Nierop repaired the 240z and proceeds to achieve greater success, finally
winning the Canadian GT-1 Championship in 1978. It was also that year that a
Formula Atlantic ride was obtained for his home track at
The next year, in '79, Nierop's love affair with the Porsche marquee began in earnest.
driving the "hairy" Kemp Cobra II at the Daytona 24 hr, Nierop secured
a ride with the Dick Barbour Porsche 934 team for IMSA races at
Nierop again returned to the Daytona race in '80 in a Porsche 911, but without the desired results. For Sebring, Barbour offered the Apple Computer Porsche 935, and along with Bobby Rahal, the team brought the car home sixth. Later that year, Nierop teamed with Bob Akin in his Porsche 935 at the 6 hr race at Mosport and again a sixth place finish rewarded the crew for their efforts.
For the next
two seasons, 1981-82, Nierop, with private backing from two prominent Canadian
businessmen went to
In 1983 the
young, now only 25, returned to
The year 1984 looked promising for Nierop. After a couple of abortive attempts to drive a Porsche 935 at Daytona and Sebring, disappointment was slowly attacking the Nierop psyche. In early June the phone call that he know would come eventually materialized, and he instantly agreed to drive the Kremer Bros. Porsche 956 at the World Endurance Championship race at Mosport. Nierop worked diligently with the promoter of the ride, attended media receptions. and did media interviews to assist the sponsor Sperry Inc. achieve publicity for their efforts. The experience of driving Turbo Porsches and a knowledge of Mosport certainly helped Nierop. After practice and qualifying, less than one second separated the three drivers. The Kremers were pleased, as their car was fifth fastest behind the Rothmans and Skoal Porsche 956's. Depending on steady driving, the Sperry 956 worked it's way up to second place after almost four hours. But then the rough Mosport track and extreme heat caused gearbox oil cooler failure and eventually gearbox failure. The Sperry Porsche 956 was not counted as a finisher.
joined Electrodyne Porsche Racing 934 Turbo for the rest of 1985 to compete in
GTO Finishing 2nd at Atlanta and Elkhart Lake, 4th at Watkins Glen and 7th at
the Pocono 500 km. race. (1 DNF due to crash at
In October he joined the Carlsen Racing team to drive the 24 hr. Firehawk race with Walt Maas, John Milledge and Drake Olsen to finish in 1st place overall with a Porsche 944.
highlight of the '86 season was the offer from Bob Akin to share an IMSA GTP
ride in the Coca-Cola Porsche 962 at Road
enough, it was back in
As a result
of his successful competition year,
1987 Was a
year Nierop would rather forget. Although during his visit at the Porsche
factory because of the 10th place in the Porsche North
Nierop continued to get rides (one was with Brian Redman in a 962 at the Daytona 24 hr race-DNF) and also a season with the Rick Hurst Racing 944 in the American Firehawk series. Again he showed well, finishing first several times.
Nierop got the invitation from
1989 was again a typical racing year, there were many good times but also some less then enjoyable moments. Nierop at this point didn’t feel that his career was going where it was intended to go. He loved the high horsepower IMSA machines and the opportunities to drive them were far and few between.
in his blood, he decided to run his own 280Z again the next year (1991)at the
Nierop continued to drive in some amateur races in his Datsun through the 90's. He kept his racing license up because the need to go racing was not leaving him. Then in early 2000 Kees was contacted by the late Bob Carlson from Porsche Cars North America. Mr. Carlson invited him to join the team of past and current Porsche driving champions to instruct and showcase new Porsche models as they were being released to the public. Nierop accepted this immediately and joined the elite pro driver team of Hurley Haywood, David Murry, David Donahue, Patrick Long. This would see Kees at the wheel of the latest Porsches (Carrera GT, 997, 997 Turbo etc.) driving at speed at several North American racetracks.
Nierop also joined Vancouver based Morrisport Advanced Driving as an instructor. The new decade would be all about cars and Porsches and instructing for Nierop. Late 2008 he also joined Porsche Sport Driving School in Birmingham as an instructor.
Then in 2007 Nierop was asked to be the driver for the Canadian entry for the TransSyberia Rally. This is a 7200 km "off road", two week, live in a tent, rally from Moscow, Russia, to Ulaanbataar, Mongolia. Porsche North America had entered three Cayennes and Nierop drove the Canadian entry. His co-driver/navigator was Laurance Yap. Rallying was not something Nierop had done much of in his carreer, but Kees never backs away from a challenge. The rally would end up being great publicity for Kees. Not for his finishing position, but for how he walked away uninjured from a totally destroyed Cayenne in the middle of the Gobi dessert in Mongolia.
