Want to see Porsche’s best road and race cars all in one place? Then visit the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent this weekend...
Porsche Club Great Britain and Brands Hatch will play host to a celebration of Porsche’s 70-year history this Sunday with the Festival of Porsche, featuring racing, displays and demonstrations of classic and contemporary examples of the German marque’s cars.
The event is organised by Brands Hatch circuit owner MSV, in association with and the support of Porsche Club GB and Porsche Cars GB. In addition to the on-track action, it will boast everything from examples of the 356, Porsche’s first-ever production automobile, to the Spa-Francorchamps and Nürburgring track record-breaking 919 Hybrid Evo.
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Stuttgart’s Porsche Museum has sent the 1949 ‘Keibl Gmund’ 356 and the 2018 919 Hybrid Evo, which is currently on a 919 Tribute Tour celebrating the success of the 919 Hybrid LMP1 car that won the Le Mans 24-hours and World Endurance Championship for three years in a row between 2015-’17 before withdrawing from the top class of prototype racing.
The Evo, which has multiple aerodynamic modifications compared with the racing car, was developed by Porsche engineers as a tribute to that success. It set the fastest-ever times around Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring Nordschleife in the hands of Neel Jani and Timo Bernhard earlier this year, and may well do the same at Brands Hatch with 2015 Le Mans winner Nick Tandy.
A 2.0-litre turbocharged V4 engine powers the Evo, and recovers brake energy from the front axle and exhaust energy from the rear. The combustion engine drives the back axle, while the electric motor boosts the front axle to accelerate the car with four-wheel drive. The additional usable energy available from the recovery systems and extra downforce from the aerodynamic modifications have meant that Michelin had to develop new tyre compounds to deliver the necessary grip to complement the increased power.
Other iconic Porsche cars present include a Gulf-liveried 917, which was driven to third in the 1971 BOAC Brands Hatch 1000km race by Derek Bell and Jo Siffert, the 1998 Le Mans-winning 911 GT1 and the 959 Paris Dakar rally car, which competed in the 13,800km rally raid across the African continent.
In addition to the famous cars, a number of Porsche personalities will also take an active part in the event. Leading the on-track action will be Tandy and Bell, along with current Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior Dan Harper, who won his drive in a shootout last year and will demonstrate the latest 911 GT3 Cup race car.
Road-car celebrations centre around the Porsche Boxster. The mid-engined roadster was released 20 years ago, and was a distinct change from previous Porsche models. To celebrate this milestone, there has been a nationwide campaign to locate and restore ‘Type 986’ Boxster S models.
The cars were not only restored, but also prepared to race in a dedicated three-round Restoracing Championship, of which the Festival will be the finale. The livery of each car resembles a classic Porsche race car, from the red and white Salzburg livery of the 1970 Le Mans-winning 917 to the 1971 Pink Pig.
Race fans will enjoy a full on-track programme at the Festival on September 2, including the Porsche Club Championship, Porsche Club Speed Championship and a four-cylinder Challenge for Transaxle models. There will also be a live stage within the Porsche Club marquee, and extra off-track attractions including trade stands, a fun fair and live music. The on-track schedule of racing starts at 10.00am until 18.00pm.
Further details and ticket information can be found on Brands Hatch’s website.