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From the Driver’s Seat – Pit+Paddock x Momo Drivers Project: Road to Rennsport (Presented by CSF)
BY Drew Manley //
October 12, 2023
@cooledcollective
Photography: Drew Manley
@cooled.collective
  • The fifth Pit+Paddock Drivers Project road trip experience from LA to Rennsport Reunion 7 welcomed MOMO Motorsport as our title partner.
  • Rennsport Reunion 7 is the world’s largest gathering of Porsche owners, enthusiasts, and race cars and only appears on the event calendar once every four years.
  • Cooled Collective is a hub for automotive content for the enthusiast and its founder, Drew Manley, was a media guest on our drive.
  • As a new offering, thanks to our media partner CSF, Drew offered a unique behind-the-scenes look at our latest Drivers Project adventure.

Media coverage is provided by CSF Radiators


Rennsport Reunion is an all-out Porsche gathering at Laguna Seca where Porsches from all generations, in all forms (whether stock or heavily race car modified) show up to celebrate all things Porsche. Not sure if any other manufacturer does something like this, but I can tell you that Porsche does it and does it well. Hence the brand keeps growing every year almost exponentially.

A few months prior to RR7, Sam Du from Pit and Paddock tells me that he has a special caravan heading up to Laguna Seca where we have a few pitstops at wineries along the way. In usual Sam fashion, this caravan was well put together and had all of the charm to go along with it.

Just a note, this is something that I usually struggle with but being a content creator and also being an enthusiast owner…there is always a struggle between working to capture the moments and also being in the moment. I always do my best to capture the vibes but in hindsight, I always feel like I didn’t do enough. Perhaps this is something I will always struggle with but I just wanted to share that with others who may be dealing with it as well.

DAY 0 – PENDRY IN WEST HOLLYWOOD

The day before we left for the rally, Sam put together a meet and greet at the Pendry Residence in West Hollywood. Definitely a beautiful location to oversee the Los Angeles Skyline and present the cars at the rally. I thought the rally was going to be a large group but to my surprise, it was limited to 9 cars total. I love small and tight groups, much easier to manage and drive with.

Luckily, my Miami family, Danny, and Pete from RMC Miami was in for a last-minute addition to the group where they shipped a 993 GT2 RS Tribute and a DP slant nose to ride along with us all the way to Laguna Seca. The two additional cars added to the retro flavor that I enjoy so much in the world of 911s.

Leading the pack is Sam Du driving the Art of Attack 991.1 GT3 Evo. If you have seen this car, you know just how menacing it is and with Sam driving it, he was in for a surprise with all of those hardcore mods beating on his body all the way up. We also had Ravi’s CSF911 built by Simo at SVAuto to join in on day 0 but ultimately ended up getting transported up because it was going to be presented at the CSF booth. Coincidently it was also the six-year anniversary of Cooled Collective and also the debut of my new RS Murica livery (done by the boys at Aerowerkz) and setup. I just happened to have set up a night gathering that will be posted in another blog post. The four cars lined up here play well off each other and create the vibes.

We ended up having a really nice dinner on the rooftop of one of the units that was for sale at a whopping $13.5 million dollars. Location location location! Sam Du peace-ing out for us on day 0!

DAY 1 – PEC LA TO PASO ROBLES

The start of Day 1 was at the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles. Can’t think of a better place to start the rally. We had our driver’s meeting while we had breakfast and got handed a really sweet goodie bag filled with Momo Motorsport stuff like gloves and snacks for the road.

The PitPad crew put decals on our windshields and then we posed for a group photo before we hit the road. This trip wasn’t about the fastest to get to Monterey but having the most fun. So instead of taking the 5 all the way up, we headed to Malibu and took the 1 up to Paso Robles.

When we got to Malibu, we stopped at one of the many gas stations we were going to be visiting. A super cute moment was when Danny and Peter did a father-and-son filling of octane together. Now that is how you create memories! After we departed Malibu, we ended up taking some of the backroads where I ended up shredding my new tires as my fenders were cutting them real good. A really good warm-up to what was to come tomorrow. It was a mildly warm day but it was definitely packed with hours of driving that made me want to nap as I normally get narcoleptic on long drives. There are countless photos of me sleeping with my mouth wide open if you look hard enough.

We had an amazing stay at Allegretto Vineyard Resort where we had a tour of the vineyard and a private setting just for our group. The wine tasting was also well put together by our host and great conversations were had…some very passionate ones haha…good times.

Then there were moments like this where Pete drove for miles with his hands outside the sunroof because why not? Something you don’t see every day!

DAY 2 – PASO ROBLES TO LAGUNA SECA (THE SCENIC ROUTE)

Day 2 had more aggressive roads leading up to Carmel but they were the most fun of the trip. We started the day by filling up at the local 76 and also getting punked by the super high 91 octane gas prices. We saw many $7-a-gallon prices along the way, the highest any Californian has probably witnessed.

Luckily I had Angel from Art of Attack in the car with me to snap some photos while I was driving. These are prime examples of the energy that was being exuded along the drive. Very very spirited driving to say the least but oh so worth it. We had the opportunity to stop in a few spots to take some photos and also let our air-cooled engines cool off. The GT3 was just there for moral support. We then crossed this bridge that was a single lane and just happened to get lucky where there was no one waiting for us. Perfect time for a photo op! More gas station stops, more tire shredding, and then a driver’s meeting under a highway overpass because there was shade. Car guys doing car guy things.

We got to Laguna Seca around 2 p.m. so we had some time to kill, so we grabbed a group photo. The 993 tribute had all sorts of oils running all over the bumper… mix in some street grime, it looks like running mascara for an emo punk band. Wonderful. The rest of the afternoon was filled with prepping the cars for the exhibition vendor booth so the Art of Attack GT3 and the RMC Miami cars got a nice bath. Saw buddy Chris’ 992 GT3 looking fresh as usual and Mark Arcenal in his newly acquired 992 GT3 RS.

Night 2 ended with us posting up at the Carmel Mission Inn. Really loved this hotel for the vibes and the cool shopping and bars that were located just behind the inn. You should definitely stay here for Car Week.

RACECARS, RACING, AND RELAXATION…RR7

Rennsport Reunion is very hectic. There is so much going on and you want to do everything but you definitely can’t. So you have to pick your priorities on what you will do while you are there.

I spent most of my time working so I ended up being a fan as a secondary. I got to spend a total of 45 minutes in the paddock section where all the dope cars were but it was enough to peep all of the cool stuff I could take. Got a chance to meet up with Stephen Selzler who is an amazing painter doing what he does best. Give him a follow to see all of his amazing work. Had a few opportunities to shoot some trackside panning shots. Seeing racecars in their natural habitat is the best even though the moment is fleeting. Meanwhile, in the paddock, I quickly ran through it as fast as I could so that I could see as much as I could in the time I had.

One of the biggest highlights of the trip was seeing my buddy Nicky Hays race in his first official race at Laguna Seca in a 992 Carrera Cup Car. He ended up finishing 15th in his first race but the future is super bright for this rookie. Can’t wait to see Nicky pushing in this field.

Like all things, these trips are nothing without the people in them. Big ups to the entire Turn 14 Distribution and Pit+Paddock team, the crew at CSF Cooling, the crew at Leen Customs, and Angel from Art of Attack for the memories and amazing time. Also to the sponsors for allowing this trip to happen: Momo Motorsports, Hawk Performance, DBA USA, CSF, and of course Pit+Paddock!


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