ElectionGGR Logo
Porsche Club of America
Golden Gate Region
Election Issue
2009 ballot
Letter from the Editor
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--by John Celona, GGR Secretary

Please vote.

It's election time again--both for GGR and the nation. A slate of candidates have come forward for the open positions, three of whom have volunteered for a second stint (Rob Murillo, Jeff Kost and Mark Powell). All board members do put in a lot of time for the club, and they plus the various chairs (AX, TT, concours, etc.) really make the club events happen. Please do take a moment (and a stamp!) to vote.

The instructions for voting are simple:
  1. To obtain a ballot, either print out the first page of this email or click here or on the ballot itself to download a PDF file which you can then print out.
  2. Check the boxes to indicate your votes.
  3. For each member, you get one vote for yourself and one vote for a family member.
  4. Sign the ballot at the bottom.
  5. Mail the ballot to:
John Celona
GGR Secretary
505 Vista Ave
San Carlos, CA 94070

The candidates' statements follow.

Ballots must be postmarked by November 15, 2008.

Thanks for taking the time and 42¢ to do so.

John
Candidate Statements

Murillo
Rob Murillo, candidate for Vice President

I joined the Golden Gate Region of PCA in 1999 shortly after the purchase of my first Porsche, a 996 C2.  At my first opportunity, I went to the GGR High Speed Driving School.  It is fair to say that on the date of that first HSDS, my near term  Fate for driving Porsches was sealed. Not only did I immensely enjoy myself, I began to meet many of the other GGR members that make this club so interesting and so much fun.
 
Now 10 years have passed I can still say that I really do enjoy our members, the various events and especially our DE/TT series. I would be honored to have you continued support as Vice President of GGR for the next term.




van Norsdall
Wayne van Norsdall, candidate for Competition Director

Love driving the cars as fast as possible. A lot.  A real lot.
In fact I took a perfectly good, nicely set up street car and stripped it
out to make a race car--then busted it up in the 25 hour enduro.  Looking
forward to meeting those of you I don't already know from my years of Time
Trialing and racing at the upcoming events!

View on Mooses:  If it moves, I'll shoot it.  If by some miracle I hit it,
I'll skin it, butcher it, serve it up and eat it. That goes for moose or
anything that looks remotely like a moose.

Jeff Kost
Jeff Kost, candidate for Membership Director

Love the cars, like the club, couldn't find anyone to replace me so I'll do it again!  Kids are getting older, more sports, fewer kitchen and soccer passes so use me while you can...

View on Mooses:  I have not shot or killed any moose (or mice?) in the last year, though not for lack of trying. Should I be able to bag me one, I'd be happy to have it made into burgers.  (If you think I'm going to do it, you
don't know me at all!)

TT banner
Mark Powell, candidate for Social Director

Hi!  For those of you who don't know me, I have been an active member of GGR for 18 years.  I own a '74 911 and a '74 914/2.0.  I enjoy Autocrossing and Time Trialing, am an Autocross instructor and have been one of the lead instructors at the Zone 7 Autocross School the last several years.  I was a member of the Rules Committee that drafted the current  points-based classification system and have also served as a member of the Driving Event Committee.  I am currently serving as GGR's Social Director. 

As your Social Director, I have enjoyed making many new friends.  I hope to continue organizing more events like the Brumos and Penske/Flying Lizard tours, as well as make the Vasona Family Picnic/Concours an annual event.  Other events I plan to add (as time permits!) include a tour to Canepa Design and a Tech Session on car preparation for Autocross and Time Trial.  I am also open to new ideas from you, especially if you are willing to help!  

Nugget pic
October 2008. Volume 48, Issue 10
In This Issue
Letter from the Editor
Candidate Statements
President's Message
Competition Corner
Board of Directors
Membership Report
The Power Chef
Porsche Roads
Cayenne Siberia
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.

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

A Quest for TTOD

There are many stages of Porscheholism.  One of the more advanced stages involves developing a dedicated race car.   I say developing rather than building because such a car is usually a work in progress - not something that is built and then driven without further modification.  There are many motivations for developing such a car.  For me the two motivations were the desire to be more competitive and the need for a project that would provide many hours of mechanical therapy (see my column in the June Nugget).

I have greatly enjoyed autocross for many years and have been competitive within my class.  In various years I have won GGR class titles in an RS America (Class M), a 1973 2.0L 914 (Class AX15), and a 2002 Boxster S running Victoracers (Class AX7).  While I was competitive within my class, I was not competitive overall.  I would occasionally finish in the top 10, but a TTOD (top time of day) finish was inaccessible.  While it is fun driving an autocross regardless of how you finish, my competitive streak motivated me to try to do better overall.

