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Porsche Club of America
Golden Gate Region

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April 2009. Volume 49, Issue 4
In This Issue
President's Message
Letter from the Editor
Competition Corner
Board of Directors
Membership Report
Club Racing comes to GGR
The Power Chef
Porboys AX School
Monterey Historics Events
Boxster Register News
40th Birthday for Porsche 917
Zone 7 Concours School
SVR Autocross
Stompin' AX
Snake Eyes Rallye
Yosemite Concours
Zone 7 AX 3 and 4
Redwood Porsche Corral
LPR Rallye
SVR Concours
Palo Alto Concours
Yosemite 50th
Quick Links
Dear Porsche Enthusiast,

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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

President's Message - April Nugget 2009
When I am instructing at autocrosses my students often tell me about the mods they are considering for their cars - after-market chips for the ECUs, after market exhaust, turbo tie rod ends, etc....  Occasionally they ask me which mod will make the most difference.  My answer is always the same.  After driver talent, the thing that will make the most difference for your autocross times is better tires.

I experienced the difference tires make first hand at the March autocross at Alameda.  I had been driving my 914/6 on R-compound cantilever slicks when Larry Adams offered to let me take a run in his GT3.   This was truly an offer one could not refuse.  The GT3 has more horsepower than my 914 and running on street tires it has less grip - not a good combination.  As I took off down the front straight I was amazed at the acceleration of the GT3.  It really threw me back in my seat.  Around the left 270 it got a little loose - which should have been a warning.  I managed to collect it and put the pedal down for the next straight which ended in a high-speed kink to the right.  I braked for the kink and tossed the car to the right - lifting and trail-braking to rotate, and then applying power to settle the rear.  Unfortunately I was expecting the grip of the R-compound slicks and the street tires weren't able to hold the line.   I tried to pinch it to hold the line and wound up in a spectacular spin - at least a 9.5 on a scale of 10.  The difference between the grip I expected and the grip I got was all about tires.

Most people start with street tires.  Street tires have several advantages.  They are very durable - they can last 30,000 miles of normal driving - or many seasons of autocrossing.  You can safely drive to and from events on street tires because they are sturdy enough to handle typical road imperfections and debris and they have deep tread that sheds water - making them safe in the rain or on wet surfaces.  They also make a lot of noise - screeching as you approach the limit of traction - adding to the drama of driving and giving you audible feedback.  However, they give limited grip - at most 1G on the skid pad.

You can have a lot of fun autocrossing on street tires.  I drove my RS America in Class M on BF Goodrich street tires and my stock 914-4 in Class AX15 on Falken Azenis.  I had a lot of fun driving and getting ready for an event was very low overhead.  I just put my bag of autocross supplies and my lunch into the car and drove to the event.  At the event, I just adjusted air pressure.  The BF Goodrich tires on the 964 performed best at about 38psi front, 40psi rear, while the Falkens on the 914 performed best at about 33psi all around.  At the end of the day I just readjusted the pressure and drove home.  No trailers, no changing tires.  Maximum fun and convenience.

If you have a competitive streak, at some point the need for speed will drive you to move beyond street tires.   The next step is to move to DOT-R tires.  These are Department of Transportation approved tires with a sticky compound (R-compound) on the tire surface.  To get the DOT approval, these tires typically have two or three narrow grooves in the tread.  Don't be fooled, DOT approved or not, these tires are NOT safe on wet surfaces.  They will hydroplane on even slightly damp pavement.  They also tend to be less sturdy than a real street tire - more likely to fail if you hit some debris on the road.    Hoosier A6s or Kumho V710s are the quintessential DOT-R tires and are extremely competitive.  You can pull 1.3 to 1.4Gs on a skid pad with a DOT-R.  If you pull 1.4Gs instead of 1G on a turn, you can take the turn 1.2 times faster (velocity squared is proportional to lateral force).  That translates into faster lap times.  The upside is better grip.  The downside is lower durability and convenience.  They also tend to be quiet - when they start sliding they do it without the Hollywood sound effects first.

April BillD1
Fig 1:  A Hoosier A6 DOT-R tire has sticky R-compound rubber for grip and two narrow grooves to barely meet the DOT regulations for street tires.  Do not drive on these tires in wet weather.

I drove my Boxster-S in time-trial and autocross for years on Kumho V700 Victoracers.  The R-compound tires were easily worth 2 seconds off a typical 40-50 second autocross course.  However, the overhead of preparing for the event went up.  At a minimum I had to change tires (from/to my daily-use street tires)  before and after the event.  In the dry season I'd drive to events on the DOT-Rs.  If there was any chance of rain, I'd pull my DOT-R tires behind the car on a small trailer.  I did get to the point where I could change tires in 15 minutes.  The durability also went down.  Running GGR, LPR, and Zone autocrosses, I would go through two sets of DOT-R tires in a season.  A set of DOT-Rs would last about two track weekends.

