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Porsche Club of America
Golden Gate Region

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May 2009. Volume 49, Issue 5
In This Issue
President's Message
Letter from the Editor
Competition Corner
Board of Directors
Membership Report
Rolling Thunder II
The Power Chef
Thanks to a GGR Member
Porboys AX School
Porsche Roads
Monterey Historics Events
Panamera Debuts
Stompin' AX
Snake Eyes Rallye
Yosemite Concours
Zone 7 AX 3 and 4
SVR Autocross
Zone 7 AX 3 and 4
Redwood Porsche Corral
LPR Rallye
Porsche Swap & Concours
SVR Concours
Palo Alto Concours
Yosemite 50th
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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Pawlina Paraskova CG
Executive Editor of The Nugget
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President's Message
Bill Dally--by Bill Dally, GGR President
The Joy of Throttle Steering

The April 25th autocross at Alameda had two large 180-degree sweepers, one to the right and one to the left, that let me do one of my favorite things: throttle steering my Porsche while cornering at the limit.  Throttle steering is the process of controlling your car's direction using the accelerator pedal rather than the steering wheel. 

When a car is balanced, at neutral throttle, the weight distribution between the front and rear tires is such that the two ends of the car slip at the same rate causing the car to hold a constant radius in a turn.  If you smoothly add some throttle, the car begins to accelerate which shifts weight to the rear wheels.  As the weight shifts to the rear, the rear of the car grips better - and the front of the car looses grip - causing the front to slip more than the rear and hence increasing the radius of the turn.  If you ease off the accelerator slightly (don't lift abruptly or you will spin) the weight shifts forward, this causes the front to grip more than the rear.  In this case, the rear slips more than the front and the radius of the turn tightens. 

If you lift off the throttle too much or too abruptly so much weight shifts to the front that the rear end starts to slide - starting a spin - this needs to be corrected immediately.  If the rear end swings out more than about 30 degrees you have lost control and need to "put both feet in" (press on both the brake and the clutch - but especially the brake).  The response to catch a spin needs to be proportional and properly timed.  Too much correction or holding it too long will result in a spin in the opposite direction.
When taking a corner at the limit, you literally steer the car by shifting weight fore and aft.  As you enter the turn you visualize the line you want to take through the turn.  If you start getting outside of your line, you ease off the accelerator to tighten your radius.  If you get inside of your line, you add throttle to widen your radius and move to the outside.  With the right line, this generally involves neutral throttle or even a little deceleration to turn in the car, gradually increasing throttle - and hence increasing radius to reach your planned apex, and then increasing to full throttle as you exit the turn - just barely missing the exit-limiting cone.

The best way to get introduced to throttle steering (and to practice throttle steering) is to drive on a skid pad.  Students who sign up for the beginner's autocross school on May 16 will get a chance to drive a skid pad and are sure to wish they had their own skid pad at home after this experience.  A skid pad is just a circular course with a 50-foot inner radius.  At the school we simply mark off a 50-foot circle with cones and the students drive around it - actually, the exercise works better if we make it a 50-foot ellipse so the student has to increase and decrease radius to hold the inside line.

The skid pad is a 1st gear exercise.  Being in 1st gear accentuates the weight shifting that occurs with accelerator movement.  When you lift in 1st gear you get more deceleration than in 2nd - and hence more shifting of weight to the front wheels.

To appreciate the skid pad, it has to be driven at the limit.  If you just drive around the circle slowly you won't get anything out of it - other than perhaps getting dizzy after a while.  As you approach the limit, the car starts slipping sideways and its direction becomes sensitive to weight distribution.  Only when you reach this speed can you start practicing throttle steering - lifting gently to tighten the turn, gently accelerating to widen the turn.   Gently is the operative word here.  Throttle steering rewards smoothness.  After practicing a few revolutions of smoothly driving ovals using throttle steering it is customary to end the exercise by lifting abruptly - inducing a spin - and then having the student catch the spin (or at least attempt to catch it).