To have a chance at the elusive TTOD two things were required.  First, I was going to have to be a better driver.  Second, I needed a faster car.  While I had had modest success, my driving skills were not (and still aren't) at the level of our recent PAX winners Larry Sharp and Andrew Blyholder.  To become a better driver I have an ongoing program that involves practice, self-examination, and coaching.  However, it is clear that it will take years for this program to put me at the level of our top drivers - and there is a very good chance I will never get there.  Getting a faster car has a much shorter time constant.  So toward the end of 2005, I decided to undertake a car development project.  This started what has so far been a three-year project developing Shadowfax, my 914/6 3.2L autocross car (shown below).

Bill Oct

The first decision in developing a car is deciding what tub to start with.  For autocross, the choice seemed clear to me, a 914.  I had been driving my 73 2.0L during the 2005 season and it has all of the right attributes.  Its light, has an ideal weight disribution, and ideal handling.  It has everything one could want in an autocross car, except power.  It seemed simple to me at the time, get a 914 and put a big engine in it - I was later to discover that this was very naïve.  A car is a balance of tub, engine, tires, and suspension.  I made the mistake at first of focusing just on the engine.   Since starting to run the car, I've been bringing along the other components.  In the remainder of this column, I'll discuss the engine.   Perhaps I'll deal with the other components in a later column - when I get them figured out.

I actually built two engines for Shadowfax.  The first engine was a 2.7L six built with Mahle Euro-Carerra pistons and cylinders, Solex cams, and Weber carburetors.  The machine work was done by Ted at German Precision, and I assembled the pieces.   Here's a photo of the 2.7.

Bill Oct2

Just about the time I had the engine done, however, I decided to change plans. 2.7L just wasn't enough, so I started to build a 3.2.   In hindsight, this may not have been the best move.  The 2.7 would have been ideal for an autocross car, and I would have been driving Shadowfax many months sooner had I just dropped it in the car.  However, I wanted more horsepower and more mechanical therapy, so I sold the 2.7L to a gentleman in Oregon.  He later sent me a dyno plot that showed my 2.7 generating 230hp.

The 3.2L project quickly spiraled out of control.  The base for the project was a core engine that I picked up for a great price.  It was built on a Carerra 3.0 case, had Mahle Motorsports 98mm 9.5:1 pistons and cylinders bringing the displacement to 3.2L, and had twin-plug heads.  I spent a while debating bumping up the compression ratio to 11:1, but ultimately decided to leave the CR at 9.5:1 - leaving 20-30hp on the table to allow operation on pump gas.  With the 9.5:1 CR, I selected a modified S cam with 108-degree lobe spacing.  This gave a conservative static compression ratio and promised good low-end torque.

I decided to go with fuel injection into individual throttle bodies for induction, and dual Ford EDIS-6 ignition systems - donated from two early 90s Ford Tauruses.  Being a computer guy, I really like programming a controller to optimize my fuel flow and ignition timing, rather than tweaking with carburetor jets and distributor curves.   The Ford EDIS ignition is a great system, generating a 40KV spark at a rock bottom price.

To control the fuel injection and ignition, I use a Megasquirt controller.  Megasquirt is an open-source fuel injection and ignition system that provides infinite control over engine settings.

The Jenvy throttle bodies and the EDIS coil packs are visible in the photo below.  The EDIS controllers are mounted on the firewall and the Megasquirt controller is in the cockpit.

Bill Oct3

When the day came to fire this beast up for the first time things did not go well.  It turned over, caught briefly, and then there was a huge backfire that stripped the teeth off the flywheel (see below) and seized the engine.   It turns out that the wiring diagram for the EDIS coil packs that I had downloaded from the Web had two wires switched.  As a result, the ignition for cylinders 1 and 3 were switched (and also 4 and 6).   I tore the engine down to the spigots to check for damage.  

Bill Oct4

It wasn't too bad.  I needed a new flywheel, and a new cam housing - where a bolt had come loose and chewed up the tube that sprays oil on the cams and rocker arms.  A few new parts and some reassembly time and I was back in business.  Here's a picture during reassembly right after the cylinders were reinstalled.

