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Porsche Club of America
Golden Gate Region
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August 2008. Volume 48, Issue 8
In This Issue
President's Message
Letter from the Editor
Competition Corner
Board of Directors
Membership Report
2008 DE Schedule
The Power Chef
Porsche Roads
GGR Track Myths
Zone 7 AX #4 & #5
Bear Valley Autocross
Coyote Run VIII
Porcheplatz at Laguna
Quick Links
Dear Porsche Enthusiast,

Welcome to The Nugget, the email newsletter of the Golden Gate Region, Porsche Club of America.
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If you have any trouble viewing this email, you can click here to go to the online versions of this newsletter. For comments or feedback, click here to email the editor.

Thanks for reading.
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Pawlina









Pawlina Paraskova CG
Executive Editor of The Nugget
Carlsen concours
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President's Message
Bill Dally--by Bill Dally, GGR President

Thank you Switzers for the new timing system.

Like many members of the club, I am extremely grateful to the many volunteers who work tirelessly to put on our events and to make them run smoothly.  All of these volunteers deserve our hearty thanks.

Of the many volunteers who make our club function, our autocross chairs, Carl and Matt Switzer, and our time trial chair, Andrew Forrest, deserve special thanks for the long hours they put in to put on an entire series of events.   They work tirelessly to put on one event and before it is over they are already starting preparations for the next one.

The Switzers deserve special thanks this month for their initiative and efforts in putting together a new autocross timing system.  As former autocross chair myself, I have painful memories of all of the difficulties caused by the old system - and in particular caused by failures of the timing cables.  Carl and Matt have acquired a new system that includes wireless links from the timing lights to the timing trailer - eliminating the troublesome cable.  The system also includes computer software that records each car's run directly into electronic timing cards - eliminating our paper timing cards and greatly simplifying trailer operations.  When the system is fully deployed, it will include a bar code system.  Bar code labels will be printed and attached to each car, and a bar code scanner will scan the labels to identify the cars as they approach the start.  This will further automate timing and scoring and make our events run even smoother.

Being personally familiar with Murphy's Law, I was amazed at how well the new system worked during its debut performance at the July autocross.  This was no accident.  In addition to the hundreds of hours Matt and Carl have spent researching the system and acquiring the pieces, Matt spent countless additional hours trying it out, debugging it, and entering data on 400 participants.  It was this tireless preparation that led to a smooth event.

At that autocross I did hear a few grumbles.  I have trouble understanding people grumbling on a beautiful day at Alameda with views of the city, the sound of Porsche engines exerting themselves, and the smell of exhaust - but, maybe some people aren't getting enough sex.  The grumbles I heard had to do with delays in the event and the number of runs.  The delays were largely due to people not following directions - and getting their data entered in the system at registration, and the number of runs was due to a course with a late crossover that slowed our tempo to half of its normal value (a car every 40 seconds vs 20 seconds).

Still, it's a free country, and people can complain if they want to.  However, they need to remember the first rule of complaining:  if you complain about something, be prepared to step forward and volunteer to do something about it.

Serve on the board

Four PCA/GGR board positions will become vacant at the end of this year: vice president, competition director, social director, and membership director.  The board is currently looking for individuals to nominate for these positions.   Nominees will then be voted on by the membership.   If you are interested in getting more involved, here's your chance.  Send an e-mail to the board to volunteer or for more information.

The Allure of the Older Car

Enough with club business.  Now I can get down to what I like to do as club president - writing a column about my passion for Porsches.

As a bicycle commuter, I don't drive every day.  However several days a week, when I have occasion to drive, I face a tough decision: which Porsche should I put through its paces that day.  More often than not, I pick my 1964 356 SC. 

Why do I pick the 64 with its 1.6L four over my Boxster S with its 3.2L six, A/C, and heated seats? Its hard to pin down, but on many days I'm drawn to the 356 because its just fun to drive.  (I have to confess that on nice sunny days, I often opt for an open car - and not having an open 356 I choose either my 1973 914 or the Boxster).

Part of the allure of the older car is simplicity.  The Boxster is a complex car with lots of systems, ECUs, PSM, etc....  The 356 is a very simple car. The only transistors in the car are in the Blaupunkt Frankfurt radio.  There is something refreshing about driving a car where you understand every part (and have removed and serviced most of them).

bill car

Nostalgia is another factor in choosing to drive the older car.  Driving the 356 brings back memories from days long past when I rode in similar cars.  The memories are triggered not just from the sight of the car and its interior, but also from the feel of driving it and the sounds the twin Solexes make.  The large thin steering wheel, the austere instrument panel, and the feel of the shifter all add to the vintage driving feel.

