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‘Air|Water’ to highlight greatest Porsche race cars April 27

With 1000 cars on display at the Air|Water show at Orange Country Fair & Events Center in Southern California on April 27, visitors will truly see the gamut of Porsche vehicles. Embracing everything from the air-cooled 356 of the 1950s to the latest water-cooled 911s, two doors and four, gas and electric, street and race, Air|Water will be a Porsche paradise as well as a center of education and festivities for fans from around the world.

While many visitors will arrive in their own Porsche, it’s the legendary racing machines that have helped to establish the German brand’s reputation more than almost anything else. And Air|Water will feature a number of legendary machines racing fans won’t want to miss.

Displayed across the entire venue, visitors will be able to discover everything from Le Mans winners to F1 entries and endurance champions. The following is a sample of the racing cars on display:

2023 “REXY” PORSCHE 911 GT3 R
“Rexy” — the Porsche 911 GT3 Rawr — was born in 2023 to AO Racing. The idea behind the T-Rex livery came from team principal and driver PJ Hyett, who has a T-Rex for his son and unicorn for his daughter painted on his helmet.

Competing in the 2023 IMSA series and World Endurance Championship, Rexy debuted at the 12 Hours of Sebring and participated in the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After leading its class for several hours, #77 would ultimately finish the French classic in seventh following a mechanical issue in the final hour.

This year, Rexy moved into the IMSA GTD PRO class of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and promptly claimed pole position on its debut at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. AO Racing was able to convert its qualifying form into the team’s first podium, securing second place in the grueling endurance race.

2013 MANTHEY PORSCHE 911 GT3 R


Belonging to Robert Dalrymple, the 2013 Manthey 997 GT3 R is an example of Porsche’s first foray into the new regulations that created the globalized, FIA homologated GT3 racing class.

The Manthey 997 car was a Porsche Werks racer that claimed second place overall at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in 2013 driven by Porsche Factory drivers Marc Lieb (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Patrick Pilet (France). It also finished 11th overall at the 24 hours of Nürburgring during the same season driven by a lineup of Factory pilots including Air|Water featured guest, Jörg Bergmeister, and current Porsche Penske star, Nick Tandy.

1977 BRUMOS PORSCHE 934/5
As an evolution of the Porsche 934, chassis #930 770 0951 was the first of 10 934/5 models built by Porsche for the IMSA championship. Developed for the U.S. series and run under Group 4 regulations, it had a more powerful turbocharged engine than the 934. It also used the wider wheels and rear wing from the 935.

The car was shipped to Peter Gregg at the famed Brumos Racing team in Jacksonville, Fla. Gregg and co-driver Jim Busby entered the 1977 12 Hours of Sebring race. Busby recalled 0951 was delivered shortly before the event and hastily prepared by simply replacing the original white hood with another that already had iconic Brumos red and blue stripes. It raced with the number 61 on that hood and doors.

The pair qualified on pole for the important endurance classic and were leading the race until the front right wheel fell off following their last pit stop. The car was able to return to the pits and finished third overall.

In recent years, 0951 was comprehensively restored by Lloyd Hawkins to its 1977 specifications and is currently owned by David Pyle.

1991 FOOTWORK ARROWS FA12-02
Entered in the 1991 Formula 1 World Championship, the Footwork Arrows FA12 chassis was fitted with the new Porsche 3512 engine, which debuted at the Formula 1 San Marino Grand Prix; the third race of the season.

The 3512 engine designation was derived from its 3.5-liter displacement and V12 configuration. It utilized a central power take-off, which had been a feature of the flat-12 Type 912 engine used in the Porsche 917 during the 1970s, but pushed to 13,000rpm.

At its San Marino debut, Alex Caffi drove the #10 FA12 entry, while Michele Alboreto drove the No. 9 car using an older A11C chassis. At its third race in Canada, Alboreto’s No. 9 FA12, which will be shown at Air|Water, qualified 25th while Stefan Johansson replaced an injured Caffi in No. 10. Unfortunately Johansson — now residing in Southern California —  retired on lap 48 with brake problems.

Although it proved to be a challenging season for Footwork Arrows, the transition to the raised nose design makes the F1 cars of this period some of the most recognizable from the recent decades. They appeared at a time when drivers put it all on the line in an to attempt to qualify for oversubscribed grids during a fast-moving revolution in technological advancements.

1985 PORSCHE 962-116
Presented by Bruce Canepa, the “Sachs” car saw full time competition with Joest Racing from 1986-1988. Derived from the 956 for US IMSA racing, the 962 had a stretched monocoque and the front suspension was moved 120mm forward to improve driver safety. It was powered by Porsche’s extremely reliable air-cooled 3.0L flat-6 engine with single-turbo and five-speed transmission.

Chassis #116 finished third at the 1988 Le Mans 24-hour race driven by Stanley Dickens, John Winter and Frank Jelinski. It was also driven competitively by Sarel van der Merwe, Danny Ongais, Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Paolo Barilla, Franz Konrad, Randy Lanier, Gianpiero Moretti, Hans Stuck, Bob Wollek and Klaus Ludwig.

1969 PORSCHE 908/02 LH SPYDER


As part of the Broad Arrow Live Auction taking place during Air|Water on April 27, the Le Mans class-winning 1969 Porsche 908/02 Langheck Flunder Spyder will be one of up to 60 Porsches to cross the auction block.

As a star of Luftgekühlt 9, the 908 has been valued up to an estimated $5.75 million. Chassis 908/02-005 should be instantly recognizable to Porsche enthusiasts thanks to its distinctive multicolor livery, which saw the #27 car secure third overall and a class win at the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours, providing Porsche with a 1-2-3 podium sweep.

Throughout its racing career, 02-005 was piloted by legendary racers including Vic Elford, Richard Attwood, Dr Helmut Marko, Gérard Larrousse and Rudy Lins. And it was further etched into popular history by appearing in Steve McQueen’s masterpiece Le Mans movie.

JÖRG BERGMEISTER
Among the VIP guests in attendance at Air|Water will be Porsche AG Development Driver and Brand Ambassador, Jörg Bergmeister. His successful motorsports career began in 2000 when he won the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. He subsequently claimed victory at the important long distance races including Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, Nürburgring, Petit Le Mans, and Spa. In North America, Jörg won the American Le Mans Series five times in a Porsche 911, as well as the 2006 Grand-Am Championship, culminating in his 2019 World Championship at Le Mans driving the Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE-Am class.

Jörg will be on-hand at Air|Water to meet fans and talk about his current development role with the latest GT3 and GT3 RS, as well as his incredible career with fellow ex-Porsche Works, Flying Lizard driver and Luftgekühlt founder, Patrick Long.

Story originally appeared on Racer