Driving a skid pad really gives you a feel for the car and hones your driving ability.  I am convinced that if I could practice on a skid pad for a half hour before each autocross, my times would improve by at least one second.  If I had a large plot of land, I would seriously consider building my own skid pad - right next to the eight car garage.

Instructors often tell students that turning the wheel has "no effect" when throttle steering.  This isn't completely true.  The steering wheel works in one direction but not the other.  If you turn the wheel straight, the car will go straight.  Also, when cornering at the limit, unwinding the wheel outward will result in the car turning outward.  However, when you are cornering at the limit, turning the wheel to tighten the turn will not tighten the turn.  In fact turning the wheel too far in will result in the front wheels starting to slide or push - which will widen the turn.  If you watch a good driver taking a turn at the limit you will often see them sawing the steering wheel -moving it back and foth over a 30 degree or so arc.  What they are doing is hunting out the point at which the front wheels slide.  They turn the wheel in until they feel the front wheels start to slide, then the countersteer until the front wheels regain group, and then turn the wheel back again - hopefully to the point just before the wheels loose grip.  So, in summary, the steering wheel does have an effect while throttle steering, but only in one direction, and when cornering at the limit, you use the wheel to hold the front wheels at the limit of adhesion.

When students first start throttle steering, they tend to miss their apexes - often leaving several feet of space between the side of the car and the apex cone.  They are aiming to just miss the cone, but the car is slipping sideways - causing them to miss it by a wide margin.  The solution is to anticipate the slip and to compensate by aiming a corresponding distance inside of the apex cone - as if to hit the cone - the car then slips sideways and just misses the cone.

In a car with a lot of horsepower, the throttle steering curve reverses itself.  As you add more throttle, you get to the point where the rear end starts sliding because the rear wheels are using most of their grip providing acceleration - leaving very little grip to turn.  In this case as you apply a little throttle, the car widens its radius, but as you apply more throttle you reach a narrow neutral point and then the car starts tightening its radius again.  Good drivers can exploit this control reversal, but for most drivers, it is best to stay in the region where adding throttle turns out and lifting turns in.

Throttle steering on a skid pad is a great way to assess the balance of a car's steering.  If at a given speed the car holds a particular radius at the limit with no acceleration, then the car is balanced.  If the front end starts slipping first and the car wants to take a larger radius, then the car has understeer.  On the other hand, if the rear end starts coming out forcing the driver to countersteer to avoid a spin, then the car has oversteer.  The car can be rebalanced by adjusting sway bars (tightening the front for oversteer and the rear for understeer), changing spring rates, and/or varying tire widths (go wider on the end that is sliding first).  Note that you can only balance the car for one speed and radius.  A car that is well balanced to take autocross turns at 40mph will be oversteering slightly on a typical road course turn at 80mph.  On my Boxster I used to put my rear sway bar in the "tight" position for autocross to avoid push on low-speed turns and then put it on the "loose" setting for time trials to keep things stable around turn 8 at Thunderhill.

The next time you are taking a corner at the limit - dither the throttle a bit about the neutral point (smoothly and gently) and feel the car respond to the resulting weight shift - mastering this throttle steering will quickly put a smile on your face.

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.

Also still taking photos of your car, child, pet, or 3rd cousin twice removed.

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

Besides another fantastic AX (GGR-AX#2 Alameda) in April, we have no other events to report on this month. We are however, looking forward to a few events in May. The first will be the GGR TT ground school on 5/2. If you are considering moving up to TT you must attend. It's a great information filled day with fellow Porsche lover.

On 5/16 we are hosting the GGR / Porboys beginners AX school in Alameda. What could be better then learning to drive your car safely at the limit? Give it a try! Sign up soon, as it usually sells out early.

5/23-24 brings our next TT / Club Race at Buttonwillow Raceway. This event will be run just like our first event earlier in the year. If you plan on trying the club racing you must get your paperwork in to PCA national early or they may not be able to process it in time! You will need to send all paperwork including a medical form filled out by your doctor with items such as blood type that may require even more time to get. For further information you can visit PCA nationals site.

If you are interested in even more track time Central Coast Region will be hosting a drivers ed day the Friday before the event on Friday 5/22.

