NoBraking
Episode 125

Kevin Jeanette

NoBraking published on

Kevin Jeannette is the owner of Gunnar Porsche Racing and has a long history of involvement with Porsches. His start came over 40 years ago with a Porsche repair shop in Southern California. By 1977, Kevin was a Porsche racing mechanic, and in 1978, formed Gunnar Porsche Racing. Kevin began his racing career working with teams racing 934s and 935s, and eventually into 962s. He also started in tandem with his racing work a thriving restoration business.

The early years included working with teams including Cliff Kearns/Milt Minter in a 934, the Whittington Brothers at the Indianapolis 500 and in a 934, and 935s. Kevin went on to crew the Swap Shop Porsche 935, including the '83 Daytona 24 Hour winning car (which he built the engine), with Foyt, Wolleck, Ballot-Lena, and Preston Henn. Kevin moved on to Porsche 962s, with Swap Shop Racing, then Shelton Racing, Primus Racing, Bayside Racing, and Busby Racing. All the while, Gunnar Racing was making a name for itself, for restoring Porsche's racing cars, including 917s, 908s (both long and short tails), 910s, RSKs and Speedsters. A fun fact is that the first car Kevin and Andy restored was the 908 LH (long tail coupe) for the Porsche Museum.

Gunnar Racing, built the first open topped prototype to run in the IMSA Camel GTP class, with the 966 Spyder campaigning the car from 1991, until the class ended in 1993. The car attracted great drivers, such as Derek and Justin Bell, Hurley Haywood, John Paul, Jr., Jay Cochran and David Donahue, and some Hollywood stars, such as Bobby Carradine, and Chad McQueen.

Gunnar Racing took on a new amount of enthusiasm, in 1999, as Kevin's son Gunnar, who grew up in, and around, the cars his father was preparing, took to the sport, as a driver, at age 17. Since then, Gunnar Racing ran the 2000 Rolex 24, with Gunnar and Paul Newman driving, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where they finished 6th in the GT class, and Gunnar went into the record books, as the youngest driver ever to complete the race, at 18 years, and 33 days old. Not to forget their roots in vintage Porsche's, Gunnar Racing is also very active in historic racing, keeping a whole stable of cars race ready.

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