The Porsche 962 of IMSA; an incredible machine…

With the pending 50th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Daytona Endurance race set to coincide with Saturdays start of this years 24 Hours race, I thought it would be an appropriate time to take a look back at a cross-section of Porsche 962’s that competed in IMSA from 1984 through 1988, and contributed to its numerous victories.

Bob Akin #5 Coca Cola Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 86

The late Bob Akin_Coca Cola Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 86

The late Bob Akin_Coca Cola Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 86

For those unfamiliar with the Porsche 962 and its lineage, I offer up this brief overview; The 962 was designed as a clone of Porsches already successful type 956 (see photos  directly below), but included a few minor modifications in order to conform to IMSA specifications. Most notably, the design of a revised front suspensions and slightly stretched wheelbase, in order to place the drivers feet behind the centerline of the front wheel hubs for greater safety and driver protection. This safety criteria would subsequently be adopted within Europe and impact the further success of the 956. Ironically, the 962 was later used as a springboard by Porsche for the development of their “962 C” model. This update allowed owners of existing, non-compliant Porsche 956 “Group C” cars to covert their car over to 962 C specifications, by replacing their existing 956 tub with a new factory built “962 C” tub that incorporated the revised pedal box configuration.

Porsche 956's_Monterey Historics_Laguna Seca Raceway_Jul90

1983 Rothmans Porsche 956_Monterey Historics_Jul90

With the Porsche 962’s debut at the 1984 24 Hours of Daytona race, and up until 1991 when production ceased ( Porsche produced a total of 77 962 race cars, including the Works cars), the 962 went on to amass an incredible number of victories, dominating the sports prototype classes both here and abroad. This was clearly demonstrated by the results posted from the 1987 Daytona 24 hour race; by the end, Porsche 962’s had captured the top 6 places, led by the #14 Lowenbrau car, piloted by Al Holbert, Derek Bell, Chip Robinson and Al Unser Jr.

Al Holbert #14_Lowenbrau Porsche 962_10.1C_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87

The following photos are but a small collection of images taken during the 1986 /1987 IMSA season, showcasing the culmination of several years of refinement, and applied to each Porsche 962 by the teams campaigning them, since making its racing debut in 1984…

Bruce Levan #86_Bayside Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87Bruce Levan #86_Bayside Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87Bruce Levan #86_Bayside Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87Dyson Racing #16_ Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87Dyson Racing #16_ Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87Dyson Racing #16_ Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87

Al Holbert #14 Lowenbrau Porsche 962_riverside Raceway_Apr 86

Derek Bell_#14 Lowenbrau Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 86Derek Bell, crew chief Kevin Doran, and the late Al Holbert_#14 Lowenbrau Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 86

Al Holbert #14_Lowenbrau Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87Al Holbert #14_Lowenbrau Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87Al Holbert #14 Lowenbrau Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87Jim Busby Racing #67_BFG Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87

Jim Busby_BFG #67 Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 86

Jim Busby Racing #67_BFG Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87Jim Busby Racing #67_BFG Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_Apr 87

Good luck to all of the Porsche teams currently assembled in Florida, anxiously awaiting the start of this weekends 50th anniversary celebration and the running of this years  “24 Hours of Daytona”…

(All photos by the author)

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A look back at Jim Busby Racing and their BFGoodrich Porsche 962’s, circa April 1985…

Following on their 1984 IMSA series participation, in which Jim Busby Racing had campaigned a pair of Lola Mazda T616’s with sponsorship by BFGoodrich, the start of the 1985 IMSA season saw the team step up in class with their debut of two Porsche 962’s, with  continued sponsorship provided by BFGoodrich, and engines built and tuned by the Southern California-based Porsche specialists, ANDIAL.

The first opportunity to see these cars in person for those of us in Southern California, would be at the Los Angeles Times Nissan Grand Prix, to be held at Riverside International Raceway in April of 1985.

With the fielding of a two car team, two separate driver line-ups were created and announced; BFG Porsche 962 # 67, would be piloted by team owner and driver, Jim Busby, and teammate Rick Knoop.