So, with all these driving and educational events on the horizon, get those cars out from under thet cover, charge the battery, and lets have some fun!

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

GGR Board of Directors
Meeting Minutes for April 8, 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, Mark Powell, Larry Adams, Matt Switzer, Paul Larson, Ed Priest, John Celona, Bill Benz, and Rob Murillo.

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

Call for calendar changes: none

Approval of March minutes: already approved via email.

Postmortem of events
  • 3/07/09 Ground School
  • 3/21/09 Alameda Auto X: it was a great outing for the new bar code timing system. Almost 100 drivers ran.
  • 3/27-29/09 DE/TT/CR #1 at Thunderhill.
  • 4/4/09 Porsche (Boxster Brunch): 35 people attended. Afterwards, the attendees went on a do-it-yourself tour (which was not a GGR sanctioned or sponsored event).  
Directors' Reports

President: nothing to report.


Upcoming event status report:
4/25/09 Alameda Auto X

Certificates are ordered for the following events:
5/31 Stockton Auto X

Treasurer:   Cash balances are still on the low side given all the track deposits paid for events which haven't yet taken place.

Secretary: nothing to report.


Upcoming Event Status Report:
  • Team Tours at Laguna Seca Grand Am Races, May 15 - 17, 2009. Currently negotiating with Brumos Racing and TRG for garage / paddock tours at Laguna Seca's upcoming Grand Am races. Should be able to have up to 15 - 20 guests per tour.  Hope to have decisions within the next few days.  Announcements to be made via ggr-announce soon.   
  • 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!!  Already on calendar. Announcements to be made via ggr-announce one month prior to event.    
  • Canepa Design Tour: Saturday, 6/27/09. GGR will be having a tour to Canepa Design in Scott's Valley on Saturday, June 27, 2009.  The event will be free. We will be able to have up to 30 guests. May be added to calendar now.  Announcements to be made via ggr-announce one month prior to event.  
  • GGR Family Picnic / People's Choice Concours: Saturday, 7/25/09. Gateway Pavilion and parking lot reserved for "Special Event". Already on calendar.  Announcements to be made via ggr-announce one month prior to event.
Future Events for Discussion:  
  • Flying Lizard Tour: Date TBD . Dede Seward (a Boxster Babbler and dual LPR/GGR member) is working with the Lizards to set up a tour and would like to include GGR.  
  • Year-End Banquet at Blackhawk Museum in Danville: Sunday 12/13/09. Sunday 12/13/09 tentatively reserved for our Year-End Banquet. Would like input as to preference of December or January date.

Membership: motion to approve new members passed unanimously.
Competition: We had 52 DE's for Friday, 75 for Sat/Sun and 35 racers for Friday and 41 for Sat/Sun, a good turn out. Seems like everyone enjoyed themselves and the National PCA guys appears to be impressed with how we ran the event and the instruction too, very impressed with the DE portion.

Clean racing, no incidents and we are gearing up for BW and have 15 sign ups as of today April 2.
Webmaster:  averaging 915 hits per day.

Topics for discussion

Autocross Equipment Issues: Range issues for the new wireless system have emerged. The fix is an extension and high-gain antenna for the bar code scanner. Cost for all the pieces is around $500. Motion to purchase the pieces was passed unanimously. Also, a very much appreciated member donated a new Sony Vaio computer to run the new timing system on. Motion was also approved to add two monitors for the system. One will be for the announcer and one for people to view. Cost for this will be about $300-500. Lastly, carrying cases to protect the T-links during transit will be purchased at a cost of about $400.  

The club will also be obtaining a quote for insuring the timing equipment.

Autocross Site Issues: having autocrosses at Alameda continues to be highly problematic. So far it appears that the April 25th date is okay. It's not clear any further dates at Alameda will be available. The search for other venues continues.

Year-End Banquet: the return to Blackhawk. Our group is too small for an evening event, but a brunch is okay. Mark Powell will look for a date in January.

