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Porsche Club of America
Golden Gate Region

Nugget pic
November 2010. Volume 50, Issue 11
In This Issue
From the Wurst Wing
Letter from the Editor
Competition Corner
Board of Directors
Membership Report
The Power Chef
GGR 50th Scrapbook
GGR Old Timers Get Together
Voters' Guide
Driving the New Lotus Evora
GGR Treasurer Gets a 918 Spyder
New Porsche Speedster
SVR Autocross
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.
Click the button below to subscribe or to enter a new email address. Click here to join the Porsche Club of America.
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CoCo Giselle, CG
Executive Editor of The Nugget

CoCo has decided to take a break from working on The Nugget for this month, and is instead napping on her heart-shaped pillow.

Send in your baby's photo! Pets are people, too!

GGR Members receive 10% off parts & service!

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For more special deals and news, click here!
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From the Wurst Wing
--by John Celona, GGR President

The Election is On!

Shortly after this issue of The Nugget goes out, a ballot for this year's board election will be arriving in your inbox. Following the lead of other regions in Zone 7, we are trying electronic balloting this year. It should be much faster and easier: you just click, fill in your name and PCA number (along with any write-in candidates), then click to submit. No more printing and mailing!

To ensure everyone has a chance to vote, there will also be a PDF ballot on the web site which folks can download, print and mail. If all else fails, people can email Bill Benz (the GGR secretary) or call him at (650) 328-4221 and Bill will print out and mail a ballot to you.

Lastly, thanks very much to all the folks who raised their hands to help out with club jobs. As we always say, GGR is an all-volunteer club. No volunteers, no nothing. And, speaking of our appreciation for the folks who volunteer...

Join us at the Joint Board Dinner / Volunteer Appreciation Day #2!

As you may know, GGR traditionally treats its outgoing and incoming board members and event chairs to a dinner in December, both to thank the outgoing members for their service to the club and to welcome the incoming members.

This year, the board has decided to turn the Joint Board Dinner into Volunteer Appreciation Day #2. If you missed Volunteer Appreciation Day #1 (the Cayenne launch event in July), this is another chance. All the board members and event chairs were asked to submit the names of the volunteers who have helped the most over this past year, and the Evite has already gone out to those folks. If you feel you should have been included and did not receive an Evite, do contact the board member or event ch
Chef Chu outsideair you would like to recommend you.

All the same, we are opening this event up to the members at large for a cost of $50/person. Here is the link to register for this event on Motorsportsreg. And what does one get for the $50?

GGR has reserved the private, upstairs dining room at the world famous Chef Chu's of Los Altos for a gourmet, 8-course chinese feast with a menu created specially for GGR. The registration fee includes everything: food, beverages, tax, and tip. Beverages include an extraordinary selection red and white wines chosen by the Wall Street Journal Wine Club.

Chef Chu dishesBesides plenty of time for mingling, we will be having a brief meeting of the GGR board of directors, and the official transition to new board members. The rest of the time will be for eating, drinking and generally making merry.

This should be a great way to kick off your holiday festivities! Hope to see some of you there.

Mystery: Who is The "PCAGGR" Twitter Account Owner?

So we've had a member raise his hand to help GGR move even further into the 21st century with all manner of online stuff we ought to be doing but aren't yet: Facebook, YouTube, and yes--even Twitter.

However, as we started poking around, it turned out someone had already created the Twitter account "PCAGGR". Here's the link to it:

It looks like it was started earlier this year, and a grand total of two tweets have been sung: one in February which said "PCA GGR has Twitter!" and one on March 1st which said "The March Nugget has been published!" As you might guess, I was the likely suspect for this, but, with my having no recollection of this and no record where it really counts (in the cell phone!), we're still looking.

Seems like the person was thinking along the same lines we are, but we don't know who opened the account! If you're the account owner and wouldn't mind letting the club use it, could you please either email me or our webmaster Andrew Forrest?

Certainly, we could create a Twitter account with a different name, but we thought we'd make a play for this one. If you think you might have opened this account but don't remember the password, you can go to, try to sign in, and have Twitter send the password to the email account on record for this.

