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Porsche Club of America
Golden Gate Region
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September 2008. Volume 48, Issue 9
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
The GGR Difference
How to Write a Novel About a Porsche
1st Porsche at Pebble Beach
SVR 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 Paraskova CG
Executive Editor of The Nugget
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President's Message
Bill Dally--by Bill Dally, GGR President

The Art of the Slalom

A slalom - a series of cones that you zig-zag through - leaving them on alternating sides of your car - is the quintessential autocross element. We've been seeing a lot of slaloms lately. At the narrow Alameda autocross site - and with the Alameda speed limit - most courses are variations of wiggling through a slalom down the runway, making a 180 degree turn and wiggling through another slalom back up the course. The two-day zone autocross at Marina in August contained three slaloms linked by some other features.

The slalom is a great illustration of the basics of autocross - and of driving in general - line, speed, and rhythm.

At its simplest, the line through a slalom involves turning around each cone as shown on the left below. If you leave all the cones to one side - as shown on the right below - you will get a "did-not-finish" or DNF for that run. Its surprising how often this happens in practice - as a driver gets flustered by the speed at which features appear. Some slaloms are "optional". This doesn't mean that you have the option of skipping them - as on the right below - but rather that the direction you pass the first cone is optional. Other slaloms have pointer cones indicating the required direction. More on optional slalom's later.

Sept Bill1
Once we are leaving cones on alternate sides of the car, we can work on refining our line to get through the slalom in the minimum amount of time. The first step is to get as close to the cones as possible - without actually hitting them - this is the fastest line. Because some people get a little too close, the cones in a slalom tend to be among the most popular cones at an autocross. If you want a good workout, sign up for a worker position near a slalom. You will spend a lot of time chasing down cones.

The second step is to get your car cornering at the limit nearly all of the time. You want your car at the limit of traction - throttle steering a clean arc with the car pulling maximum Gs to the left (I see 1.4G with sticky tires). Then half-way between two cones reversing the steering to smoothly switch to maximum Gs to the right. You then hold this steering input to throttle steer a smooth arc in the opposite direction around the next cone. On this optimal line, your hands are held steady most of the time - while making the clean arcs - and then move frenetically to reverse the steering input between the arcs. This reversal needs to be very smooth or the car will spin at this point.

This ideal line is shown at the left below. On the right below is an example of a common sub-optimal line where the driver drives a straight line past the cone and only then starts to turn to line up for the next cone. The arcs here are much tighter - and hence slower - than for the optimal line. This line is a good example of what happens when you don't look - and think - ahead. If you look only at the current cone you will have a tendency to drive a straight line past it - only after you pass that cone and look up at the next cone will you start to turn toward it. If, on the other hand, you look a few cones ahead you will start to naturally drive the more optimal line. On the optimal line you are making your turn well before the cone. If you ski race the technique is exactly the same as for skiing a slalom fast.

Sept Bill2A
Optional slalom's introduce another element to finding the optimal line - do you go right or left around the first cone. In a well-designed course, this is a puzzle where the optimal direction is non obvious. One direction usually favors the entry to the slalom while the other favors the exit. Depending on the features before and after the slalom, one way may work better than the other. If there is a long straight after the slalom you should probably favor the exit. If the entry to the slalom is slow, it may be better to favor the entrance. In some cases, you can effectively skip the first or the last cone of the slalom by choosing the optional direction. I usually try non-obvious optional slaloms both ways to see which way gives a better time.

Once you have the right line through a slalom - as shown on the left above - you can start dialing up your speed. Clearly, you want to drive through the slalom as fast as possible. This is easy to say and hard to do. Smoothness and car control come into play. You need to be very smooth in going from maximum Gs left to maximum Gs right. You also need to be aggressive enough to get to maximum Gs. This is where I loose time in slaloms. I'm just not pushing it hard enough to get to the limit. A G-meter (available as an application for your iPhone) can tell you how close you are coming to the limit. A simpler way to tell if you are pushing it hard enough is to look at how often you spin. If you aren't spinning occasionally in a slalom (or taking out a cone to avoid spinning), then you are either very good, or not pushing it hard enough. Aggression pays here - faint heart never won fair lady.

Once you master driving a slalom fast enough that you are at the limit of traction, you need to modify your throttle steering to account for slip. You will find yourself aiming at the cone and letting the car drift to just barely miss it. If you start out aiming to barely miss the cone, the drift will cause you to miss it by too large a margin - and this is a slower line.

