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Porsche Club of America
Golden Gate Region

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February 2009. Volume 49, Issue 2
In This Issue
Art Director Wanted
President's Message
Letter from the Editor
Competition Corner
Board of Directors
Membership Report
GGR Awards Banquet
Club Racing comes to GGR
The Power Chef
The Baconator at LeMons
Porsche Roads
LA Lit & Toy Show
Quick Links
Dear Porsche Enthusiast,

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

Thanks for reading.
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Pawlina









Pawlina Paraskova CG
Executive Editor of The Nugget
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Art Director Wanted
The GGR board of directors is looking for a member, or a friend, with experience managing graphic designers as an art director, creative director, or the like, who could volunteer to help update and improve the visual identity of the club.

1980 was the last time our logo and color palette were professionally designed, and over the past few years our club's identity has aged a bit and drifted. In addition, most of our communications have migrated from paper to electronic form. The goals of the project are to freshen up the look of the club and to restore consistency across our various channels of communications, electronic presence, and GGR-specific "goodies". This may include creating a color palette, selecting fonts and layout, and updating the club logo -- all with an eye to respecting the integrity of the club's heritage "brand", and building on that to enhance its identity.

Ideally, the result will be a style guide that can be used by club volunteers to communicate their projects and programs in a coordinated manner.

The board is looking for someone with experience in this field to guide the creative process. Please contact Claude Leglise with questions and to raise your hand.

Claude


President's Message
Bill Dally--by Bill Dally, GGR President

February is a time of anticipation.  The days are getting longer and we are all looking forward to spring - and the start of our competition-driving season.  February is also the time to complete our winter projects.  At the end of each driving season, in October or November, I make a long list of all of the projects I want to complete on my racecar in preparation for next season.

If you are like me, the demands of family and job often get in the way of enjoying some mechanical therapy with the car, so often February comes around and only limited progress has been made on the project list.    With the first competition events a little over a month away, the urgency increases, the list gets prioritized and shortened, and some work on the car actually gets done.

This year, my project list read something like:
  • Regear the transmission,
  • Stiffen and retune the suspension,
  • Lower the car,
  • Lighten the car,
  • Corner balance the car,
  • Get some new tires,
  • Build some new brake calipers,
  • Improve the driver.
Regearing the transmission was high on my list.  The stock 914 transmission has gears A,F, and N for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively.   For most autocrosses you don't get into 4th or 5th, so I'll ignore them for this discussion.  Even for a stock 914 these gears aren't great, and for my 3.2L six, they are awful.  The A first is too low to be of any use.  I generally start in 2nd gear.   The F gear is also too low.  I get wheel spin with full throttle and run out of RPMs on most medium straights.   When I run out of RPMs, I have to shift to 3rd, which is too high - giving sluggish acceleration.  At the last GGR AX of the season, I shifted 10 times each run bouncing between 2nd and 3rd, as I'd shift up on each straight and then down on each turn.  This was great heel-and-toe practice, but not the fastest way to get through the course.

So, the prescription was clear.  I needed a higher 1st and 2nd, and a lower 3rd.  The actual gears I chose were a compromise between the ideal ratios, and what I could assemble for a reasonable price.  By being a little flexible, I managed to find the gear sets I needed used at a fraction of what they would cost new.    I wound up settling for a C 1st, H 2nd, KA 3rd, Q 4th, and 4 5th.  The V 5th was the old 4th gear moved over one position, and the KA 3rd was the old 3rd gear flipped over and moved down.

In addition to the great weight distribution, another nice property of having the transmission behind the engine in a 914 is that you can remove the gear stack without having to take the transmission out of the car.  You just drain the fluid, remove the back plate, loosen the nuts on the input shaft and pinion shaft while there is still something to pull against, and then slide the gear stack out.  Here is a picture of the original gear stack sitting in my vice.  5th gear is at the far left, 2nd gear is at the far right, and 1st gear is invisible behind the intermediate plate.   The brass objects are the shift forks that engage the sliders to shift gears.
 Feb Bill1

Removing the shift rods and forks makes it a little easier to see the gears.

Feb Bill2

This photo makes it easy to see how the transmission works.  The gears are in mesh all of the time.  One side of each gear set is fixed to the shaft while the other side is free wheeling on a needle bearing.  When the shift fork pushes the slider, it engages the "dog teeth" (or synchro hub) on the freewheeling side - locking that side to the slider, and hence to the shaft.

To keep the dog teeth from grinding (when you hear grinding, it's the dog teeth, not the gears themselves), the synchro ring forces the shaft and the free-wheeling gear to match speed before the slider can advance into the dog teeth.  This photo shows a close up of one of the free wheeling gears with its snap-ring removed showing the synchro ring (outer most) stop blocks, and brake bands - which work together to synchronize the gears before allowing the dog-teeth to contact the slider.
 
Feb Bill3

With use, the synchro rings, which are made of soft iron, wear.  This is intentional, the soft synchro rings wear so the hard slider doesn't.  When the synchro rings wear too much, the synchronizing action no longer works and you get a grinding noise as the dog-teeth contact before the speeds have been matched.  When this happens, you should change your synchro ring right away - before you round off your dog teeth and need new dog teeth and a new slider.  In the photo below the slider is just beginning to wear, and the dog teeth, while not perfectly sharp are serviceable.  I flipped this syncho over anyway (moving the worn side toward the dog teeth where it won't see any more wear).
 