Thanks in advance for any help in figuring this out. 

Till next month...


Letter from the Editor
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--by John Celona, Nugget Editor

Thanks to
Stephan McKeown for the Article

I'd first of all like to thank Stephan McKeown for sending in the very professional article on the Lotus Evora. Stephan definitely upped the ante for the level of contributions, and we're very grateful for his helping us look unusually respectable. Hope you enjoy reading the article as much as I did. Stephan very kindly reworked his entire article to get it into a format we could easily run in The Nugget. Way to go, Stephan!

The Nugget Archive is HERE!

Thanks to the heroic efforts first of GGR Historian Ralf Dossman and then webmaster Andrew Forrest, the Nugget archive is up and ready to abscond with all of your free time. Click here to go directly to it.

The back issues are in the form of PDF files which you can either open in your browser or download to your computer for transhipment to an overseas newspaper desperate for content. We would also like to thank our former webmistress Susan Angebranndt, who kindly supplied us with almost a decade's worth of PDF's which we therefore did not have to produce ourselves.

The PDF's are all "searchable," which means the newer ones have all of the text available for searching and the older ones--which were scanned and run through OCR software--are somewhat searchable. Not all of the words were recognized. No doubt this was also the case when they were new. Our hope springs eternal that a club member who works at Google will pop up and offer to fix this.

11 point Type!

With the service we use to put out The Nugget having more options this month, we've gone to 11 point type rather than the 10 point we formerly used. The other option used to be 12 point, which seemed a tad large. Hope you find it easier to read this month!

Till next month...

Thanks for reading.
High Performance House
Competition Corner

--by Claude Leglise, Competition Director

Last Saturday, Cindy and I drove back from Yellowstone National Park to the Bay Area in our trusted Suburban. We always have a lot of things to schlep, so the Sub is our vehicle of choice for long distance travel. I wish Porsche would make a Cayenne big enough to carry a 4x8 sheet of plywood in the back. If you have ever spent much time in Idaho/Nevada/Utah/Wyoming, you know that Truckee is that very first oasis on the way home where California food is available. So, after driving all day, we arrived in Truckee around 8:00 pm and decided to stop for dinner.




Over plates of fresh-made linguini with locally-grown vegetables, the big question we wrestled with was whether to call it quits for the day and get a hotel room, or keep going all the way that very evening. The weather forecast was ominous. The first winter storm of the season was well on its way. It had been raining since Pocatello, it was still raining, and the forecast was for higher winds and heavier rains over Donner Pass the following day. Some time before the olive oil and balsamic vinegar ran out, we decided to make a run for it and go to sleep in our own bed.


At 9:00 pm we were back on Highway 80 heading west. The rain was coming down in sheets, winds were noticeable, and it was pitch dark. The good news is that most sane people were staying indoors, and the road was pretty much wide open. The occasional 18-wheelers were well behaved in the right lane, crawling up and down the mountain. The few packs of slow cars let us through and were quickly left behind in a cloud of road spray. Even Highway 80 can be interesting. Brake, turn-in, gently on the gas, apex, exit. Just because I drive a Suburban does not mean I can't get a good apex. If a clean line is the smoothest way around Thunderhill on a sunny day, a clean line is also the smoothest way over the Sierras on a rainy night. No crazy speeds, no hare-brained moves, just a clean line. It was a very technical drive that required a lot of concentration, but it was not a frustrating drive because of the light traffic. In fact, I am sure it was more enjoyable than it would have been on Sunday when the weather got even worse and the road was clogged.


Come to think of it, this is just what GGR's competition events require: focus on technique to be safe, have fun, and go fast. Autocross teaches car dynamics and precision driving; Driver's Education opens the way to higher speeds and tickles the limits of our cars. The skills we acquire are directly applicable on the highway and make us all better and safer drivers. The last event of the year, an autocross to be held November 13 at Alameda, is our last chance to experience the thrill of running our Porsches at speed in the company of great people before the dark days of winter set in. Check the oil, fill up the tank, and come on over for a day of fun.


And on the highway, whether you drive a Suburban, an F150, a Charger or a Prius, remember: brake, turn-in, gently on the gas, apex, exit.


