Find or Sell any Parts for Your Vehicle in USA

Porsche names Norbert Singer grand marshal for Rennsport Reunion

Thu, 06 Oct 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Porsche has named longtime race-car engineer Norbert Singer the grand marshal for the Rennsport Reunion IV on Oct. 14 at the Mazda Raceway.

Singer, 71, is the only Porsche racing engineer to have contributed to each of the brand's 16 Le Mans victories.

“I can declare with great confidence that every race car that has been produced by Porsche since 1970--and we have hundreds of them coming to Rennsport--has a little bit of Norbert Singer in it,” said Detlev von Platen, president of Porsche North America.

Singer first entered the Porsche world of racing circa 1970 in Weissach, Germany, where he designed a cooling system for the newly introduced 917. He moved into the lead engineering position for both factory teams and private customer squads with the 917, the 935, the 936, the 956, the 962C, the TWR-Spyder and the 911 GT1 98. Singer also was in charge of determining strategies for the races.

More recently, Singer has assisted with the RS Spyder and 911 GT3 RSR projects, and he consulted for Porsche as the rules liaison with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest. When he retired from full-time work in 2003, the ACO presented him with the Spirit of Le Mans trophy--an award traditionally reserved for an accomplished race-car driver or the owner of a car company.

Singer's name is tied to many other Porsche motorsports successes apart from Le Mans. For instance, the 956 and 962C race cars earned 10 world championships between 1982 and 1986. Singer has often cited the 962 as his favorite racing prototype.

In retrospect, Singer's strategy for success involved dissecting a new set of rules and designing a race car that satisfied the guidelines but ignored the intent. For instance, the FIA crafted regulations for the Porsche 935 prototype so that it would strongly resemble passenger cars rolling off the assembly line in the late 1970s. Instead, Singer's product resembled the full-blown prototypes of the past, as he had exploited the loose phrasing of regulations for the fender shape as well as the lack of mention about roofline or quarter-panel dimensions. His recipe has served Porsche well for four decades.

By Michelle Koueiter