A small step up from a DOT-R is a full-on racing slick.  These have a little more grip, but making no pretense of being a street tire, they are not legal for operation on the public highways.  (They are clearly labeled "For Racing Use Only" on the sidewalls.)  The difference in both convenience and grip from a DOT-R is small.  On the upside, you can pull about 1.4-1.45Gs on the skid pad.  The downside is that you don't have the option of driving to the event on the tires you plan to run.  You have to either trailer the car or change tires at the event.

April BillD2
Figure 2:  A Goodyear Road Race Special R19 Cantilever Slick, R250 compound - Shadowfax's footwear.  This tire has a very sticky surface and no grooves at all.

I run Goodyear bias-ply cantilever slicks on Shadowfax, my 914/6 autocross car.  (Radial slicks are also available and demand a different alignment.)   On a warm surface, these give slightly better grip than a DOT-R tire, and I'm trailering the car anyway, so there is no incremental loss of convenience.  Its worth pointing out that on a cold day - when the slicks don't have a chance to heat up - a Hoosier A6 gives better grip.

One downside of a DOT-R tire or racing slick is that their grip deteriorates over time.  Being of a parsimonious nature, I originally thought that one should run a racing tire until it was showing cords.  However, at the two-day Zone autocross at Marina last year, I experienced first hand the degradation of tires with age and heat cycles.  Competitors running on new tires were taking some corners much faster than me.    I would be slip-sliding away around these turns, and when I went to lay power down, my rear wheels would just spin.  The problem was that I was running a set of tires that I had bought used and then run about 150 autocross runs on.  They had long since lost their grip.

For autocross the Goodyear racing slicks start degrading noticeably after about 50 runs - about 6 typical events.  Each run counts as a small heat cycle.  The tires heat up during the run and then cool off again while waiting on the grid for the next run.  After about 50 heat cycles, the tires harden, loosing their grip.  Despite showing no cords, the tires are trash.  Cheap as I am, I now realize that I need to break down and buy a set of new tires if I'm going to be competitive.   I may even need two sets per year if I run a lot of events.

Another downside to sticky tires is that they pick up gravel.  Once they warm up during a run, their surface is sticky enough that small stones adhere to the surface.  On the slow drive back to the grid area after a run they literally pick up every piece of gravel that you drive over leaving the surface of the tire densely covered with small rocks.  I, like most people, try to brush these off the best I can before the next run.  However, you can't get them all.   When a tire covered with rocks comes up to speed, it throws these rocks off in all directions.  Flying rocks chip up the inside of your fender wells and can cause paint chips on areas that can "see" the rear side of the front tires.  The front side of my rear fender flares tends to be particularly vulnerable.

So, if you are considering modifications for your Porsche to make it more competitive in driving events, put your money where the rubber meets the road - in your tires.  However, realize that you are starting down a slippery slope that starts with R-compound tires and quickly leads to a modified suspension, a gutted interior, a hot-rod engine, and a re-geared transmission.  While for some, the descent down this slope of building a dedicated race car can be great fun in itself, you can also have lots of fun driving a bone-stock Porsche on street tires.

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

I'll be brief--just trying to get this issue out the wire! No letters to the editor this month, but the offer is still open so just click on my photo to send me an email.

High Performance House
Competition Corner
van Norsdall
--by Wayne Van Norsdall, Competition Director

Spring is here and GGR has completed its first two competition events of the year. The AX at Alameda went off without a hitch with the continued hard word and guidance of Matt and Carl Switzer - thanks guys! The other event was the large undertaking of GGR's first PCA Club Race / TT weekend. Not only the first TT of the year, but with the added work and planning of the club race event mixed in. This three day event looked and felt as though GGR had been organizing this type of event for years. As a competitor in the club race myself, it ran flawless. I think the only thing I could find to complain about was the relentless wind you sometimes find at Thunderhill. I would like to thank Mike and Warren for working so hard to make this event a reality for our club, and thank all the others in GGR and at national that helped make this special event happen. 

Don't forget to take advantage of one of the free tech sessions still available. 

Greetings GGR!

I want to start by saying thank you for the opportunity to serve as your new competition director. I look forward to serving the club that has served me for many, many years. With just a few weeks in, I have an immense appreciation for those before me and those I will have the opportunity to serve with - it is clearly a lot of work!

As I am clearly new and just getting my feet wet, I don't have a great deal to report and promise a more comprehensive report next month.

What I do have to report is that the new race series is moving along well and it looks like we have good initial interest. As you may already know, you will be required to hold a PCA club racing license for the racing events. There will be a PCA club racing license school on Friday March 27th which is the first day of the first drivers ed/time trial/ club racing event. For more info go to GGR's club racing page.
We are also looking at adding the spec 911 class to the TT series. More info to follow! The club has 5 track events on the calendar so get those cars inspected at one of the free tech sessions and let's drive!