After line and speed, the final element of driving is rhythm. There are differing opinions on rhythm. Some very fast drivers take a slalom at constant speed - using all available Gs for cornering. Others favor a lift (or even a tiny amount of left-foot braking) to rotate the car as you pass a cone followed by some smooth application of throttle midway between the cones. I find that a small amount of modulation of the throttle helps the process - feathering the throttle just a bit to tighten the curve a as I pass the cone and then applying part throttle to stabilize the car as I reverse steering.

While a slalom is conceptually simple, mastering one is a challenging endeavor that will place demands on your car control skills and driving technique. With practice, you can find the ideal line, dial up your speed, and develop a rhythm as you pass the pylons. When you get one just right you feel like you are one with your car.

Serve on the board

As I mentioned in my column last month, 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 volunteer or for more information.

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

Welcome to the GGR Historian

We would like to welcome Ralf Dossman as the new GGR Historian.

As we mentioned in a past column, the project at hand is to assemble a complete collection of The Nugget, then explore whether it is cost-feasible to create an electronic archive of past issues. If so, we may then be able to put the archive online for people to browse through.

Ralf has already begun down this road and has a collection of back issues of The Nugget kindly volunteered by GGR member Walt Koerber.

If you have a collection of back issues you would like to loan us (or, in Walt's case, part with!), please click on my photo to send me an email.

Past Nugget Editors: be forewarned. Ralf will be contacting you in the near future to see what back issues you may already have in electronic form to save the cost of scanning. Hopefully, it's not too much trouble to browse through the hard disk on that old computer in the basement.

Here's a little bit about Ralf:

Ralf is originally from Germany, and was born in the city of Porsche's: Stuttgart. He now lives in Belmont with his wife and two children. Among other things he enjoys his black 1973.5 911T, that needs to get out of the garage a little more. His full time job is with a well-known bay area software company.

Please join with me in welcoming Ralf and thanking him for taking on this project. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

As always, thanks for reading.

Competition Corner
--by Dan Thompson, Competition Director

News Flash

AX #7 has been cancelled.  We have somehow been double booked at Bay Meadows, with another event and they offered us ~1/2 of their normal smallish parking we have to have faith that our dynamic brother duo of Carl and Matt will come up with a replacement event.

Our last TT of the year will be on Sept. 20 and 21, so if you haven't registered yet, time is a wastin'!
As our competitive season winds down, our attention turns to rules proposals for the 2009 season. 

Proposed Rule Changes

Please see below the few proposals that have been forwarded to me for this year.

For autocross, tire warming is prohibited.  Any deliberate action that 
gives a participant warmer tires at the start of a run than a 
competitor is not allowed.  Actions that are specifically prohibited 
include: (a) having two drivers run the same car in the same run 
group, (b) using an electrical, propane, or other heater to warm tires 
between runs, and (c) using blankets or other insulating devices to 
retain heat in tires between runs.  It is understood that a 
participant that receives a rerun may enter the course with warmer 
tires.  However there is no way to avoid this and it is not a 
deliberate action.  Two drivers who wish to run one car in the same 
run group for social reasons may do so if they run in the "FUN" class 
but may not if they are running for points.


It is our goal to provide a level playing field for all competitors. 
Warm tires provide a significant advantage in grip - and hence time - 
and thus should be disallowed in the interest of fairness.

I suggest we require cars that qualify for the Showroom Stock classes to run in those classes. Cars that are modified run in the points classes now.  This should result in more competition in SS since some participants can choose to run in either SS or AX classes as the rules are currently.

I would like the table of stock rim widths changed to reflect the correct rear rim width for 1988 944 Turbo S and 1989 944 Turbo of 9 inches.  You will recall I showed you the factory owners manual for proof.

I think the points for limited slip differential should be extended to include factory computer controlled rear wheel slip as this is a much more sophisticated way of accomplishing the same goal with better results.  Currently, cars that have a limited slip whether stock for the model or not pay points (25 I think) for it but the better solution pays no points.

Replace the car classification system (for TT only?) with the previous model/degree of
modification based system (the "old system") subject to the following updates:
· apply to the old system, all rule changes relevant to classification that have been
made in the interim since the adoption of the points-based system.
· create new classes for any new car models that have been introduced since the
adoption of the points-based system (Cayman?)
· revise all other rules that make reference to a modification points threshold so that
they continue to work with the old classification system.