Succession: people whose term is up this year need to start looking for their replacement.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Club Sportiva2
March Membership Report

Jeff Kost--by Jeff Kost, Membership Director

The primary membership level remained flat month over month and we saw a continued erosion of affiliate members.  Given the sales numbers coming out of Porsche, I think that we had a relatively good month.  As always, 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:     2375
Primary:               1383
           Affiliate:       991
           HQ Life:          1
         GGR Life:         3
New Members:        11
Transfers In:              4
Transfers Out:           2

Congratulations And Welcome To Our NEW MEMBERS!!!

Carlos Alvarez

San Francisco

1998 993

Patrick Butler

Los Gatos

2009 911S

Christophe Chaland


2002 996

Richard Diehl

San Jose

1970 911

Paul & Judy Griep

San Jose

2003 911

Daniel & Danielle Hirsch

Mill Valley

2003 Carrera

Gustina Ho



Mark Ivie

San Jose

2006 Cayman S

Herb Ko

San Jose


Linda Kolstad

Los Altos


Steve & Tracey Lefczik

San Mateo

1985 911

William & Jennifer Levan

San Jose

1989 930

Jan Muscheck



Nam Nam Shekarchi

Palo Alto

2004 Boxster S

Gordon Thurber



Sean Worthington


1969 911


 45 Years (Congratulations!!!)

Norbert Nieslony

San Carlos

1962 356B

 40 Years

Pamela Wong

Palo Alto


 30 Years

Di Hoeptner


Mark Mclaughlin


1970 914-6

Joseph Rossi

Scotts Valley

1969 356

 25 Years

Richard Conway


1974 911

Jane Croom

Los Altos


Conrad Hauser


1982 911SC

Susan Keller



 20 Years

Brent Harnish

San Mateo

1987 944

Scott Robertson


1972 911T

 15 Years

Waymond Ho


1996 993C4

Gary Matuszak


2001 911

Jennifer Mcdonald

San Carlos


Norma Nocera



Pascale Schepmans

1020 Brussels


Karen Selven

Menlo Park

Rich Slevin

Los Altos Hills

1960 356B

Michael Whelan


1987 944T

 10 Years

George Bobias

Santa Clara

1970 914

Ned Cain

La Honda

1999 Boxster

Litko Chan

San Jose

1986 951

Tracy Hanson

San Jose

1999 Boxster

Richard Paluck



 5 Years

Candice Ako

Redwood City

Frederique Garderes

Palo Alto


Sidney Kaufmann


1997 993

Steve Lau

San Jose

1987 911Carrera

Laura Manz


2004 Boxster S

Seth Neiman

Redwood City

2000 GT3 RS

Isabelle Nicolas

Palo Alto


Sunthari Pillay



Randolph Townley

San Jose

2001 996T

Kai Weiler

San Jose


Frederick Grieb

San Francisco

1992 968

Thomas Grieb

San Francisco


Robert Icard

San Francisco

1987 928 S4

Stephanie Oana



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Rolling Thunder II

Rolling Thunder2a
The Power Chef
NE Bike
The Puzzle of Potatoes

--by John Celona, The Power Chef®

Where do you stand on potatoes? Certainly, they used to be America's favorite vegetable, the foundation of a meal along with meat and a vegetable. Americans still consume them in prodigious quantities. According to E.V. Hardenburg writing in The American Journal of Potato Research, Americans still on average consume approximately 2-1/3 bushels per person per year after deducting 30% of harvest for defective or unfit stock, 10% for shrinkage during storage, and 10% retained for seed. (I'm glad someone is worrying about all this.)

I used to eat quite a lot of potatoes. (A) I liked them; (B) they're cheap; and (C) they're fat free. Then I began to wonder as a lot of guff began to circulate about potatoes being classified as simple carbohydrates in the great good/complex carb or bad/simple carb debate.  As regular readers of this column will know, I'm all for consuming as much good carbs as you want (e.g., whole grains and vegetables), and keeping away from the bad carbs (white flour and sugar and stuff made with them). For me, it's all part of trying to fit into the same clothes in the closet that fit last year.

On top of all this came the onslaught of low- or no-carb diets: The Atkins Diet, The Zone Diet, The South Beach Diet, The Modified South Beach Diet, The Southern Part of the Northern Section of South Beach Still Short of Fort Lauderdale Diet, and so on.

