Like birthday and New Year’s Eve together for the eardrum: 13 four-wheeled music artists from the Porsche Museum bring unfamiliar sound to the Porsche Arena, piloted by former and current racers and numerous PS celebrities. Former race engineers and contemporary witnesses remember the racing successes and set off a firework of automotive emotions. In front of almost 4,000 listeners, the launches of the mostly undamped engines are the emotional highlights of the event. On the occasion of “70 Years of Porsche Sports Cars”, the Sound Night took place this year in the Stuttgart Porsche Arena. “The Porsche Arena is exactly the right setting for the 70th anniversary of our sports cars,” stresses Le Mans winner Marc Lieb.
The evening kicked off with the 356 “Nr. 1” Roadster from 1948 – driven into the arena by Walter Röhrl, two-time World Rally Champion and one of the most versatile racing drivers of all time. Herbert Linge, who celebrated his 90th birthday this year, presents the technology and history of Porsche’s first sports car.
The second star of the evening: Herbert Linge looks back together with racing engine developer Valentin Schäffer on the history of the Porsche 804 Formula 1. Racing and test driver Lars Kern presents the car to the public. “The little ones are always the loudest”, smiles Valentin Schäffer.
Marc Lieb, who scored six overall victories in international 24-hour races and won overall victory in the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA Endurance World Championship driver title in 2016, presents the 911 (996) GT3 RSR with Stéphane Ortelli on the grid Steering wheel. With Ortelli Lieb played his first year as a works driver. “With this vehicle began my international career,” remembers Lieb. “There were still real purist cars without traction control, which was really fun.” “This car touches my heart: You can feel this car and it’s just really loud,” affirms Ortelli.
Racing penalty without road legal: From 1998 present Roland Kussmaul and JP Perfomance the 911 (996) Cup. “The 996 Cup vehicle is a real machine for me,” says JP.
Former Porsche racing developer Roland Kussmaul drives the 911 (964) Carrera 2 Cup onto the stage. Team Manthey’s boss, Olaf Manthey, admits, “This street version of a racing team was like a diva to me at first, so I had to completely change my driving style.”
Soundcheck 1998: Former race engineer Norbert Singer and former racing driver Stéphane Ortelli talk about the winning car of Le Mans in 1998, the 911 GT `98. “This car was made for Le Mans and you can do it with a touch of 250 km / h around the corner”, Ortelli praises the GT1 `98. “This vehicle is definitely one of my favorite cars.”
Long-distance icon Hans-Joachim “Strietzel” Stuck and the five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell clap off before the 962 C, with whom they won the 1987 Le Mans 24 Hours for Porsche. “Is not it the hottest car there is?” Asks “Strietzel” Stuck into the enthusiastic audience. “Porsche has managed to build a car for the drivers, and the combination of power, tires and downforce make the 962 C my absolute favorite,” says Stuck.
Back from the desert: Porsche race director Peter Falk and racing icon Jacky Ickx stand at 959 Paris Dakar. In 1984, Jacky Ickx initiated Porsches first participation in the Paris Dakar. “Thanks to the Porsche engineers, we were able to make 14,000 kilometers in three weeks in the desert without any major changes to the vehicle, and we drove successfully over the waves at 230 km / h,” Ickx recalls. His daughter Vanina Ickx drives the 959 Paris Dakar, which her father once drove through the desert: “Although this original vehicle is already over 30 years old, you could always start it again,” says Vanina Ickx.
The Belgian Jacky Ickx, one of Porsche’s most successful racers, presents the Porsche 935/78 “Moby Dick”, with which he won in 1978 at the six-hour race at Silverstone a victory. JP Performance, Youtuber and TV presenter: “This car is the hero of my youth.” Norbert Singer recalls: “With this car, we understood how we could regulate the regulations”. “This car is just a rocket,” says Jacky Ickx.
The Dutch racing driver Gijs van Lennep, winner at Le Mans in 1971 and 1976 and at the Targa Florio in 1973, personally drives the 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1 through the arena. Together with the Liechtensteiner and former racing driver Manfred Schurti he introduces the first 911 race car with turbocharger.
Racing legend Hans Herrmann and the British racing icon Richard Attwood, who is attending the Sound Night for the first time, drove the first of Porsche’s 19 overall victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970 with the 917 KH. They present the Type 917 KH from the year 1971. “The 917 was a terrific car in training we drove 384 km / h on the straights – in the race we then left it at 360 km / h,” recalls Hans Herrmann. “In Goodwood, I still have the honor to drive the 917,” says Richard Attwood. “And for me it’s just the best sound.”
The 2017 Le Mans winning car, the 919 Hybrid, will be driven into the arena by Marc Lieb. LMP1 team boss Andreas Seidl recalls the difficult times at the beginning of the LMP1 program in the years 2012 and 2013. The first use at Le Mans in 2014 almost won the surprise victory, but the roughly 1000 hp hybrid prototype was not that durable yet. But then there were three overall victories in Le Mans in a row – the hat-trick was done in 2017. Marc Lieb won in 2016 with the 919 in Le Mans – one of the greatest successes of his career.