Bill Oct5

Finally, I got the car put together in time for the last autocross of the 2007 season at Marina.  How did it go?  I found I had lots of power - perhaps too much power for an autocross.  Except for those few places where I got into third gear, I couldn't apply full throttle or I got wheel spin.  I also found the car handled like a pig.  The 180# springs and stock 911 torsion bars were way too soft.  The car would pitch up like it was doing a wheelie when I got on the throttle and dive its nose into the ground when I applied the brakes.  It also had too much body roll, lifting the inside front wheel several inches off the ground on a corner.  Much of the 2008 season has been spent correcting these issues and its still not quite there.

In retrospect, I now see that the 3.2L is way too much horsepower for a 914 autocross car.   The 2.7 would have been fine.  A hot rod 2.4L four would have been even better - generating 200hp (which is about all the car will take in 2nd gear without spinning the wheels) and saving 200lbs over the six.  I also should have spent more time early on worrying about suspension and handling rather than fixating on horsepower.

While I might do things differently if I was starting over, the project was still a great success and absolutely worth the time and effort that went into it.  I had a great time building both engines.  More importantly, I get a big grin every time I get behind the wheel of Shadowfax and put her through her paces.  Its particularly fun to drive a car that you developed yourself through trial and error.

So, have I taken a GGR TTOD yet?  Unfortunately not.  With the season nearly over, I'm solidly in 3rd place in class AX03. I have taken three TTOD's at LPR events - where the courses are a bit more open, letting me use the horsepower to advantage - and I've had a great time at every event I've taken the car to.  The GGR TTOD remains an elusive goal that I plan to pursue by improving the suspension and the driver.  

Bill
Jerry WoodsSmart Racing
CommCovRennwerks
Competition Corner
Thompson
--by Dan Thompson, Competition Director

Closing out the Competition Season

As our competitve season comes to an end, we now turn our attention to next season.  With that in mind we need to start discussing the rules changes for next year.

I had delineated the bulk of those changes in the last Nugget.  Please review those proposals in the  last Nugget and send me your concerns, questions, ideas etc., if you have any.
The DEC open meeting for all GGR members will be held in late October or early November.  The date will be posted on the GGR website with directions to the venue.

Our last Time Trial of the season was a great weekend.  No car carnage, beautiful weather, a great dinner on Saturday evening, some new students certified.  All in all a great weekend.

Big thank you to Andrew Forrest for 3 years of great leadership in the role of Time Trial Chairperson, Gary Dorighi in his role as Chief Driving Instructor, and John Siedel in his role as ground school professor. 

Without the help of the many GGR instructors, safety crew, and the rest of our track crew, we could never have events of the caliber that GGR consistently puts on each year.

A special thank you to Ross and Paulette Johnson for doing such a great job with registration and track dinners.

We have two more AXs for this season.  #8 at Alameda on October 18, and #9 at Alameda on November 15.  Be sure to come out and get out the last of your competitive driving issues handled for the 2008 season.

My term as GGR Competition Director and Safety Chair is quickly coming to an end.  I want to make sure that everyone knows what a great club GGR is when it comes to driving your Porsche in a safe, fun, controlled environment.  Be it at the AX or on the track at our DE/TT events, no one in Norcal does it better than GGR.

Next year may hold some very innovative and exciting additions to our DE/TT series.  Stay tuned here and on the GGR website and GGR chat site for information and updates.

Dan
European Autotech
BPS Repro
Board of Directors
Celona--by John Celona, GGR Secretary

GGR Board of Directors
Meeting Minutes for September, 2008

The meeting was held at the residence of the President, Bill Dally, on September 10, 2008. The meeting was called to order at 6:50 p.m. Present were Bill Dally, Jeff Kost, Mark Powell, John Celona, Andrew Forrest, Bill Benz, Dan Thompson, Mike Cullinan, Warren Walker, Larry Adams, and Paul Larson.

Call for agenda changes: none

Call for calendar changes: none

Approval of July minutes: already approved via email.

Postmortem of events
  • 7/26 Ground School: moved to the time trial venue at Thunderhill on 8/16
  • 8/2/08 Marina Autocross #6: great weather and great turnout. 35 914's showed up for the shootout.
  • 8/2 Boxster Brunch 10am at Alice's Restaurant
  • 8/10 Carlsen concours: good collection of people. The event was run by Larry and Linda Adams and the Carlsen folks seemed happy with how it turned out. 37 cars entered and 20 cars were on display.
  • 8/16;8/17 Driver's Ed & Time Trial #4 Thunderhill & Ground School: the weather was good, on the new pavement with the new berms. The new pavement was generally well received. Lots of people had a ton of fun.
  • 8/30 Ground School
  • 9/6 Bear Valley Auto X and Wash and Shine, Picnic: canceled

Directors' Reports

President: nothing to report.