Board of Directors
--by Bill Benz, GGR Secretary

GGR Board of Directors
Meeting Minutes for October 6, 2010
Call to Order

 President Celona called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm at his home.

All members of the Board were present. The Board was joined by Sharon Neidel (Zone 7 Representative) and GGR member Mike Sherman.

            Agenda Changes - None

            Calendar Changes - The November 6 "Dent-Pro" demonstration is moving to November 20, 2010. (Insurance is in place.)

Postmortem of Past Events

            The 50th Anniversary celebration and autocross were big successes. While many members were involved in putting on these events, the special support of Carlsen Porsche and the special efforts of President Celona and Bubba Gong (with his dance company) made the weekend. The Board extended sincere thanks to them.

            Driver's education event number 4 and Club Race number 3 were held at Thunderhill. The turn out was somewhat low likely owing to an unforeseeable scheduling conflict with another very appealing track event. PCA National Club Race officials were extremely complimentary of GGR's team putting on these events.

            Many members continue to enjoy the Friday Night Socials organized by Shirley Neidel on the third Friday of each month at Harry's Hofbrau in Redwood City.

            The ever-popular Saturday morning Boxster Brunch drew a good crowd to Alice's Restaurant.

Directors' Reports

            President -. Positive feedback concerning GGR's 50th anniversary weekend was reviewed. It appears that further social events would be well received. The joint Board meeting on December 11, 2010 at Chef Chu's restaurant in Los Altos is in the final planning stages. Board member and volunteers will be invited to attend complimentary and members will be able to join at cost.

            Vice President - Insurance has been ordered for all upcoming events except for the end of the year banquet. Once that event's date is set, insurance will be ordered.

            Treasurer - The Treasurer's report was delivered and accepted.

            Secretary - Nothing to report. Last month's minutes were approved.

            Social - The Social Director is setting up the end of the year banquet. Details next month,

            Membership - A list of new members was presented and approved.

            Competition - Nothing to report.

            Webmaster - Website is up and running. The possibility of increasing GGR's visibility on the various social networks was discussed.

Topics for Discussion

            Zone Report - The Zone 7 Representative reported that the zone is peaceful and quiet.

            Timing Equipment - The people doing timing at GGR track events suggest that the purchase of newer timing equipment should be delayed until participation in timed runs at the various events picks up. The Board concurred.

            New Officers - The President urged all the Board Members to be on the lookout for candidates for Vice President, Social, Competition and Membership.

            The Secretary presented an informal inventory of items at the storage area. The general consensus was that many of the items are of little or no value and that many of the records being stored could be better stored in digital form. There are, however, about twenty scrapbooks that provide an invaluable record of the club from the 1950's through the mid 1990's. All agreed that these must be preserved. Ways to do this were discussed.

            The Competition Director presented a series of rule changes that arose out of the Driver's Event Committee rule-making process. Aspects of the proposed changes were discussed and the changes were then accepted.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p. m.

European Autotech
Membership Report

Jeff Kost--by Jeff Kost, Membership Director

Membership has been growing slightly over the last half year with September being basically flat over August. That said, we continue to be at a level higher than we have seen for the last ~18 months. Though most of the outdoor competition events are wrapping up, there are plenty of indoor events scheduled where the bench racing can continue. As always, please continue to do what you can to recruit new members. Hope to see you at an event soon!