Feb Bill4

After disassembling the shafts and thoroughly cleaning all the parts, I moved the synchro parts from the old gears to the new gears and reassembled the shafts with the new gearsets.  Here is a picture of the new stacks on the press just before pressing on the intermediate plate bearings.  Note that the KA third gear has its teeth aligned in a different direction than the other three gears.   This is because it is really a "flipped" fifth gear.
 
Feb Bill5

After pressing on the intermediate plate, assembling first and reverse on the ends of the shafts, reassembling and aligning the shift forks and rods, the stack went back in the car.   I was careful to make sure that the thickness of the shims on the pinion shaft and the thickness of the gaskets under the intermediate plate were unchanged - so I didn't need to reset the pinion depth.

Now I just need to find time to do the other items on my project list.

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


Looking for Letters or Pets


Nothing must be going on because I've not received any letters to the editor this past month. Accordingly, we will now be accepting for publication letters or photos of your pet--especially if they are taken in front of or in your car. They do not actually have to be driving your Porsche, though any such photos would be greatly appreciated.

To submit a letter or a pet photo, just click on my photo or here to send me an email.

As always, thanks for reading.
CommCovRennwerks
www.highperformancehouse.com
High Performance House
Competition Corner
van Norsdall

--by Wayne Van Norsdall, Competition Director

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! 

Wayne

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

GGR Board of Directors
Meeting Minutes for January 28, 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, Claude Leglise, Mark Powell, John Celona, Paul Larson, Sharon Neidel, Matt Switzer, Bill Benz, Larry Adams, Rob Murillo, and Wayne van Norsdall.

Call for agenda changes: added social discussion items.

Call for calendar changes: none

Approval of November minutes: already approved via email.

Postmortem of events
  • 12/6/08 Porsche (Boxster) Brunch: full: 30 attendees
  • 12/7/08 DEC Rules meeting: nothing controversial.
  • 1/11/09 Awards  Banquet Hiller: see Social report
Directors' Reports

President: nothing to report.

Vice-President

Upcoming event status report:
  • 2/7/09 Porsche (Boxster) Brunch
  • 2/21/09 DE/TT Technical Inspection Kahlers   
Certificates are ordered for the following events:
  • 2/21/09 Tech Inspection @ Kahlers
  • 2/28/09 Tech Inspection @ David Loop
  • 2/28/09 Tech Inspection @ Carlsen
  • 3/7/09 Tech Inspection @ S Car Go
  • 3/27-29/09 DE/TT/CR #1 TH
Certificates are in place for the following events:
  • Alameda Auto X dates
Treasurer: the club's funds are at the low point for the year and are a little below where they were at last year at this point.

Carlsen Porsche has agreed and paid to be the exclusive sponsor of this year's autocross series again.

Secretary: nothing to report.

Social

Calendar of Past Events: Year End Banquet at Hiller Aviation Museum, Sunday 1/11/2009
The banquet was a big success!!  We had 105 guests (95 adults, 10 children) in attendance and 17 Porsches on display. John Celona filled in as MC and did a great job!  Carl and Matt Switzer, Andrew Forrest and John presented over forty AX, TT and Regional awards. The catered lunch provided by Danish French Catering got rave reviews!  The total expenses were $7,347.25.  Payments collected totaled $3,760.00. The net cost to the Club was $3,587.25. 

Upcoming Event Status Report: GGR Family Picnic / People's Choice Concours, 7/25/09
Gateway Pavilion and parking lot reserved for "Special Event". 

Membership: GGR's life members have been sorted out. Lifetime members are: Karl Keller, George Neidel, and James Ohl. For the first time in six months, total membership did not decline.
 
Competition:  the board welcomed Wayne van Norsdall to his first meeting.

Autocross: still sorting out and integrating the pieces of the new timing system. It would be nice to have autocross pre-registration to populate the car information database to expedite putting on the events. Alameida is proving hard to pin down for running the series (many different people are involved). Work on alternative venues is proceeding.

Time Trial: Warren Walker and Mike Cullinan are proceeding with the first event planning/prep, everything is falling into place. Andrew Forrest is coordinating with PCA national vis-a-vis requirements for PCA licensing. We're getting a pretty fair response from members and others that already have PCA club racing licenses for the March event.

Webmaster: daily hits have double from 400 to about 800.

Zone Rep report: need to get the continuity report in to PCA. Sharon will attend the national board meeting with GGR's proxy (as well as other regions in Zone 7). She invited feedback to take to this meeting. Zone autocross dates were also sorted out.

Topics for discussion

Confirmation of future board dates: Bill Dally will send out an email with all the dates.

Red Book update: Bob Murillo will email the latest version to the board with requests for changes.

Goodie store alternative: most people are looking for PCA items, which can be ordered off of the PCA web site. There doesn't seem to be a need for GGR to provide additional items.

Suggestion to update the region logo: Three things to think about:
  • Freshening up the logo
  • Developing a color palette for the club
  • Picking font guidelines
The idea was to develop a uniform look for all communications. The goal is to freshen up the look of the club and develop a consistent look for materials. Need to find a club member with an art design or graphics design background. Claude will write a piece for the Nugget soliciting art direction help.