#67 Jim Busby Racing_ Jim Busby,Rick Knoop_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway _April 1985

Their sister car, BFG Porsche 962 #68, would be driven by the team of Pete Halsmer and John Morton.

#68 Jim Busby Racing_Pete Halsmer & John Morton_ BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway _April 1985

And by virtue of being the latest team to join the Porsche 962 juggernaut, Jim Busby Racing was assured of drawing the Porsche faithful to their garage area on race weekend, to check out their new team cars.

#67 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway _April 1985

#67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 _spare body parts_Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

#67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 _spare front end in pits_Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

The first challenge to be faced by the two teams at Jim Busby Racing would be the qualifying of their Porsche 962’s for the weekends 6 hour endurance race…

#67 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Practice & qualifying_Riverside Raceway _April 1985

#67 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_practice & qualification-Riverside Raceway _April 1985

#67 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Practice & qualifying_Riverside Raceway _April 1985

#67 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Practice & qualifying_Riverside Raceway _April 1985#67 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Practice & qualifying_Riverside Raceway _April 1985

#67 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_practice & qualification-Riverside Raceway _April 1985

#67 & #68_ Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962's_Practice & qualifying_Riverside Raceway _April 1985

#68 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962's_Practice & qualifying_Riverside Raceway _April 1985#68 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962's_Practice & qualifying_Riverside Raceway _April 1985

#68 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962's_Practice & qualifying_Riverside Raceway _April 1985

#68 Jim Busby Racing_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Pete Halsmer, Practice & qualifying_Riverside Raceway _April 1985

By the end of qualifying, Pete Halsmer and John Morton in the #68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 had qualified second, with the #67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 of Jim Busby and Rick Knoop, qualified in sixth place. Thus the stage was set for Jim Busby Racing and the following days 6 hour endurance race. Now it was time for the team to formulate their respective pit strategies for race day.

As the sun dawned Sunday morning, it quickly became apparent that the racing community and fans would once again be rewarded with a beautiful, clear sunny Southern California day, perfect weather for an endurance race.

With the competitors aligned in formation and being paced by the pole sitter,  the cars accelerated towards the stat/finish line, and with a wave of the starters green flag, the race was underway.  The obvious challenge facing the two Jim Busby Racing teams over the next six hours would be to get the #68 BFG Porsche 962 into the lead, and maintain their position to the end. Their second challenge would be to assist the #67 car, to work its way up through the field, and at the end, hopefully be in position to score a podium finish. I’m sure no one at the start could have imagined the triumphant success that the Jim Busby Racing team would share later that afternoon…

The following shots are of the two team cars at speed, each running their individual strategies and race pace…

#67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Jim Busby at the wheel_Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

Jim Busby behind the wheel at speed, approaching turn 8

#67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Rick Knoop,approach to turn 7_Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

Co-driver Rick Knoop, entering the downhill section into turn 7

#67_Jim Busby Porsche 962_approaching turn 6_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

#67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962, with Jim Busby behind the wheel, on the uphill section into turn 6…

#67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 in traffic_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

#67 working its way through traffic, turn 8…

#67_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_overtaking traffic into turn 6_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

#67 chasing down slower traffic, entering turn 6…

#67_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Jim Busby Racing_back straight_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

Car #67 exiting turn 8, accelerating down the back straight…

#68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962_leading #86 Bayside Disposal Porsche 962 , turn 8 _Riverside Raceway_April 1985

BFG Porsche #68 leading the #86 Bayside Disposal Porsche 962 of Bruce Leven, through turn 8…

#68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962_in traffic, turn 8  _Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

#68, BFG Porsche 962 lapping slower traffic, approaching turn 8. (Note the red racers tape stripe across the right front headlight. This was used by the team during the race to visually differentiate car #68 car from its teammate, the #67 team car, since they were virtually identical when viewed from the front. The teams could then monitor each car as they crossed the start / finish line, or upon entering the pits for service. At a glance, the crews instantly knew which of the two cars was coming in without seeing the cars number on the fender top).