One also gets a lot of attention driving an older Porsche.  You get many envious glances and lots of people come by as you park at the bank or the grocery store to ask questions and leave compliments.  This is even true of my 356 which can best be described as a "driver" in need of new paint.

Perhaps the allure of an older car is a lot like the allure of an older woman.  Familiarity, comfort, sophistication, and stability win out over energy and the promise of vicarious youth.

Bill
Jerry WoodsSmart Racing
Letter from the Editor
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--by John Celona, Nugget Editor

Two-Year Anniversary Bonus Issue!

This issue actually marks the close of the second year that we've been publishing The Nugget as an email newsletter rather than a printed, mailed magazine. I hope the progress since those early issues has been evident. We must be doing something right: there is a steady stream of new people subscribing to The Nugget each month. New subscribers receive a welcoming email and an invitation to join GGR. Hopefully, some of them will.

Of course, we couldn't afford to offer a free subscription to The Nugget if we were still printing and mailing. Actually, we couldn't afford printing and mailing to members, either! Perhaps this isn't widely known to the members, but the change to an email newsletter happened to come just in time to avoid what would have been a severe financial problem for the club with dropping attendance at the Drivers' Ed and Time Trial Series (a problem Andrew Forrest has been resolutely working to remedy. See his article in this issue).

Some members still opine that they would prefer a printed Nugget. Most Porsche Club members seem to feel otherwise, as evidenced by all the regions in Zone 7 going to some sort of electronic distribution, with a few still printing and mailing for those willing to pay extra for that. GGR was the first, as in many other things. From my perspective, what we're now able to do with The Nugget in terms of content, color, links, and instant delivery simply isn't possible with printing and mailing.

Then there's this bonus August issue. Traditionally, The Nugget didn't publish two months out of the year (August being one of those months) to save money and give the editor a break. But doing The Nugget this way, we can publish an issue every month without wrecking the club's budget or my free time.

Such a deal.

As always, thanks for reading.

Cheerios,
John
CommCovRennwerks
Competition Corner
Thompson
--by Dan Thompson, Competition Director


Dan is up to his cones this month with setting everything up for the two days of autocross at the Marina Airfield near Monterey this weekend. He'll be back next month. -Ed.
European Autotech
BPS Repro
Board of Directors
Celona--by John Celona, GGR Secretary

GGR Board of Directors
Meeting Minutes for July 23, 2008

The meeting was held at the residence of the President, Bill Dally. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. Present were Matt Switzer, Bob Murillo, Bill Dally, Dan Thompson, Andrew Forrest, Larry Adams, Mark Powell, Jeff Kost, Claude Leglise, and GGR member Kevin Webster.

Call for agenda changes: none

Call for calendar changes: none

Approval of May minutes: already approved via email.

Postmortem of events

5/24-25 DE/TT 3 Buttonwillow: weather was great and turnout was good.
6/7 Boxster Brunch
6/15 Beginners auto X school at Monster Park: it was a lot of fun.
6/20 Friday Night Social
6/21 Alameda Autocross #4: there were difficulties with the trailer arriving late, which made for a late start, plus a course layout issue which required rerouting that part of the course. Add these to the lessons learned.
7/18/08 Friday Night Social
7/19 Alameda Autocross #5: first tryout for the new timing system. There were a few glitches, but it basically worked. The system does require accurate data: correct numbers on cars, all cars in the system, etc. Turnout was really good for this event and people liked the course.

Directors' Reports

President: nothing to report.

Vice-President

Upcoming event status report:
 
7/26 Ground School: moved to the time trial venue at Thunderhill on 8/16
8/2/08 Marina Autocross #6
8/2 Boxster Brunch 10am at Alice's Restaurant
8/10 Carlsen concours
8/15/08 Friday Night Social
8/16;8/17 Driver's Ed & Time Trial #4 Thunderhill & Ground School
8/30 Ground School

Certificates are ordered for the following events:

9/6 Bear Valley Auto X and Wash and Shine, Picnic
9/13 Auto X at Alameda have been requested to be added to the existing certificate.