Future Social Events for Discussion: 
  • TRG Tech Session and Wine Tasting 6/20/09 The Racers Group would like to offer to our club a Tech session at their location in Petaluma on June 20, 2009. Cost $20 per person.  Mark Powell will take the lead and act as our contact with TRG to get this set up. 
  • 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.  He is working with the Lizards to set up a tour and would like to include GGR. 
  • Suspension Clinic, Date TBD. Mark has been in contact with a local independent Porsche facility regarding a Tech Session covering suspension theory and setting up a car for AX and TT.  It was suggested that  we send a questionnaire to GGR Announce soliciting questions members would like included.
  • Friday Night Social Mark has been contacted by Shirley Neidel about re-instituting the Friday Night Social. There have been issues in the past with new members showing up to find no one there.  It was decided to leave the social's status as it is. To allow for flexibility in scheduling, the Friday Night Social won't be listed on the GGR calendar, but members will be invited to contact Shirley Neidel regarding attending.
GGR 50th Anniversary Celebration: September 21, 2010. Sharon Neidel volunteered to organize a 50th anniversary party committee.

Autocross scoring system: the suggestion was made to use the same PAX weighting for men and women drivers. Women presently are given a slight advantage. Agreed.

Motion was made and passed to support the competition director in adding showroom stock classes to the PAX competition.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.


Club Sportiva2
December Membership Report

Jeff Kost--by Jeff Kost, Membership Director

A couple of notes for this month. The first is that we have, for the first time in six months not had a decline in primary or total membership numbers. Given the overall state of the economy, that was a surprise! That said, it is a welcome change and I challenge each of you to do what you can to recruit or retain members as we go through 2009! The second is that at some point in the last few years, reporting of "life members" left off those bestowed by GGR. This month, I have added the line back to the report. The three members are, in alphabetical order, Karl Keller, George Neidel and James Ohl. For those of you who wish to know, life membership is "in recognition of sustained membership in, and service to, GGR." I will continue to report this as a separate line item in future reports.

Total Members:    2430
Primary:     1412
Affiliate:     1017
HQ Life:          1
GGR Life:        3
New Members: 8
Transfers In:   10
Transfers Out:  9

 New Members

David Bunch

Redwood City

 

Kimberlee & Alan Clark

San Jose

1988 911

Dave Davidson

San Francisco

2006 Boxster S

Irene Foster

Jackson

 

Blake Hayunga

San Francisco

  

Gregory Kunin

San Francisco

1998 911

Deryk Loo

Belmont

1998 Carrera S

Jill Rillema

Belmont

 

Barbara Schroeder

Los Altos

 

Mitch Seigle

San Jose

1996 993 C2

Rocky Su

Alameda

1998 Boxster

John & Julie Tomlin

Saratoga

2007 997 S

 Anniversaries

15 Years

David Alles

Los Altos

1976 912E

Larry Chappel

Los Gatos

1970 914

Michael Vadvilavich

Los Gatos

1997 993

Carmen Cahilig

Pacifica

 

Gerald Haussler

San Mateo

1959 356

 10 Years

John Dean

Pittsburg

 

John Gallie

Cupertino

1986 911

John Manelis

Napa

1988 944

John Tavernetti

San Francisco

1987 944

Susan Zimmerman

Santa Clara

 

Ryan Teeter

Palo Alto

 

 
5 Years

Velda Crouse

San Mateo

 

Wanda Fong

San Francisco

 

Willard Garrison

Modesto

 

George Grialou

Redwood City

2003 Boxster S

Eric Hoeschen

Santa Clara

 

Bryan Kypta

Belmont

 

Erika La Voie

Campbell

 

Alexander Lloyd

San Francisco

1996 993

Kenneth Plough

San Francisco

1999 911

Dimitrios Prountzos

Daly City

1985 Carrera

Stacy Taylor

Livermore

 

Trent Carter

San Jose

1997 Boxster

 

 


TRG ad

Vineyard Specialties3


GGR Awards Banquet
Congratulations and Thanks to the Winners
--by the Editor

GGR's Annual Awards Banquet was held on Sunday, January 11th at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos. Lucky attendees bought their tickets well in advance before the eBay scalpers moved in.

Here's what the venue looked like:

Venue

A number of members were covetously eying the large quantities of aircraft-grade sheet metal about, all well-suited for shaping into fender flares.

For all the autocross and time trial award winners: you know who you are. And, no, we likely won't be giving new sets of tires as awards next year, either. Count it as sufficient recognition that you got to pose for a photo with our Vanna-White-for-the-day, UC Santa Barbara graduate and Ujena Swimwear Cover Model, the lovely and talented Ms. Cassandra Murray.

The event was hosted by Your Nugget Editor for reasons which shall remain classified. Thankfully, prior Nugget Editors were not apprised in time to attend with tomatoes.

We would, however, like to note the recipients of the special GGR awards this past year. These folks all put in time for the club well above and beyond the call of duty.

The award for Event of the Year went to GGR's social director Mark Powell for putting on the new and hugely successful picnic at Vasona Park.

Event

The award for Family of the Year went to Monica, Jack, and Devon Kost, who are frequent hard-working attendees at GGR events. Accepting on their behalf while they left for a soccer game or something similar was Jeff Kost.

Family

The award for Enthusiast of the Year went to GGR's webmaster Paul Larson, who stepped forward in the face of the web site's imminent demise a year ago to build a new web site for GGR--despite having never built a web site before. Attaboy, Paul.

Enthusiast

The Don Mattews Award is presented annually to the member who most represents the spirit and enthusiasm of Don Matthews, in whose memory it is awarded. For his enthusiastic and tireless efforts (including taking all the photos except the one below!), it went to Mike Koozmin.