And let's not forget the great fun of AX! Team Matt and Carl are working away on the final details for the season and it should be another flawless work of art. And for those of you on the fence, try it! It's a great way to start high performance driving without the risk of damage, or that pesky tow truck the highway patrol is likely to call if you go too fast or drive too frisky on the street.

It should be a great year GGR!

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

GGR Board of Directors
Meeting Minutes for March 4, 2009

The meeting was held at the residence of the President, Bill Dally. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. Present were Bill Dally, Larry Adams, Jeff Kost, Matt Switzer, Paul Larson, Sharon Neidel, Bill Benz, John Celona, Mark Powell, Claude Leglise, and Rob Murillo.

Call for agenda changes: added discussion of beginners' autocross school. .

Call for calendar changes: none

Approval of January minutes: already approved via email.

Postmortem of events

2/7/09 Porsche (Boxster) Brunch
2/21/09 Tech Inspection @ Kahlers
2/28/09 Tech Inspection @ David Loop
2/28/09 Tech Inspection @ Carlsen

Directors' Reports

President: nothing to report.


Upcoming event status report:
3/07/09 Ground School
3/21/09 Alameda Auto X
3/27-29/09 DE/TT/CR #1 TH

Certificates are ordered for the following events:
3/7/09 Tech Inspection @ S Car Go

Certificates are in place for the following events:
3/27-29/09 DE/TT/CR #1 TH
Alameda Auto X dates

Treasurer:  The club's annual cash balance low point has passed now that money has started to come in from Motorsports Reg. Another payment will be going out to Thunderhill.

Secretary: nothing to report.


Upcoming Event Status Report:
  • TRG "Wine and Wrenches" Tech Session: Saturday, 6/20/09. GGR will be having a Tech Session/Wine Tasting/Catered Lunch at TRG on June 20, 2009.  The cost will be $20 per adult, with children under 12 will free. We will be able to have up to 100 guests!!
  • GGR Family Picnic / People's Choice Concours: Saturday, 7/25/09. Gateway Pavilion and parking lot reserved for "Special Event".
Future Events for Discussion: 
  • TRG Paddock Tour at Laguna Seca Grand Am Races: Saturday, 5/16/09. Mark has been negotiating with TRG for a tour of their paddock at the Grand Am races being held at Laguna Seca from May 15 to 17, 2009.  
  • Flying Lizard Tour: Date TBD. Mark has been talking to Dede Seward (a Boxster Babbler and dual LPR/GGR member) about a tour to Flying Lizard.  She is working with the Lizards to set up a tour and would like to include GGR. 
Membership: Membership levels are tracking new Porsche sales and the overall economy.

Motion to approve the new members was passed.

The first autocross date on March 21 at Alameda has been confirmed. Other dates are in question given the difficulty of confirming dates at Alameda. Matt and Carl Switzer are actively pursuing options for filling out the rest of the autocross series.

Laser scanner, printer, and bar code issues for the new timing system are still being worked. It will be a couple of events before it's fully deployed, and may not actually be used for the points until next year. New radios for autocross will also be ordered.

For the possible Bear Valley event, there was consensus to make it a GGR points autocross. There will also be efforts to possibly make it into a multi-event occasion with a wash'n'shine concours, hopefully in conjunction with either Zone 7 or another region or both.  

Webmaster:  800 visits in January, and 860 in February.

Topics for discussion

News from National. The PCA winter board meeting was in New Orleans over Mardi Gras. PCNA hopes to have a Panamerica at parade. PCA is coming out with a new web site with all forms online. It will come out after Parade. 2010 Parade will be in Chicago. There will be a PCA Porsche corral at Laguna Seca in conjunction with Grand Am (in lieu of ALMS) because Porsche is running in Grand Am.

Policy Adoption. Motion was made to incorporate policies on Avoiding Conflicts of Interest, on Records Retention, and a Whistle Blower Policy into the GGR Operating Manual ("The RedBook") and to review and affirm these policies annually during the first regular meeting of the GGR Board. Motion was passed unanimously.

Art Director Search. The question was whether to update GGR's logo and look and to develop a unified look for all club communications (web, Nugget, bulletin board) and for car badges, t-shirts, name badges, etc. The consensus was not to pursue this at this time.

Rule book. Wayne van Norsdall is working on updating the rule book to incorporate all the changes. The changes are being pulled out of various emails. The new version will be done very soon.

Red book  (and whether to post to web site). The revisions process is underway. Rob will incorporate the policies adopted and send it out for board members to review their respective departments.

Beginners' Autocross School: will be held at Alameda, pending site availability. A budget for the school was presented. Motion to approve the budget was passed.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

Club Sportiva2
February Membership Report

Jeff Kost--by Jeff Kost, Membership Director

The recession continues and has expanded to include our membership numbers.  Put more positively, we have experienced negative growth in the January-February period after the previously positive trend in the December period. (Isn't that better?  Like taxes experiencing negative reductions in CA)  New member numbers are down commensurate with Porsche's new car sales numbers--historically new car sales have been the leading source of new members for GGR.  However, the member renewal rate (relative and absolute) remains consistent with that of 2008, but 10%+ off the 2007 numbers.  That would indicate, at least to me, many people continue to derive value from club membership!  Regardless, the total number is slowly shrinking and I encourage each of you to do what you can to recruit new members and engage and retain our ever more important existing members!