Certificates are in place for the following events:

7//27 Vasona Picnic and Wash and Shine
8/2/08 Marina Autocross #6
8/16-17DE/TT #4 Thunderhill

Treasurer

Bill Benz is somewhere in Lake Huron (hopefully above water). Bank balances are stable and Motorsports Reg is back to working the way it should be.

Secretary: nothing to report

Social

7/27/08 First Annual Family Picnic / People's Choice Wash and Shine Concours
  • We have 19 cars, 43 adults and 8 children registered ($860.00)
  • Armadillo Willy's confirmed for 50 people ($1,230.09). Need to order some extra side dishes to accommodate vegetarians attending the event.
  • Awards plaques purchased ($106.63)
  • Party favors purchased ($34.98)
  • Insurance in place (thanks Bob!)
  • Vasona not classified as "Special Event" ($231.00)
  • Still need to purchase picnic supplies, snacks, games.
  • Need volunteers to help
  • Need to be reimbursed for expenses.  
01/11/2009 GGR Year End Banquet
  • Hiller Aviation Museum reserved for Sunday January 11, 2009 from 11 AM to 3 PM
  • Check for $500.00 deposit submitted (thanks Bill!)
  • Zone 7 has now scheduled their Awards Banquet for Saturday January 10th.

7/??/09 Second Annual Family Picnic / People's Choice Wash and Shine Concours. Request authorization and funds to reserve Vasona for next year and have classified as a "Special Event". ($331.00). Motion to approve this passed unanimously. And, if we decide to cancel, there's only a $6 cancellation fee.

Membership

Membership remains stable at about the same number. Jeff also wants to survey non-renewing members to inquire about that. Motion to approve the new members was unanimously approved.

Competition

Proposed rules changes should already have been communicated to the membership director (Dan Thompson). Please get yours in if you have one. Some work is still being done to write up actual wording for proposed changes, so a summary would do at this point.

The Marina autocross will include a 914 shootout, with about 35 914's showing up, including a number of Parade winners and some SCCA national guys. It should be quite a show.

The next time trial at Thunderhill August 16 and 17 is at close to break-even, which means it's not full and is a great opportunity to get some good driving time in. Plus, there are not a lot of students, which means instructors would get good driving time also.

Webmaster: not present

Topics for discussion

Nomination of officers for 2009: next year, we'll need membership, competition, and social directors, plus a vice-president. Jeff Kost (membership) and Bob Murillo (vice president) both agreed to run for a second term. The President will call for nominees for all positions in the next issue of The Nugget.

Friday Night Social: motion was passed to remove the Friday Night Social from the calendar due to low to nil attendance. Folks are still free to show up, of course, as they like.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Club Sportiva2
June Membership Report

--by Jeff Kost, Membership Director
Jeff Kost

Total Members:  2524
Primary:            1476
Affiliate:             1047
Life:                        1

New Members: 21
Transfers In:      2
Transfers Out:    4

 New Members

Bob Baron

Millbrae

1999 996

Eric & Valerie Brown

Morgan Hill

2005 911

Marc Buehlmann

Mountain View

1997 Twin Turbo

Grady & Dee Carter

Vallejo

2002 Boxster S

Eddie Chan

San Jose

2008 Cayman S

Alison Drury

San Francisco

 

Mary Heacox

San Jose

 

John & Mary Lee

San Francisco

2008 911 S

David Miller

Danville

1995 911 993

Pilar Miranda

Morgan Hill

2004 911 GT3

Jon Moss

Palo Alto

2008 997 S

Soninha Petri

Oakland

 

Lamar Potts

Los Gatos

2008 Cayman S

Elliott & Brad Roberts

San Francisco

2004 996

Hamed & Ameen Sajjadi

San Jose

2007 997 GT3

Mark & Shirley Schneckloth

Cupertino

2008 Cayman

Ash & Victoria Shaalan

San Jose

2008 4s

Scott & John Stocker

Santa Cruz

1996 993 C4S

Paul Tan

San Francisco

2003 Carrera 4S

Kelly Thompson

Los Altos

2005 996 T S

Andy Tzelepis

Redwood City

1980 924

Robert & Sean Woods

Alameda

1972 914

Jon Yap

San Jose

2002 Carrera

 

Anniversaries

 40 Years

Terry Zaccone

Saratoga

1968 911

 25 Years

Norma Ong

San Francisco

 