Total Members:      2410

Primary:     1412

Affiliate:        997

HQ Life:           1

GGR Life:                    3

New Members:    30

Transfers In:          7

Transfers Out:       7


New Members







San Francisco

Carrera 2



Palo Alto




San Carlos


Daud & Kerry


San Carlos

Boxster S



Los Altos




San Jose

Boxster S

David & Denise


San Jose

Carrera S



Emerald Hills




Palo Alto




San Mateo

boxster s

Mark & Bonnie


San Carlos






Mike & Jennifer


Los Gatos

Box Spyder



San Jose


Camilo & Catherine


San Jose












Redwood City

Cayman S



San Jose




San Jose

911 s



Menlo Park




Santa Clara




San Francisco

911 C4S



San Francisco

Cayman S





30 Years

Charlie & Pat






Walnut Creek



25 Years







San Jose







20 Years



Morgan Hill








Penn Valley

911 T



San Jose




San Jose







15 Years











San Carlos




San Francisco

911 CS



Crystal Bay








Los Altos



10 Years



Los Altos




Half Moon Bay




San Jose




Half Moon Bay




Redwood City




San Carlos







5 Years



Menlo Park

Boxster S



Palo Alto




Palo Alto








Palo Alto


John & Catherine


San Jose


EMC updated
The Power Chef®
NE Bike
--by John Celona, The Power Chef®

In Pursuit of Successful Aging

As I was noodling topics for this month's column, I happened to catch Jane Fonda appearing on Oprah. Jane is presently 72 years old and will turn 73 in December. She looks great and has just come out with a new set of workout videos. Here's the cover from one. Jane Fonda

Granted, Jane has had considerable facial work done, but that doesn't explain the condition of the rest of her. Oprah sat in amazement while Jane held a plié for several minutes while explaining how she uses this exercise to strengthen her quadriceps.

Jane's explanation for her condition? She gave up smoking and stays very physically active, even watching her old exercise videos to follow along the routines. With a replacement hip and knee, she can no longer run, but is a vigorous walker, including leading a group of rich friends on a charity fund raising 5-day hike to the top of Machu Picchu, which is located at 8,000 feet above sea level.

Certainly, we've all felt and heard about slowing down with age. The effects are real: your metabolism slows down (making it easier to put on weight), and people literally do slow down--whether your activity be walking or swimming or cleaning out the garage (but not autocross! See Terry Zaccone). A quick poke around the data, though, seems to indicate that the physiological effects are less than what you might imagine.

Take the metabolic slowdown, for example. The physiological effect is well documented: the mitochondria in your cells (the little energy factories in your cells which convert nutrients to power) literally slow down with age.

But that's not the whole picture. As people age, unless they are doing strength training, people tend to lose muscle mass as they age. A pound of muscle takes more calories to maintain (even at rest) than other tissue. Less muscle mass means you burn less calories--regardless of what you're doing or not doing. That's why strength training has come to be accepted as an important part of losing weight and keeping it off. You don't have to workout hard enough to get visibly bigger muscles (which is very difficult in women anyway because they have different hormone levels), just enough to maintain your weight while shifting your body composition from non-lean (fat!) to lean will do the trick.

In short, as one expert commented, "You can stop the decline by up to 80 percent with strength training and aerobic activity," says Miriam Nelson, PhD, director of the Center for Physical Fitness at Tufts University in Boston and the author of Strong Women Stay Young (Bantam, 2000) and Strong Women Stay Slim (Random House, 1999). It is lean tissue mass that dictates how fast or slow your metabolism is: The more of it you have, the more calories you burn.

What about the just getting slower part of the picture? It's far from drastic and inevitable. Here's the data from one study:

In recent research I have analysed the results from an amateur 10km run in the Netherlands (Van Ours 2010). The data refer to the period 1998-2008. The upper part of Figure 1 gives an overview of the observations showing a tendency for the speed to go down with age but at any given age there is a huge variation in average speed. The lower part of Figure 1 presents the average speed by age group showing the average speed goes down from more than 15 kilometres per hour (km/h) for runners younger than 25 to about 13 km/h for participants aged 40. After 40, the average speed hardly drops. Taking into account differences in running ability, the average drop in running speed is 0.6% per year for men and 0.4% per year for women. So, physical productivity declines with ageing - but not a lot.

figure 1
figure 2

The upshot of all this? The declines from aging are far less inevitable and far more under your control than you might think. The key is age-old: use it or lose it. As I often tell people, fitness is one of the very few things in life which--when you ignore it--goes away every time!

Our past president, Claude Leglise, often says the Porsches are mean to be driven--often. I'd say the same thing about one's body. Keeping working it and the ravages of time and aging will be far less than what you typically observe in other people your own age. It's up to you!

Bon appétit,
The Power Chef

Far East Grilled Ahi

In the spirit of healthy aging, here's my second favorite (after sushi!) way to have heart-healthy ahi tuna. Soy sauce and horseradish combine to give it a sashimi-like snap.