The purpose of this proposal is to get this change on the agenda of the current DEC so that
it will investigate and evaluate this proposal. Making the proposal is not necessarily an
endorsement of the proposal, rather it reflects a desire for an open discussion and
independent evaluation of the two competing classification systems. Some veteran time
trial participants have indicated that the points-based system is a deterrent to participation.
If we are to continue having a TT series, this possibility needs to be taken seriously and,
should it be deemed true and serious enough, a change may be contemplated. In order to
effect the change, a proposal has to be submitted so here it is. I expect a detailed proposal
to follow shortly from some of the club members

The Showroom Stock autocross classes are currently eligible for class points and a year-end trophy, but are not eligible for the PAX trophy. We could  include them in PAX by assigning them the PAX index of the AX class they would have been assigned to had they classified their car by the points system
Showroom Stock ClassBasepointsPoints ClassMen's PAXWomen's PAX
S.1: All 968400 to 525 AX 110.9380.9
S.2: 911 C2 (964: 1990-1994), C4 (964: 1989-1994) RS America (1993-1994)425 to 450AX130.9170.881
S.3: Boxster (986: 1997-2004)375 to 425AX130.9170.881
S.4: Boxster S (986: 2000-2004)450AX130.9170.881
S.5: Boxster (987: 2005-on), Cayman (2006-on)450AX130.9170.881
S.6: Boxster S (987: 2005-on), Cayman S (2006-on)525AX 110.9380.9
S.7: 911 Carrera (993: 1995-1998). All except Turbo450 to 475AX120.9280.92
S.8: 911 Carrera (996: 1999-2005). All except Turbo, GT2, GT3475 to 525AX 110.9380.9
S.9: 911 Carrera (997: 2005-on). All except Turbo, GT2, GT3500 to 550AX 110.9380.9
S.10: 911 Turbo (965/993/996/997: 1991-on). All except GT2475 to 600AX100.9460.908
S.11: All Cayenne250 to 500AX120.9280.92
S.12: GT2, GT3, Carrera GT, all725 to 1,000AX40.9930.953
* Equivalent = equivalent points class for upper end of points range

One is  that the stock wheel sizes for 1978 to 1983 911SC's should be 6 front 7 rear I saw in the points system that no points are given to cars with 7 and 8's

1984 to 1988 911 3.2 Carreras should have the stock wheel size as 6 front and 7 rear ,, same thing  as above

The above changes reflect the stock car as delivered

add a line item in the Glazing: Windows are removed  20 points ( takes weight out of the car )

Add a line item in Fenders: Fiberglass fenders installed 30 points ( above flares added ) just flaring the fenders add weight but allow wider tires. Fiberglass fenders lighten the car

Add line in Body work: non stock Bumpers 20 points ( for people removing the stock bumpers and replacing them with fiberglass items, less weight )

The above changes reflects someone building a race car  and making it lighter than we have anticipated

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

GGR Board of Directors
Meeting Minutes for August, 2008

Officially, the GGR board does not meet in the month of August.

Unofficially, the board traditionally spends the month vacationing at our private island, Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands (also known as Pikinni Atoll). Another reason to run for a position on the board!

Really, though, this little perk is a lot less expensive than the GT3 which the departing treasurer always seems to leave with. We got a great deal on the island because it's under water most of the year, and, actually, is only above water part of the day during August. We typically sleep in anchored inflatables just to dry out a bit. Also, it was really cheap because some sort of government work went on there in the 1940's and 50's, though, at the price offered, we didn't really ask what.

We also get to dine on these huge fish which inhabit the area, usually hunting them at night because they glow in the dark. Must eat a lot of phosphorescent algae.

Here's hoping you can win a position on the board and join us on next year's junket. It's a time not to be missed!

Club Sportiva2
June Membership Report

--by Jeff Kost, Membership DirectorJeff Kost

Total Members:  2524
Primary:             1474
Affiliate:             1052
Life:                        1