Vice-President

Upcoming event status report:
 
9/12 Bay Meadows Auto X #7 canceled. Bay Meadows reneged on our reservation for the site.
9/20-21 DE/TT #5 Thunderhill
10/4 Coyote Rally

Certificates are ordered for the following events
10/4 Coyote Rally

Certificates are in place for the following events:
9/20-21 DE/TT #5 Thunderhill

Treasurer

We're back up to about the same cash level as the end of last year, though a big check for Thunderhill is due this week. The new timing system is completely paid for. There have been no further issues from MotorsportsReg, and all needed reports have been coming as needed.

Secretary: nothing to report

Social

The Vasona picnic was a big success. 50 people and 20 cars showed up and there was plenty of food. Club out-of-pocket expenses (after payments) was $1,200, which about what was budgeted. For next year, the covered picnic site and dedicated parking lot have been reserved.

Membership

Membership is slightly down, which seems to be tracking what's been happening with Porsche new car sales. Motion to accept new members was unanimously passed.

Competition

There are about twenty rules proposals, some of which include fixing the standard wheel widths for cars. There has been talk of going back to the old car classification system, but no formal proposal has been submitted. There does need to be agreement on what the modifications point threshold is for a car to be required to have five-point belts with appropriate seats, etc. The DEC will put a proposal together.

Webmaster

Average visits are 800/day. The web site was entered in the web site contest, and placed 6th out of seven for large sites.

Topics for discussion

Nomination of officers for 2009: a special issue of The Nugget will be put out with the candidates for various offices. 

Bear Valley Autocross: although the event was canceled this year, there was somewhat of a late start in organizing it because Bear Valley took so long to determine fees. Possible dates for next year were discussed.

Time Trial Series: Mike Cullinan and Warren Walker are taking over the run the time trial series next year from Andrew Forrest. They are looking at whether it may be possible to run a PCA club race as part of a time trial weekend. They need to determine by the end of the month whether it will be possible to run these races under PCA rules with the number of cars they expect. Motion was made and passed unanimously to approve and support this effort pending the receipt of a pro forma budget.

Palo Alto Concours: Porsche will be the featured marque at the Palo Alto Concours next year. Larry asked about GGR being the sponsoring region, which does not require insurance or funding from the club.

Club Funds Management: a suggestion was made to move the club funds to an institution which paid better interest on the funds on deposit. Bill and Larry will work on this. The extra interest earned would be paid to charity.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
Club Sportiva2
August Membership Report

Jeff Kost--by Jeff Kost, Membership Director

Total Members:   2492
Primary:             1454
Affiliate:             1037
Life:                        1

New Members:    6
Transfers In:        4
Transfers Out:     6


New Members

John Ballentine

San Francisco

2005 911

Paul Canton

Burlingame

 

Michael Duda

San Francisco

1997 Boxster

Ilana Finer

Woodside

 

Evan Goldstein

San Francisco

2006 Cayman S

Walter Hans

Mill Valley

 

Kimberly Kinsel

San Francisco

 

Jeffrey Kolsky

San Francisco

1983 911 SC

Scott & Montaput Miner

Castro Valley

1970 914-4

Jeanne Montague

San Francisco

 

Ai Renauld

Palo Alto

 

Paula Riley

San Francisco

 

Paul Winkle

Fremont

 

Gay Yamagiwa

San Francisco

 

Anniversaries

35 Years

Steven Scott

Oakland

1989 Carrera 4

30 Years

Thomas & Marjorie Green

Los Altos

2008 Cayman S

 
25 Years

Scott Tong

San Francisco

1961

20 Years

Peter Gaudette

Sunnyvale

1982 911SC

Tom Scott

Brentwood

1987 944


15 Years

Colm Campbell

Saratoga

2005 GT3 RS

Gary Du Haime

Bethel Island

1987 944

Stephanie Hill

San Carlos

 

Hubert Lee

Emerald Hills

1994 930

Kathleen Sablan

Portland

 

Harold Williams

Burlingame

1973 911

Tony Coturri

Glen Ellen

1969 911E

Robert Hastings

Saratoga

2002 996 TT

Jeff & Patti Jensen

San Francisco

1973 911RS

10 Years

Nikolaus Becker

Walnut Creek

 