Total Members:     2390
Primary:                1383
           Affiliate:      1003
           HQ Life:           1
         GGR Life:          3
New Members:           9
Transfers In:               3
Transfers Out:            4

Congratulations And Welcome To Our NEW MEMBERS!!!

Karen Baumer



Victor Borme

Moss Beach

1991 911/964

Eri Chaya

San Francisco


Cary Chen

San Francisco

1996 911

Constantine Demas

Manhattan Beach


Kevin Dillon

Los Gatos

2002 996 Turbo

Cristina Grimm



Elizabeth Johnson

San Jose


Gary Jung



Steven & Sandra Kam

San Francisco

2006 911

Manhal Mansour


2007 Carrera TT

Wells Marvin

Los Altos Hills

2003 911 9963

Jeff Rocca

San Francisco

2003 911 996

John Smith

San Francisco

2007 Cayman S

Martin Weber



Wesley Wolking




40 Years (WOW!!! Congratulations!)

Douglas Wong

Palo Alto

1968 912

30 Years

Herbert Hoeptner


1982 911SC

Jean Peacock

San Jose


Manfred Sappler


1970 911S

25 Years

David Croom

Los Altos

1958 356

20 Years

E Harris


1987 911

Susan Richards

Menlo Park

15 Years


10 Years

Trygve Isaacson



Ken Jones

Pleasant Hill


Judy Jung

Pleasant Hill


Maria Lee

Santa Clara


Ross Lindell



Michael Paluck


1989 944

Patricia Rosenberg

San Mateo


Loretta Chou


1999 911

Laurie Rudolph

San Martin


5 Years

Alexander Ako

Redwood City

1986 911

Johan Baeck

Palo Alto

1986 911

James Cullen


1973 914

Dayna Floyd

Walnut Creek


Frederic Garderes

Palo Alto

1969 911 T

Adam Green


2007 GT3

Marlene Nettleton



Beverly Pacheco



Prem Pillay


2007 GT3 RS

Sherman Wan


1998 993 S

Andrew Lawson

Los Altos


Joseph Osha


1988 911

Norm Sanders


2001 911

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Time Trial, Drivers' Ed & Club Racing Report

--by Warren Walker, Time Trial/Drivers' Ed & Club Racing Co-chair
--photos by David Wong Photography

Friday was Race practice and DE with 33 Racers and 55 DE. Sat and Sun  included warm up, qualifying and race for 41 Racers with 75 DE.

TT1 1

A great weekend except for the north wind which blew some on Sat. and hard on Sunday.  Temps where 81 or so on Sat. but cool on Sunday.  Friday was 70's. Track was great lots of grip and great time had by all.

TT1 2

No incidents during the DE / TT / Race.  In fact the DE drivers had no Flag violations nor any Passing Violations the whole weekend.  Everyone was on their best behavior and drove safely and fast.

TT1 3

The national race people who where here to put on the race with us where very impressed with our DE set up and our instructor core particularly with the level of control over the student and high expectations required of the students before they where allowed to drive alone.

TT1 4
The racers where also driving with extreme skill and cunning as there were not incidents of car to car contact nor was anyone admonished for over aggressive driving.

TT1 5

The GOGRA TEAM was phenomenal and the event went off with very few wrinkles that were not corrected on the spot.  A true team effort.

TT1 6

Cat Siemens received the Instructor of the year award for 2008.  John Siedell received the Don Lang award.

TT1 7

A historic first for GGR in that the club put on a PCA Race inside a normal DE /TT weekend.
New Grid procedures where instituted and very favorable comments where received.

Rolling Thunder2a
The Power Chef
NE Bike
Sorting Guff from Stuff: My Top Fives for Cooking

--by John Celona, The Power Chef®

Today, like every other day, you've probably needed to sort guff from stuff. The guff is everything other folks would like you to believe or do or buy that doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny. "The new model is so incredibly better than last year's you just MUST buy one right now!" "Enter the Whole New World of Blue Ray NOW!" "Lose 40 or more pounds!" "Reduce your risk by diversifying your portfolio!"

Sound familiar?

Marketing guff is usually pretty easy to pick out: they're trying to sell you something. Guff based on generally accepted practices or theory is much more challenging. It's often hard even to figure out the right question, let alone how to get to an answer.

For example, diets, diet books, and diet foods are a big business, and pretty much all of us at one time or another would like to take off some weight (myself included!). But I wonder where most folks' heads are at on how diets work (or don't work!). Here's a bit from the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter:

All fad diets get you to cut down on calories, usually by limiting the kinds of food you can eat, so of course you lose weight. Most, like the Atkins diet, deny that "calories count," but nonetheless trick you into cutting way down on calories by distracting you with strange rules and psychological/biochemical babble. As with all crash diets, keeping the weight off is the hard part. Virtually all crash dieters eventually gain the weight back, unless they learn the basics of healthy eating, which crash diets do not teach.