New Members:  11
Transfers In:       8
Transfers Out:     3

New Members

Carlotta Braniff

San Francisco


Barry Brisco

San Mateo

1959 356a

Jeff Carney



Kathleen Chesterfield

Los Altos


Benjamin Chui

San Francisco

1988 911

Joseph Crittenden



James & Karen Dimino


2008 Cayman

Basil & Deborah Fthenakis

Mountain View

2007 Cayman

Orlando Garcias


2002 Carrera 4S

Colby & Marilyn Kihara

El Sobrante

2004 GT3

Lian Hwa & Lian Hong Lee

South San Francisco

2008 Cayman

Randale Levins


2008 911 4S

Patricia Look



Jenny Lui

San Francisco


Terry & Helena Pence

San Jose

2001 Boxster

Mark Scherer

San Jose


Scott & Lisa Taylor

El Sobrante

1979 911 SC

Victor To


2000 Boxster


40 Years

Judy Zaccone



30 Years

Hermann Bonasch


1978 911SC

25 Years

Christopher Hill

San Carlos

1980 911

Richard Lessin


2006 911S

Clark Smith

San Carlos

1958 356

20 Years

Bob Hummer

Pacific Grove

1979 911SC

15 Years

Bernard Weinzimmer


2000 Boxster

10 Years

Dana Ambrisko

Mountain View


Robert Beckley

Carson City

1983 911

Demick & Jennifer Boyden


1974 914

Joseph Getcy

San Francisco

1996 911

Naomi Murai



Caroline Nakajima

San Francisco


Ken Rosario

San Francisco

1988 944 Turbo

Robert Stefanowicz


69 911

Lori Wheeley



Judy Davis

San Jose


Ted Earle

San Jose

1996 993

Christopher Zaccalini

San Francisco

1986 911

5 Years

Kathleen Bisaceita

San Francisco


Eric Chrisman



Norbert Debler

San Jose

1993 911 C2

David Francl

San Francisco

2003 Boxster

Chris Mielke

Palo Alto


Paul Scherer

San Jose

1988 911

Russell Stedman


2002 911

George Daniloff

Mountain View

2003 996

Victoria Earle

San Jose


Barney Lim

Portola Valley

2000 911

Frederick Williams

San Mateo

1970 911 T

Beth Bechky


2008 Drivers' Ed & Time Trial Schedule
TT banner

  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 Key to Turkeys

--by John Celona, The Power Chef

I'm not sure if Americans love turkeys or hate them.

Sure, on Thanksgiving it seems absolutely requisite that every table be crowned with Mr. T. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without one!

Still, the Big Bird does seem to shadow every kitchen with impending doom as soon as Halloween passes. So many people dread Cooking the Turkey. It is perhaps the one occasion each year when people who wouldn't otherwise dream of producing an entire banquet in their kitchen are expected to turn one out. How big a bird to get? How will it turn out? What will the relatives think? And-horror of horrors-will it turn out to be DRY; a veritable Turtankahem, devoid of moisture, giving no hint of having been recently alive, requiring extensive chewing, hard on dentures, and prompting choking diners to drown it in a sea of gravy?

It's no wonder that, each year, more and more folks are electing to purchase their turkey cooked and to go--or even jettisoning that emblematic Thanksgiving fowl altogether in favor of Something Else, Anything Else, cooked and ready to go from Whole Foods, Safeway, or perhaps Boston Market.

It needn't be this way.

To produce a great-tasting turkey, there is only one thing you absolutely need to remember:

Don't Overcook the Turkey

Everything else I'll talk about is gravy, so to speak. This is the key.

And how to tell when the turkey is done? I've done so many that I just eyeball it, but, to be certain, use a meat thermometer, stick it in the thick part of the thigh, and cook it to an internal temperature of 150ºF.

That's it; no more. Then take it out and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving it.

This isn't entirely on my own authority (if I had any!). This is the temperature recommended by The Culinary Institute of America (The New Professional Chef, p. 382).

Be forewarned, though. This is not the standard prescription these days. The directions that come with most turkeys (drafted, no doubt, by attorneys paranoid about potential liability) advise cooking a turkey to an internal temperature of 170ºF or even 180ºF.

Make no mistake about it: this is a recipe for disaster.

As the meat (any meat, actually) is cooked to higher and higher temperatures, the water content in it separates out, drains off or evaporates, and the meat becomes successively drier. A turkey cooked to 170ºF will be the dry, usual turkey you've come to dread. Cook it to 180ºF and you might as well wrap it in bandages and leave it for a future archeologist.

150ºF when you take it out of the oven produces a beautifully moist and tender turkey that will have your relatives ooing and aahing.

To be sure, you should rinse the turkey thoroughly in cool water before cooking it. And, if you brine the turkey (the next level of wonderfulness), the salty solution adds another layer of safety.

This is not to say there won't be issues. A turkey cooked to this temperature will have hints of pink to it, and hints of pink in the juices running off of it.

This is not a threat to your life and well-being. It is okay, really, and perfectly safe. Really red meat I of course would cook more, but a little pink is perfect. People with huge anxiety issues about this can have an outside slice which is more done, or pop their bit in the micowave for a minute. And, if you actually do let the turkey sit for a half-hour before carving it, the pink will have disappeared by the time you carve it and you'll be left just with picture-perfect slices.

That's the key point to get rave reviews when you cook a turkey. Continue on if you'd like to reach for the heights few have achieved.

Brining the Turkey

This simply means soaking the turkey in water and salt before cooking it. I use about a gallon of water and a cup of salt, plus some ground pepper and an herb for more flavor. It doesn't have to be enough water to cover the turkey (it would float, anyway). Just before sure to give the turkey a few flips at first to thoroughly salt the outside, then a flip every 6-12 hours as it soaks. 24-hours at room temperature will do the trick (the salt kills any germs); or it can go longer in the fridge if you like.

