Restoration of a Porsche 917K, the legendary race car that won the 1,000 kilometer race at Spa in 1971, is complete and ready for it its re-introduction to American race fans. The reworked 917K will make a grand appearance at this year’s Rennsport Reunion – the world’s largest gathering of Porsche race cars, renowned drivers, and Porsche collector cars – happening at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey September 25-27. Now that German automaker is in the business or restoring and repairing historic Porsche race cars, both in America and Germany, they are bringing the storied 917K to their vintage marque event that takes place once every four years.
Debuting at the 1969 Geneva Auto Show, the Porsche 917 made its grand entrance and was homologated to meet international motorsports authorities (FIA) regulations. For the 1970 racing season, the teamwork with the Gulf team resulted in two versions, a reworked longer version and a wedge-formed shorter version that had improved handling, designated as the 917K. The 917K bested the competition and won at Le Mans two consecutive years, 1970 and 1971.
The 917 race car was also successfully campaigned in the Canadian-American race series CanAm before it was finally put into storage at the museum in Zuffenhausen. In 2009, the vehicle was painted in the famed Gulf colors and exhibited in the museum. In 2012, Porsche Motorsport North America was commissioned to restore the race car to its 1971 condition and get it back on the track.
This weekend’s Porsche Rennsport Reunion will assemble a wide variety of Porsche’s most historic racing models from the nimble mid-engine 550 Spyder of the mid-Fifties, through the mighty 917 and 956/962 of the Seventies and Eighties, to the highly successful 911 GT3 RSR and RS Spyder of the last decade. Special tribute will be paid to the car that embodies Porsche’s return to the top of sports car racing – the 919 LMP1 Prototype.
The three-day program of on-track competition will be complemented by a Concours d’Elegance, which is open to invited race participants, and special activities celebrating each of the six decades of legendary Porsche racecars.
Ticket information is available by contacting 800-327-7322 or online at www.mazdaraceway.com.
Porsche enthusiasts unable to make the journey to Monterey this weekend can follow the action on Porsche Club of America’s live blog broadcast.
In addition to Porsche’s fabled motorsports history, TFL Car also appreciates the passion and devotion that goes into every car produced by the Stuttgart automaker. Here is a TFL Car mile high mashup test that pits the 911 Carrera against the BMW 335i.