I like to think that this column is all about healthy eating that tastes great, and about food you can stick with for the long term. Weight-wise, I just keep trying to fit into the same clothes I did last year, and still am not expecting a call from Calvin Klein regarding underwear modeling.

Of course, given how busy everyone is today (did folks always have so many activities?), it would be a lot easier to make healthy food at home if it didn't take any longer than necessary. This is where sorting guff from stuff in cooking comes in. Being the skeptical and inquisitive type, I keep experimenting with where I can cut steps and save time when cooking. The results to date are in my Top Five Guff List.

On the other hand, I'm also on the lookout for things that really make a big difference in flavor when cooking, so they're worth bothering with even though they take more time. These are in my Top Five Stuff List.

Without further adieu, here they are:

My Top Five Guff List: Ways to Save Time and Effort Cooking
  1. Forget about peeling fresh garlic. I buy the peeled fresh cloves in the big plastic containers, freeze them, and then thaw them in the microwave as needed. I think the flavor is indistinguishable from fresh peeled. On the other hand, the already minced garlic in jars doesn't cut it for me, flavor-wise.
  2. Use canned tomatoes for sauces, stews, and soups. I think the flavor is as good as the best, middle-of-the-summer farmers' market tomatoes, and much better than what you can buy in fresh tomatoes the rest of the year. Plus you don't have to peel, seed, and chop them.
  3. Discover concentrated stock bases. I almost never bother making either chicken or beef stock. There are concentrated stock bases that come as a paste in a plastic container that to me taste just as good in dishes where other flavorings are added. These go in the fridge after you open them. Completely dried cubes and such I find just awful, and canned stock can be good but expensive and a lot of cans to haul home. With the paste, you can easily make as much as you want whenever you need it. Secret Trick: 4 parts chicken base to 1 part beef base makes turkey stock (really!). 
  4. Make friends with canned and frozen. I almost always use canned corn or frozen peas and find them on par with fresh. Canned peas, on the other hand, are awful, as is frozen corn. Funny how some stuff is better on way or the other. Green beans are decent frozen if you drop them in boiling water and then drain to cook them. Frozen vegetable medleys are a great way to finish off a soup, stew, or pasta without a bit of washing or chopping. 
  5. Make extra and freeze. Cooked foods can often be frozen and then thawed later with almost no loss of consistency or flavor. Then you'll have them ready in the time it takes to thaw and reheat. For example, my southwestern black beans take a few hours of prep time and simmering, so I always make extra and freeze a quart or two for later. When they've gone into a black bean chicken enchilada bake, leftovers also freeze well, too. On the other hand, foods with crisp vegetables in them (stir frys, for example), would come out mushy if frozen.
My Top Five Stuff List: Ways to Make Your Food Taste Better
  1. Grind your pepper. Store-bought ground pepper seems to have most of the flavor removed. I always grind peppercorns as I need them. A cheap ($15) coffee grinder makes it easy to grind as much as you need. (I use one just for pepper to avoid pepper-flavored coffee!)
  2. Use fresh herbs. Their flavor is so much better than dried, and good fresh herbs are available in the grocery store year round. I do still keep dried around when I just don't have time to get to the store.
  3. Marinate, marinate, marinate. I do a lot of meat or poultry that gets marinated in some sort of spice mixture before cooking. Giving the marinade time to penetrate makes a huge difference in flavor. I once did a Greek chicken where the marinade was just salt, pepper, granulated garlic, dried oregano, and store-bought lemon-pepper---to rave reviews. The secret was just letting it sit in the fridge for a few days before grilling it. 
  4. Brown on. Lots of dishes call for browning foods before adding liquids, whether it's browned onions in a pasta sauce or browned chicken for a Coq au Vin. This makes a big difference in the fullness and complexity of flavor. I sometimes also grill things before simmering them, as in grilling pork before cutting it up and adding to Chile Verde. 
  5. Chop when you need to. Although I make liberal use of canned and frozen vegetables, I also chop a lot when fresh vegetables are better. In particular, onions, carrots, cabbage, bell and chile peppers, etc., I always chop fresh (along with all the herbs, of course). I do a lot of my own meat cutting, too, though I think store-cut meat is just fine. The only exception is boneless frozen chicken pieces (breast or thigh). There is something about the processing that makes these taste other-worldly to me.
Although these are my Top Five of Guff and Stuff, they are by no means the end of the story. I encourage folks to be bold, to experiment and challenge conventional wisdom in the kitchen. The worst that can happen is one meal doesn't turn out how you would to like. Why worry? The next one will be better.