Jeffrey Berkes

Menlo Park

1995 993

Alfred Chuang

Los Altos

1999 996

Monte Hill

Daly City

1970 911

John Pound

San Rafael

1997 911

Matt Powell

San Jose

 

George Putman

Danville

 

Roger Quiring

San Francisco

1958 356

Diane Rivers

Staten Island

 

Karen Beckley

Carson City

 

Eric Hansen

San Francisco

1973 914

Neil Ross

Los Altos

1999 Boxster

Roger Sherman

Los Altos

2004 996

Jeffrey Stoddard

Burlingame

1999 Boxster

5 Years

Paul Beaubier

Santa Clara

1972 914

Trudy Chiddix

New York

 

Jessica de Bosson

Fremont

1988 911

Elwood Johnson

Pacifica

2003 Boxster

Theo Loevenich

San Jose

1992 964

Janice Lucena

San Francisco

 

Mitchell Palacio

San Francisco

1977 911

Deborah Daniloff

Mountain View

 

Mark Janer

Richmond

1973 911

Frank Skubal

Foster City

2002 996






www.HighPerformanceHouse.comHigh Performance House
The Power Chef
NE Bike
Preparation: either To Eat or To Drive

--by John Celona, The Power Chef®

I had a perhaps not-so-crazy thought: prepping cars for competition (either autocross or the track) and preparing great meals actually have a lot in common. The two key common elements are:

1. One has to start with great ingredients; and
2. You can then do a lot or very little with those ingredients.
 
Allow me to explain.

Getting a car ready for an autocross or for the track, one has to start with the great ingredients: a great car! A Porsche, of course, is ideal. There may be other suitable cars out there, though none comes to mind at this moment. A Ferrari, in my view, is too expensive really to have fun with, and BMW's are nice on the road but rather on the heavy side for hard driving, and so on.

I'm sure the owners of other otherwise fine vehicles would argue that their cars are just great for hard driving, but have the makers truly obsessed over them and driven the bejesus out of them the way Porsche does with its cars? Try looking for wasted space in a Porsche body or engine bay; it's hard to come by. Try looking for superfluous weight and--if you really find it and alert the factory--it will probably be gone in a year or two.

Or so I lke to think, anyway.

Once you have the right ingredients (i.e., any Porsche), getting it ready to autocross or take to the track can take very little time. A careful inspection to make sure everything still is present and works the way it was intended to (hopefully by someone who really knows how to tell), checking the fluids and maybe a little more air in the tires, and you're ready to go. Your Porsche can go to an autocross or the track with exactly what it had when it left the factory. What else you do with it is up to you.

Of course, the possible modification (what you do with those ingredients) range from the little described above to stripping the car to a tub and rebuilding it as a race car (see Bill Dally's article, for example). Most folks start with a set of stickier tires and go from there. How far you go is up to you. It's the same with food.

Interestingly, the analogy extends further: some modifications make a big difference, while others do not--just as is true with food. A big part of the trick with both preparing cars and preparing food is sorting out which is which.

For example, lowering your car the correct way with new springs can make a big difference in handling: the car will handle better, although possibly at the expense of a harsher ride (depending on your choice of shock absorbers). But rocker panel extensions? Although they make look "cool," I daresay that unless you take a hard look at redoing the aerodynamic flow and balance for your car, the contribution to driving is probably minimal. You just may scrape more speed bumps in parking lots.

So it is with food. As I mentioned in last month's column, brining a turkey in salt water and spices makes a huge difference in consistency and flavor. I think basting it adds nothing, and actually interferes with with the fat melting off and the skin crisping. I count basting turkeys in the same category as adding rocker panels.

Grinding your own pepper likewise makes a huge difference; the pre-ground peppers have enormously less flavor. As for making your own stock? For a few things, like bouillabase, a homemade seafood or lobster stock (my favorite) makes a huge difference. Even then, though, Julia Child advises one can get by with bottled clam juice. As for chicken or beef stock, using a good quality stock base (paste, in a container, no buillion cubes, please!) is usually good enough.

The same applies to figuring out where the extra money for "better" ingredients is just not worth it. Take free range chickens, for example. Better than the standard varieties? Not that I can tell. But they sure cost more.

I'm not an expert on upgrading car parts, but I'll be the same applies. Car magazines are filled with ads for upgraded parts, but could you really notice the difference from installing "high performance" forged pistons and conrods (whatever those are) in your Porsche? Probably somebody could, but I'm not one of those people.