My basic brining recipe is:
  • 1 gallon cool water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herb, such as rosemary or sage
Brining makes the turkey unbelievably moist and seasoned all the way through. You'll be able to save the gravy for the mashed potatoes where it belongs.

Sep PC1
Here's Ms. Birdie part-way through her 24-hour bath (remember to flip regularly!)

These two steps (brining + not overcooking) will by themselves produce probably the best turkey you or your guests have ever had. But, if you'd like to turn out The Ultimate Turkey, go for the

High-Temperature Flip-Cooking Method

This is not for the shy types, but it takes your turkey to a whole different level. The problem turkeys have been beset with since the beginning of time (or at least the first Thanksgiving!) is which side to place up. Cook your turkey breast up (the usual prescription) and the breast meat will be dry by the time the thighs are done. Cook it breast down and the thighs will be overdone by the time the breast meat is perfectly cooked (to a hint of pink, of course!).

The solution: flip the turkey over part way through.

Sep PC2
Here she is after the first stint on her tummy and ready for a flip.

This is not as hard as it sounds. Use two or three paper towels in each hand as disposable pot holders, lift the roasting rack out, set it on your turkey platter, then tilt the rack to roll out the turkey. Set the rack back in your roasting pan, flip the turkey over if not already flipped, then set the turkey back in the track, then in the oven. Continue cooking until done.

Besides cooking your turkey more evenly, you can also use a higher roasting temperature to get the turkey evenly browned on all sides and to cook it faster. I cook the bird at 450ºF and can completely cook a stuffed 15-pound turkey in about 2 to 2-1/2 hours. And it's completely done (perfectly!), completely browned on all sides, and most of the subcutaneous fat has melted off.

Plus the look of the bird is like you only see in cooking magazines. (By the way, for photographs, many turkeys are stuffed with aluminum foil and only partly cooked. They look great, but aren't edible!).

Sep PC3
Finished and just settin' a spell. Yum!

If you're not up for the high-temperature flip method, just cook the turkey breast side down at 325ºF or 350ºF until done (depending on your oven).

I know the usual prescription is to cook it breast side up, but the dark meat (back and legs) has a much higher fat content than the breast meat, so can take extra cooking without drying out. And then you'll still have perfectly done breast meat.

Just leave the turkey breast side down on the platter to show off the browned portion rather than flipping it. If anyone asks why it is isn't turned the other way, say it's a free-range turkey from Australia.

One last note and you'll know everything I do about turkeys.

Fresh or Frozen Doesn't Matter

That's right: you pay a lot more for a fresh turkey, but how you cook it (that is: not overcooking it!) matters a whole lot more than whether you start with fresh or frozen. I've done lots of both and have never been able to tell the difference in the finished product. What's more, this opinion was confirmed by an article in The Wall Street Journal a while back.

Sep PC4
Here's the cooled drippings showing all the fat that melted off.
Your arteries and waistline will thank you (and you get to eat the skin!)

And if Wall Street doesn't know a lot about selling turkeys, I don't know who does!

Time to Practice

You may be asking yourself at this point: why is all this appearing in the September Nugget? Why not the November issue?

For the simple reason that, with cooking turkeys as with everything else, practice makes perfect. I wouldn't wait until T-Day to try a completely different cooking method. You've enough to worry about with hoping it doesn't rain.

But now you have two whole months to buy a turkey and try out a better way. I made one just this past weekend. Once you have the method down, it's easy, dependable, and makes a great bird and feeds the family for a week.

Season your fall menu with a practice turkey. Then you'll be ready to celebrate the big day with a meal instead of a mummy!

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

Tomales to Bolina

Last month we ended up in Tomales, so today it is time to drive back south towards San Francisco. Maybe you stayed in Tomales the whole time and enjoyed the relaxed pace of life. Did you know that Marin County has the United States' highest density of BMW cars? We won't let this rather odd fact ruin our day, though, as great Porsche roads await.

From Tomales, head south on Highway 1/Shoreline Highway and enjoy the approximately 8 miles of nice curves and smooth pavement to Marshall. The town of Marshall is pretty sleepy at any time of day; if you bought oysters on the way up, there is not much point in stopping again. Make a sharp left on the Marshall Petaluma Road, which climbs up the hill away from the ocean and into Verde Canyon. The trees disappear; the curves are numerous and sometimes off-camber, meandering among pastures and cows. The only caution is that the pavement is in nasty condition in a few places; a very low car might bottom out. Passing is possible only to the extent that the driver in front of you is courteous enough to let you go. Otherwise, enjoy the sights.