Matthews

The club's greatest honor is the Perc Bliss Award, named after the first president of GGR. It goes to the member who made the greatest contribution to the club during the year. This year, for their tireless efforts in putting on the autocross series despite endless issues with the new timing system and the city of Alameida, it went to the dynamic duo of Carl and Matt Switzer.

Perc

This year's slate of awards included a special award to the person who guided GGR's time trial series through three years of tumultous change, arriving at a new rules system which has been endorsed by PCA National, preserves the paramount concern for safety, and allows drivers in newer cars to compete without drilling holes in them. This award for Time Trial Chief Extraordinaire went to Andrew Forrest.

TT

The event concluded on time and there was more than enough food to go around. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped out, and to Mark Powell for organizing it.

See you there next year.
Club Racing Comes to GGR
Rolling Thunder

--by Mike Cullinan, Time Trial co-chair

"What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is a goin on?" With respect to Slim Pickins, one of the greatest cowboy actors of all time, what is "a goin on"?  Looks like some racing is coming to the GGR Time Trial Series. GGR's  big adventure is scheduled to start on March 27th with a three day weekend at Thunderhill,  which, for the first time ever, will include PCA Club Racing as part of a TT weekend.

With the help from many people, including Andrew Forrest our TT Chair for the past three years and now Race Registrar,  and Paulette Johnson, our TT Registrar, things are falling into place nicely. The March TH event, the May BW event and the Sept TH event will all feature a PCA Club Race group, along with, of course, our normal TT schedule,  which will feature four run groups.

Our August TH and Oct Infineon (that's right, no typo, we have a dry weather,  early October TT event at Infineon), will feature our normal TT event sans Club Racing.

We'll still have our timed runs Sunday afternoon, so nothing is changing except that one of the groups will be a Club Race group at the three events.

Big thanks to GGR's Board for supporting the expansion of the TT Series, you can be assured that we will be working hard to make this the premier TT/Club Racing Series on the West Coast.

The Power Chef
NE Bike
Happy New Year!

--by John Celona, The Power Chef®


Wait! I'm really not a month late. I don't mean western new year; I mean Happy Chinese New Year! It's 4707, The Year of the Ox, and it began on January 26, 2008-western-wise. For the math-minded, that means the Chinese started counting years in 2698 b.c., in the first year of the reign of Huang Di (The Yellow Emperor), who is said to be the ancestor of all the Han Chinese. This is about the same time Mesopotamia was in the Bronze Age and the Epic of Gilgamesh was being set down on clay tablets. All this was well before the modern era began with the Obama Inauguration.

If you don't presently have manufacturing in China and aren't wondering why there are no shipments coming out, you may question the relevance of this information.

Fear not. You still have a chance to see the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco, which will be one week from today on Saturday, February 7. The Parade will "officially" start at 5:15 p.m. at Market and Second Street in San Francisco. Here is a link to the route. Or you can watch it on Channels KTVU Fox 2 or KTSF 26 from 6 to 8 p.m.

If you've ever actually attended, you know what I mean by "officially" starting at 5:15 p.m. Be sure to scope out where to go pee. Personally, I plan to watch on TV so that it won't rain that day.

Likely, though, you have missed your chance to compete in the Miss Chinatown USA Pageant, which takes place today at the Palace of Fine Arts. Start planning early for next year.

Hint: don't wear white for the cheongsam competition. White for Chinese signifies death (oh, dear.)

Even if you don't plan to watch the parade or enter the pageant, you can still be part of the "in" group of approximately 2 billion people (1 in every 3, planet-wide) by observing one or more of the following traditions:
  • Paint your front door bright red.
  • Give gifts of money in bright red envelopes (clean, new money preferred).
  • Keep every light on the whole night (No, I am not making this up.)
  • Visit all your relatives in order from oldest to youngest.
  • Clean your house thoroughly to sweep out all the old bad luck and make room for new good luck. Be sure to sweep all the dirt to the center of the room, then pick it up and carry it out the back door. Under no circumstances sweep it over the threshold of the front door because this both sweeps away a member of the family and your good luck (still not making this up).
  • Pay all your debts (this explains the current financial crisis in a swoop).
  • Do not wash your hair on the actual New Year's Day (Oops--gone by. Sorry.)
  • Have fresh oranges in the house, preferably in multiples of eight and under no circumstances just four (the Chinese word for "four" sounds similar to the word for "death.")
Hopefully, that should keep you busy. If you run out, here's a link to extend your to-do list.

Personally, I also think at least one fancy Chinese meal is in order. Here's a link to my favorite dim sum restaurant which--in my opinion--is as good as what you get in San Francisco without the drive or the wait.

Or, if you really want to go whole-ox, here's my recipe for a Peking Duck--sure to empress (yuk yuk) anyone you make it for. If you happen to have a Chinese mother-in-law to make this for, it will likely move you to the "acceptable" category even if you're not a doctor.

Bon Appetit,
The Power Chef

Peking Duck

Duck
Utterly Ducky.

The Gist

A duck is marinated with salt, pepper, anise, fennel, cinnamon, and cloves, then steamed, then deep fried.

Ingredients
1 duck
3 Tb. salt
2-1/2 Tb. peppercorns, roasted and ground
1/2 tsp. anise seeds
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
4 Tb. dry rice wine or sherry
8 slices fresh ginger
4 green onions, cut in half and smashed lightly with a knife
3 tb. soy sauce
flour
peanut oil to reach 3" depth in a pot (approximately 6-8 cups)

Method

This duck needs to start at least a day ahead of time (which is why one needs to call ahead!), but you can stretch it out over several days if you like.