Danielle Ringen

Los Altos

1978 911

 20 Years

Rebecca Harwell

Los Gatos

 

Dan Lofgren

Milpitas

1987 911

 15 Years

Dora Brown

San Mateo

 

Lyn Mehl

San Jose

 

 10 Years

Douglas Ambrisko

Mountain View

1987 911

Jan Coon

Clovis

 

Andrew Fulgham

Pacifica

1996 993

Barbara Grimm

Piedmont

 

Kathy Hutchinson

Oakland

 

Michael Ingegno

Oakland

1996 911

Vanessa Owyang

San Jose

 

Susan Smith

San Jose

 

Emily Williams

Cupertino

 

Ronald Davis

San Jose

1989 930

Steve Nakajima

San Francisco

1998 986

Jack Puls

Burlingame

1993 911

Ronald Seger

Mountain View

1997 993

5 Years

Peter Bruce

San Francisco

1958 Speedster

Thuy Curran

San Carlos

 

Pierre De La Rocha

Saratoga

1999 996 Coupe

Chris Depuy

Hillsborough

2003 Boxster

Martine Hoefnagels

Novato

 

Ashish Shah

San Francisco

1991 C2 Turbo

Marilyn Shriner

Oakland

 

Elena Simonian

Millbrae

 

Brenna Argall

San Carlos

 

Andrew Bloch

San Francisco

2003 996

Melody Choy

Alameda

 

Jamie Kloosterman

Los Angeles

 

Kenneth Peartree

Redwood City

1994 968

2008 Drivers' Ed & Time Trial Schedule
TT banner
  Rich Bontempi's HIGH PERFORMANCE HOUSE
 










  Sat Mar 29, '08   Ground School Round Table Pizza, Concord

  Apr 18-20, '08   Driver's Ed & Time Trial #2 Thunderhill

  Sat May 3, '08   Ground School Round Table Pizza, Concord

  May 24-25, '08   Driver's Ed & Time Trial #3 Buttonwillow

  Sat Jul 26, '08   Ground School Round Table Pizza, Concord

  Aug 16-17, '08   Driver's Ed & Time Trial #4 Thunderhill

  Sat Aug 30, '08   Ground School Round Table Pizza, Concord

  Sep 20-21, '08   Driver's Ed & Time Trial #5 Thunderhill

High Performance House
The Power Chef
NE Bike
The Suburban Septathlon

--by John Celona, The Power Chef


For almost 30 years, I did races: all manner of things involving running, swimming, cycling, or some combination of these. 10k's, marathons, triathlons, open water swims, 100-mile bike rides, 200-mile bike rides--you name and I probably have a t-shirt for it. (The photo on the left, by the way, is from a triathlon I did in Rutland, Vermont while in town for a wedding!). Even did an Ironman (finished in 14 hours, then threw up thank you very much!).

However, at some point, there were finally enough t-shirts (3 plastic boxes in the basement; I rotate that stack I'm wearing) and I really needed to get busy with what most of us are busy with: house chores, errands, social engagements, the JOB, and even time for the Nugget Executive Editor, Pawlina Paraskova CG a.k.a. The Intrepid Miss Kitty (she does demand her play time and her head nuggies). How I ever had time for all that training and racing is now beyond me. It is a huge deal these days to take an entire day out of the weekend to do an autocross, much less travel for an event!

Not that I don't do events any more; it's just that I put them together to fit in all the things vying for part of a Saturday--including, hopefully, time for a workout. Besides, by passing on the scheduled races (a) I get to start it when I need to; (b) I can pick the required events; (c) it doesn't add to the t-shirt overflow; and (d) I don't have to check just how close to the slowest people I came in! Much better as one tries not to thinking about how much slower I am than seems fair.

On a recent Saturday, a seven-event race sprang out of the need to drop the car off for maintenance, get in a workout, and The Squirrel Wars. I called it The Suburban Septathlon.

What are The Squirrel Wars? Well, as a retired veterinarian friend related to me, this year's unusually dry spring in California (the cause of all those fires), has also left the critters crazy for food. Apparently, there's not much to munch on out there in the wild, so they're heading for our well-watered and verdant back yards.