In that vein, I'll offer my no-fuss recipe for polenta. Every recipe I've seen requires either constant stirring, or cooking in a double boiler. I find, though, that if you just whisk the dry polenta into boiling water and stir until it thickens (2-3 minutes), it can finish cooking on simmer with just an occasional stir and no lumps. While you make something else. Or even just read the paper. What's not to like?

Bon Appetit,
The Power Chef

No-Fuss Polenta


The Gist

Boil water and salt, whisk in the polenta and cook till thick. Add the butter and cheese at the end.

5 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups polenta (course cornmeal)
1 Tb. butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan-romano cheese mix

Bring the water and salt to boil in a sauce pan. Add the polenta in a slow steam while whisking constantly so no lumps form. Once the mixture is thickened (2-3 minutes), turn your burner down to its lowest setting and simmer till thick and the corn is soft, about 30 minutes, stirring every five minutes along the way. Add the butter and cheese and serve.

Most recipes I've seen specify stirring the polenta constantly while cooking, but I haven't found this necessary. I'll just whisk until the mixture thickens, then turn the burner down to the lowest setting and stir every few minutes. A good, even conducting pot and low simmer setting help.

Polenta is so easy to make I always make extra-either to reheat, or to make Grilled Polenta or Polenta Gratin (next Recipe). Just be sure to pack the leftovers while they're still warm and sauce into a container which makes a good shape for slicing (rectangular is my usual choice). 

Polenta Gratin


This substantial side dish can double as an entrée for a light dinner. Who said only pasta came in sauce!

The Gist
Make a tomato sauce with sautéed onions and garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley. Bake with slices of polenta layered with your choice of cheese.

3 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb. dried or fresh basil
2 Tb. dried or fresh parsley
1 26-oz. can ground tomatoes in heavy purée
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
8-10 slices of cooled polenta, 1/2-inch thick
8-10 slices your choice of cheese (such as cheddar, mozzarella, etc.)

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are softened. Add the basil and parsley and stir for a minute or two (this helps bring out the fragrance in the herbs). Add the canned tomatoes, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer.

Slice the cheese and polenta (if not already sliced). Butter a high-sided baking dish. Pour 3/4 of the sauce into the bottom of the dish. Place the polenta and cheese slices in the dish in alternating layers. Pour the remaining sauce down the middle of the top.

Bake uncovered in a 350ºF oven until the sauce is bubbling thoroughly, about 30-45 minutes. Serve.

This dish can be assembled well ahead of time and then go into the oven when dinner is getting close. It also can be baked in advance and kept warm (probably covered) in the oven.

I used cheddar cheese for the photo, but other cheeses also work well. You might try mozzarella or provolone. For an extra punch, sprinkle crumbled bleu cheese over the top before baking.

suspension performance
Porboys Beginners' Autocross School

SeidellAnnouncing the Famous
Annual GGR Porboys Beginner Autocross School !!!!!!!!!

It is that time of year to start thinking about all of the great Porsche driving opportunities in 2009.  On Saturday, May 16, Howard Yao, Claude Leglise, and John Seidell will again run this school.  It is really for beginners or people who have autocrossed only a few times.  If you have ever wondered what it is like to experience driving your Porsche on the edge (but safely in control) then this is for you.  This is a good safe place for drivers to learn about the handling of their Porsche.

The school will be on one of the large runway areas of Alameda Point (just past the Alameda Ferry Terminal).   The day begins at 7:30 AM with registration, teching of cars, and then a driver's meeting at 8:15.  Students will then walk the course with their morning instructors.  After that, students will be driving on skidpads in order to learn the feel of an oversteering and an  understeering car.  It is a lot of fun!!  The day will proceed with students running the Autocross course with their instructors, while half of the students learn to work the course.  As in the past, Mr. Larry Sharp, who is a world famous course designer, will make up the course for this year's event.  

After the lunch break we continue to run cars in hour sessions until 5 PM.  It is truly a fun day with lots of learning.  One of the best parts is that students get a few rides in their instructor's car.  We try as best we can to have instructors that have had experience with cars similar to the students.  You will also have different instructors in the morning and afternoon.

The school is sponsored by Joe and Annie Zeiph, the owners of Porboys German Automotive Service.  They are located at 3640 East 9th ST. in Oakland.  Joe and his technicians are experts in the repair of all German makes, but they specialize in the maintenance, repair, and complete rebuilds of 911, 944, 914, 928, 996, and Boxster cars.  If you have questions or need repairs, call Porboys at 510-437-9400.  They do Smog Checks, excellent work on all German makes, and are highly recommended.

If you sign up and pay the $99 fee, you get:
  • Instruction from the best and most experienced instructors in the west!! (Really)
  • A lunch including Porboys sandwiches, chips, cookies, sodas and water.
  • A Porboys Autocross School T-shirt.
  • A knowledge of how an Autocross is run, and how to work different jobs.
  • A basic knowledge of car control and you will learn tips on how to handle your car.
  • You will drive home with a big smile on your face!!!!