Whatever else one may think of potatoes, it is unarguable that they contain carbohydrates.

As I always do when searching for unvarnished truth, I Googled "Are potatoes good for you?" I noted along the way there had been 5,060,000 searches on this same phrase. I would conjecture, therefore, that at least 5 million people share my concern and love for this simple spud. Here's the link if you'd like to peruse the results yourself.

What I garnered from this is a great backlash against spud lashing. The gist is a potato can be a healthy part of your diet, depending on what form it crosses your lips. A plain, boiled or microwaved potato is at one extreme (healthy, so they say), and a potato chip is at the other extreme (not a "health food" anywhere on earth with the possible exception of North Korea). Someone has even written a book extolling the virtues of potatoes: Potatoes Not Prozac.

Another example besides autocross where I wasn't the first. Oh, well.

If you're more the data-driven type, here's the nutritional breakdown on a potato:


This data is per 100g, after boiling in skin and peeling before consumption, according to the Unites States Department of Agriculture, National Nutrition Database.

I also noted along the way that one gets more fiber and nutrition by eating the peel, which is the way I always have potatoes. Haven't had a protest about the mashed-potatoes-with-the-peels yet!

Potato2If you prefer your data in the familiar nutritional label format, here's what that looks like.

Forensic types will note that the above chart attributes 0.1g of fat to a potato, which at 9 calories per gram of fat would be 9 x 0.1 = 0.9 fat calories in a potato. Someone was apparently absent the day rounding was taught. Or perhaps it has something to do with the above chart coming from potato.org!

In any event, I always add a little fat to a potato in one way or another. A pat of butter adds around 40 calories to your baked potato--no biggie in my book. A little salt and pepper and then you have something to eat!

Baked potatoes went back onto my list of easy things to make for dinner. I generally bake them at 450ºF because then they're done in about 45 minutes instead of an hour and you get nice, crisp skins to go along with them.

Likewise, adding them to soups and stews seems fine. I always add lots of other vegetables to go along with them.

But what about french fries? These are probably the most common way people eat potatoes, and the average city probably has hundreds of places offering french fries per square mile. Unfortunately, drop a shoestring potato in hot oil and it just soaks it up, turning a simple spud into a thermonuclear fat bomb.

So I launched onto a quest to create a healthy french fry that still had the marvelously crisp outside and soft, mealy inside of a truly great fry. I consulted all sorts of recipes and started experimenting. Early results were not encouraging. I ended up with fries that were browned but dried to a hard crisp, underdone and soggy, or with still too much oil to really enjoy.

Finally, I hit on the magic formula which seems to do the trick. These fries even passed muster with my spouse, who approaches his fries the way wine aficionados do french burgundy.

Here's the recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Pass the ketchup, please!

Bon Appetit,
The Power Chef

Super Good Low-Fat French Fries

The Gist

The potatoes get soaked in salted water, then baked on a baking sheet with a little oil rubbed on it. 

4 russet potatoes
2 Tb salt
1 baking sheet, preferably non-stick
1 Tb oil

Cut the potatoes into fries. I like steak fries which are 3/4-inch wide and 1/4-inch thick because they're easy to handle.

Put the salt in a bowl big enough to hold the potatoes, add the potatoes, then add enough water to cover. Give a good stir to dissolve the salt. Soak at least 10 minutes, but they can sit this way until you're ready to bake them.

Preheat your oven to 450ºF. Spread the oil in your baking sheet. If it's non-stick, the oil will bead up. Not to worry. Place the potatoes on the sheet with one of the wide sides of each fry lying flat. Move them around a little so the bottom gets a little oil coating on it.

Bake until the bottoms are brown and crisp, about 15-20 minutes (the tops will still be white). Flip each fry over (cutting fewer, wider fries makes this easier). Bake another 15-20 minutes until the other side is crisped and browned. Serve immediately.

The soaking and flipping are key. The soaking removes some of the outer starch to help them crisp. The flipping takes advantage of how the bottom browns sooner. If you leave them without flipping until the tops are brown, the fries end up dried out and overdone (oh, dear).

