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Old 06-16-2012, 10:25 PM   #1
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A Porsche "Tour" road event - first impressions

Went on my first Porsche "Tour" event today and have some first Impressions.

I was expecting a relaxing, but some what spirited drive through the country with the 35+ Porsches that attended but things did not exactly go that way.

All the cars staged at a Porsche dealer, who graciously sponsored the event with coffee, muffins etc

The drivers briefing emphasized safety and keeping the group together with good pacing and keeping the Porsche behind you in your sights thereby having the last car in the group set the pace. Sounds good in concept.

We were also advised that there are more accidents during "Tours" than at actual racing events SO BE CAREFUL.

So off I went in the last group of ~12 cars with me being 3rd from last on my first event.

The highway route to get to the scenic road with the twisties was a hairy nightmare since there were constant lane changes trying to follow the leader and lead to a few close calls as the cars tried to stay grouped and keep up with the lane changes.

The girlfriend did not enjoy the aggressive driving trying to stay positioned during a few of the many off ramps we had to scramble to make.

Seems like late changes made at the front of the group are amplified at the end with less reaction time to make the changes.

Once we got off the highways and on to the scenic roads thinks had calmed considerably thank god and the tension of the highway portion started to ease.

I did notice that I was on the gas and then on the brakes in the twisties and again built the tension as I was mirroring the car in fronts technique.

I decided I needed to do it in my own rhythm which is gear up and gear down with less braking required, and then I could finally start to enjoy the twisties. The car felt more balanced this way as well and grooved the twisties very nicely.

We got near our destination and we say a couple Porsches going what turned out to be the wrong way and followed them as a group for a couple miles before we realized we were lost.

Turned around and headed back and missed our turn to go back and had to keep going till a suitable turnaround could be found.
Caught the right turn off this time but by this time we were alone so we simply went back to the last town and gave up.

Had some pork sandwiches from a couple hillbilly looking guys who could not figure out how to make change at the cash. The apparently opened up this restaurant that same morning and did not even know what anything costs so had to figure out the prices.

The girlfriend whispered that she hopes we dont get tapeworms from their creations. I though about it and figured that the hillbillies may not be able to count, but they could BBQ pork just fine.

On our way out of town we found the Porsche destination and saw that it looked like we were not the only ones to get lost based on the reduced number of Porsches in the parking lot, but by this time we just wanted to get out of dodge and go home so we carried on for a relaxing drive home.

What I have come away with from this experience is that:

- Aggressive driving is not fun for passengers.
- Reaction time decreases the farther back in a group you are so beginners should be put at the front of a group.
- Porsche drivers like going fast even on "Tours", cant change the stripes on that cat.
- Even non-races are race like.
- Drive your own technique, not the other guys.
- Hillbillies make good Pork Sandwiches, but check their math.

Not sure if would go on another "Tour" since I'd be better of just doing auto-X
for that kind of driving.

Perhaps Tours are practice for Auto-X ?

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Last edited by jb92563; 06-17-2012 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:27 AM   #2
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I used to run these events/rally in CVR/PCA so here are my .02.

The first mistake your tourmeister made was to try to keep everyone together. The 2nd mistake was in the CVR region we ALWAYS have printed directions of the route that are handed out and discussed before we leave. It is impossible to caravan a large group like that.

Yes there will always be a few in the group that just want to race...let them make the mistake and get the ticket. Nobody has ever one a tour.

I say talk to your region president and also see if there are other tours (or coffee runs as we call them) and give it another shot. Sometimes whom is running them makes all the difference.

Chris
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:57 AM   #3
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I went on a tour with the local PCA group once. Drove to a car show in a small town about 1 1/2 hours from the city. Well, normally 1 1/2 hours - this run took a about an hour. My little 2.5 was third in line, with a Carrera in front and a new Spyder behind, so I was a little shy on horsepower. I'm all for a spirited drive, but this was nuts. Cruising speed was about 130kph and the leaders were passing 2 or 3 cars at a time with speeds reaching 170 kph (two lane highway, one each way, not divided), and it was all I could do to keep up. It's a wonder we didn't all get pulled over and tossed in jail.

I went along with it because I was new to the group and didn't want to be a wus, but what I should have done, and would do if there was going to be a next time (which there isn't),is pull over and let them all go and then proceed at my own somewhat more safe and sedentary pace.

I gotta say that joining the local PCA chapter was a big disappointment. I was hoping to find a bunch, or at least a few, gearheads that would form a core of technical expertise. Swap ideas, tools, help each other out with tough jobs, etc. It was nothing like that. Just a bunch of well-off retirees and soon-to-be retirees that don't seem to have much interest in the cars themselves. There was one guy that was pointed out to me as the guy who "knows these cars" and on the three occasions that I spoke to him he (with an air of great importance) provided incorrect information everytime and generally came across as a self-absorbed buffoon. Between that, and the general second-class citizen status of Canadian chapters, I quickly got fed up and walked.

Just wasn't for me, I guess.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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The further back you are the more of a whiplash effect you get. The guys in the front were probably driving nice and smooth but by the time you add in all the time for each guy to react as you get further back, the braking gets harder and the acceleration does as well. Long and short...I hate driving together after five minutes.

Just give me directions, I will meet you there.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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Glad for this post...was thinking of joining a local club...never did before... Mostly for the group drives...I enjoy driving back roads myself at at own pace but definitely not crazy as mentioned so far. My car doesn't have PSM which would be a concern. This gives me pause just thinking about it. But maybe other clubs are different...
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:45 PM   #6
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Sadly it sounds like some tour leaders suffered from a bit of irrational exuberance. Bad form. I have been on a handful of PCA tours and they were all run at legal highway speeds and the group was kept together pretty well. The best tour was one where cars were split into smaller groups of 5-6 cars with one leader in each who knew the way. We met up again at several spots along the route for a little local history or in-depth knowledge of the area. This was much easier to manage than trying to keep 50 cars all together. Don't give up on them after one bad experience.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:00 AM   #7
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Wow if this is how other PCA regions are run I can understand why you would be turned off. Thankfully CVR has been great the few years I've been involved...one of the best things I ever did.

Chris
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:10 AM   #8
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Hear what you are saying. Some members of my local club have track experience and money to pay for the fines. Three are DE instructors and maybe two of those are nationally certified. Others of us do our thing as we feel comfortable and safe.

Our club president is the last in line and we all have voice contact through radios if wrong turn. He makes the trip enjoyable for all by taking tail. Cars range from GTS to 914's so hp range is significant. The pleasure comes in using your own driving skills and let others use theirs. Kinda like driving in any urban area.

Be secure in yourself and let the "wild ones" do their thing.

Our monthly meetings and the conversations around those meetings are the backbone of the organization. Not the "spirited" tours.

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