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    Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    I just returned from Birmingham where I attended the Porsche driving school for the Cayenne. It was two days of instruction with a lot of off-road time and track time in Cayennes. We also had a few laps in 911's. I will just post a couple of photos for tonight but I will have more detail and photos tomorrow. The one below is the large steep hill that we all went down. It is very heavily rutted now and will probably need maintenance soon but at this stage it is really very interesting. Your descent is mostly sliding, no matter how slow you try to take it.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Here's another one from the top of that hill looking down. The instructor on the right is telling the driver to straighten the front wheels.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Great shots. Can't wait to see more.

    Looks like a lot of fun. Do you learn anything though, or is it just for kicks?

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Looks like a blast, it will be interesting to hear your observations on the course. Is that John Lewis pointing?

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Great Pics!! Thanks for sharing.. Im doing PDE with the 911 in September

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Great Pics...looks like fun times! AK

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Great pics!!!!

    remember that we are waiting the other pics yuo have....

    Ciao
    Dario

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    The Cayenne PDE is really an incredible experience that I would fully recommend to any Cayenne owner or potential owner. The training is extremely well organized, well thought out, planned etc. They pack a tremendous amount of stuff into two days. Jeff Purner, the PDE Operations Manager, stays on top of things to ensure everything goes smoothly. Jeff is very upbeat and is obviously a highly motivated person. He sees to it that everyone has a positive experience.

    All of the instructors were very impressive. They were knowledgeable and helpful and were all great communicators. I'm sure not all race car drivers are able to teach as well as this group can so Jeff and Porsche should be given credit for assembling such a great team. Some of the instructors, like John Lewis in the photo above, really stand out. John is highly skilled and also very funny. You can get more information on Jeff, John and the other instructors at this LINK.

    The photo below is of the ticketing office for the racetrack and also our classroom, located on the second floor.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Wow, Gary...looks like you really had a lot of fun. Can't wait to see the other pictures.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    There were four classroom sessions, two each day, totaling about 3 1/2 hours. They covered vehicle dynamics, track and off-road techniques and Cayenne technical and mechanical features. Cass Whitehead did most of the technical instruction.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    I was also in this class (sat next to man with the white hair and beard). On the last afternoon, in addition to an autocross team challenge, we spent time on the 2.3 mile, 15 turn road course track in the Cayenne Turbo, the S and the 996 C2. The Cayennes seemed quite fast until we got into the 996, then it was like another world on the track- the weight and size of the Cayenne became quite evident. Lots of fun, great instructors.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Quote:
    Seth said:
    I was also in this class (sat next to man with the white hair and beard). On the last afternoon, in addition to an autocross team challenge, we spent time on the 2.3 mile, 15 turn road course track in the Cayenne Turbo, the S and the 996 C2. The Cayennes seemed quite fast until we got into the 996, then it was like another world on the track- the weight and size of the Cayenne became quite evident. Lots of fun, great instructors.



    Seth is right, the Cayennes were great on the track but the C2 was better. I was riding with Cass Whitehead and two other classmates in a Turbo on the last day as he tried to catch a 911. We seemed to be able to stay up in the straights but the Carrera pulled away in the turns. I might point out that the Turbo was pulling, in addition to it's own considerable heft, two more passangers than the 911's.

    After that I got a ride with John Lewis in a 911 and he put on quite a show racing against Jack Baldwin in another 911. They had obviously rehearsed this, it was so good. It was bumper to bumper racing with late passing deep into the corners, cutting off the other driver. They did their best to scare the cr*p out of us! It was great.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Quote:
    jdrive said:
    Great shots. Can't wait to see more.

    Looks like a lot of fun. Do you learn anything though, or is it just for kicks?



    The "Hot Laps" with the instructors at the end of the second day was the only "just for kicks" thing we did, and even that was quite a learning experience. The rest of the time was fairly intense instruction time with lots of feedback from the instructors. They were always polite and respectful but they never hesitated to tell you how you were screwing up , or to commend you when you got it right.