This same recipe also makes great fries with sweet potatoes or yams.

suspension performance
Thanks to a GGR Member

A GGR member has graciously purchased and donated a brand new Sony Vaio laptop to run the new timing system on. This will eliminate problems with the existing computer being a little slow to run the system on, causing what turned out to be unnecessary reruns at the first autocross. This member has requested to remain anonymous, but thank you very much all the same.

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 www.Motorsportreg.com   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
Porsche Roads

TT banner--by Claude Leglise, GGR Past President

Saratoga to Santa Cruz

Spring weather is back, and summer will soon be here. In other words, it's time for a road trip to Santa Cruz! We start in downtown Saratoga, which features many fine dining establishments, from pizza joints to some of the fanciest restaurants in the Valley, as well as a useful gas station at the corner of Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road and Saratoga Avenue. You could also spend half your kids' inheritance in the local shops, but this is not our goal today.

From downtown, take Big Basin Way, also marked as Highway 9, going west towards Highway 35 and Big Basin. Half a mile outside of town, the Hakone Gardens are worth a stop. The traditional Japanese gardens create a beautiful oasis of peace and quiet in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley. The Upper House is constructed entirely out of wood with no nails, in the traditional Japanese style. A mile further on, you can choose to make a right on Pierce Road to reach the Mountain Winery, famous for its wines, as well as its summer concert series.

R May1

The real driving starts around mile 2, after the bridge over Saratoga Creek. After a couple of sweepers, the road starts climbing the side of the Santa Cruz Mountains until it reaches Skyline Boulevard at the top of the Saratoga Gap. The pavement in this section is first class, there are turnouts for slower traffic, visibility is decent around corners, and almost all the curves have constant radii. Sports cars and motorcycles alike have been known to go up and down this section multiple times just for the fun of it. At the intersection of Highways 9 and 35, there is a small park on the south eastern corner with access to good vistas of the south bay and to several local hiking trails.

Past the intersection, take Highway 9 towards Big Basin, and you will soon reach the Santa Cruz County line. On the right side, you can visit the lush redwood and madrone forest of Castle Rock State Park. The sign at mile 8 promises 28 miles of curves; happiness ensues. At mile 9.5, there is large parking lot on the left hand side in an area called Sempervirens Point. On a clear day you can get great views of the forest and see all the way to Monterey.

At mile 14, you reach the intersection with Highway 236; make a left at the stop sign towards Boulder Creek. You still have 20 miles of twisties ahead of you. In fact, one mile later, there is sharp switchback that will test second gear and would generate oversteer if it were on an autocross course instead of a public highway. As an aside, one option is to go straight at the stop sign, and explore Highway 236 that goes through the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. It is slower going than Highway 9, but the drive through the old growth redwoods is beautiful. The only caveat is that the road surface is rarely in premium shape, and I did not try it on this trip with my low-clearance car. Replacing the air dam adds to the cost of the weekend.

R May2

At mile 17, Highway 9 follows the San Lorenzo River, houses reappear on the sides, the road gets straighter, and there is more local traffic. Time to take it easy. Boulder Creek is at mile 22. This is the quintessential 19th century mountain town. In the old days, it had 26 saloons, gambling houses, cat houses and hotels. A couple of buildings still pre-date the 1891 fire that ravaged the town. You can patronize several of the saloons in operation for their intended purpose, or you can choose to make a short pilgrimage to the Women's Christian Temperance Union building, built in 1893. A fine mural on the wall of the hardware store depicts Boulder Creek in its heyday, when the Southern Pacific stopped in town. If you took the Highway 236 detour, you will reconnect with Highway 9 in Boulder Creek.

R May3

Past Boulder Creek, the next town is Brookdale, best known for the Brookdale Lodge and the stream running through its dining area.