Noticing what differences you don't notice can save you a lot of money, time, and trouble.

Fresh, good quality ingredients, plus as much prep as you have the time or inclination for. That's my recipe for having great meals in the time you would like to spend on it. Just as, for me, the Boxster goes to the autocross with all the same ingredients it had the day I bought it (tires are new, of course). Soup-up the Boxster? Please. The weakest part would still be the nut holding the steering wheel.

As a specific example, here are three ways to make coq au vin: each a very fancy meal suitable for the best guests. In the simplest version, just add all the ingredients to a pot and simmer till done. It will still be delicious and better than most restaurant meals you've had. Add a few more steps (like browning the bacon and chicken pieces before simmering), and you begin to add sublime complexity to the dish. A little more advance time (such as marinating the chicken pieces before browning them), and you're ready for Chicken Club Racing. It's just a matter of how much you'd like to take on. As with driving.

I could write a book about cooking which sorts out the steps between those which make a difference and those that don't, and gives you methods ranging from fast-and-easy to involved-but-sublime--and, actually, I am! It's not done yet, but I'm getting there. Here's something to get you started in the meanwhile.

Bon appetit,
The Power Chef

Coq au Vin

coq au vin2


Ingredients

breast and leg pieces from 2 chickens, skinned
1 Tb salt
2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 pound of bacon chopped
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 pounds mushrooms, sliced
1/4 brandy or cognac
1 bottle robust red wine
2 cups water
4 Tb. beef broth base
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb. fresh thyme, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 6-oz. can tomato paste (check can size)
4 cups sliced carrots
2 Tb. flour
2 Tb. corn starch

Express Method

For the easiest, fastest method, simply combine all the ingredients exept the flour and corn starch in a big pot, bring to a simmer and cook with the cover off until the chicken is done (about 30 minutes). Mix the flour and corn starch together in a little cup with just enough water to make a thin paste, then whisk this into the broth to thicken it a little.

That's it. You're done. Just also make some mashed potatoes or whole wheat penne pasta to have this over.

And, yes, this is really good, and I actually came up with and used this method when my grandmother wanted me to make dinner and, not having much time or wanting to mess up Grandma's kitchen, I did it this way. My family loved it.

Fancier Method

Basically, you first cook the bacon until crisp, remove it from the pot, and then use the bacon fat to crisp up (one at a time) the chicken, then the onions, then the mushrooms. The put everything back in the pot, add the rest of ingredients (except the flour and corn starch), and finish cooking it.

The browning steps magically add fullness and complexity to the flavors. This version is as good as any you'd have in a french restaurant.

Super Deluxe Method

This method adds two more steps to take you to the winner's circle. First, marinate the chicken pieces in the salt, pepper, and garlic powder before you brown them. This takes 3-4 hours on the countertop or overnight in the fridge.

Second, when you're done browning the bacon and chicken, add them back in the pot over medium heat, add the brandy, then lean back and light the fumes. This gives everything a final flambé to really zip up the flavor.

Third, you can use all flour instead of corn starch and flour, mix the flour thoroughly with fat skimmed off the pan, then whisk this back into the simmering broth. The flour seems to give the broth just the right silkiness and body and doesn't dissapate on reheating the way corn starch does.

If you wanted, you could also make your own chicken stock, but I've actually never tried that. Once I start boiling chicken I'm always too tempted just to make it into something and eat it right then instead of saving the stock for another day.

That's the gist of it. Detailed directions follow. Try as much as you want to have fun with.

Detailed Directions

For the chicken pieces, I like to keep the legs whole (thigh and drumstick together), but cut the breasts into four pieces (halved and then quartered). A half of a breast from a large chicken (the only kind I buy!), seems a lot for most people, but a quarter is quite manageable. But do piece the chicken up any way you like.

Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic powder together, then sprinkle over the chicken pieces and toss thoroughly. Set aside.

Fry the bacon over medium heat until the pieces are crisp. While the bacon is frying, chop the onions, mushrooms, garlic and herbs.

When the bacon is crisp, remove the pieces from the hot oil. Brown the chicken pieces on both sides in the hot bacon fat a few at time. Depending on how hot your stove is, medium high or even high will keep the fat hot. Move them around frequently so they don't stick. About 2-3 minutes per side for the chicken pieces should do it. Remove the browned pieces to another bowl as you do this.

When the chicken pieces are all browned, add the onions to the bacon fat and fry until golden brown. Right when you first add the onions, a little water is often helpful to help unstick anything stuck to the bottom of the pan (a.k.a. deglazing the pan).

