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VANTHOOR: Rennsport Reunion, Petit Le Mans… and a New Piggy

Laurens Vanthoor files his latest Sportscar365 column, catching up on Rennsport, Petit Le Mans and a new ‘Piggy’…

Photo: Porsche Cars North America

First I need to talk about Rennsport, because it was quite a unique experience.

This year was my first trip to Goodwood and first trip to Rennsport. They are awesome events if you love cars, motorsports and history. For me, Rennsport is the Porsche version of Goodwood.

When I joined Porsche, a big part of the motivation was its motorsport history and success. I thought to be part of that would be really cool.

If you come to an event like Rennsport and see the cars and people, it opens your eyes even more to how lucky you are to be one of the factory drivers racing the RSR and competing at Le Mans.

It’s pretty amazing and something to be proud of. Moments like this you think to yourself ‘I have a great job.’

We had a lot of fun at Rennsport because we didn’t have to race so we weren’t stressed. We just did some laps for fun and enjoyed the event.

It was especially enjoyable knowing we had a tribute to Porsche’s history in the works for Petit Le Mans.

Photo: Porsche

We saw at Le Mans that fans seem to love the throwback liveries, so I was really excited about the Mobil 1 livery we ran at Petit. I think it’s great because the 1998 GT1 cars are the first Porsche cars I saw racing as a kid.

That sticks in your memory and to have that livery on your car is pretty cool.

I don’t have much to say about the race really. Petit Le Mans kind of summed up how the season went for us. We were in a good position to win, but then something happened and we didn’t.

I like having some time off now and time to reflect and prepare.

This is the time of the year where you can analyze what we can do better as a team. I also like to get back to training.

I’ve lost some of my form and when I go riding and my friends have given me a beating, so I need to get into my winter training program.

Photo: Laurens Vanthoor

I just finished building my ‘Piggy’ Le Mans bike. I got the bike from Scott, which I have a long relationship with.

After Le Mans, I saw pictures of a bike painted in that livery. I forwarded that picture to the boss of Scott Belgium and said ‘I don’t care how, but I need this,’ and he said ‘I agree.’

A week later he told me I’d be getting a frame painted in that livery.

I received it a couple weeks ago and finally got all the parts together and finished it this evening. I tried to make it as light and aero as possible.

I got some special ceramic bearings from CeramicSpeed, so when you turn the pedal, it’s a very smooth movement. I’ve built it all myself.

I never asked for an autograph from anyone before, but I asked Michael [Christensen] and Kevin [Estre] to sign my bike. I think it’ll be pretty cool.

I’ll only use it on special occasions when the roads are nice and the weather is clear. Otherwise it will stay here as a memory.

Photo: Porsche

Macau is next month. It’s an event I look forward to all year. It’s a very special event. The track is absolutely insane. There is no other street track that compares to it.

The funny thing is, I’ll be racing against my usual teammate Earl [Bamber].

It’s not often that you have the kind of relationship we do as teammates; we get along very well and work well together. Obviously we’re still race drivers though, so it will be interesting to see how we compete against each other.

We’ve already been making jokes about it, if the ‘bromance’ is going to end that weekend. There are two other drivers there that I will accept if they beat me; one is Earl, the other is my brother Dries.

I told my wife to tell our baby she needs to stay in there until I get back, but it shouldn’t be a problem as she’s not due until the third week in December.

The race season may be over, but it’s still exciting times ahead, privately.

Laurens Vanthoor (@VanthoorLaurens) is a former Blancpain GT Series and FIA GT World Cup champion driving for Porsche GT Team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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