A few miles up the road, a local rancher has set up two rusty tractors and an old Ford pickup in front of his house. Suspend disbelief for a moment, and you will go right back to the 1920s. It is truly the land that time forgot. You may want to stop for a Kodak moment.

R1 sept  

12 miles after the turn off in Marshall, make a right on Hicks Valley Road to go around Hammock Hill and arrive in Hicks Valley. At the intersection of the Point Reyes Petaluma Road, turn right, going west. This is a short three mile stretch downhill towards Nicasio Reservoir, with nice views of the California rolling hills. At the reservoir, turn left on Nicasio Valley Road, where you might enjoy a few miles at higher pace. There are plenty of passing opportunities, too. You could also stop at Rancho Nicasio for brunch or for live music in the evenings.

R2 sept

At the end of Nicasio Valley Road, turn left on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. This short segment is unlikely to be very entertaining due to traffic, but soon you arrive in Fairfax, which is a great spot for coffee, snacks or lunch. You can enjoy a beer at the award winning Iron Springs Brewery or an ice cream at the Scoop, famous for being the first such Bay Area establishment to sell organic ice cream.

After some rest in Fairfax, it is time to get back on the road for the highlight of this trip: Bolinas Road. You have to get off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. First, so turn right at Claus Drive, then immediately left onto Broadway, then immediately right onto Bolinas Road. It is not as complicated as it sounds.

One mile after the road leaves town, the twisty bits start. I suspect this is an old logging road, because it is very narrow in parts and was never modernized or straightened. Good! Watch for bicycles, since the area is a popular week-end destination for cyclists. It is unlikely you will run into pick-up trucks and other implements of commerce, though. At mile 8, you arrive at Alpine Lake which may remind you of Switzerland if you choose to ignore the flourishing oaks and sequoias. After a climb to 1600 feet, the road starts winding down towards the ocean. There are multiple spots with great views of the Bolinas Lagoon and the Pacific.

R3 sept

When you reach Highway 1, just drive straight across and turn left on Olema-Bolinas Road at the T intersection. As Bolinas' reputation dictates, there is no Caltrans sign in sight; however, a hand-painted sign on the side of the road reads: "Bolinas: Socially Acknowledged Nature Loving Town." In a sign of modern times, town residents voted to declare Bolinas a "GPS-Free Zone" and are rumored to have installed satellite jammers on nearby hills. Try to stay away from the Bolinas Border Patrol, recently renamed the Bolinas Privacy Committee, but enjoy a drink at the Coast Café or pay a visit to Smiley's Schooner Saloon, the oldest continuously operating saloon in California. Sit outside and enjoy people watching; it is worth the trip!


Scale: 1∆ to 5∆
                                          Twistiness      Pavement Quality       Scenery    
Highway 1                                ∆∆∆                   ∆∆∆∆∆                ∆∆∆∆
Marshall Petaluma Road          ∆∆∆∆                      ∆∆                  ∆∆∆∆∆
Point Reyes Petaluma Rd           ∆∆                     ∆∆∆∆                  ∆∆∆
Nicasio Valley Road                   ∆∆                     ∆∆∆∆                  ∆∆∆
Sir Francis Drake Blvd                 ∆                     ∆∆∆∆                    ∆∆
Bolinas Road                           ∆∆∆∆∆                   ∆∆                   ∆∆∆∆∆

RC Sept4

Vineyard Specialties2

The GGR Difference

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

There are a lot of organizations out there offering track days.  How is anyone supposed to sort it out and choose?  The purpose of this article is to describe what I call "the GGR Difference" and help you understand a couple of the special aspects of GGR and our track events program.

The first important difference between GGR and many of the other organizations out there is that we are NOT FOR PROFIT.  This has several consequences -- the first is that when attendance rises, our fees drop.  If our organizers show up with shiny new cars it's because of some other windfall, not because of your dollars subsidizing our automotive bling!  Even now, during an economically challenging time, I regard our attendance as good and our fees as competitive.  Remember when comparing event fees to factor in the cost of a vacation day or two as many other for-profit clubs run on weekdays whereas we run almost exclusively on weekends.  In addition, you should think about whether you'd prefer to share a long track with 20-30 cars or a shorter track with 40+ cars.  Since we try to address the interests and needs of a varying population of members there are necessarily some trade-offs in our program so you may be able to find a specific, unusual combination of features in someone else's program at a comparable price but overall I think we're very competitive in terms of our offering.

