“The first time we went to Rennsport USA was back in October 2011; with Geoff Morgan, David Withers and myself,” remembers Peter Boylan, the owner of a black 1974 Porsche Carrera.
And it’s no small honour, either. For a bunch of Australians to be invited to drive the hallowed tarmac of the famed Laguna Seca circuit with some of the finest Porsches in America, and from across the globe. It’s the stuff of automotive dreams.
“That’s definitely why, when they said they’d like us to come back again for 2015, I found it an even greater honour to be invited for a second time,” Peter divulges.
“Of course it was the first time I’ve had slicks on the Carrera and the objective wasn’t to win, but the point was to enjoy ourselves. At my age I’m proud to say I’m still racing, enjoying myself and it’s a big thrill.”
“We out-braked them in the corners, but they blasted us on the straight,” laughs Peter. “They’re a great bunch of people and we love racing with the Americans. They gave us an area and all our own space. And couldn’t have been more welcoming.”
Peter’s good friend Geoff Morgan, who also came along for the trip for a second time, shared those same sentiments.
“To be invited to participate in Rennsport is a great thrill and honour,” begins Geoff Morgan. “But to also do it at Laguna Seca is incredible. I had to wait for reality to hit, before the big challenge of Peter Boylan, David Withers, Chris Stannard and I all having to get organized and co-ordinated. Getting there (from Australia to America, with cars and supplies) is a story in and of itself!”
When everything fell into place however, Geoff was stunned at the presentation of the track.
“The set up at the track was mega! It looked awesome and the first day consisted of coaching school and track familiarization. The excitement was up for the first! By practice 2 we improved, but had a lot of work to get the car working well, as we were running on slicks we had never used before,” explains Geoff.
“Seeing as we didn’t complete all the qualifying laps – which we later discovered is mandatory – we ended up in 30th Place on the grid! Oh well, I thought, we were there to have fun. I was next to a beautiful car: the Sunoco RSR, which was gorgeous. I wondered why he was so far back,” Geoff recalls.
“We caught each other’s eye and gave the thumbs up, and then off we went. Cars were everywhere into turn one,” Geoff laughs as he elaborates. “I went down the outside of plenty of them and then proceeded to dice with the Sunoco car nose to tail and side-by-side for the rest of the place, passing a few RSR’s and 935’s and generally causing havoc. We finished 16th with the Sunoco car 17th. After the race I was regaling the team about the duel, highlighting the great battle, only to have the Sunoco driver come strolling into our pits to share a great laugh about it all. That’s really what Rennsport is all about, which is why I love it so much,” Geoff praises.
Chris Stannard, Geoff Morgan, Peter Boylan and David Withers
RENNSPORT AUSTRALIA 2016, SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK, EASTERN CREEK
After the success of Australia’s own, inaugural Rennsport Festival in 2013, Porsche once again rolled out their welcome wagon to return the festival back to Australia’s shores in 2016.
“It was once again a great success and the organizers were quite happy with the numbers,” says Peter, who was taking part in his 991 GT3 Cup race car.
“We did quite well with some solid P6 and Top 10 finishes although a clutch problem affected the last start and from starting 6th we ended up in 14th. I’m still settling in to the new car as it’s quite a bit different to drive than the 997. A fair bit more tyre and a lot more power, with clutch-less paddle shifters as well.”
“All in all,” Peter begins, “It was a great weekend out, and funnily enough, we even had people coming up to us saying if we’re heading over to Rennsport USA again to let them know, so they can come along and support us Aussies!”
Unfortunately Geoff fell ill just before the Rennsport Australia festival, although his car was still proudly out on display throughout the weekend, showcasing a new livery sponsor – PODIUM.
“We setup the PODIUM organization as a private investment consortium to support young drivers,” Geoff explains. “Hence the acronym, which stands for Promoting Overseas Drivers In Universal Motorsport.”
At the moment, PODIUM is focussed on supporting Joseph (Joey) Mawson who is racing against the likes of Mick Schumacher (Michael’s son) in Formula 4 in Europe.
“It’s a private group of people investing in the young talent of Australia and overseas, and the hope is that in the future others can come on-board with their own investments,” Geoff adds.