I was honoured to recently be invited by Porsche to participate in their exclusive Porsche Track Experience. The team flew me to Adelaide, where they arranged for me to pick up my car; an incredibly elegant Cayman in a hot shade of red. Red happens to be my favourite colour, and is no doubt the perfect shade reserved for the most luxurious sports cars.
PORSCHE TRACK EXPERIENCE
The Porsche Track Experience is basically an ingenious initiative in which a brilliant team of driving professionals provide personalised advice and expertise to the drivers of their vehicles.
“Maximum performance is about more than horsepower and torque alone. To harness raw power, you not only need advanced technology, you also need a solid repertoire of driving techniques. To push the limits, you firstly have to explore your own.”
I met with the friendly driving crew who were overflowing with knowledge and passion for what they do. It was refreshing to see and they made me feel incredibly at ease when I was naturally a little nervous to be driving around playfully in such a high end vehicle.
If you’re wondering who treats themselves to such an experience, well, you could be part of a group of Porsche owners looking to make the most of your ride, or you can book it as a wicked fun corporate team-building exercise or incentive program. You basically select from a wide variety of one day courses, or alternatively customise a course to suit your purpose.
No need to worry about your current skill set, as you’ll get to choose to participate in a level that suits your driving experience. You can then graduate your way up through various training levels as you improve and ‘finesse your driving style’.
HOTEL & TRACK
The location is at The Bend Motorsport Park in Tailem Bend, which is about an hour from Adelaide, in South Australia. It’s a world class, state of the art facility, designed with around seven circuits ranging from 3.4 to 7.77 kilometres. Conveniently located at The Bend is a 100 room hotel, the Welcome Centre, in the pit building so you don’t need to make the commute from the city unless you want to. If hotels aren’t your thing, there’s a caravan and camping tourist park and also a soon to be constructed airstrip for light aircraft, and helipads, in case you want to arrive James Bond style.
Aside from the Porsche Track Experience, the park is the base for many international events, national series racing, safety training and more.
GUARDS RED 718 CAYMAN
So after picking up my elegant ride, I spent a few moments luxuriating in the rich leather interiors, which by the way comes lined in shades of Agate Grey, Luxor Beige or black. Other cool interior features, just to name a couple from the long list, include the heated multifunction steering wheel and high res colour display.
Some of the other specifications include ParkAssist from and rear, a SPORT button for ‘activating dynamic setups for engine and transmission’ and an extensive sound package for those like me who love to listen to music whilst driving. With endless customizable add ons, it’s super easy to cross the line to gluttony.
If you don’t like to be the centre of attention, then this jaw-dropping set of wheels is not for you. I had dozens of people peering through the thermally insulated glass to catch a glimpse of who was behind the wheel.
This beauty stole the show wherever I drove, with its show-stopping intelligent lightweight body, sports exhaust system and Porsche Dynamic Light System; a designer drive to say the least.
I learnt many new driving skills, such as how to use ABS brakes at high speeds to avoid an accident, as well as loads of small tips such as how to steer, the difference between understeer and oversteer, closed road circuit lapping, vision control and seating ergonomics; all of which I will certainly take into practice going forward.
The most valuable thing I learnt in level one was how to respond properly to critical situations, such as how to control the car to avoid a collision in a split second. I know that having this knowledge will keep me extra safe and the more people that can learn this the better for road safety.
I’ve loved the Porsche brand for as long as I can remember, so I’m so glad that this experience exceeded my expectation tenfold, and confirmed to me how brilliant, clever and prestigious they really are as a brand and as a team.
It was hard to hand this beautiful car back before flying home to Sydney.
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to the wonderful Porsche Australia team, and to my wonderful experience guide, Morgan, for the opportunity to drive this beautiful vehicle and to meet the faces behind the brand. Thank you for also thoughtfully insisting on putting me up in a hotel when my return flight had been cancelled due to weather conditions.
I highly recommend The Porsche Track Experience. It is truly fantastic and I look forward to returning very soon to attempt the next level of expertise in the program.