At mile 25, you reach Ben Lomond and its myriad stores that sell almost everything: antiques, guitars, driftwood carvings and espressos. The most famous joint in town is the Henflings Tavern, which advertises "Burgers, Blues and Booze". There is good live music several nights a week. I only suggest staying away on Mondays, which are "Locals night. Happy hour all night", with the predictable consequences.
R May4  

In Felton, at mile 29, there are several options. You can visit the Felton Covered Bridge, originally built in 1892; you can ride the trains pulled by geared locomotives of the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad; or you can explore the trails of the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. You might decide to turn right on Felton Empire Road and head towards Highway 1, but, since Santa Cruz is our destination today, proceed on Highway 9 for 6 more miles of leisurely drive along the river.

R May5

There is often traffic in this section, and there are no turnouts, so relax and enjoy the sights. At mile 34, there is a big railroad trestle on the right hand side. It is impressive to think that these timbers can hold the weight of a 40 ton locomotive.

The outskirts of Santa Cruz feature many old structures, yet modern civilization soon takes over. At mile 36, you reach Highway 1, where you might make a right towards the Pacific Coast and Half Moon Bay, or make a left to go back to San Jose on Highway 17. Of course, the best thing to do is to enjoy Santa Cruz and the famous Boardwalk. If you did not get enough curves on the way from Saratoga, the Giant Dipper rollercoaster is just the thing for you. After a ride or two, there are enough purveyors of junk food to satisfy the most demanding teenagers, and reminiscing adults. On a nice day, the beach is inviting for all ages. For more adult activities, the revitalized downtown area is definitely worth a stroll.

Scale: 1∗ to 5∗                          Twistiness     Pavement Quality     Scenery
Big Basin Way                               ∗∗∗∗                ∗∗∗∗∗                  ∗∗∗  
Highway 9 past Highway 35         ∗∗∗∗∗                ∗∗∗∗                  ∗∗∗∗
Boulder Creek to Santa Cruz          ∗∗∗                  ∗∗∗∗                    ∗∗∗

 R May6

This and earlier editions of Porsche Roads are archived on the web. Click Here.


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 www.motorsportsreg.com 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 motorsportsreg.com 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.
# # #
http://mby.pca.org  (MBR official website)
http://www.motorsportreg.com  (MBR event registration)
http://www.motorclubevents.com  (Concours on the Avenue website)
http://www.mazdaraceway.com/pages/tix-historic09   (Historic races ticket order page)
http://www.mazdaraceway.com/pages/hotels_restaurants (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

Gorman ad
Panamera Debuts

First All-New Porsche in Seven Years Poised to Set New Standards in The Premium Sedan Segment

ATLANTA - April 20, 2009 ---- Porsche today officially unveiled its Panamera four-door performance car, the first all-new, built-from-the-ground up vehicle from the Stuttgart, Germany based manufacturer since its historic debut of the Cayenne in Paris in 2002. Presented with great pride and fanfare at the company's Shanghai Motor Show exhibit, the Panamera is unique in the premium sedan segment thanks to its 'sports car for four' concept and its best-in-class fuel efficiency.

"The crucial task for our engineers was to combine Porsche's sporting DNA with all the spaciousness and driving comfort of a luxurious sedan," said Wolfgang Dürheimer, who was on hand for the debut and is Porsche's executive vice president of research and development. "The Panamera is an alternative car concept for the premium customer, and while competing with established vehicles in the premium class, it will be a clear segment leader in terms of performance, driving dynamics and efficiency."

All Three Panamera Models Deliver High Performance and Low Fuel Consumption

The Panamera is Porsche's fourth model line, joining the 911, Boxster/Cayman and Cayenne model series. It is the first premium car with an automatically shifting double-clutch transmission to feature an engine start/stop system that saves fuel and reduces emissions by turning the engine off when it is not needed, such as sitting at a stop light, for example. All engines have advanced and fuel-efficient Direct Fuel Injection (DFI), as well.

Initially offered in three versions - the 400-horsepower two-wheel drive Panamera S and all-wheel drive Panamera 4S, and the 500-horsepower, twin-turbocharged all-wheel drive Panamera Turbo - the new Panamera will provide Porsche performance and quality and a level of comfort that has been absent among true high-performance cars. All U.S. Panamera models feature a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) double-clutch gearbox delivering a dynamic driving experience, ultra-fast gearshifts without the slightest interruption of engine power, a very high level of comfort for four, and outstanding fuel efficiency when compared to a conventional automatic transmission. The Panamera S, for example, consumes just 10.8 liters/100 kilometers (equal to 26.2 mpg imp) in the New European Driving Cycle (EPA fuel economy figures are not yet available).