    The instruction was about 20% class time, 40% track and 40% off-road. The off-road started with a technical training course that had obstacles designed to simulate a variety of real world off-road conditions. The chief off-road instructor's name was Jay, maybe Seth recalls his last name, and he was a complete expert in off-road driving. I believe he said he had done training courses for Land Rover. In the photo below he is following along beside the Cayenne on the right. The instructors would walk along beside the car explaining what you should be doing or how to fix what you were doing wrong.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Here is another shot from the end of the course. There were several points where you got the Cayenne's feet up in the air. The main point of most of it was to take it slow and not let the car slam down on it's suspension.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    After the technical course we had a little contest with these vertical poles that we had to navigate between without touching. There were about twenty of these gates.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    My downfall came on this gate that was placed on a slope. I was so focused on getting my mirrors cleanly through, which was quite a challenge, I neglected my tires and both driver's side tires touched the uphill pole.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    After that we drove through the woods on a more real life adventure, climbing rocky slopes and wading deep water. This all ended with the steep slope I showed pictures of in the beginning. This was the most fun and the most instructive. It demonstrated the importance of taking this type of terrain very slowly and also highlighted what impressive ground clearance the Cayenne has. I think most normal 4WD vehicles would have been high-centered on this slope.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    The track events consisted of about 1/2 technical training, wet and dry autocross, slalom and high speed lane change, and the other 1/2 straight track time. Here is a photo of the autocross. I took this photo the second day when we were competing for best time. I believe the Honda Racing trucks held motorcycles that were waiting for their turn on the track.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    The wet autocross was on a specially prepared surface that was especially slick when wet, more like ice. This really got the PSM going and was mainly instructive in how poorly some of us drove under those conditions. Most of the problem was understeer and overcorrecting for that.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Doc Bundy did the slalom instruction. His biggest deal was convincing us to focus further down the track and not to lock in on the corner or gate coming up. We had a four gate slalom and he told us to stay focused on the last cone for the whole course. Here he watches to see who was listening.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    They served breakfast and lunch at the track everyday. Breakfast was in the classroom building and lunch was on a lower floor of the Barber Motorsports Museum. Lunch, seen in this photo, was especially nice with fantastic main courses and deserts.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    There were separate Cayennes for off-roading and for track. All the off-road versions were equipped with air suspension and 18" wheels. They also had non Porsche approved Michelin off-road tires (maybe because Michelin was a sponsor? ). The track Cayennes had steel suspension and 20" Michelin Diamaris. Of course the Turbos on the track had air suspension. The on track performance of the two suspensions was interesting. The Turbo obviously had the edge on the track because it had the power coming out of the corners that the S lacked. On the track though, I think my personal preference for the suspension was the steel. It was plenty stiff enough and maybe stiffer than the Turbo. Subjectively it seemed there was a little less lean in the corners with the steel suspension and easier to handle in a drift. I would suspect however that those 20" wheels on a steel suspension might be a little too stiff for the street.

    The off-road Cayennes got pretty dirty on our second day in the woods. Here's one of them getting a bath.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Sounds exciting!
    Thanks for sharing Gary

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Gary,

    What a trip that was! I did the one-day Land Rover course a couple of years ago but it was nothing like this.

    Thanks for the post.

    Dain

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    It was a great trip!

    So you did the Land Rover course? We may have had the same instructor, Jay. He is the one with the clipboard below. He has done some work for Land Rover, and owns a Defender 90 himself, heavily modified he said . Since he was such a Rover aficionado, I asked him about the Discovery platform, if it was the same as the Defender. He said yes, it had been. In fact the basic frame had been handed down from a the original Land Rover. I guess that platform goes way back.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Jay was very good. He calls Portsmouth, New Hampshire home although I don't think he is there very much. I asked him if we could've gotten up that steep hill you see the Cayennes going down in the photos. He said that in nice dry conditions maybe but it wouldn't be easy.

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Are these driving events by invitation only or can one sign up and go to these? When would the next one be?
    thanks

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Anyone can sign up, they have several different programs. Check here for all the info.

    Porsche Driving Experience

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Quote:
    Seth said:
    Jay was very good. He calls Portsmouth, New Hampshire home although I don't think he is there very much. I asked him if we could've gotten up that steep hill you see the Cayennes going down in the photos. He said that in nice dry conditions maybe but it wouldn't be easy.



    Jay Tischler was excellent! I have a little more information now about Jay, courtesy of Jeff Purner. Thanks Jeff!

    Jay designed the off-road training course at Birmingham and made it so that it would emphasize the Cayenne's special capabilities. He was also a driving instructor for Land Rover at Lanham Maryland and The Equinox in Manchester Vermont. He was a level three instructor (highest level). He has also been involved in Department of Defense Special Forces training at The Equinox and The 4X4 Center in Williston Vermont. Porsche is lucky to have him!

    Re: Porsche Driving Experience - Cayenne

    Gary,
    Jay wasn't at mine, I did a course in West Texas. Great but clearly not as comprehensive as the Porsche Driving Experience.

    However, I DID do an earlier Porsche sponsored school at Texas World Speedway many years ago (1988) at which Brian Redman was the lead instructor. He rode a couple laps with me to critique what he called "very smooth driving style" and my "cool car," a 1967 912.

    Driving schools are great experiences.

    Dain

     
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