen pairing.  Not a bad way to make your appearance.  Significantly, the win was the first win at LeMans for a Dutch team in history. 20150925-252003023 20150925-251727456

Verstappen and Bleekemolen claimed another class win at the Nurburgring while team owner had a conflict while racing in the World Rally Championship.  Van Merksteijn returned for the next race and he and Verstappen won in class at Silverstone to complete the car’s very successful competition history with the team.  The chassis found its way to Navi Team Goh for the 2009 LeMans 24 hours, but did not finish due to an accident very late in the race.  The car’s full competition history is available from the RacingSportscars.com chassis archive.  If you’re interested in a book focusing solely on the 2008 campaign, check out Vini Vidi Vici (no affiliation).20150926-2601130053 20150925-2520143140Chassis 9R6 708 ended up in the hands of Bruce Canepa just a week before the Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV at Monterey.  The car needed work, but the original colors were restored and car mechanically prepared to permit it to run at speed during Rennsport.  Canepa has the car up for sale (as still seen here in the “used car” section of the Canepa website) and it was purchased in August 2014 by Dan Curry, a customer of Gunnar Racing. 20150926-261733052 20150925-251729561At Rennsport Reunion V, 9R6 708 shared paddock space with other goodies from Gunnar Racing – including three other RS Spyders.  With all that as prelude, enjoy the pics of 9R6 708 at Rennsport Reunion V!  Thanks to Bruce Canepa, Dan Curry and Gunnar Racing for taking good care of her and sharing her with the world.20150926-260113017

20150925-2519544815 20150925-2520044725 20150925-252017374   20150926-2619524221 20150926-2619524020 20150926-261930111120150926-2601125952 20150926-2601264210







Porsche RS Spyder 9R6 702

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. 20150925-2517472514 20150925-2517471213

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. 20150926-2601125451 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.20150926-260112536


20150926-2620013833 20150925-2520170645 20150925-2520125736      20150925-2520154242


Porsche Rennsport Reunion V Photo Galleries

The fifth edition of the Porsche Rennsport Reunion held in September at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was an impressive event.  It was a feast for photographers.  If you were there, you know that there may have been some things you missed.  If you somehow were not there, living vicariously through the lens of others is the next best thing to being there.  Here is a round-up of some of the best still photo coverage of the event on the web – there are some very talented photographers and well worth your time.  It is very interesting to see how different people visualize and capture the same event:
Sports Car Digest – 16 pages of text and photos
Porsche Media Gallery – 150 photos
AutoBlog – Final notes – look for the galleries below
AutoBlog Heritage Tent
Road and Track – 48 photos in a gallery
Motor Trend – top 10 most obscure cars
Auto Week – gallery and story
Pelican Parts – 2000+ photos in 15 galleries
Sam Linville Photography – massive selection of high quality photos
David DeMartini – large gallery
Racer Magazine – Friday photos from Marshall Pruett
Racer Magazine – another gallery from Marshall
Motorsport.com – large photo gallery
Hemmings Daily Blog – story and photos
Flat Sixes – a great selection of stories and photo galleries
Sportscar365 – photo gallery
SingleLens Photography – enormous gallery – don’t miss number 023
IMG Features – photos
Bob Heathcote – some great track motion photos, for sale if you’d like your own
Total 911 – Gallery one
Total 911 – Gallery two – some great angles and perspectives
Dailysportscar – Five Galleries:
Gallery 1- Regis Lefebure
Gallery 2 –Martin Spetz
Gallery 3 – Martin Spetz
Gallery 4 – Martin Spetz
Gallery 5 – Regis Lefebure
BR Racing – story and photos
The Loud Pedal – part 1 “Epic is Not Nearly Enough”
The Loud Pedal – Part Deux
Road Scholars – photos
Rety.org – gallery
Calibre Studios – gallery
Jalopnik – Heaven on Earth
StanceWorks – good artistic shots
Petrolicious – marvelous gallery from Andrew Schneider
Petrolicious – bonus gallery from Nathan Leland
DMT Imaging – check out #10 – action shot

Random 919 and 911RSR demo run photos from Rennsport Reunion V

Porsche brought its 919 and 911RSR to the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September.  Friday saw leisurely parade laps behind a camera car, but Nick Tandy (919) and Fred Makowiecki (911RSR) put in several laps at speed on Saturday.  The 919 was stunningly fast, but rumor suggested that it wasn’t even making use of its hybrid electric power.  The 911RSR was positively brutal – particularly launching off of the last turn onto the front straight. How important was it for Porsche to have the LeMans winning 919 and the 911RSR (and their drivers) at the Rennsport Reunion event?  After announcing the event, Porsche moved the date to accommodate the WEC schedule.  Judging from the fan reaction at the track and on social media, it was the right decision.

Canon 5D Mark III, 200mm, ISO100, 1/1250 sec, f/3.2
September 26, 2015
Porsche Rennsport Reunion V, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Exhibition laps from Nick Tandy (Porsche 919) and Fred Makowiecki (911RSR)
Canon 5D Mark III, 200mm, ISO100, 1/160 sec, f/10
September 26, 2015
Porsche Rennsport Reunion V, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Fred Makowiecki in the Porsche 911RSR for exhibition laps20150926-26211946252 Canon 5D Mark III, 70mm,  ISO100, 1/500 sec, f/8
September 26, 2015
Porsche Rennsport Reunion V, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Pit lane following exhibition laps of the 919 (Tandy) and 911RSR (Makowiecki)

Rennsport Reunion V Retrospective on Dailysportscar.com

Rennsport Reunion V Retrospective posted on Dailysportscar.com for your reading enjoyment.  What an event with an amazing selection of cars, drivers, and fans. You have to appreciate a paddock with multiple LeMans winners, museum cars and other priceless unobtanium and the only car behind ropes is the 911RSR made with legos. We are looking forward to the next one.
We expect to feature more photos from RRV here and also highlight some of the best coverage of the event from around the internet .