Porsche has launched a new business to specialise in the restoration and maintenance of historic racing cars
Porsche has recently competed the restoration of a race-winning Porsche 917K, to showcase the company’s new historic motorsport department, launched at this year’s Rennsport Reunion. Specialising in the restoration, maintenance and support of all classic Porsche racers, the new arm of Porsche’s motorsport business will operate in the USA and Germany.
This is great news for owners of classic racers like the 917, as well as more modern Group C machinery. Although there is currently a lot of specialist support for historic racers, factory backing should make it a lot easier to run.
There has been growing interest in Group C revival races in recent years, but the cars are notoriously difficult to keep running reliably. Porsche aims to offer owners ‘assurance that their cars are track-worthy and that they can also rely on us if something breaks’. This includes technical assistance, as well as supplying parts and storage and transportation of the racers at the soon to be completed Porsche Experience Centre in Los Angeles.
Full restorations are also on the table, as demonstrated by the absolutely stunning 917K that has been presented by Porsche. This Gulf liveried example originally won the 1971 Spa 1000-kilometre race, as well as being successfully raced in the USA. It went on show in the Zuffenhausen museum in 2009, before being pulled out in 2012 ad sent to Porsche Motorsport North America for a complete restoration.
The brief was to return the 917 to 1971 condition, ready for some track action. After three years and the help of original Porsche documentation, photographic records and most importantly former (and older) Porsche employees who originally worked on the 917, the project was completed.
Take a look at the 917K in action, during a shakedown session at Willow Springs Raceway in California, ahead of its debut at the Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca:
Porsche Head of Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser commented: ‘At our Weissach Motorsport Centre and at Porsche Motorsport North America we have specialists for every task in this field. The 917K, which now returns to the race track after more than 40 years, is a perfect example of how we implement this expertise and preserve it for the future.’