I had a conversation with the organizer of an upcoming motosport series yesterday who commented that they have had one time visits from Porsche drivers who don’t stick around because they don’t like being humiliated by guys in Honda Civics. Today’s first video is kinda like that.
This morning, Bill Caswell from BUILD RACE PARTY posted a video from the infamous Nurburgring, where a Porsche 911 GT3 driver got a taste of why Sir Jackie called the place The Green Hell.
Caswell is in the black forest preparing for his first ever race at the ‘Ring, this weekend. The driver, who you may recognize as the guy who took a Craigslist BMW, converted it to a rally car and competed in the WRC Mexico a few years ago. Caswell has enlisted the help of Robb Holland, an American who races in the BTCC in an Audi S3, to help bring him up to speed. While touring the track in a Ford Focus RS, Holland catches up with a GT3 which is clearly being over driven. It isn’t too long before we see the Porsche driver put two wheels off and then a few corners later he stuffs it into the Armco. What is really cool is that Holland calls the off well before it happens!
The 2014 North American International Auto Show is officially underway in Detroit, and with it come plenty of exciting concept cars, and new cars making their official debut to the automotive media. Surely any new Porsche 911 variant will garner plenty of interest, but even more so from this journalist. See, I own a Porsche 911 1976 Targa, and I have been eagerly awaiting the latest iteration.
The first 911 Targa came out in 1967. Featuring a roll bar covered in stainless steel, the Targa had a removable, foldable top that can be easily stored under the hood, with a removable plastic rear window that you simply unzippered. After complaints from buyers, Porsche quickly ditched the removable rear window, replacing it with a distinctive wrap around glass rear window. That was mid-1968, and all Porsche 911 Targas were built that way until the mid 1990’s. In 1996, the Targa now featured fully fixed door pillars-a huge glass roof would slide back. It wasn’t the same.
All that changes with the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa. The stainless steel rollbar look has made a triumphant return, and the overall silhouette is classic Targa. But this is a far more sophisticated animal than my Targa. Instead of undoing two latches, popping the roof panel off, folding it up, and storing it up front, the modern Targa driver presses a button. The rear roof section raises, the roof panel stores itself behind driver and passenger, rear roof sections returns to the normal, and voila, Targa top off.
Two Targa models will be offered, both with all-wheel drive. The Targa 4 is equipped with a 3.4L boxer six, rated at 350hp. Equipped with PDK and Chrono package, the Targa 4 can do 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds, with a top speed of 174mph. Too slow? Then move up to the Targa 4S, with a 4.0L six packing 400hp. Porsche claims 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds, topping out at 183mph. As for the price of admission, the Targa 4 starts at $101,600USD, while the Targa 4S starts at $116,200. Porsche expects deliveries this summer.
The highlight of 2011 for Porsche fans in North America was last weekend’s Rennsport Reunion IV. The event, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, was the first in the Rennsport series to be held on the West Coast, and attracted the largest crowd in event history. Fans of Porsche and of motorsports in general had a chance to get up close and personal with some of the most successful racing cars in the history of the marque, and then watch them battle it out with one another on the famous circuit.
Everything from early 356s, to the legendary 908s and 917s, to the newest 911 GT3 and Cayman Cup cars, was present on the track during the weekend. Cars were grouped into classes based on performance, which created some very interesting battles between cars of different eras. Also featured was celebrity Porsche fan Jerry Seinfeld and several of his impressive collection, including the 917 that Steve McQueen drove in the movie Le Mans. Off the track, vendors sold racing memorabilia and Porsche parts, a huge area was filled with owners’ Porsches, and Porsche USA debuted the new 991-chassis 911 for the first time in North America at the event. Overall, the event was a major success, and should be coming back to Laguna Seca in the future.
Porsche unveiled the new 2012 911 Carrera for the first time in North America last weekend, at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV event, held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The thoroughly redesigned car, known internally as the 991, boasts reduced weight, increased power, and some of the latest technology inside and out, but will also come with an increased price when it reaches dealers in February.
Series press release
Bortolotti, McKaigue and Seitz secure series class championships
BOWMANVILLE, Ont (24 July, 2011) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Toronto’s Marco Cirone made it a weekend double at his home
track, taking the second of two Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada races to close out the seriesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢
inaugural season at the Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport.
Series press release
PickeringÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Oswald finishes second in Platinum Cup; Levitas takes Gold Cup over McKaigue, Seitz
BOWMANVILLE, Ont (23 July, 2011) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Heat was the order of the day in more ways than just the
weather, as the battle for the first Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada victory at Mosport was a race-
long clash between two Torontonians, Marco Cirone and Randy Oswald, in extreme late afternoon heat.
Oswald started on the pole but couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stop the charging Cirone who took the Platinum Cup victory,
with Michael Levitas keeping Shaun McKaigue at bay in Gold Cup and Bob Seitz taking Silver Cup over
Cirone, driving the #88 6th Gear Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car was happy to put the morningÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s race
in the US IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge behind him, as a terrific drive from fourth to second went for
naught when he went off course with only three turns left in the race. He started fourth again this
afternoon, teaming up with Melanie Snow (#56 Snow Racing) to get around OswaldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s teammate Carlos
Gomez (#75 TRG/Axis of Oversteer) early in the race. Cirone then went after Oswald, behind the
wheel the #14 TRG/Verax Porsche, making the pass on lap 10 of 32 caution-free laps. It was all
Cirone could do to finish the 45 minute race, as he could see temperatures of 128 degrees
Fahrenheit inside his Porsche.
Spec Porsche racing was quite literally born in Canada with the Rothman’s Porsche Series of the Eighties and Nineties which has quite literally become a legendary series. It is somewhat ironic then that the current format, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge was being run in many countries, but not in Canada.
Series press release
BOWMANVILLE, ONT (July 17, 2011) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada brings its three-event
inaugural season to a close this weekend at the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. For the
two teammates leading the Platinum and Gold Cup standings – GilfordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Shaun McKaigue and KanataÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
Perry Bortolotti – this first season has been a memorable one.
With fellow Speed Merchants teammates James Hoddinott, Bruce Gregory and Robert Seitz, Bortolotti
and McKaigue have competed in all four Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada races to date and look
forward to this last challenge.
Perhaps one of the greatest auto racing movies in the history of film, Steve McQueen’s masterpiece ‘LeMans’ stands in a class by itself. For those of you have not seen the film, rent it immediately. For those who have, you will recall the first few minutes of the movie feature McQueen piloting a slate grey 1970 Porsche 911S through the French countryside as he makes his way to the famed Circuit de la Sarthe. If you fell in love with that 911, it’s cool sophisticated color, and snarl of its boxer six, not to mention the movie connection and the mere fact McQueen owned the car, well, here’s your chance to buy it. RM Auctions is putting the car on the block in Monterey, California next month.
The car in question has been well documented, so there is no doubt this is the real thing. According to RM, this 911S was delivered to the set of LeMans, for use in the film, and McQueen’s personal use. It was a fully optioned car, with leather, sunroof, air conditioning, and Blaupunkt radio. After filming ‘LeMans’ the car was shipped to Los Angeles, and McQueen later sold the car. This car has been carefully maintained and documented over the years (the second owner had the car for 30 years). Apart from a repaint, reupholstered seats and new windshield, the car is completely original as you see it on DVD today, with less than 12,400 miles on the odometer. Anything Steve McQueen has touched rises in value, but the fact that this is the actual movie car that opened ‘LeMans’ should bring in stratospheric prices. We’ll let you know what the car sells for!