"I always believed that Porsche would build a car like the Panamera - a car where the Porsche experience could be shared with more than just the co-pilot," said Detlev von Platen, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. "Just like with the Cayenne, we found another chance to forge a new path and create a car that did not exist: a sports car for four. Our dealers are excited because this will bring new customers, and the list of hand raisers is growing every day. Despite the tough economy, I am confident the Panamera will be a success."

Porsche Engineers Resolved Conflicting Design Priorities

From the beginning, the Panamera project raised significant technical challenges for Porsche as it presented several engineering conflicts of interest; it had to have silhouette of a coupe, yet offer four full-size seats with a generous interior space and luggage room; it must set the performance standard in its class, yet offer best-in-class fuel efficiency; it should provide Porsche driving dynamics and performance and the comfort of a luxury sedan; and it had to have a driver's cockpit typical of a sports car and a top-quality and luxurious interior with the equipment expected in the premium sedan segment.

The Panamera body is the synthesis of lightweight technology typical of a sports car, superior comfort, generous spaciousness, and efficient aerodynamics. To create its lightweight structure, Porsche employs advanced production methods and all kinds of steel grades, light alloys like aluminum and magnesium, and plastics. In the case of the Panamera S, the result is a car that weighs just 1,800 kg, or a just over 3,990 lbs. This structure allows for two full-size, perfectly contoured rear seats that set new standards in the luxury performance class in terms of both comfort and adjustability. The Panamera also comes with a highly functional, variable luggage compartment. The rear seat backrests tilt forward individually, providing up to 44.6 cubic feet or 1,263 liters of luggage capacity.

One further visible highlight of the overall aerodynamic package and another innovation is the active four-way rear spoiler on the Panamera Turbo. Through its efficient management of control angles and surface geometry geared to driving conditions, the rear spoiler optimizes both the car's aerodynamics and performance.

Suspension Technologies Deliver On-Demand Sports Car Performance and Premium Sedan Comfort

The Panamera chassis and suspension is not a compromise between sporting per¬formance and superior comfort, but rather a combination of the two. In its basic setting it offers a very high level of driving comfort, yet at a touch of the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) button, it turns into a thoroughbred sports suspension.

Another highlight is the adaptive air suspension that can provide extra air volume on demand. An absolute innovation in automotive technology, it offers an even greater va¬riation of sporting and comfort features and is standard on the Panamera Turbo and optional on the other models. The optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) system with its two active anti-roll bars can further enhance driving dynamics and comfort.

Through the Sport Plus button, the optional Sports Chrono Packages enable the driver to choose at the touch of a button the high-performance configurations for the engine, drivetrain and suspension systems, including Porsche Traction Management (PTM ) with its fully-controlled all-wheel drive. PTM is standard on both the Panamera 4S and the Panamera Turbo.

The Panamera goes on sale at authorized U.S. Porsche dealers on Oct. 17, 2009. The manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) for the Panamera S is $89,800, while the Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo retails for $93,800 and $132,600, respectively.


Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., is the exclusive importer of Porsche sports cars and sport utility vehicles for the United States. It is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. PCNA employs approximately 180 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 202 dealers. The dealers, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service. Throughout its 60-year history, Porsche has developed numerous technologies that have advanced vehicle performance, improved safety and spurred environmental innovations within the automotive industry. The company continues to celebrate its heritage by adding to its long list of motorsports victories dating back to its first 24 Hours of Le Mans class win in 1951. Today, with more than 28,000 victories, Porsche is recognized as the world's most successful brand in sports car racing. PCNA, which imports the iconic 911 series, the Boxster and Cayman sports cars and Cayenne sport utility vehicles and soon the Panamera gran turismo for the United States, strives to maintain a standard of excellence, commitment and distinction synonymous with its brand.

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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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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