#68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 & #5 Bob Akin Coca-Cola Porsche 962_entering turn 7  _Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

#68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962, passing Bob Akin’s #5 Coca Cola Porsche 962, downhill section into turn 7…

#68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 _entering turn 8  _Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

#68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 at speed, approaching turn 8…

As the field began stopping for the first of many scheduled pit stops over the course of the day, the following shots represent just several of those scheduled pit stops executed by the Jim Busby Racing teams during the race…

#68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 _pit stop & driver change _Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

Pit stop by car #68 for driver change, refueling and tires…

#67,#68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 _spare front ends_Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

Ready and waiting if needed…

#68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 _pit stop & driver change _Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

Driver change and new BFGoodrich tires…

Rick Knoop waiting to make driver change with Jim Busby_#67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

Rick  Knoop and crew awaiting arrival of car #67 for upcoming pit stop…

Rick Knoop & crew chief Jim Tully waiting for #67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 to pit_Riverside Raceway_April1985

 #67 crew readied for driver change, new BFG tires and refueling…

Rick Knoop & crew chief Jim Tully and crew ready for #67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 driven by Jim Busby to pit_Riverside Raceway_April1985

BFGoodrich Porsche 962, #67 approaching its pit box, with Crew chief, Co-Driver (Rick Knoop) and fuel man at the ready…

#67 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 _pit stop & driver change _Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

Pit stop underway; Jim Busby exiting the car, Rick Knoop behind the wheel, refueling and new tires at the ready…

After a day of very competitive racing, well choreographed pit stops and obviously a successful set of race strategies by Jim Busby Racing, the final hour of the race saw the #68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962 running in first place, with its sister car (#67) running in second. With each passing lap and as the clock ticked down, the crews continued relaying information to their drivers, updating them regarding each team cars relative position and the gaps / intervals to the next placed car, through the use of pit boards. As each car exited turn nine, the pit boards went out for the drivers to quickly read as they rocketed past the start / finish line to begin another lap…

#67_BF Goodrich Porsche 962_pit board_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

#68_BF Goodrich Porsche 962_pit board_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

As the final minutes began ticking down, the team anxiously awaited car #68 being given  the white flag, indicating the last lap. All that was needed to insure the overall win was to complete one final lap, with car #67 running a strong second place. The stress was evident on the face of team owner and driver Jim Busby, as well Alvin Springer of Andial ( standing to Jim Busby’s right) as they waited for car #68 to complete its final lap…

Jim Busby, Alvin Springer (of Andial) and crew awaiting car #68's last lap_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

By the time car #68 had made its way down the back straight and was exiting turn 9, the team had all made their way trackside, to cheer on car #68 as it crossed the finish line, winning the race…

Jim Busby and team cheering on#68 BFGoodrich Porsche 962_start/finish_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

And following shortly after, car #67 crossed the finish line, capturing second place, delivering  a one-two finish for the team…

Jim Busby Racing celebrating car #67's second place victory_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

Jim Busby, his son and a crew member celebrating the teams first and second place victories…

Jim Busby and son and a crew member discussing the teams 1-2 race victory_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

As cars #68 and #67 took their cool down lap, the crew made their way back to the pit wall to await each cars return to the pits, to pick up the team and drive them all to victory lane…

Car #67 heading to Victory Lane_Jim Busby Racing_Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

Car #68 heading to Victory Lane_Jim Busby Racing_Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

Cars #68 & #67 heading to Victory Lane_Jim Busby Racing_Porsche 962's_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

Cars #68 & #67 arriving at Victory Lane_Jim Busby Racing_Porsche 962's_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

Arrival of the team cars at victory lane…

Jim Busby, team owner and driver of car #67, celebrating his teams first and second place finish_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

One very happy team owner /driver: Jim Busby, celebrating his teams first and second place finish at the LA Times Nissan Grand Prix, April 1985.

(Below) John Morton and Pete Halsmer being awarded the first place trophy for their overall win at the LA Times Nissan Grand Prix, Riverside Raceway, April 25, 1985.

