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Old 10-22-2012, 11:35 AM   #1
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Porsche Performance Driving School

Here are my impressions of the 2012 Fall Performance Driving School in San Diego I attended.

The Friday chalk talk was great and we were introduced to all the driving concepts we would learn and practice the following two days with instructors.

Saturday we had the learning stations where each skill was demonstrated and practiced many times before moving on to the next station.

We 52 students were broken into small groups by vehicle/performance type so the instructors could focus on our particular vehicles handling characteristics and we could watch others and learn as well.

My particular group was the mid engine group which included Cayman/Spyder/Boxsters.

There were a bunch of training stations for;
Throttle Steering on a wet foamy circular skid pad,
Collision avoidance on a wet skid pad,
Threshold braking on the wet,
Early, Mid and Late Apex training on a dry Mini Nascar style track(ie two curves & 2 straights)
Slalom around cones with decreasing spacing dry,
and a Mini Auto-X to put it all together.

Sunday was the all day large Auto-X track with an instructor where we also took a turn doing corner flagging and resetting knocked cones.

I had just gotten my Boxster in May of this year and had rather babied it and wondered what it could do performance wise so I jumped at the chance to get in on this school.

My jaw was dropped and alternating with big grins as we were taught how to make the car handle. Who knew such things were even possible with the Boxster.

Even the most timid in our mid engine group of 12 was able to wring the car out and drive it to the ragged edge after our excellent training.

We were confident afterwards that we knew how to control the car on wet foamy pavement and certainly no problem on the dry.

Many cones flew in the process and knowing what the car will do when you do loose control was good to know as well. I think most of us spun or lost control of the car at least a couple times if not many as that was also part of the learning process.

I was also concerned that we might hurt the car from such vigorous handling but I don't think even one car suffered any mechanical issues.
Tire wear was minimal on my new Hankook V12's and they handled the wet fantastically.

If anything I think mine even handles better now since I broke in the new tires and gave them a few heat cycles at this event.

We all learned so much about how to handle our car at higher speeds than we ever felt comfortable with and our driving safety has probably increased 10 fold.

It was a thrilling Saturday but Sunday was the icing on the cake as it started with an insturctor driving our car around the track 1 time to show us how its done and ended with instructors taking their own cars out and showing the students how to race at perhaps 80% of full bore....that was again jaw dropping great fun.

We were all charging around the auto-x throttle steering through curves, hard breaking for a 70mph stretch to a 90 deg sharp right angle turn, slaloms and everything else in between.

We were learning fast on every lap, refining, making changes looking for a faster line and increasing speed.

It was the most adrenaline pumping, fast paced exciting fun you could ever have in 2 days plus the instructors and volunteers were awesome, fun, easy to talk to, and make the event come off like clockwork without a hitch.

I think Porsche should include a coupon for one of these PDS courses with every car as the owners are entirely missing out in many ways if they never get to learn these things.

Its like buying a Race horse and keeping in your yard to keep the grass trimmed.

Capable of so much more than just looking pretty!


Some Video I took, but not the greatest: http://youtu.be/8qjm4BTCAqU


The excellent roaming photographer took a literally a couple thousand pictures but here are a select few of me and the folks I got to know.
https://picasaweb.google.com/118388745157890389551/PorschePerformanceDrivingSchool2012

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2012 Porsche Performance Driving School - SanDiego region
2001 Boxster S, Top Speed muffler, (Fred's) Mini Morimotto Projectors, Tarret UDP,
Short Shifter, Touch Screen Dual Din Radio, 03 4 Bow glass Top (DD & Auto-X since May 17,2012)

Last edited by jb92563; 10-23-2012 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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I am very envious. Everyone should take that course. We have 3 porsches and while I drive them pretty hard, my wife is sort of timid with them ( she is also mid 60's ) and I have been trying to get here to do a driving course. I was in law enforcement for 30 years and have had all kinds of driving courses from pursuit driving to defensive driving and believe that you can't have too much training. Especially when you have a porsche with so much potential.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:57 PM   #3
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I am going to have to do that. Can you tell us what the cost for the weekend was?
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:02 PM   #4
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I am sooooooo jelly!!!! This is def on my bucket list!
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:31 PM   #5
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This really is a pretty extraordinary program put on by PCA-SDR for only $350. Good to see you out there Ray. Your Sunday instructor said you absorbed like a sponge and are ready to taste a race track with confidence now.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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Awesome and congratulations! Glad to see more people getting out there and learning to drive like the Dr. intended! Driving on a track or similar venue is the only place where you'll really be able to learn to go at full tilt.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:29 PM   #7
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That's great to hear! Sounds like you had a great experience. I did the PDS in San Diego back in 2007 and loved it! Good times...
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kls View Post
I am going to have to do that. Can you tell us what the cost for the weekend was?
It was $350 for Fri 6-9pm(w/dinner), Sat 7am-5pm(w/breakfast & Lunch), Sun 7am-5pm(w/breakfast & Lunch).

