owner of Gunnar Porsche Racing, has a long history of involvement
with Porsches. His start came over 35 years ago with a Porsche
repair shop in Southern California. By 1977, Kevin was a Porsche
racing mechanic, and devoted his full time to the sport, in
1978, forming Gunnar Porsche Racing.
his racing career working with teams racing 934s and 935s, and
eventually into 962s. He also started, what would turn into,
a thriving restoration business, restoring vintage Porsche racing
cars, for this new arena, for these retired racing cars. The
early years included such teams as 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, with Foyt,
Wolleck, Ballot-Lena, and Preston Henn. Kevin even built the
engine for this winning car. It was in the early '80's that
Andy Jensen started working with Kevin. They had first worked
together on the Whittington Brothers Team.
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 the
most historic of Porsche's racing cars, including 917s, 908s
(both long tail coupes, and short tail spyders), and 910s, all
the way back to the earliest RSKs and Speedsters. The first
car Kevin and Andy restored, was the 908 LH (long tail coupe)
for the Porsche Museum.
lead by Kevin's innovative thought process, built the first
open topped prototype to run in the IMSA Camel GTP class, with
the 966 Spyder. Gunnar Racing campaigned the car from 1991,
until the final demise of the class, in 1993. The car, which
wasn't always the fastest, compared with the Nissan and Toyota
factory teams, always attracted attention. It also 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. This car was the
fore runner of the current WSC/LMP cars that are the top class
of professional sportscars, racing today.
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. Gunnar drove with Panoz Motorsports
as a test and endurance driver in 2002 and ran the full season
with them in 2003.
forget their roots in vintage Porsche's, Gunnar Racing is also
very active in historic racing, keeping a whole stable of cars
race ready, including some that Kevin and Andy worked on when
they were being campaigned professionally. The current staff
at Gunnar Racing includes: Kevin Jeannette, Andy Jensen, Bret
Plazak, Paul Frederick, Sharon Jeannette, Gunnar Jeannette and Jesea Jeannette.
It is doubtful that Kevin, Andy, and the entire Gunnar Racing
staff are looking to retire anytime soon. There is far too much
racing yet to experience!