I first knew I was in trouble when the plums on my Santa Rosa plum tree began disappearing and I was left with only shreds of plum peels on the ground. Talk about frustration. Past years have seen the leaves on the tree almost wiped out by white flies, and, finally finding the right spraying schedule, I was looking forward to a bumper crop this year.

The squirrels had other ideas.

Thankfully, my mother-in-law who--being from Mississippi--knows all about critters, gave me her squirrel trap (I passed on the recipes to go along with it!). I resolved to start trapping and relocating the squirrels in the hopes that, the plums being largely a loss already, I could get the problem under control before the tomatoes started ripening.

So, on that Saturday morning, I needed to take the car in, planned to run to the gym and back, and there was another squirrel in the trap. That made it a Septathlon. The full event was:
  1. Change into running gear, cover the cage to calm the frantic squirrel, load it in the car and drive to the dealer.
  2. Release the squirrel in an area with at least one inviting tree to flee to without being bitten (see Recipe for tips on this).
  3. Drop car off and run to the club. I was hoping it would be about three miles; turned out to be around 4.5. Thankfully, I wasn't also doing legs in the gym that day!
  4. Lift weights for a bit.
  5. Run back to the dealer (the 4.5 seemed a lot longer this time!).
  6. Pay the dealer and drive home.
  7. Stretch at home.
I actually had hoped to stretch at the dealer, imbibe on of their free espressos, and then drive home recharged. Unfortunately, they had no suitable carpeted area: only polished granite floors everywhere. Drat! What were they thinking?

I don't recall what my overall time was, but I did come in first! :)  I suppose I could have bought a t-shirt at the dealer if I really wanted to.

Septathlon2

The Full Event. Easy to get a medal with no other entrants(!)


And, you might wonder, how are The Squirrel Wars going?

Well, I thought I had the upper hand. So far, I've trapped ten squirrels, three birds, and two rats. Was this enough?

Not a chance! I've only managed to get one ripe tomato as all the others are eaten while still green. I think the squirrels must be using satellite phones to coordinate their attack. I even put up a butt-ugly chicken wire fence all around the tomatoes to try to keep them away. They still get in.

This reinforces why I did not choose farming as a career. Keep your fingers crossed, though: they so far haven't touched the pears.

Still, in the eternal optimism that the situation is better than it would have been and might even be effective in a less unusual year, I offer my recipe for squirrel trapping (works for rats, too!).

Squirrel Trap

Squirrel Trap

Got another one!

The Gist

Mix oatmeal with a little peanut butter. Bait and set trap. Pray.

Ingredients

1 squirrel trap, preferably weathered and not shiny
3 Tb oatmeal
1 Tb peanut butter
1 Dixie cup, cut to about 1/2-inch high
1 old cloth (to cover cage)
1 low box to transport cage
1 pair leather gloves to wear while handling cage with sharp-toothed animal inside
1 coat hanger cut to form hook at end

Method

Havahart sells squirrel traps that work great for squirrels as well as for rats. And, it turns out that peanut butter is good rat bait, so you're set in one shot to go for the entire local rodent population.

Mix the oatmeal and peanut butter and place in the cut-off Dixie cup (I use a southern trap, after all). Set cup in the cage and set the cage according to the directions which came with your cage. Set near what they're eating on.

When you catch a squirrel, cover the cage with the cloth to calm the animal and let it set a bit. Then, put on your gloves, set the cage in the box, and drive it somewhere it won't likely come back from. From my house, the other side of the freeway seems a good bet.

Remove the cage and box from the car and set the cage on the ground pointing to a tree or bush the critter can dash to. Undo the opening end, step back behind the cage, and use the coat hanger as illustrated in the photo to open the end. If the animal doesn't immediately dash out (most do), slowly pull back the cloth with your other hand. It will flee when it sees you (even if you're in your Sunday best).

Bid the animal fond adieu with your favorite choice of expletives and reset the trap.

Notes

Since it looks like I won't be getting any tomatoes from the garden this year, I've started looking around to see if anyone sells tomatoes which taste as good as vine-ripened ones grown at home. After making the rounds of the local fancy grocery stores and farmers markets, I've not yet found any that come close. I guess they're all picked hard and unripe so they make it to the store. Oh, well.

SQ Trap2

The Release Method

Bon appetit,
The Power Chef
Kahlers2
Porsche Roads
TT banner
--by Claude Leglise, GGR Past President

San Francisco to Tomales on Highway 1

With temperatures hitting record highs around the East and South Bay, it is time to head north for the cool climes of Marin County and the Pacific Coast. Today we will drive to Tomales, so don't forget a sweatshirt or a jacket.