John Morton & Pete Halsmer_first place trophy_car #68_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_LA Times Nissan Grand Prix_April 25, 1985

John Morton & Pete Halsmer_first place trophy & Camel GT medals_car #68_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_LA Times Nissan Grand Prix_April 25, 1985

The second place finishers from car #67, Rick Knoop and Team owner /driver Jim Busby, celebrating on stage with teammates John Morton and Pete Halsmer (see photo below).

Jim Busby Racing_1st & 2nd place_#68-John Morton, Pete Halsmer,#67- Rick Knoop, Jim Busby_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

Entire Jim Busby Racing team and crew- celebrating their teams 1st and 2nd place victory_Riverside Raceway_April 25, 1985

#68_BFGoodrich Porsche 962_ Jim Busby Racing_car with 1st place trophy_Riverside Raceway_April 1985

The final photo opportunity of the day; car # 68 with its first place trophy.

Jim Busby Racing and their BFGoodrich Porsche 962’s had served notice to their competition that weekend of their teams depth and potential for success, and established themselves as a potential threat for the remainder of the 1985 IMSA season.

(All photos by the author)

Apple’s iPorsche of 1980

With all of the commotion over today’s release of  Apple’s 4S iPhone,  few people will remember one of their earlier contributions made to the world of Motorsports; the iPorsche 935. The following photos are evidence of this previous collaboration, as witnessed at Riverside Raceway in April of 1980.

Apple  Porsche 935, Riverside Raceway _Apr80

Apple iPorsche 935, Riverside Raceway _Apr80Apple iPorsche 935, Bobby Rahal, RiversideRaceway_Apr80Apple  Porsche 935, Riverside Raceway _Apr80Apple Porsche 935,Riverside Raceway _Apr80Apple Porsche 935,Riverside Raceway _Apr80Apple Porsche 935, Riverside Raceway _Apr80And funny how an endurance race pace could suddenly change, and turn into an all out Sprint…

(All photos by the author)

Brumos Porsche; a look back circa 1979 / 1980

With Brumos Porsche celebrating a season championship win in this years Rolex series GT class with their Porsche GT3,  I thought it would be interesting to take a photographic look back at the Brumos team ( as led by the late Peter Gregg), and two IMSA series races in particular that occurred during the 1979 and 1980 seasons, both held at the now defunct Riverside Raceway in Southern California.

But first, a little back-story.  I first became aware of Brumos Porsche in 1973, fresh on the heels of the teams overall race win at the 24 hours of Daytona. Their weapon of choice had been the brand new Porsche 911 RSR, driven by Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood. Armed with my issues of Road & Track magazine, and the Porsche Club of America’s monthly publication, Panorama, I studied each magazines coverage of the Daytona race, especially the details regarding the winning Brumos Porsche. I quickly became a fan of the team and felt a connection, being a new owner of a 1966 Porsche 911, purchased in 1972. From that time forward, I continued to educate myself in all things Porsche, which included learning more about the Porsche brand and its impressive racing history, as well as following the 911’s  ongoing participation and success in the motorsports arena.  I also continued to follow Brumos Porsche’s racing efforts  with the Porsche 911 RSR’s, in addition to the teams expanding vehicle base, which came to include the new Porsche 917/10 (initially driven by Peter Gregg, but later assigned full-time to Hurley Haywood), and ultimately campaigning one of my favorites, the Porsche 935.

