Corkscrew Carnage: Porsche Rennsport Reunion 7
You hear the cars before you see them. Like a swarm of bees, the vibration builds as they emerge from the azure sky, plummeting one by one from a blind crest into one of motorsport’s most challenging turns, The Corkscrew at Laguna Seca. The hard-left, hard-right combination is the equivalent of a 5 ½ story drop in just 450 feet of track.
When it comes to celebrating the heart-pounding thrill of motorsports, few events match the sheer intensity and camaraderie of the Porsche Rennsport Reunion. Part-car show, part-race, part-festival, the world’s largest gathering of Porsche motorcars, racing drivers, and enthusiasts returned for its seventh installment on the final weekend in September at the iconic Laguna Seca Raceway. RR7 was the first gathering in 5 years, perfectly timed to celebrate 75 years of Porsche and 60 years of the 911. Turnout was enormous, with more than 90,000 Porsche lovers at the raceway-turned-playground.
This Porsche homecoming featured everything a car enthusiast could dream of: owner corrals packed with pristine, eye-popping Porsche rarities (including Jerry Seinfeld showing off his silver 550a); meet-and-greets with legends of the racing world like Jackie Ickx, Derek Bell, Brian Redman, George Follmer, and Mark Webber; and incredible merchandise opportunities, including the AETHERstream—our Airstream-turned-mobile-store which offered outerwear, accessories, and selected items from our fall 2023 collection.
And of course, the racing.
The motor competitions ranged from fast and dangerous to light-hearted and mellow, with Dwyane Wade competing in a race of Porsche tractors.
At the PCA Club Racing’s Sprint Race 2, AETHER driver Sam Neel flew by in the middle of the first pack, behind the wheel of a black 1980 Porsche 911 SC. Paul Georgeson trailed Neel in a red 1986 Porsche Carrera. The two drivers stayed in tight competition for much of the race, with the 911 SC just ahead of the Carrera until a fateful moment on the ninth lap when Georgeson clipped Neel passing on the left, scratching a deep gash into his own red frame and sending both cars into the gravel, vanishing for a moment in clouds of dust.
It wasn’t the only collision in Sprint Race 2. Earlier on, a 1986 Boxster was the victim of an unintentional PIT maneuver on The Corkscrew that knocked its headlight off. It bounced off of the wall and was left stranded in the middle of the raceway, an eye without a head, as trailing cars dodged the pricey piece of hardware. Hunter S. Thompson once called the Porsche 911 a “finely tuned middle-weight fighter” and at Rennsport Reunion 7, these boxers were bloodied.
The action brought to mind the classic Teddy Roosevelt quote:
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming.”
As the last echoes of engines faded into the night, the hills reclaimed its silence. But the memories of greatness endured. Rennsport Reunion 7 was a gathering of like-minded individuals who understood that Porsche isn't just a car; it's a way of life. AETHER is proud to play a part in celebrating 75 years of Porsche and the community built on its legacy of excellence. If you ever get a chance to go to a Rennsport Reunion, don’t miss it. We’ll see you there.
Text by Nathalie Trepagnier