From Highway 101, north of the Golden Gate Bridge, take the Stinson Beach exit and head on east on Shoreline Highway. The traffic light at Tamalpais Valley Junction is the last one we will see for a long time. A mile or so after the light, two road signs are worth our attention: the first one signals the end of the 35 mile an hour limit, and the second one advertises 10 miles of curves. The road is lined with enormous eucalyptus trees and at mile 3 we enter the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Soon after that, it is time to turn right onto Panoramic Highway for our first treat: 9 miles of tight turns and switchbacks around the Mount Tamalpais State Park. There is no place to pass anywhere, but with luck you won't be stuck behind a road boulder, since traffic is light. Enjoy the scenery which is spectacular after the morning fog dissipates. The pavement can be rough in some parts, so proceed carefully. 

Aug RD1

Panoramic Highway reconnects with Highway 1 at Stinson Beach, where you can stop and enjoy the beaches of clean sand; load up on coffee and groceries, but not on gas. Past Stinson Beach, the road follows the edge of the Bolinas Lagoon. Pull over and take a look at the beautiful waters and the birds. If you brought your fishing rod along, this is a great spot to tickle the fish.

Visibility is decent, the pavement is good and the curves are predictable, but don't go too fast, as the consequences may be dear. The young man in the picture below found out the hard way. Everyone was fine, but the car was not.
 
Aug RD2

When the Bolinas Lagoon disappears in your rearview mirror, you enter the Olema Valley and are treated to 10 miles of clean pavement through the Point Reyes National Seashore. Speed through this area is fairly good but the scenery is worth slowing down for. Forested sections and sharp turns alternate with long straights along grassy pastures. The last time I went through the town of Dogtown, population 30, I saw neither dog nor human. Maybe they will be back by the time you get there.

Take a look at the map below. The Olema Valley - from Stinson Beach to Point Reyes Station -- and Tomales Bay to the north make a nice straight line that marks the San Andreas Fault. Point Reyes is moving north at the rate of about an inch and a quarter per year. Come back in a few million years, and Bolinas will be in Canada.

In Olema, keep going straight on Highway 1, unless you are tired already and want to head back to San Rafael on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. The next town is Point Reyes Station. As the murals on the wall of the post office depict, it was once a stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad. However, don't expect a romantic steam ride; the last train came here in 1933. Cheda's Garage at the southern end of town is the oldest AAA establishment in California. The town is full of restaurants patronized on week-ends by bicyclists, motorcyclists and locals alike.

Aug RD3

One notable feature at the north end of town is the only stretch of road that features both a dashed yellow line and proper visibility. Make good use of it as needed. Continuing north, Highway 1 winds its way between Tomales Bay on the left and dairy farms on the right.

In season you can stop and buy oysters in Marshall, population 50, fresh from the boat that brought them in. Oysters are best between October and February; try a cold Marlborough County Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand with them. But I digress.

Between Marshall and Tomales, the pavement is pure bliss. The road turns east along Keyes Creek and arrives in Tomales at mile 46. Tomales is another small village, former home of Coast Miwok people, and most notable today for its collection of century old buildings. Nothing too stuffy though, you will even find a bit of that Marin County eclectic we all love. The William Tell House features an English telephone booth and an Italian menu. Go figure. The bakery at the intersection of 1st Street has good pastries and coffee. Across the highway, the Continental Inn has nine guest rooms. Plan on staying a while, and next month we will drive back to San Francisco.

Aug RD4  

Note that Highway 1 is very popular in the summer. Traffic near Stinson Beach can turn desperately slow in the afternoons. Stay away if you are prone to bouts of road rage. The best time to drive this Porsche road is early in the morning. There can be coastal fog, but it only adds to the charm.

Claude

Scale: 1∆ to 5∆
                                          Twistiness      Pavement Quality       Scenery    
Panoramic Highway               ∆∆∆∆∆                  ∆∆                     ∆∆∆∆∆
Highway 1                              ∆∆∆∆                  ∆∆∆                    ∆∆∆∆∆

Aug RD5

Vineyard Specialties2


Myths about Track Events with GGR

TT banner--by Andrew Forrest, Drivers' Ed & Time Trial Chair


GGR has been evolving their track events over the past several years and it is sometimes hard to keep track of the progress.  In order to bring you up to date, this article will highlight some of the main points via the form of dispelling myths about our track program.  Even club officials sometimes get it wrong, so don't hestitate to ask the source!