Thats a lot of time with racers/instructors and you rotate through about 20 instuctors through the weekend with One on Sunday to help you keep improving on the Auto_x on Sunday.

Nothing is timed so its not competitive in that sense, although you will feel like Mario Andretti by late Sunday.

Also its all about safety so no one and no cars get hurt.

Also meeting all these great folks and making new friends is also fantastic.

You will definitely find supporting folks that are more than happy to share everything they know.
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2012 Porsche Performance Driving School - SanDiego region
2001 Boxster S, Top Speed muffler, (Fred's) Mini Morimotto Projectors, Tarret UDP,
Short Shifter, Touch Screen Dual Din Radio, 03 4 Bow glass Top (DD & Auto-X since May 17,2012)
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainman View Post
I am very envious. Everyone should take that course. We have 3 porsches and while I drive them pretty hard, my wife is sort of timid with them ( she is also mid 60's ) and I have been trying to get here to do a driving course. I was in law enforcement for 30 years and have had all kinds of driving courses from pursuit driving to defensive driving and believe that you can't have too much training. Especially when you have a porsche with so much potential.
There was a 60ish lady with a brand new 2013 Boxster S, 9 days off the dealers lot and she went from timid and scared to driving like a racer by Sunday.

Several times she did not think she could do it but she built confidence all weekend with great instructors and definitely be a much safer driver now with all that HP and agility under he command in her repertoire now.
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2012 Porsche Performance Driving School - SanDiego region
2001 Boxster S, Top Speed muffler, (Fred's) Mini Morimotto Projectors, Tarret UDP,
Short Shifter, Touch Screen Dual Din Radio, 03 4 Bow glass Top (DD & Auto-X since May 17,2012)

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Old 10-23-2012, 05:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topless View Post
This really is a pretty extraordinary program put on by PCA-SDR for only $350. Good to see you out there Ray. Your Sunday instructor said you absorbed like a sponge and are ready to taste a race track with confidence now.
Yaa, he was a great instructor and things were really starting to come together for me with his help.

I had such a blast doing it too as the confidence you get on Saturday gives you the guts to go and let it all hang out on Sunday feeling good that things probably wont get too far out of wack and if they do, no worries, just part of the learning experience.

The first wet lap on the Auto-x was a mess, knocked over all 5 cones on the slalom(late) , slid wide out side the track coming in too hot on one, and under braked at the 90degree right angle corner and slide straight through, but each lap after that was better and better.

I just had to get those cones out of the way .

The second session after the track dryed it was amazing how fast we got going.

Terrific fun!!!
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2012 Porsche Performance Driving School - SanDiego region
2001 Boxster S, Top Speed muffler, (Fred's) Mini Morimotto Projectors, Tarret UDP,
Short Shifter, Touch Screen Dual Din Radio, 03 4 Bow glass Top (DD & Auto-X since May 17,2012)
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:41 AM   #11
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JB - I'm sure that you're thinking about how much better you could be with another full weekend! This is how it all starts. Then you want to do another weekend. And another. Now you know why some of us do 25-30 track days a year.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:04 PM   #12
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JB - I'm sure that you're thinking about how much better you could be with another full weekend! This is how it all starts. Then you want to do another weekend. And another. Now you know why some of us do 25-30 track days a year.
Yes, the thought about the next DE or Auto-X date has already entered my head.

So since Im a PCA member but registered with the San Diego region can I still go to the OC and other PCA region's events?

El Torro is only 35 miles from me and I'd HAVE to drive the Ortega Hwy to get there.
Pretty good incentive I'd say.
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2012 Porsche Performance Driving School - SanDiego region
2001 Boxster S, Top Speed muffler, (Fred's) Mini Morimotto Projectors, Tarret UDP,
Short Shifter, Touch Screen Dual Din Radio, 03 4 Bow glass Top (DD & Auto-X since May 17,2012)
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