If this sounds really good then sign up on   Here is the link to sign up.   You will first need to create an account, then go to the Saturday, May 16 date and select the GGR Porboys Autocross School. If you have questions email Howard Yao, or John Seidell.  We do limit the number of students to 55 so that there is plenty of driving time. 

Advance sign up and payment is required.  See you there!!

EMC collision
Monterey Historic Races Events

The Porsche Club of America - Monterey Bay Region (MBR) is organizing the Porsche Corral parking and other club activities surrounding the Monterey Historic Automobile Races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, August 14-16, 2009.  Porsche is the featured marque at the Historic races.  MBR is organizing the following events to occur during the week leading up to the Historic Races:
  • Monday, 8/10 - MBR "Heritage Avenue Exhibit," at the Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours on the Avenue, where Porsche & Ferrari will be featured
  • Thursday, 8/13 - Driving tour showcasing Monterey County and post-tour reception at the Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach
  • Friday, 8/14 - Welcome Party at the historic Carmel Mission
  • Saturday & Sunday, 8/15 & 8/16  -  Corral parking, hospitality area, catered lunches and a Parade Lap at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
  • Monday, 8/17 - Driver's Education Day at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
MBR's event registration will be through and will open in the near future.   Registrants will need a free user name/password on that site and elect to "join" the PCA - Monterey Bay club.  Future email announcements of MBR event details will be sent through and made available on the MBR website.  Some events have space limitations.  Participation in the Heritage Avenue Exhibit and acceptance in the Driver's Education Day will be by MBR organizing committees.  New this year, MBR's registration fees will be discounted through May 31, 2009.

Registration for the Heritage Avenue Exhibit will occur separately.  Concours on the Avenue information is available from Motor Club Events, LLC, through their website.

Monterey Historic Automobile Races tickets must be purchased separately from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca through their ticket ordering website or by calling 1-800-327-SECA.
Lodging information and assistance services can be found on the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca website.
# # #
Links:  (MBR official website)  (MBR event registration)  (Concours on the Avenue website)   (Historic races ticket order page) (Lodging information & services)
Porsche Club of America - Monterey Bay Region Contacts:
Ginger Mutoza, Historic Races Event Coordinator                         George Von Gehr, President
831-596-4041                                                                                 650-888-1848

Boxster Register News

The Boxster Register is just one part of the many Special Interest Groups (or SIG's) that exist as a vital part of PCA.  The various groups are shown on the last pages of Panorama, and cover many models from 356's, early 911's, specialty 911's like turbos and others, 924's, 944's, 968's, Caymans, and the Boxster.  The Register groups could probably best be described as a "community" of owners who have a special interest in a particular model of Porsche.  No additional fees are required for Register membership.

There are now two Boxster advocates sharing responsibilities:  The West Coast Advocate is Nita Burrows Nita is a member of the Las Vegas Region. The East Coast Advocate is Bob Purgason. Bob is currently a member of the Central PA and Chesapeake Regions, and formally a member of First Settlers and Potomac Regions. The two areas are divided roughly by the Mississippi River. Contact information for both advocates is listed on and in the back of Panorama each month. To access the Boxster Register website, go to, open the "Register Groups" tab, and scroll down to the link for Boxster 986/987 Register.  Bob's direct email is: and Nita's is:  The Boxster Register web site is

The Boxster advocates will be working to develop a stronger and more active group of Boxster owners.  Our goals are to increase the membership, and also provide good communication with and between members.  To help him achieve this, enthusiastic new members are needed.  It's a great way to promote the Boxster model, and for their owners to share information and develop new friendships.

The U.S. Boxster community is truly anticipating the debut of PCA Club Racing's new 2009 competition class, Boxster Spec Racing (BSR).  Interest in Boxsters has definitely seen a spike since the announcement of this series, the impetus for which started on the west coast by the Porsche Owners Club (POC).  The 2009 PCA Club Race BSR rules mandate performance specs for these cars to be close to identical- thereby putting the racing results back into the hands of the most skilled and capable drivers.  The rules specify only 1997-1999 Boxsters with the 2.5-litre M96 engine, with modest allowances for other performance upgrades.  Because the BSR class is new, it may take some time for Boxster enthusiasts to see these BSR cars on track, but based on the current interest level, there's a lot of hope for the future success of this class.  Several race-prep companies and individuals are starting to build Boxster spec cars, and as soon as they start appearing at PCA Club Race events, o
thers should follow as well.  Boxster owners everywhere have much to be excited about with the establishment of BSR.  Additional information can be obtained through one of the major BSR websites, the Boxster Spec Racing website-

As West Coast Advocate, I would love hear from you with your ideas to expand the Boxster Register and develop new activities and gatherings.