When the onions are golden brown, return the browned chicken pieces and crisped bacon pieces to the pan. Your burner should still be on medium high or so. Have a lighter ready and turn your fan on if it isn't on already. Sprinkle the cognac over the chicken pieces, then lean back! and gingerly insert your lit lighter over the pan. The alcohol fumes from the brandy will instantly alight with a very hot blue flame. Shake the pan back and forth a bit as the alcohol burns off. This is the flambé step and it adds a wonderfully unique seared flavor to the dish.

Add the wine, water, beef broth, garlic, thyme, and parsley. Bring the pot to a boil, scraping the bottom a bit in case anything has stuck. Cook uncovered over high heat until you don't smell any more alcohol in the steam coming off the pan. This will take about 20 minutes or so. Once the alcohol has burned off, add the tomato paste (adding it earlier seems to make the alcohol take longer to burn off.)
As the mixture boils, begin to skim off the fat. You will probably be able to skim off as much as a cup of fat, which is from the bacon and the chicken. It's done its flavoring job at this point, but a little will be added back in for richness. When you're done skimming the fat, turn the heat down to medium and add the carrots.

Check the flavor for salt and pepper. The salt and pepper from the chicken should be enough, but add more if you think it's required.

Remove about 1/4 cup of the warm, liquid fat to a small cup and stir in the flour. It will make a smooth, thick paste. Whisk this in to the still simmering broth. It should thicken it nicely without lumps. Make sure the mixture is still simmering to cook the flour, then turn the heat off and put the cover on the pot.
The coq au vin is now ready and will stay hot for serving for at least an hour. Serve over garlic mashed potatoes or (my favorite!) whole wheat penne pasta.
Kahlers2
Porsche Roads
TT banner
--by Claude Leglise, GGR Past President


Vasco Road: Livermore to Stockton

This installment of Porsche Roads is about a short cut. Have you ever found yourself stuck in a massive traffic jam on 205? Heading east, past Altamont Pass on 580, the highway goes from 4 lanes to 2 in a matter of a mile. And going west, Interstate 5 jams in Lathrop, long before the exit towards Livermore and Pleasanton. Twenty years ago, Tracy was a two-cow town that hardly ever featured any traffic. Today, it seems that almost every day 205 slows to a crawl, and week-ends are even worse. Fortunately, there is a better way: a good Porsche short cut.

Before we get on the road, we need to discuss the nature of a short cut. As the name implies, it is presumed to cut something short, but what? The most basic short cut will cut the distance between two points. That's good, but a better short cut will cut the time between the same two points, and sometimes this may mean driving a few extra miles. The best short cuts though will cut the driver's stress and add enjoyment. When you find one of these, time and distance may not matter any more. And the best of the best short cuts reduce distance and time, and add fun. Vasco Road and Highway 4 run between Livermore and Stockton; when 580 and 205 are a mess, it is definitely a faster and a lot more enjoyable way to go.

East of Livermore on Highway 580, take Exit 55 and turn left at the top of the ramp onto Vasco Road. The first one-mile section has four lanes, so it might be a good idea to pass the slower traffic before reaching the two-lane section. At the end of town, Vasco Road goes past an unmarked US Government facility identifiable only by its Marine Corps and American flags. Good thing there are no conspiracy theorists among the readership of The Nugget. The hills are not quite the Swiss Alps, but the road goes up about 500 feet and twists and turns to get around Brushy Peak on the east side.

Roads Oct1

The hills are covered with electricity generating wind mills that spin gently in the breeze. I personally think the esthetics of these things is questionable, but it is a good cause, as it lets us keep petroleum for a higher purpose, namely, driving Porsches. On week-ends, Vasco Road is popular with power boaters who are traveling to the Delta. If you get behind one, do not despair, there are several long passing zones.

At mile 15, turn right at the light onto Camino Diablo, and follow it into the town of Byron, home of the now abandoned Byron Hot Springs, which were prized by movie stars and athletes in the early 1900s. Drive across the Southern Pacific tracks, then make an immediate left onto Byron Highway. A mile and a half later, turn right onto Highway 4 towards Stockton.

From now on, with the exception of a couple of bridges over tributaries of the Sacramento River, the road is straight as an arrow. As you look ahead, it is tempting to imagine that a Boxster could easily hit 140 mph. Caltrans, however, in its infinite wisdom, did not want anyone to start dreaming of Nardo, so they built really bad pavement. They must have a special machine to add bumps, gashes and dimples automatically. In some places, 55 mph is an ambition, not a limit.  

