Patrick Long shakesdown a Porsche 917 for Rennsport Reunion V
There aren’t many things that sound better than a Porsche flat six. In fact, the only engine we can think of is a Porsche flat 12, as fitted to the Porsche 917 prototypes that dominated sports car racing in 1970 and 1971.
Recently, Porsche Motorsport North America was entrusted with restoring the Gulf Racing Porsche 917K used by Jackie Oliver and Pedro Rodriguez to win the 1971 Spa 1000km.
After being put into storage at Zuffenhausen, the car was rolled out into the Porsche Museum in 2009 before being handed over to PMNA in 2012 in order to be returned to its former glory.
Using Porsche’s vast archive of period documents and photographs, Porsche wanted this 917K returned to the exact specification it was run in at the infamous Spa-Francorchamps in 1971, when it won the 1000km race with an average speed of 154mph!
After three intensive years (with much input from those who worked on the 917s at the time), the car was recently completed and taken to Willow Springs Raceway in California for a shakedown ahead of this weekend’s Rennsport Reunion V.
At the wheel was factory driver (and all-round cool guy) Patrick Long, a man who truly understands the importance of Weissach’s classic racers and relishes the chance to get behind the wheel of these iconic machines.
The video above (finally bereft of the usual music in Porsche’s films) shows that Patrick – who we interviewed earlier this year in issue 129 – certainly wasn’t hanging about, sending beautiful flat-12 music echoing around the hills north of Los Angeles.
This 917 won the 1000km race at Spa with an average speed of 154mph
Hurley Haywood, another legend from Porsche Motorsport’s history, also makes a guest appearance along Pacific Coast Highway, explaining the importance of Rennsport Reunion and what makes the whole event so special.
Both Long and Haywood will be at Laguna Seca Raceway this weekend for Rennsport Reunion V along with Total 911. For all the latest from the event, make sure you follow our Twitter account now.