Nierop's driving performance was worthy of being invited again for 2008. This time a rare mechanical problem with the Porsche put him out of the race after only two days.
Kees continued to be busy doing several coaching days and appearances. It was at one of the coaching days where Steve Paquette (owner of Bullet Racing) approached Kees to try out one of his Koni Porsche 911's at Mission, BC racetrack. As he drove the racecar 911, Nierop knew he had to do more real racing again. Later that year he drove Steve's 930 Turbo racecar. A 600+ hp car much like the 935's he was used to from the early 80's. It was after driving this car that he was invited to join Bullet Racing as a team driver for the Rolex 24 at Daytona Beach in January 2010.
Nierop proved to be a worthy endurance driver still at the age of 51. A 25 year break from Daytona did not seem to bother Nierop, may be he isn't the top qualifying driver (he'll leave that to the 20 year olds) but when it comes to steady, fast, consistent, easy on the car laps, Nierop is still very much up to it.
Nierop continued with Bullet Racing for 2010 entering the Westcoast Sportscar Championship. Driving the Bullet Racing Porsche GT3 he went on to win the Championship, he was also voted "Driver of the Year" (2010). 2010 Proved to be a busy year as Nierop also continued his duties as a Porsche Canada instructor and also continued as a Porsche Sport Driving School North America instructor. Nierop was involved with the introduction of the Porsche Panamera, Porsche Cayenne Hybrid and of course all the regular dealer visits.
2011 looked promising for more racing, but once again budget issues kept that from materializing. Instead Nierop totally focussed on instructing for both Porsche Canada (World Roadshow at Calabogie) and Porsche Sport Driving School North America. A bright moment was the invitation to drive Jim Edwards' 1977 Porsche 934 Turbo (Ex Wollek LeMans winner) at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV at Laguna Seca, CA. Nierop took full advantage of this opportunity as he qualified the car as the top 934 in the field.
In 2012 Nierop continued to show his enthusiasm for the Porsche brand. He was send to Finland early on in the year to be an instructor at the Porsche AG Camp4. A somewhat (did the ice racing back in the 1980's) new experience with the all wheel drive Porsche C4S which he enjoyed a lot. As a Porsche Canada instructor he did the Canadian Grand Boxster Tour to introduce the all new Boxster and Boxster S. The US did the US World Roadshow Tour from coast to coast and Nierop enjoyed being a steady instructor on that tour. All in all a very busy year instructing for Nierop. Nierop considers himself now officially retired from active racing.
2013 is yet another busy year. Nierop loves being busy with Porsche events and the year started with the Porsche Canada Camp4 and Camp4S programs in PQ at Mecaglisse. Another Porsche Canada Grand Cayman tour and also a Porsche AG Canada World Roadshow at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Also Nierop is enjoying another full year being on the US World Roadshow tour. Later this summer Nierop will be an instructor at the dealer training for the Porsche Panamera S E Plug in Hybrid. No racing, but that's ok, Nierop loves creating fun times for new potential Porsche owners.
In 2014 Nierop again committed himself to
Porsche 100%. Porsche Camp4 Canada in PQ was the first excitement of the year.
Now a seasoned winter driving instructor as this was the third year doing so.
After Camp4, Porsche Canada kept Nierop very busy doing the Western Canadian
Macan Tour and then over to the Eastcoast and team up with Pierre DesMarais to
finish the Canadian Macan Tour. All thru the year Nierop did several Porsche
Canada dealer track days coast to coast and Porsche Travel Club events in
Western Canada. Then Nierop also joined the Porsche USA Roadshow Tour. In
between events Nierop also did several PCA guest appearances and also some
Concourse d'Elegance events. Then later in the year Nierop was the lead
instructor for Team Central dealer training for the new 2015 Porsche Cayenne
and Cayenne S E Hybrid introduction. November was a fun time as Nierop did the
Canadian Dealer/Principal 2015 Porsche Cayenne event including some off road
2015 is already promising to be a great
year. Again it starts of with Camp4 Canada during the month of February and
then there are many other plans after that. Also Nierop has secured his 2015
FIA racing license and hopes to get some driving time on the track again.
Remember that in Oct (9-11) there is Rennsport Reunion V at Laguna…….Have
license and is willing to travel………