A second important difference between GGR and other clubs is the quality of the instructional program.  It is rare for a club to dedicate the level of effort to recruiting, evaluating and sustaining instructors that GGR does.  GGR Instructors are well regarded in all local clubs of which I'm aware and with good reason!  You may be familiar with the fact that PCA's national body has instituted a common cirriculum for instructor training.  This excellent program establishes a baseline for instructing novices in a PCA DE event.  GGR Instructors go beyond that -- each one has been evaluated in a written application, in their own driving and in their ability to teach a spectrum of student types -- that's right, we role play various instructional scenarios and evaluate the candidate's response!  After all that, instructor feedback is sought after every engagement and we can identify and remedy any subsequent issues.  Because GGR has a history of emphasizing Time Trial during our track events our instructors are also typically better able to help you go faster (= drive better) than other club's instructors who may be happy to sign you off once you know your way around the track and are really only instructing at that event to get free track time.

The last difference I'll mention in this article is that, as a club, we make a concerted effort to know our participants.  By this I mean we expect a certain level of training and knowledge from them before letting them out on the track.  Once they're on the track we provide full instruction for novices and we keep an eye on everyone to see if there are any issues that might benefit from some refresher instruction.  When experienced drivers apply to join us and cannot make Ground School (for geographic or schedule reasons) we may waive that requirement for them, but only after we get a satisfactory reference for them from a source we know and trust.  We have declined such applicants in the past and we may do so in the future.  This is not to say we set the bar unreasonably high for you, but that you can take some comfort in knowing that we have made an effort to screen and educate your fellow participants.  Coming back full circle to our not-for-profit status, we can turn away applicants with less of an impact than for-profit events where people may be allowed to enter and self-identify as to experience and rungroup status.  Most people are reasonable and respectful but there are occasionally some people who will overstate their competence and you don't want to be on track with them.

I hope this brief discussion of a couple of aspects of GGR and its track program helps you understand how and why GGR is different and I hope you'll choose GGR track events in the future.

suspension performance
How to Write a Novel About A Porsche

How3--by Kevin Gosselin, author

    Five years ago I had a crazy little idea. I would write a novel. Of course, it would have to include cars. But in what manner? I then had the idea to center the story around cars, and in particular an automotive archaeologist who finds missing cars. At the time I was working with J. Walter Thompson, flying many, many miles a month. And I soon found I did my best and most focused writing on the plane. Locked into a coach seat, headphones on, it was a joy to immerse myself in the world of Faston, Charles and Caprice. And when it came time to pick the car they would be trying to locate, a Porsche was the only option for me. Although I love all cars, Porsche have a special place in my heart. The 901 was the model I choose, because it was the vehicle that truly launched Porsche towards the company they now are.

    Writing the book was the easy part. Really, it was. I encourage anyone who has an inkling of a desire to write a book should do it. I finished my first draft 8 months after starting it. And I kept it a secret from my wife the whole time. So, I wrapped the book up as a present and put it under the tree. Of course she said she loved it. Family are not really the best creative critics. But they do provide all the support needed.

    Trying to get HUNT FOR 901 published is another story all together. As easy as writing the book was, trying to find an agent or publisher was just that hard. I received over 30 denials. Several read the entire manuscript. But in the end, it all came back to "we don't see a market for automotive fiction." As an advertising professional and car nut I knew this wasn't true. And then I finally met a man who agreed, Kevin Clemens. The former editor of European Car started a publishing company with its main goal to publish automotive fiction. I almost fell out of my chair when I found his website.

    In the five years it took from first keystroke to holding the book in my hand I bought and sold three Porsches. Changed jobs. Moved houses. Twice. Had another Porsche stolen. Restoring a rusted out hulk would have been easier and faster to complete. But in the back of my mind was the book and trying to get it published and out to what I know to be an intelligent, eager reading audience. Besides, aren't we all sick of finding automotive fiction only in the classifieds.

PICTURES  - This is an image I shot about a year into the process. It motivated me sometimes more than the words on the page. Looking at my characters made them so much more real.


Also, included is a shot of my 1983 911SC. Driving it was, and is, a great cure for writers block.