If you're starting with a frozen duck (which is what most stores have), thaw it first. A day or two in the fridge or an afternoon in the sink in cool water will do it.

Rinse the duck thoroughly in cool water and pat dry. If your duck still has its complete wings, cut off and discard the end sections.

Roast the peppercorns in a skillet over medium heat just until they start to crackle and smoke slightly. Remove from the heat and let cool, then grind them with the anise and fennel seeds. Combine with the salt, cinnamon, and cloves.

Rub this mixture thoroughly inside and outside the duck. Let marinate at room temperature for 24 hours, flipping 2 or 3 times along the way. It can then be steamed, or marinate another day or two in the fridge.

Place the duck in a tray with high sides or a bowl (to hold the juices). Rub it thoroughly with the rice wine or sherry. Place half the ginger slices and green onions inside and half arranged over the top.
Place the duck in bowl in a steamer and begin steaming. It will steam for 3 hours in total. After 30 minutes, use a baster to drain off the accumulated juices and melted fat. Drain again after 30 more minutes (at the 1 hour mark), then again at the 2 hour mark. In this process, most of the duck fat will melt and drain off, leaving a remarkably defatted duck.

Remove the duck from the bowl and place on a rack to dry thoroughly. The process can be expedited in a 150ºF oven if you like.

The duck can go into the fridge at this point until you're ready to serve, or go right to frying.
Start your peanut oil heating in a pan big enough to hold the duck and with sides high enough to catch the splatters. Heat the oil to a dense haze (almost smoking).

Rub the soy sauce evenly on the outside of the duck, then dust the duck lightly with flour. Shake off the excess.

Using implements (like two slotted metal spoons), carefully lower the duck into the hot oil. It will splatter and give off steam, so be careful! Press it down every minute or so to make sure the top crisps, too, and cook until golden brown in color (about 5 minutes).

Remove the duck, being careful to tip it a bit so the hot oil drains out from the inside. Set the duck on a rack to drain and heat the oil back to a dense haze (almost smoking).

Carefully use your implements to lower the duck a second time into the hot oil. If you can manage it, flipping it over for the second frying would be a good idea. This second frying makes it extra crisp, and will only take 2-3 minutes. Remove when the duck is a deep brown color.

Set the duck back on the rack to drain and cool for a few minutes, then carve and serve.

Notes

This duck is traditionally served with slivered green onions, hoisin sauce, and buns of some sort.  A good, whole wheat dinner roll or chinese bun would be great, or try my recipe for Potato Rosemary Rolls for a special accompaniment.

All of the preparation can be done ahead of time except the final deep frying, which should be done right before serving.

Kahlers2
suspension performance
The Baconator at LeMons
Porsche Finishes 3rd Overall in 24 Hours of LeMons
-------------------
The Story of Team Baconator

--by Harry Demas, GGR Member

You are probably thinking one of two things ...there is a misspelling in the headline of this article, or this article is really old news.  In fact, neither is the case.  What we are talking about here is not the famous endurance race in France, but rather an endurance race series created right here in California in which each team competes with a car ("lemon", "jalopy" or "POS" might be a more appropriate term) that cost no more than $500 to purchase and prepare.  While conventional wisdom may be that there is no way a Porsche could be competitive in such a race, a few of us from PCA-GGR thought otherwise and set out to prove it could be done.  We entered the 24 Hours of LeMons at Thunderhill in December 2008, a race the organizers appropriately named the Arse-Freeze-Apalooza.  This is our story.

Team Baconator
Team Baconator (from left, James Hendry, Pete Pressley, Harry Demas, Charles Gayraud, Stan Demas and Antoun Nabhan)

Background on the Race

The 24 Hours of LeMons (www.24hoursoflemons.com) is the answer to a question that I'm sure many have had but only a few have attempted to answer:  what would happen if you had an endurance race with a bunch of old cars?  Rather than complicated car classification rules, the organizers made the rules short and simple:  (1) spend no more than $500 on the car (not including safety-related items like seat, belts, rollcage, tires, wheels and brakes), (2) use tires that are at least 190 treadwear and (3) come up with a theme for your car so that spectators are amused and entertained.  Otherwise it is just like most other endurance racing series:  (1) cheating is rampant and the game is not to get caught, (2) bribing is encouraged and helps keep the car scrutineers looking the other way and (3) there are stiff penalties for getting caught cheating, for bad driving or for doing most anything that is dumb or dangerous. 

Wheel
The Wheel of Misfortune

What sort of penalties?  Well, after spinning the "Wheel of Misfortune", you could be administered any of the usual stuff like having a farm animal welded to the roof of your racecar (the "Barnyard" penalty), having you and your car covered in syrup and feathers like a tar and feathering (the "Colonel Saunders" penalty) or getting bent over the hood of your racecar and administered a good paddling (the "Max Moseley" penalty).  Ok, so maybe this isn't quite the usual endurance race.   Notwithstanding the sense of humor with which all competitors must approach the race if they are going to have a good time, it is a real race with many teams taking the quest for a podium finish quite seriously.  The prize for 1st place...$1,500, paid in bags of nickels. 