Nita Burrows
West Coast Boxster Register Advocate
702 395-3886

40th Birthday for the Porsche 917

The car described as the "Greatest Racing Car in History" celebrates its 40th birthday

Atlanta - March 9, 2008 - Forty years ago on March 13, 1969 at the Geneva International Motor Show, today's Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche unveiled a car that, even by today's standards, is underestimated when it is described as the "super sports car": The Porsche 917. It became a legend as one of the fastest and most successful racing cars of all time.

Porsche fired the starting shot for Project 917 in June 1968, after the international motor sports authority or FIA had announced a class of "homologated sports cars" with up to five liters cubic capacity and a minimum weight of 800 kilograms. Under the supervision of Ferdinand Piëch, the stipulated 25 units of the new racing car model were completed by April 1969 so that the 917 could begin its racing career in the same year. After it initially dropped out of its first three races due to technical problems, the 917 success story began in August 1969 at a 1,000-kilometer race at the Österreichring with a victory by Jo Siffert and Kurt Ahrens.

The engine configuration of the 917 was just as unusual as its different car body versions: Behind the driver's seat extended an air-cooled, twelve-cylinder engine with horizontal cylinders, whose crankshaft designated it as a 180-degree V engine. The 520 HP engine had an initial cubic capacity of 4.5 liters. The tubular frame was made of aluminum, the car body out of glass fiber reinforced synthetics. Porsche engineers developed different car body models to best meet the different demands of different racetracks. The so-called short-tail model was designed for heavily twisting roads in which a high contact pressure was necessary for fast cornering. The long-tail model was designed for fast racetracks and a high final velocity. Then came the open 917 Spyders, which were used in the CanAm and Interseries races.

At the end of the 1970 race season, Porsche confirmed its superiority with the 917 and 908/03 models, winning the Racing Series World Championship [Markenweltmeisterschaft] in nine out of ten possible victories. This series of victories began in Daytona and continued in Brands Hatch, Monza, Spa, on the Nürburgring racetrack, at the Targa Florio, in Le Mans, Watkins Glen and the Österreichring. However, the season's high point was the long-desired overall win of the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race, a trophy that Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood brought home to Zuffenhausen on June 14, 1970. Their 917 short-tail model painted in the Porsche Salzburg colors of red and white with the start number 23 not only successfully defied its competitors but also the heavy rainfall.

As in the previous year, the 1971 season was dominated by the 917 model so that the Racing Series World Championship [Markenweltmeisterschaft] went to Porsche again with eight out of ten race victories. And once again, a Porsche 917 was victorious at the Le Mans 24-Hour race - this time with Gijs van Lennep and Dr. Helmut Marko, who set a world record with an average speed of 222 km/h and 5,335 kilometers driven, a record that still stands today. One special feature of their 917 short-tail model, visually characterized by its "shark fin", was the tubular frame made of magnesium. A 917 long-tail coupe model set a further record in 1971: On the Mulsanne straight stretch, which is part of the route in the Le Mans 24-Hour race, the sports car with the start number 21 recorded the highest speed of 387 kilometers per hour. Another Le Mans racecar achieved major recognition: The Porsche 917/20 was a mix between the short-tail and the long-tail models and was notable for its broad proportions. Although the pink colored racecar, nicknamed "the Pig", dropped out halfway through the race, its unusual paint color made it one of the most famous Porsche models ever.

When the European FIA regulation for the "five-liter sports car" expired at the end of the 1971 season, Porsche decided to enter the Canadian American Challenge Cup (CanAm). In June 1972, the private Penske race team in motor sports used the turbo-charged Porsche 917/10 Spyder for the first time. With a performance of up to 1,000 HP, the Porsche Spyder dominated the race series and won for Porsche the CanAM championship with victories in Road Atlanta, Mid Ohio, Elkhart Lake, Laguna Seca and Riverside. In the following year, the 1,200 HP 917/30 Spyder had its racing premiere. The superiority of the monster car driven by Mark Donohue was so obvious that the regulations of the CanAM series had to be changed in the end in order to exclude the 917/30 from competing further in the 1974 season. Typical for Porsche: The technologies for increasing performance developed for these races were successfully transferred to the on-road sports car. That's how the 911 Turbo, with its side-exhaust turbocharger, began its career in 1974 and has been, since this time, a synonym for the performance capacity of the Porsche sports car.

To date, the reputation of the 917 is legendary. Therefore, 50 international motor sports experts from the famous British trade magazine "Motor Sport" nominated the 917 as the "greatest racing car in history". All in all, Porsche built 65 units of the 917: 44 sports cars as short-tail and long-tail coupés, two PA Spyders as well as 19 sports cars as CanAm and Interseries Spyders with up to 1,400 HP turbo engines. Seven of the most important 917 models - among them the Le Mans victory cars from 1970 and 1971 and the 917/30 Spyder - are currently on exhibit in the new Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.


Typ 917 at Zuffenhausen (c. 1969)
courtesy Porsche AG

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No shortage of events to do! Add one to washing your car...

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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Porsche Club of America--Golden Gate Region | Nugget Headquarters | 505 Vista Ave | San Carlos | CA | 94070