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Reunion with Porsche motorsport legends

He was lucent a whole time. It was adore during initial steer when Stéphane Ortelli laid eyes on a Porsche 917 KH in Gulf livery. “A illusory car, and a illusory course,” raves a Le Mans leader from 1998. In fact, their initial confront didn’t take place on a mythological competition march during La Sarthe, yet on a opposite circuit and one that is in bland use as a nation road: a Solitude Racetrack, 11.7 kilometres long, set low within a woodland between Stuttgart and Leonberg. In use as an central racetrack until 1965, ever given 2011 it has been reactivated for one weekend each dual years for a Solitude Revival.

“For us, holding partial in this eventuality is both an requirement and an honour.”
Achim Stejskal

And Porsche is always on board. “For us, holding partial in this eventuality is both an requirement and an honour,” comments Achim Stejskal, Head of Historical PR and a Porsche Museum. After all, many mythological names and cars from Porsche racing story are among a lists of winners during Solitude races: a 550 Spyder and 718 RS 60 Spyder, 718 Formula 2 and 804 Formula 1. “I’d also like to compensate reverence to a proffer organisers, who have once again combined a best racing competition festival,” Stejskal adds.

Anything with two, 3 or 4 wheels is acquire here, from aged favourites to complicated classics – yet competition cars are a transparent favourite. Exhibiting in several classes, they are taken out onto a lane as partial of a array of pulling demonstrations. The Porsche Museum has brought a 356 B 2000 GS Carrera GTL Abarth and even a 917 KH Gulf to take part. This latter classical is quite enthralling for Stéphane Ortelli, Le Mans leader with a 911 GT1. “Its sound, a acceleration, usually how brilliantly all works – it’s intensely impressive,” raves a Frenchman. He is invited to take a mythological competition automobile turn a lane for a few laps, and 50 years seems to tumble away. He shares a cockpit with Marc Lieb, 2016 altogether leader during Le Mans and World Endurance Champion with a 919 Hybrid. “I’m astounded each time during usually how easy a 917 is to drive,” emphasises a Porsche engineer.


Ted Gushue, Stéphane Ortelli, l-r, Solitude Revival, 2019, Porsche AG
Stéphane Ortelli (r.) and Ted Gushue during Solitude-Revival 2019

Like Stéphane Ortelli, he also has a good understanding of honour for a racing drivers who were on a lane with this fable 50 years ago. Hans Herrmann for example, who won Le Mans in 1970 with a 917 K, and relived his memories during Solitude Revival. After all, it was not usually generations of racing cars that came together during this motorsport festival, yet also generations of drivers: legends of a 1950s and 1960s like Hans Herrmann, Eberhard Mahle and Herbert Linge; winners from a 1970s and 1980s like Walter Röhrl and Hans-Joachim Stuck; and younger drivers such as Stéphane Ortelli, Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and André Lotterer. And with them, Hans Mezger, former Head of a Motorsport dialect during Porsche, and also a masculine obliged for a suction and turbo engines of a 917, as good as a 6-cylinder engine of a 911 and a 8-cylinder engine of a 804 Formula 1 that both also gimlet his signature. “We didn’t win Formula 1 with a 804,” he says with a mischievous smile, while a Monoposto completes a proof laps on a track. “But we did win with a TAG Turbo in a McLaren.”

“You get a smashing feeling for that time and a origins of a racing history.”
André Lotterer

The unrestrained for classical competition cars is inevitable via a weekend. “This is my initial time during Solitude Revival, and also my initial time with a 718 Formula 2,” comments André Lotterer, who will competition for Porsche in Formula E in a arriving season. “You get a smashing feeling for that time and a origins of a racing history. The Formula 2 drives like a dream on a racetrack. You get unequivocally vehement about pulling it to a limit.” He’s not a usually one who would cite not to have to get out of a Formula competition automobile with a four-cylinder straight missile engine. “I’ve depressed in adore with this car,” sighs Hans-Joachim Stuck. “And Solitude is illusory – all in it, quick and slow, ascending and down. we would unequivocally like to have been one of a drivers behind then.”


André Lotterer, Solitude Revival, 2019, Porsche AG
André Lotterer sat behind a circle of a 718 Formula 2 for a initial time during a Solitude Revival

The mood during this motorsport festival is unique. The fad generated by around 12,000 spectators, observation some-more than 430 ancestral cars, might even come tighten to a appetite during a Solitude races that took place before 1965, when caller numbers could surpass 400,000. This is substantially due to a fact that there are no fears of hit or barriers between a racing cars, drivers, and a public. When a invitation to a Porsche tent for a signing event is announced over a loudspeakers, a reserve grows to around 20 metres within a few minutes. And it’s transparent that a unrestrained is not gender-specific possibly – there’s an equal series of masculine and womanlike fans.

Solitude Revival, 2019, Porsche AG

“This is my initial time during Solitude Revival,” comments Neel Jani, who will lift adult to a starting line in Formula E together with André Lotterer as Porsche works drivers, as he energetically signs programmes. “It provides combined value for all automobile enthusiasts. we recognize many of these cars usually from black-and-white images and films. Seeing, conference and experiencing them here and now, live, is truly unique.” Vivid memories come flooding behind for Walter Röhrl: of how his father took partial in a Solitude Race for a initial time in 1954, and of being a seven-year-old kid sitting on a grain bales subsequent to a lane and saying a competition cars drifting past dangerously close. “Later, when we was saw a identical stage from inside a racing car, we thought: Are they insane?” 

One of a people who saw a grain bales from a driver’s chair during that time was Eberhard Mahle, who started a Solitude convene for a initial time in 1954, going on to win his class. Precisely 60 years ago, he achieved well-developed success: Mahle raced in 3 classes during a Solitude circuit race, won two, and took third place in a other. He recounts: “Solitude was a driver’s march – it was even probable to win with an defective car, usually by being better.” And he adds, with a grin: “I’m still a best during pulling cars to this day.”

Eberhard Mahle, Hans Herrmann and Hans Mezger are among a titular members of Solitude Revival e.V., that hosts a motorsport biennial, as is their former co-worker and prior Porsche works motorist Herbert Linge. Even during 90, a owner of a ONS lane reserve group can’t conflict entrance to a lane where he was category leader in 1963, alongside many other general successes. The Herbert Linge Special Run is started in his honour on a dusk of both days; a sound of a engines and bark of a throng are an acclaim privately for him. Stéphane Ortelli also puts his feet on a pedal again. Beaming.