The Team

Our team was comprised of four drivers, each a long-time GGR time-trialer.  The adventure began when Antoun Nabhan found and purchased the 944 and contacted me to say he had a car and wanted to run the event.  Both Antoun and I have extensive experience with 944s-him with a 944 Turbo S racecar and several 944s before that, and me with a 944S that I used to autocross and which I transplanted a 944S2 motor into before eventually moving on to a 993 for track events.  We still needed two more drivers, so I contacted my fellow 993 friends at the track, Pete Pressley and Charles Gayraud.  Both had extensive track experience in 993s, but the LeMons race would be their first front-engined Porsche experience as well as their first wheel-to-wheel racing.  Nevertheless, by LeMons standards, where around a third of the drivers often have no track experience let alone wheel-to-wheel experience, with their addition our team would be fully up to the task of running the race fast and hard while staying out of trouble and avoiding the Wheel of Misfortune.

In addition, for crew we brought along some real mechanics in case things gone hairy:  James Hendry from Sharkwerks and my brother, Stan Demas, who used to work on 996 GT3RSs in ALMS.  Remarkably, between their being there and our having an entire parts car in case anything went wrong, our car stayed on good behavior and ran flawlessly all weekend.
 
The Car

Truth be told, we were not the first team to try and run a 944 in a LeMons race.  There was actually another 944 and a 924S also entered by other teams in the December event, and other 944s had been entered in prior events.  This was a good thing as it made it a lot easier to convince the scrutineers, or the judges, that our car really was a $500 car and avoid being penalized for being above that limit.

Our car began as a burgundy 1986 Porsche 944, bone-stock and in good running condition except that the rubber donut on the clutch had broken and seized up the driveline, a common failure with early 944 clutches.  This problem allowed Antoun to snatch up the car for $500.  We had a problem at this point, however, as we still needed a clutch and possibly a few more things for the car.  Thankfully, under the rules any amount you can sell parts from the car for can be offset against things you purchase for the car, and labor you do yourself doesn't count.  With a little bartering and much effort to sell parts that wouldn't be needed on a racecar (thank goodness used Porsche parts are actually sometimes worth something), we got the clutch parts we needed and enough money to cover the $100 we spent on a very used set of Konis from a 944 Turbo that, with a lot of late-night grinding and cutting, we eventually got to fit on the car. 

Curse1

Curse2





Blues Brothers Racing Before, During, and After Administration of the People's Curse.








Curse3

We had a cage and other safety equipment installed by professionals, but much of the rest of the preparation involved some very late, cold, rainy nights working on the car in Pete's driveway under a tent the few days before Christmas.  We actually forgot to get pictures of that part of the car prep, but if we had it certainly would have warmed the hearts of the organizers to know that notwithstanding our very clean (by LeMons standards) car, we really did endure the misery that they intended all participants to suffer as part of the event.

The final step in our car prep was the application graphics.  Antoun had come up with the name of our team (Team Baconator) based on the car's bacon-like color and the Wendy's bumper sticker that had come with it.  He had further cleverly secured our entry into the event (only 106 entries were accepted out of around 160) by sending a bribe with our entry--some fresh bacon packed on ice.  Some late night application of paint and stickers completed the look of our car.

The Judges

One of the most important parts to the LeMons race occurs before the race even begins.  Every car has to go before a panel of judges who are there to enforce the $500 limit and punish teams that are cheating.  For every $10 over $500 that the judges think you may have spent on your car, the car is assigned one "B.S." point and is required to start one lap behind the other cars at the start of the race.  At this event there were a number of cars that received considerable penalties for all sorts of questionable things that were found on the cars and which pretty clearly pushed the cost of the cars well over $500.  Other cars were such uncompetitive entries that the judges took pity and gave bonus laps to give the cars a headstart.  This process could, and in this race did, play a critical role in determining who would finish in first when the checkered flag came down.

Judging
Harry Demas (on the right) talking to the Jay Lamm (on the left) and the other judges
(in the wigs)



With the good condition of the body of our car relative to most other entries (which looked as though they had been in a demolition derby), we were very concerned that we might get penalized just for showing up with a nice-looking Porsche.  As a result, where most teams rather unimaginatively showed up at tech with bribes consisting of bottles of alcohol (there was a huge table full of alcohol at the judges' area), we introduced the judges to our Baconator by showing up right around dinnertime with a plate full of hot, steaming bacon and sausage in the rear of the 944 (the "engine" of the Baconator). 

Entry
Baconator entry form including fresh bacon packed in ice

I was then informed by Jay Lamm, the organizer and chief judge, that while they appreciated the gesture of pork products, two of the three judges were Jewish and they wanted to see paperwork for our expenditures.  After half an hour of my explaining that the car really was just a bone-stock 944 that we had replaced nothing on other than the clutch and the shocks, Jay searching under the car for anything that looked shiny, our person with the paperwork being delayed by the awful weather at the Chicago airport on the Friday after Christmas followed by a trailer tire blow-out on the way to Thunderhill that evening, and my pointing out that the other 944 and the 924S hadn't been penalized, we eventually convinced the judges to accept our entry without penalty.