Brumos 935, Riverside Raceway_Apr79

I remember reading articles about Brumos Porsche, and multiple biographies on both Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood. However, at the time it was Peter Gregg who was the face of Brumos Porsche;  not only as the team leader and race strategist, but also lead driver. All of this was in addition to his day-to-day responsibilities of running the Jacksonville, Florida  Brumos Porsche dealership. I recall many of the articles of the day describing Peter Gregg as a successful businessman/race driver with an intensity that bordered on obsessive, and who strived for perfection in all aspect of Brumos Porsche’s racing efforts. This was also true of his time spent behind the wheel of a race car. I recall him being called “Peter Perfect”, due to these particular traits. This was clearly evident by how the Brumos team operated at the racetrack; it showed in how well prepared their car was rolling off of their trailer, or maintained and presented throughout the entire race weekend. I remember reading that he was also a brilliant race strategist, so much so that he was known to have studied and altered existing pit strategies while still behind the wheel of the race car, and would then radio in to the team to discuss his newly revised strategy. There were also however, accounts of him having a darker side, one which was highly intolerant of anyone who did not perform or live up to his expectations.

My personal observations however during race weekends were of a very focused, smooth and highly consistent driver on track.  I watched through my telephoto lens as he cranked off lap after lap, hitting the same, precise apex as on his previous lap, as well as his ability to maintain consistent braking points. This became even more impressive to witness, when compared against many of his competitors, whose lines through the turns would vary considerably with each lap, even when traffic was not an issue. Ironically, one of the only other drivers that could match Peter Gregg’s consistency was Hurley Haywood, who happened to be driving for another Porsche Racing team that particular weekend.

Brumos 935, Riverside raceway_Apr79
Brumos  935,Peter Gregg portrait, riverside raceway _Apr80
Ironically, in December 1980 with the untimely passing of Peter Gregg, it was Hurley Haywood who then became recognized as the racing ambassador for Brumos Porsche, and who went on to amass an incredible record of endurance racing wins  behind the wheel of a multitude of different Porsche racing cars,  including the Porsche 956, and its IMSA counterpart, the Porsche 962.

All photos were taken during the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix of Endurance, at Riverside Raceway in 1979 and 1980.

Brumos Porsche 935, Riverside raceway ,pits_Apr79

Brumos Porsche 935, Riverside raceway _Apr80Brumos Porsche 935, Riverside Raceway _Apr80Brumos Porsche 935, Riverside Raceway _Apr80Brumos  935, Riverside Raceway _Apr80Brumos  935, Riverside Raceway _Apr80Brumos  935, Peter Gregg & Al Holbert _Apr80Brumos  935, Riverside Raceway _Apr80Brumos  935,Peter  Gregg &  Al Holbert _Apr80I’m still a fan of Brumos Porsche, and of Hurley Haywood, and how ironic that the teams championship win this year, came with a car whose DNA is closely linked to that of the original 911 RSR in which Gregg and Haywood drove to victory back in 1973.

So Brumos Porsche, here’s to another successful 2012 Rolex GT series.

(All photos by the author)

The debut of digitaldtour…

Growing up in Southern California, it’s difficult for a young boy not to be influenced by the car culture present in everyday life. It didn’t hurt that my grandfather was passionate about Mercedes Benz automobiles, and throughout his life was fortunate enough to own a variety of models. Going for drives with my grandfather, and spending time with him in the garage while he worked on his car,  taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the garage environment was just the start. As were the times spent listening to his stories of traveling with my grandmother to europe to take delivery of a new Mercedes 280 SL, and his high speed runs down the autobahn (while my grandmother was asleep), also made for a lasting  impression. As a result, and over time it became obvious that I was developing an appreciation and passion for all things automotive. However,  it was my dad who stepped in and actually taught me how to wrench on cars, beginning with my basic training on our unsuspecting family cars.  Fortunately his philosophy of “the right tool for the job” translated into a garage full of really cool hand tools. His early training has served me well over the years, and still does to this day.

Then at the age of twelve, I  discovered the magic of the Porsche 911, one sunny summer afternoon while out riding my bike. It was red, with a black interior and chrome wheels, and belonged to a family that lived several blocks from my house. The profile of the car, combined with the curvature of the fenders and the fluid integration of the headlights, positioned to frame the front hood, had a huge collective impact.  However, what completed this 911 encounter was hearing the exhaust note for the very first time, produced by it’s flat six motor. That unique, distinctive sound became imprinted in my memory from that day forward, and even today when I hear that familiar exhaust note, it still brings a smile to my face. Throughout that summer, each new encounter with the red Porsche 911 further cemented my resolve to one day own a Porsche 911 of my own.

