Bruce Canepa
Bruce Canepa. Photo by Lynne Huntting
Well, people are still talking about Rennsport Reunion IV at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, gathering of all things Porsche. Friday my conversation was with BRUCE CANEPA, of nearby Scott’s Valley, CA, the man who made it happen this weekend at the famed road course.

Not only is Canepa responsible for bringing Rennsport to Laguna Seca this weekend, he’s participating. He’s racing threee cars in different groups, and he has some of his restored collector cars on display in various Porsche tents.

After Rennsport III at Daytona International Speedway, both BRIAN REDMAN and Canepa bugged (the late) BOB CARLSON, PR Manager for Porsche North America. The late BOB SNODGRASS, who was instrumental in bringing Rennsport to Daytona, was in on it too. Redman had been the one who ‘put on’ the first three Rennsports.

Canepa began having meetings with Porsche executives, and continued for more than a year.

By chance, Canepa ran into BERND HARLING at the L.A. Car Show last November, when he was trying to meet up with other Porsche people. Harling is special assistant to the President of the PCNA (Porsche Car North America,) Communications.

Canepa said he told them all – “Whatever it takes, whatever needs to be done, let me know.” If not Rennsport, we’ll do something else, whatever you want. I can put on an independent event.” Canepa wanted to have Porsche displays, tents, race cars and drivers, etc. Harling said in January 2011 “It should be Rennsport.

Harling invited Canepa to Atlanta to convince top Porsche executives, saying he and Redman were all convinced, but it was the top brass which were doubtful. Canepa told them he “was a detail person. Check out my shop.”

DETLEV von PLATEN, President/CEO of Porsche North America said OK, and Harling became Canepa’s point person at Porsche.

The event was announced in March, 2011.

Canepa is intense about wanting to honor Porsche. He said “Porsche is the only car company that has had successful, winning cars in every decade. The company transfers its race history to its street cars.”

Bruce Canepa's 1977 Porsche 934 1/2 originally raced by Peter Greg.
Bruce Canepa's 1977 Porsche 934 1/2 originally raced by Peter Greg. Photo by Lynne Huntting
Bruce Canepa's 1980 Canepa Pike's Peak Special
Bruce Canepa's 1980 Canepa Pike's Peak Special. Photo by Lynne Huntting