The Race

Baconator on Grid
The Baconator on Grid

The race began Saturday morning and ran all day until dusk.  It then resumed Sunday morning and finished on Sunday at dusk.  The start of the race on Saturday was slow as the first few hours involved short periods of racing between long sessions of yellow flags caused by early breakdowns and some overanxious drivers trying to win the race in the first few corners.  With a mix of driver experience that ranges from "never driven on a racetrack" to "drives in ALMS", the incidents came early and often.  I drove the first stint and had a number of very close calls avoiding incidents that collected other cars around me.  As the day progressed, the green flag sessions got longer and it started to feel like a real race.  We ran as quickly as we could but with an emphasis on staying out of trouble as we wanted to give all of our drivers a chance to drive and have the car survive into the second day.  We were very surprised to find ourselves listed in 1st position mid-day on Saturday, but at the end of the day we were listed in 10th as it turned out that the earlier postings hadn't accounted for the bonus laps given to many of the cars.

Normally a drop from 1st to 10th would be a disappointment, but in our case we were quite thankful as before that point we were hearing rumblings in the pits that our car was in the running for being voted the "People's Curse".  This is the distinction every LeMons racer seeks to avoid.  The way it works is that on Sunday morning each team casts one vote for the car they want to see crushed and destroyed.  In past events, the People's Curse has often gone to a car that other teams thought was cheating. 

Santas
Going over the cyclone next to the Slow Santas
--photo courtesy of Bonnie Lee Kellogg

Even though we had followed the rules to the letter and anyone familiar with 944s would understand how a stock one could easily be prepared within the rules, we were justifiably nervous sitting in 1st place with a very clean-looking "Porsche" with a rather too-nice set of 17" wheels off a 993 (as "safety" items the wheels didn't count towards the $500, but they still made the car look a lot more expensive than it was and a lot nicer than most of the other entries).  In the end, with the drop to 10th we were no longer such an obvious target and a very fast and rather too-nice looking Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor with a Mustang GT 5-speed transmission entered by Blues Brothers Racing was voted to get crushed.  I suppose showing up at a car race with a police car makes you even less popular than the guys with the Porsche.

Start
Harry Demas helping Charles Gayraud get ready for the first driving stint on Day 2

The race on Sunday continued and we steadily moved up positions.  As with the prior day, we pushed hard but continued to do so in a very disciplined manner, avoiding trouble and keeping the racing clean as the time lost from a black flag could negate hours of more aggressive driving.  Our very thorough car prep also continued to pay dividends as the car ran flawlessly, avoiding any costly time in the pits for mechanical issues.

At the end of the race, we were in 3rd place, 9 laps behind the 1st place Team Geo Metro-Gnome with their extremely fast Metro with a motorcycle engine and gearbox, and a mere 10 seconds behind the 2nd place Motoring J Style Isuzu I-Mark.  We actually would have won the race if the judges had not given the Metro and the Isuzu 10 bonus laps each.  Nevertheless, for our efforts we did go home with very nice medals for being "Das Erste Deutsche Hooptie" ("The First German Hooptie").

Conclusion

With our 3rd place out of 106 cars and the best-ever LeMons placing by a Porsche, we felt that we did our small part to further the marquee's long and distinguished history of endurance racing.  We also proved that Porsches can make it at LeMons just as well as they do at Le Mans.  Our only disappointment is that we have yet to receive the letter we were hoping for from Porsche Motorsports congratulating us and offering a factory supported ride in ALMS next year.  In any event, for those of you who may  be looking for a relatively inexpensive, very fun and not-too-serious entry into endurance racing, the 24 Hours of LeMons is a great way to do it.

More!

The Jalopnik pictures can be found here...
 
For your amusement, here are a few additional pages you may find interesting...
 
Jalopnik's list of finishers...

Jalopnik's write-up of the top 20 finishing cars...
 
Jalopnik's list of the "other german" (i.e., not BMW) finishers...

There is a write-up on us and more pictures a little ways down.  Also, if you click on the links for other groups of cars (below the write-up on us), you can find more information on the other cars.
 
Jalopnik's write-up on the "mega cheaters"...

Finally, a YouTube video of the Porcubimmer passing our car and the Krider Racing Acura (blue and white car...only car to complete more laps than us, but they weren't in contention as they had a huge (1,500 laps) penalty for all sorts of cheater stuff that was on the car...

I'm pretty sure this was from late in the race when we weren't racing them for position.  Like a number of the horde of E30 BMWs that showed up, their car was very quick.
 
Harry
Porsche Roads

Leglise2--by Claude Leglise, GGR past president

Healdsburg to Point Arena and back via Boonville


Winter and spring are great seasons to drive in Northern California. The sun is often out, the coastal fog is but a distant memory, and many other drivers are at home watching TV. Time to gas up and go explore another Porsche Road. This time we will travel to Mendocino County, in what, before 1841, used to be considered Russian territory. Our tour will leave from Healdsburg, a small town founded by failed gold miner Mr. Heald, who squatted on the land of the Fitch family and made it his home.

Start from the Healdsburg Plaza and head north on Healdsburg Avenue. After 1 mile, turn left on Dry Creek Road, drive under US 101 and proceed straight. You are your way. (If you are coming on US 101, Dry Creek Road is at Exit 505). If you did not get lunch in town, the Dry Creek General Store, at mile 4.8, is a great place to buy some sustenance and sit down for a bite.

FebR1

Across the highway is Dry Creek Vineyards, which happens to be one of my favorite wineries. However, I suggest you stop on the way back, because the road ahead does not accommodate drinking, even a taste or two, well at all. At mile 12, you reach the Lake Sonoma Recreation Area, another great place for a picnic. At mile 14, there is a short access road to the scenic Lake Sonoma Overlook.