Fast forward to my junior year of high school, and the start of my search for my first car. After looking at a variety of cars with my dad (non-porsche), and  even after test driving a brand new Porsche 914 at my dad’s suggestion, I was still determined to find my 911. So I kept looking. And looking. Then one afternoon while out running an errand, there it was. Parked near the edge of a parking lot, with a for sale sign in the windshield, a Porsche 911. I turned my mom’s car around and went back to check it out.  It was a 1966 911, silver with a black interior and riding on fuch 5 spoke alloy wheels. I wrote down the contact information and raced home to tell my dad about my discovery. Long story short, a call was made and a test drive was scheduled with the owner. After a brief drive behind the wheel by both myself and my dad, a decision was made.  Later that afternoon, after emptying out my savings account,  I was the new owner of a 1966 Porsche 911. And that became the start of the Porsche magic with my 1966 911, that lasted for 14 years.

It was during this time that my interests in photography and design really took off, and my dad and I began attending the sports car races held at Riverside raceway. With camera in hand, I began stalking my prey ( primarily Porsche’s), both at rest and at speed. As my skills developed further, along with my interest in photography,  my dad suggested we set up a darkroom at home, so we could printing our own black and white and color prints. I also joined the Porsche Club of America, which gave me the opportunity to connect on a personal level with the Porsche community, and allowed further photographic access to a broader cross section of Porsche’s ( introductions to the Porsche 356 model range, as well as a variety of  Porsche 911’s). My dad also became a Porsche convert, and after a brief search in 1973 purchased his first 911:  a fully “S optioned”, silver 1973.5 911T.

Over time, our attendance at Riverside raceway, combined with the friends and contacts made within the Porsche community, began to generate some amazing photographic opportunities for my dad and I.  We began by providing photos of Porsche race cars for several of the local race shops that built the race motors, as well as custom fabricators that designed and built custom bodywork for the Porsche 911’s competing in the GTU class, to the premier class of the series, the Porsche 935’s. We then began getting requests from some of the top race teams of the day (who happened to see our photos of their cars on display in the race shops that they worked with). This resulted in our being asked to shoot for them at upcoming races. This was an amazing experience in that we were given full access to the paddock area, as well as the pits, which afforded a unique perspective to the racing action (up close and personal), that one normally never has the chance to experience. We also had the opportunity to meet many of the top Porsche race drivers of the day competing in the IMSA series. One driver in particular (Jim Busby of Laguna Beach) became a friend, and as a result invited us out to Riverside Raceway to photo document a shake down / test session of his brand new Porsche 935. Words cannot do justice in describing the experience of being out at the track , talking with Jim and his mechanics, and watching the car be put through it’s paces. It was an absolutely amazing day, and one I will never forget.  As the IMSA series evolved and the Porsche 935’s gave way to the GTP cars ( Lola T-70’s,  March, Jaguar, Mazda and the mighty Porsche 962’s), we stayed in touch with  Jim , and many of our photos ended up being given to his team sponsors as gifts.

Which brings me to today. I am still as passionate about Porsches as I was at twelve years old (my wife calls it my obsession). I am still connected to the Porsche community, and frequent a local car show on a weekly basis (Cars & Coffee / Irvine on Saturdays), with my 1986 Porsche Carrera coupe.  My two sons have both inherited an interest in photography, and have each come into their own as skilled photographers, and also share my passion for Porsches.  Since today is September 17 ( 9/17/11), I saw this as a sign of the perfect day to launch my blog.  The Porsche 917 is revered as one of the all time classic, milestone Porsche race cars, and Porsche is  once again bringing to market a newly redesigned 911, having  undergone a considerable number of changes, yet still retaining it’s family profile. I just hope that the current Panamera influences creeping into this new 911 design quickly fade away, and Porsche discontinues the dilution of the original attributes that have made and kept it uniquely a 911…

(All photography by the author)