Roads Oct2

As you drive past Discovery Bay on one side of the road, and the wide open pastures of the Sacramento River Delta on the other, the contrast between modern development and California's past could not be greater. After crossing the bridge over the Middle River, you'll see the Union Point Marina Bar and Grill,  the only food and rest establishment on this trip until you get to Stockton, another 10 miles down Highway 4.

Once in Stockton, you can get back on I-5 or continue to Highway 99, depending on where you travels take you. And on the way back, the same short cut works as well. And if you really want to know, it is 2.6 miles longer than the 5/205/580 route.

Claude

Scale: 1∆ to 5∆
                                          Twistiness      Pavement Quality       Scenery    
Vasco Road                            ∆∆∆                   ∆∆∆∆∆                ∆∆∆∆
Highway 4                                 0                          ∆                     ∆∆∆

Roads Oct3

Vineyard Specialties2


suspension performance
Cayenne Extra S

Porsche Adds 2010 Cayenne S Transsyberia to An Already Powerful SUV Line-Up

New, Special Model Pays Tribute to the Three-Time Rally-Winning Original

ATLANTA --- September 8, 2008 --- Winning Porsches come in many shapes, and nowhere is the competitive Porsche Motorsport DNA more evident than in the latest version of the thriving Cayenne range - the new race-inspired 2010 Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia.

The Cayenne S Transsyberia is based on the Cayennes that won one of the most grueling endurance races in the world. The rally marathon, which is held every spring, is a two-week race that traverses Russia, Siberia and Mongolia and covers over 4,400 miles. It is called, simply, the Transsyberia Rally, and slightly modified Porsche Cayenne S models have won this brutally demanding event three times in a row.

The most capable Cayenne yet will be revealed at the up-coming Paris Auto Show, October 4 - 18 2008.

Just as the Weissach-developed Cayenne S Transsyberia competition models were based on the street version of the Cayenne S, this 2010 special edition, with less than 600 units earmarked for North America, will feature the 405 horsepower, 4.8 liter naturally aspirated, direct fuel injected V8 engine lifted directly from the Cayenne GTS. The Tiptronic S six-speed automatic transmission with a 4.11:1 final drive ratio is standard.

All Cayenne S Transsyberias will be equipped with air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), which electronically adjusts the shock absorbers to achieve superior ride and handling characteristics. The permanent all-wheel drive Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system divides the torque between the front and rear, with a 62% rear-bias for greater on-road driving dynamics.

Cayenne trans Siberia
Most Likely to Get You There

The Cayenne S Transsyberia proudly shows off its winning pedigree. It will be available exclusively in four different color combinations - black with orange accents or crystal silver metallic, also with orange accents. For those desiring a more "stealthy" color combination, the Cayenne S Transsyberia will also available in either black with meteor grey metallic highlights or meteor grey metallic with crystal silver metallic highlights.

With the exception of the meteor grey metallic with crystal silver metallic combination, all Cayenne S Transsyberia will be available with contrasting colored 18-inch Cayenne S II wheels. Contrasting color is also used on the air intake vent fins, exterior mirror housing and extended bi-plane roof spoiler. In addition, the Cayenne S Transsyberia can be customized to include the decorative "Cayenne S Transsyberia" side strips and offroad roof lights (for vehicles without the optional moonroof) at no additional cost.

The standard front and rear stainless steel skid plates emphasize the off-road character of the Cayenne S Transsyberia. An optional off-road package that features a variable and lockable rear differential, rock rails with integrated skid plates, a reinforced engine-bay guard, and enhanced protection for the fuel tank and rear axle is available. A second towing lug is provided "just in case."
The Cayenne S Transsyberia also features standard sport seats with Alcantara seat inserts. The standard multifunction steering wheel is also covered in Alcantara and has a "twelve - o'clock" mark at the top of the wheel, as do all of the race-ready Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberias, in the same contrasting color as the exterior.

The 2010 Cayenne S Transsyberia will be available in the United States in early spring of 2009 with an MSRP of $70,800.
Coyote Run VIII
GGR Rally
Porscheplatz at Laguna Seca
Porscheplatz2

Remember to vote! We count 'em all. And we wouldn't want underhanded write-in candidates slipping in just for the August junket!

As always, thanks for reading.
John Celona
Porsche Club of America-Golden Gate Region
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John Celona
Porsche Club of America-Golden Gate Region
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