Here is the book:

First Porsche to be at Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance to Display The First Porsche Sports Car


Porsche celebrates 60 years by showing the mid-engine 'Porsche No. 1' sports car that Dr. Ferry Porsche built when he could not find the car of his dreams

Atlanta, August 5, 2008 - Porsche No. 1, the one-of-a-kind, two-seat sports car Dr. Ferdinand 'Ferry' Porsche developed and built after he searched and was unable to find the car of his dreams, makes its North American Concours d'Elegance debut when it joins other notable and historic vehicles August 14th at California's famed Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

This occasion is a happy one as Porsche No. 1's first North American trip, to Porsche's 50th Anniversary celebration at the Monterrey Historics in 1998, was thwarted when it was damaged in Chicago on its way to California. This trip also is special as it helps commemorate Porsche's 60th anniversary. Before arriving at the Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Porsche No. 1 had a starring role in Porsche Cars North America's 60th Anniversary celebration at its Atlanta corporate headquarters.
Affectionately called Porsche No. 1 by the Porsche family and thousands of the brand's loyal followers worldwide, this legendary sports car and the lynchpin of Porsche's design philosophy began life in June 1947 as engineering project Type 356 in the Porsche design office in Gmünd, Austria. Officially known as Type 356-001, Ferry Porsche's design concept took shape through the leadership of Karl Rabe, Porsche's talented chief designer who worked alongside Ferry's father to develop the original Volkswagen (VW).

In post-war Germany and Europe where resources were few yet the desire to rebuild was strong, the Porsche team diligently started building the innovative sports car. Starting with a hand-built tubular steel frame, engineers fitted already existing VW components including the suspension, headlights, clutch, gearbox, cable-operated brakes, worm-gear steering, and various small parts. VW parts were a natural choice due to the early VW-Porsche relationship and because of VW's key role in the post-war rebuilding effort after British military officers brought VW's Wolfsburg factory back online in 1945 to fulfill car demand and to stimulate the nation's economy.


The basic Volkswagen air-cooled, 1.31-liter flat-four engine put out just 25 horsepower at 3,300 rpm, so the skilled Porsche team enlarged the bore from 70 to 75 mm, increased compression from 5.8:1 to 7.0:1, and added slightly larger inlet valves and ports and twin carburetors, boosting output to between 35 and 40 horsepower.

The engine and transaxle were fitted into the frame in such a way that the engine ended up positioned in front of the rear axles with the transaxle trailing behind, making this a true mid-engine design. Mated to a four-speed gearbox, the drivetrain proved to be both lightweight and reliable.

Erwin Komenda, who along with Ferry Porsche and Karl Rabe formed the foundation of the fledgling car company, penned an aerodynamic and easy-to-build open roadster design. Friedrich Weber from Gmünd, one of just three of the company's body artisans, formed each of the car's aluminum body panels by hand, beating the then rare sheet metal and massaging it into shape over the wooden body buck Komenda had designed. The result was as shapely and beautiful as it was functional, with minimal protrusions to upset the aerodynamics or its visually graceful lines.

As with every Porsche since, form followed function on Porsche No. 1. The interior featured a bench seat to accommodate a third passenger if needed, a simple dash with only a tachometer (a speedometer was added later), a locking glove box, and map pockets on the leather door panels. An ample luggage compartment and the fuel tank were placed under the front hood, and the mid-engine layout provided space for a spare wheel and tire and battery behind the engine and above the transaxle. Finally, a frameless and low twin-panel front windscreen provided wind protection while accenting the sports car's gentile lines.

The unique roadster weighed merely 1,290 pounds, and thanks to the modified engine it could reach a top speed of between 84 and 87 mph. In May 1948, Ferry Porsche himself set off on the first long road test, driving from Gmünd to Zell am See, Austria. During the rigorous test drive over some of Europe's most spectacular climbs, the rear torsion bar suspension failed but was repaired en route. Through this car's entire test period, this proved to be the only mechanical failure.

Journalists tested the car on July 4, 1948, and Robert Braunscheweig, editor of Switzerland's highly respected Automobil Revue, concluded, "This is how we imagine modern road motoring to be, where the advantages of modern springing and the resultant driving comfort are combined with the adhesion of an equally modern, low and handy sports car." On July 11, with Herbert Kaes at the wheel, Porsche No. 1 won its class in the Rund um den Hofgarten local race in Innsbruck, Austria. Just as today, testing and competition proved to be solid underpinnings for the company's commercial and motorsports success.

Soon after, Porsche ramped up production of the 356 sports car at the company's tiny factory in Gmünd, abandoning the complex steel tube frame in favor of a stamped floor pan. The engine also was repositioned behind the axles to provide more interior space and room for a rear seat. Not too much later Porsche moved its production operations in 1950 to its current home in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.

After passing through the hands of several owners, Porsche No. 1 was reacquired by Porsche AG and became a centerpiece in the Porsche museum. As Porsche nears completion of its new museum alongside the Porsche factory in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Porsche No. 1 will be prominently displayed in a way befitting the historic car that shaped all future Porsche vehicles.

SVR Autocross
Coyote Run VIII
GGR Rally
Porscheplatz at Laguna Seca
Odds bodkins. Enough for September, I think.

Oops! I think today was supposed to be a holiday! No rest for the editor.

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