Rennsport Reunion IV – by Zachary Lenfesty
You name it: it was there. So much rich history graced the little town of Salinas, Ca.
We arrived around 7:00am after leaving San Diego at about midnight. The only car at the campground was, oddly enough a 904 parked next to the owner's tent. We unloaded out car and started setting up our camp. At this time I started hearing announcements: who’s going to start their first warm up lap and what they’ll be driving.
I started making my way to the race track, barely able to see more than 50 feet in front of me due to a thick layer of the famous Monterey morning fog. The real starting point of the weekend began when I heard something that stopped me in my tracks: the sound of 20 some-odd P-cars cold-starting their engines in the paddock, making their way to pit row. It's a sound I will never forget. As I got closer to the track the smell of race fuel filled the air.
Eventually, I made my way to turn 11, the closest to my campground. Car after car flew by. Just amazing pieces of machinery driving around the track warming up their tires. And then it hit me: I’m at the greatest Porsche event to ever be held. I continued to spend most of the first day sleep deprived and beyond stoked, simply taking photos around the track and throughout the paddock itself.
Waking up all three mornings in a dew soaked up tent just a football field's length away from the track was a dream come true. Knowing the the Porsche goldmine I got to lay eyes on the day before was waiting for me almost made me anxious. Needless to say, every morning I was down at the track before my caffeine could even kick in.
In the middle of the racetrack lay the paddock. The cars that would be racing, the trailers that brought them there, spare parts, and their race team were all centrally located there. Also sharing the paddock was an oversized tent full of legendary cars. Cars that you only hear about online and through google image searches made their way to Rennsport Reunion to be put on display, taking the event above and beyond anything I had ever expected.
One of the cars that blew me away was the 1948 Porsche 356 or better known as 356/1. It was the very first registered Porsche ever built for public roads, marking the beginning of an automotive era. The art of driving would never be the same again. Rennsport Reunion VI also marks the first time that the No. 1 356 ever entered US soil. Watching Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, son of Ferdiand Porsche, drive the beautiful piece of machinery around Laguna Seca is a memory that will be permanently burned into my head, and I'm better for it. If you missed it, you missed out, but Rennsport will make its return in another few but long years. Make the journey, as its one you won't want to miss.