1. GGR has Too Many Rules!

The truth is that GGR has approximately the same number of rules for its track events as every other Porsche Club of America region in the country since our rules are based on the "Minimum Standards for Driver's Education" that are published by our national body, PCA.  No doubt there are track organizations with far fewer rules (or much less enforcement of their existing rules) but we feel that the present GGR rules represent a good balance between safety and cost of compliance.  Knowing that the other participants in an event are being held to a standard of conduct gives you peace of mind.

2. You Have to Drill Holes in Your Car!

You don't have to drill holes in your car!  At one time some years ago now there was wheel-to-wheel racing and GGR.  Since participation in GGR's Time Trial program was expected to be a stepping stone to wheel-to-wheel racing, imposing race-like car and driver preparation (multi-point harnesses, roll bars and/or cages, fire-retardant driving suits) did not seem like much of an imposition.  Since then cars have become intrinsically a lot safer with multiple passive safety devices, crush zones etc. and there are more and more participants who have no interest in going wheel-to-wheel with their Porsches.  Accordingly, GGR has revised their rules to accommodate this trend.  It is not necessary to have multi-point harnesses to participate in our Driver's Education or Time Trial program any longer.

3. Those Guys are Hardcore/Unfriendly to Novices!

Well, okay, this one is a partial myth; some GGR members are "hardcore", but that might describe you after a few events too!  Every event has a mix of participants from the complete novice to the experienced racers.  We welcome participants of any intensity.  Any worthwhile track program will have instructors of significant experience (as does GGR) and inevitably some of them (as well as other non-instructors) will have some serious looking equipment.  Don't be intimidated!  In fact, if you visit another club's event and don't see that kind of presence, you should be worried.  All of our instructors are trained via a Porsche Club of America National Training program that is aimed specifically at instruction for novices.  (In addition we evaluate our instructors for both driving and teaching ability and expect that they can also help intermediate drivers learn to drive even better.)  The opportunity to compete in the Time Trials can turn out to be great fun too -- even if you're just doing so to track your own progression.  So, in conclusion this one is not really a myth, but "some hardcore members" = "great instruction program + good fun".

4. You Have to Go to Ground School Even if You're Experienced.

"Ground School" is a classroom session that has typically been held somewhere in the Bay Area two to three weeks prior to events in order to show videos of track driving, discuss car preparation, event conduct and so on.  Books and other reading material about performance driving are provided in addition to lunch and the company of other potential driving enthusiasts.  This program has long historical roots but is also undergoing changes.  One way this is a myth is that experienced drivers may apply to join us through our "Guest Driver Program" which basically involves getting a reference from another club's official(s) whom we know and trust that attests to your experience and suitability for participation in a Driver's Education/Time Trial event.  The availability of this option reflects the increasing number of drivers who come to us with experience (recall, when the earth cooled there was just wheel-to-wheel and GGR, so everybody was a novice).  The second thing you should know about this program is that since significant car preparation is no longer mandatory the scope of Ground School has diminished and experiments in including it within the event weekend itself, with no loss of track time, are being carried out as of this writing.

5. You Don't Get Enough Track Time

This may have been true for some extreme track time junkies some years ago but even they should be almost satisified now by our Bonus Track Time program.  This is a program for intermediate and advanced rungroup drivers that allows them, conditions, behavior and rungroup-density permitting, to run in rungroups adjacent in ability to their own "home" rungroup.  The program is typically not available for novices/students but we feel that is an acceptable trade off since they need some time to digest the instruction they just received and to rest from the cognitively demanding task of high speed performance driving.

If you knew all of these were myths already, then good for you -- you're certainly in touch with GGR's latest news about its track program.  If not then I hope this has helped.  If there is some other aspect of GGR's program that you think merits a change, by all means please contact me to discuss it -- it may have already been improved!

Andrew
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Hope you're enjoying your summer vacation. Remember the sunblock!

As always, thanks for reading.
John Celona
Porsche Club of America-Golden Gate Region
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Porsche Club of America--Golden Gate Region | Nugget Headquarters | 505 Vista Ave | San Carlos | CA | 94070