In June 2013, Porsche Australia decided to host a weekend of racing at Sydney Motorsport Park. They appeared to be gauging interest, or rather, asking a question of us Porsche fans: should we be holding this kind of thing more often?
With something like 450 entrants; varying from the first ever Porsche imported into Australia to the current 997 GT2 RS and even the 2013 991 Cup Car, our answer was a resounding yes; making for a fantastic event. Whether you were a fan of Porsches new or old, track or road, the Rennsport Festival had you covered. Groups such as the Carrera Cup, Historics, Regularity and Sports Car Racing filled up the weekend’s action.
I was entered in the regularity event in the #22 Dellow Racing Porsche 996 GT3 Cup car, so I wanted to share my experience of the weekend’s action on and off the track, as well as some photos Matyi and I could grab.
Since it was our first time at this track, Dad and I decided to enter in some tutelage on the Friday before the weekend. After some basic track exercises using some of the Porsche Sport Driving School’s cars, we were greeted by Craig Baird and Warren Luff, who would be sharing their knowledge of the track with us and running through how to get the most out of our cars. After a simply surreal day in my view, with not only meeting but also learning from my racing hero/the world’s most successful Carrera Cup driver, I had a better grasp of the track for the weekend ahead.
Saturday started off a little damp and miserable as we were unloading the cars, and we were all on edge to see if the weather would hold…
…but the sun came through to provide a perfect blue sky for the entire weekend. Lucky!
While the action in all categories of racing was both fast-paced and ear-gasmic, there was something truly special in watching a genuine Porsche 956 start at the back of a 30-car grid and absolutely TEAR its way to 2nd place in only a couple of laps….
More on this and the other Le Mans cars in an upcoming article!
The standout race to watch for me was of course the Carrera Cup though. If you haven’t ever had a chance to watch these machines in action I really recommend it: the racing is always super close, the cars look like porn and those 3.8L flat sixes just howl!
But I also enjoyed strolling through the pits and admiring the absolutely mint-condition vintage Porsches, like these 356s.
Or this outlaw-styled 356, which Matyi seemed to have an obsession with…
This older, stock-looking 993 Carrera looked special under the glowing sunset.
At the conclusion of Saturday, an uncountable number of cars were brought onto the track for an official shoot by Porsche, which provided people like me with our own opportunity for some photos as well. Jim Richards’ still-street-legal 620hp GT2 RS was present. This is a rather famous car in the Porsche community for its attendance in Targa Tasmania as well as numerous other categories Jim thrashes it in…
One of the stars of the show was the brand new 2013 Porsche 991 GT3 Cup Car. With 450hp on tap and new revisions to the aerodynamics, I have no doubt that this car will give the new V8 Supercars a real run for their money in terms of lap times when it is launched in Australia. I must also admit that while the press photos of this car disappointed me compared to the previous Cup Car, it is truly a menacing and magnificent looking car in the flesh.
Sunday started a little bit more seriously, with the more professional categories getting ready for their proper races.
As the day progressed, the track became increasingly more familiar to me, allowing me to push harder and see why not only Porsche decided to hold this event here but also why the World Time Attack series are held here. For example, turn one at Sydney Motorsport Park is a 180-190km/hr corner for me with bumps mid-corner and a very sudden drop off onto dirt on the exit. Even though it is admittedly quite scary to attempt to master, this corner alone provided me with more of a thrill and challenge than most of the corners at Queensland Raceway put together.
Matyi’s great shot of me getting the rotors glowing just before turn one.
But watching the Carrera Cup guys fly through here, sometimes two-wide, was just something else altogether.
The sunset on Sunday afternoon provided a perfect backdrop for the conclusion of a great weekend of racing.
To me, one word perfectly summed up the Porsche Rennsport Festival: surreal. As a driver, Sydney Motorsport Park is just a fantastic track: it perfectly combines tight, second gear corners with much longer fourth or fifth gear corners which require a lot of concentration and courage to master. The opportunity to mix it up on track with the cars that attended was a unique experience and nothing you could replicate at any regular Porsche Club day. As a spectator, being able to watch cars as varied as a Porsche GT2 RS to a Le Mans Spec Porsche RS Spider tear it up on track was simply unforgettable. The different groups throughout the weekend really represented every facet of Porsche, whether that be the motorsport division, the historics or the road cars.
Fingers crossed then that Porsche decide to replicate this event in the future!