FebR2

Past the dam, Dry Creek Road becomes Skaggs Springs Road, also known in the local motorcycling community as Skaggs Springs International Raceway. The good news is that the pavement is in excellent condition, the constant radius sweepers are well engineered, and the visibility is generally very good. The less good news is that Officer Friendly and his cousins stand ready to fill the county's depleted coffers by hunting the miscreants who dare exceed the Caltrans-imposed 30 mph limit. Yet another reason why winter drives are better. The road starts at a 350 foot elevation at the dam, climbs to 2000 feet past the lake, and then drops again to 800 feet when it crosses Warm Springs Creek at mile 24. This is all pure driving goodness.

At mile 25, the road narrows, and the quality of the pavement decreases measurably. Over the next 25 miles or so, there are many short one-lane sections, and caution is advised. This is mostly a third gear road, with the occasional second gear switchback. Yet the scenery is well worth the trek. The forest alternates between redwoods, pines and California oaks. There are nice views of Wolf Creek. Civilization is quite far away; just imagine riding a horse through this country 200 years ago, as early explorers did. At mile 42, it is possible to continue on to Highway 1, but the best option is to turn right onto Annapolis Road over the bridge that crosses the Wheatfield Fork. Annapolis has its own post office and zip code (95412), but don't blink, or you might miss downtown.

Annapolis road reaches Sea Ranch, the controversial development that led to the creation of the California Coastal Commission, at mile 55, and Highway 1 half a mile later.

FebR3

Turn right on Highway 1, heading north. At mile 63, you reach the town of Gualala, where a pit stop might be in order. The Gualala Hotel, built in 1903, offers cheap rooms. A more romantic spot is across the highway at the Breakers Inn; the rooms overlook the Pacific Ocean and the mouth of the Gualala River.

North of Gualala, Highway 1 is known as the Shoreline Highway, as it follows the ocean shore very closely. The views are simply beautiful when the visibility is good. There is no obstacle between here and Japan. At mile 73, a quick turn left on Iverson Point Road provides a great photo-op of the coast. At mile 80, there is a turn-off towards the Point Arena Lighthouse, an interesting spot to stretch your legs. 

FebR4

The lighthouse is the only one on the West Coast where visitors can climb to the top. The museum is pretty interesting, too. The lighthouse was closed for restoration in 2008; it should be reopened by the time you read this. Check the website. On your way back to Highway 1, you may want to stop at the Rollerville Café, which the sign advertises as the "first café since Hawaii."

2.5 miles north of the café, make a right on to Mountain View Road, which will take you back inland. The road is nice at the start, traveling among farms and climbing into the coastal forest.

FebR5

The trees are so dense that it quickly becomes impossible to catch even a glimpse of the ocean. What follows are 25 miles of tight curves on a pretty lonesome, rough road with some one-lane sections. It is very likely you will pass no one, and cross no one until the 16% downhill grade above Boonville. At mile 111, make a right on Highway 128. Boonville, population 1370, is best known for its quaint local dialect - "Boontling". The local bookstore has phrasebooks. Its annual Beer Festival, scheduled this year for May 2, is a fundraiser for local charities. Boonville is also located in the cool Anderson Valley, home of some of California's best white wines and Pinot Noirs.

Highway 128 to Cloverdale consists of a long series of sweepers, steep grades and tight corners. The pavement varies between good and excellent as the road goes past wineries and Christmas tree farms. This is a nice ride after the sometimes tricky bits on Mountain View Road. At mile 125, you drive through Yorkville, a one cow town that was once covered with apple orchards and is now home to several excellent wineries. The lone railroad car is a reminder that before Highway 128 was built, this valley was connected to the world by stagecoach and a narrow gauge railroad.

In Cloverdale, it is back to Highway 101. Healdsburg is 18 miles south of the freeway entrance. In total, this trip covers 150 miles. You ought to budget a minimum of 4 hours, more depending on the number of photos you take, wineries you visit, and snacks you eat. The cheapest gas is in Healdsburg.


Scale: 1 ∆ to 5 ∆                          Twistiness    Pavement quality    Scenery

Dry Creek Road                                  ∆∆                ∆∆∆                     ∆∆∆∆
Skaggs Springs Road (lower)           ∆∆∆∆            ∆∆∆∆∆                  ∆∆∆∆
Skaggs Springs Road (upper)          ∆∆∆∆∆             ∆∆                      ∆∆∆∆
Annapolis Road                                ∆∆∆∆∆             ∆∆                       ∆∆∆
Highway 1                                             ∆∆              ∆∆∆∆                  ∆∆∆∆∆
Mountain View Road                         ∆∆∆∆∆             ∆∆                      ∆∆∆
Highway 128                                       ∆∆∆∆             ∆∆∆                     ∆∆∆

Claude

FebR6

LA Lit & Toy Show
26th Year
Porsche & Vintage VW Literature, Toy/Model, and Memorabilia Swap Meet
Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel

LA toy show

CALIFORNIA:  Los Angeles, Saturday March 7th, 26th Annual Porsche Literature, Toy/Model, and Memorabilia Swap Meet at the
Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel
5711 West Century Blvd.

  • 9:00 A.M. - 2 P.M. 
  • Admission $10 at 9:00 A.M. or early bird $30 at 7:00 A.M. 
  • Over 225 tables of collectibles. 

Vendor info:
Wayne Callaway
1504 East Cedar Street
Ontario, CA  91761
phone 909-930-1999

or go to the website at www.LALitAndToyShow.com.


Gung hay fat choy!

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