Porsche Rennsport: A Robinson family reunion

Porsche Rennsport A 'Family Reunion' For Former Driver Chip Robinson DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (April 23, 2004) -- Chip Robinson is among the sports car greats attending this weekend's Porsche Rennsport Reunion II at historic Daytona ...

Porsche Rennsport A 'Family Reunion' For Former Driver Chip Robinson

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (April 23, 2004) -- Chip Robinson is among the sports car greats attending this weekend's Porsche Rennsport Reunion II at historic Daytona International Speedway.

But Robinson's trip back to the "World Center of Racing" is more for his eight-year-old son Skylar than himself.

"It's really enjoyable to have him here," Robinson said. "This is a motorsports reunion. It's a chance to come back and see all the old cars but see all the old people I use to work with and race against. That's a lot of fun.

"I really enjoy it because my son Skylar is eight and he really didn't see any of this when it was going on. It's a great chance for him to come and see what it's all about."

The Porsche Rennsport Reunion, which began Friday and runs through Sunday, has brought together an unprecedented gathering of significant Porsche vintage racecars owned by private collectors, Porsche Club racers, former Porsche factory drivers and a selection of historic cars from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

Robinson is among the sports car legends in attendance including Dan Gurney, Brian Redman, Jacky Ickx, Hurley Haywood, Vic Elford and Richard Attwood.

During the first day of the Rennsport Reunion, Robinson couldn't help but remember his lone overall victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 1987. He co-drove a Porsche 962 with Al Holbert, Derek Bell and Al Unser Jr.

"It was a great team," Robinson said. "Personally, it was one of my better races ever. I drove about nine hours of it. I drove a lot in that race. Of course, it was great because we were racing against A.J. (Foyt), Al (Unser) Sr. and Danny (Sullivan). The competition was fierce. It was just a great race. We had problems we overcame and it was close the whole time. I still think about that one."

The 50-year-old Robinson, who retired from racing in the early 1990s and lives in Augusta, Ga., operates a construction business. Since he's not involved in racing anymore, this weekend's Porsche Rennsport Reunion gave him the opportunity to see his old friends and cars, including the No. 14 Lowenbrau Porsche 962 that propelled him to his Rolex 24 triumph in 1987.

"I don't get to see them any other place because I'm not involved in racing anymore," Robinson said. "I think when you're in the middle of (racing) you don't see the big picture of how great it is. Now, I can come back and see all the cars and people, it gives me a much different appreciation than what I appreciated back then. (In the past), we were there to win. Now I see the scope of it and how great the cars were."

The Porsche Rennsport Reunion II continues on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. For more information, call (386) 253-7223.

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Series VINTAGE