The Gist
Ahi steaks are marinated for an hour or two in double black soy sauce, horseradish, salt, and pepper before being seared on a very hot barbecue.

4 fresh ahi steaks, at least 1-inch thick (even thicker is just fine)
4 Tbs. double black soy sauce (regular soy sauce would also work)
1-2 tsp. japanese horseradish (regular horseradish is fine in a pinch)
2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. olive oil

Combine the soy sauce, horseradish, pepper and salt and mix thoroughly. Place this marinade in a shallow dish big enough to hold all four steaks. Coat the fish thoroughly in the marinade, being sure to get the sides, too. Marinate for 1-2 hours on the countertop.

Heat a barbecue to very hot. Just before putting the fish on, add the olive and flip the fish in it. This helps the fish not to stick. Grill for 1-2 minutes per side.

When choosing your ahi at the store, look for the ones with the deepest red color and the least amount of white tendons in them. Sushi-grade ahi would be just great, but it is expensive.

Ahi steaks are one of the few fishes which will actually hold together well on a grill and even take a flip without falling apart. For most grilled fish, a rack or grill to hold the fish is highly recommended.

I prefer my ahi just seared on the outside so it is still essentially raw in the middle. If this is a little too much for you, feel free to cook it longer. Do take it off while it is still at least pink in the middle because well-done ahi gets quite dry. One would hate to have to get out the tartar sauce!

GGR 50th Scrapbook

--by Bubba Gong, 50th Committee Member & Choreographer

In keeping with the spirit of the pioneer founding members of GGR who meticulously crafted Scrapbooks of the early years, we invite members to continue to contribute their photographs from the milestone 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Here are more photographs.  Enjoy and Send us yours.

Award winning Foothill Repertory Dancers line up at Nimitz Mansion on Yerba Buena Island for Chinois Suite, dancing in One World, One keeping with the spirit of inclusion and diversity for the 50th GGR Anniversary weekend.

Mark Powell, Social Chair helps man the Check in and Registration at Nimitz Mansion, former residence of Admiral Nimitz.

Browsing scrapbooks in the library of the historic Nimitz Mansion...

Celebrating the "Time of Our Lives" in the Patrick Swayze tribute.

GGR Members and Guests mix and mingle at the Presidents' Reception  and are treated to mouth-watering appetizers and signature cocktail The Turbo Carrera at The City Club in San Francisco.

Charlie Burton of Carlsen Porsche readies to deliver the keynote address while surrounded by the Fosse Dancers.

Past board member Barbara Berens, Mrs. & Mr. (past president & PCA officer) Michael Lommatzsch and past president Al Berens pause for a photo before getting a refill.

Guests were treated to culinary feast by Michael Munoz and received favors of commemorative Porsche Wine Stoppers.

John Celona and Karen Neidel confer on the last 50 and next 50 years of GGR.

Dancers choreographed by Bay Area Critics' Circle Winner Bubba Gong perform ALL THAT JAZZ in a non-stop Broadway revue-style floor show.

Jerry Woods
GGR Old Timers Get Together
--by Shirley Neidel

After Golden Gate Region cellebrated 50 years in Porsche Club of America the Old Timers had a get together on September 25, 2010. This was held at the home of Dick and Mary Wallace in Los Altos, CA. We gathered to renew old friendships and talk about the fun events GGR had that brought us together. The lawn was covered with tables and chairs where we had a catered buffet dinner. People came from all over California, Washington, and Arizona. Rob Neidel MC'd and introduced some special attendees. Karl Keller and Burt Propp who were charter members, two past National Presidents, Burt Propp and Hank Malter, many past Zone Reps, Sharon Neidel our present Zone 7 rep and Mike Lommatzsch member of Parade Compitition Rules Comittee. The extra money collected and food was donated to the Bill Wilson house a safe place for run-away teens. This at one time was GGR's charity.

They say it's not just the cars but the people and that is why so many of us have stayed friends for so many years. Thank you from all to Dick and Mary for the use of their home so we could have an  OLD TIMERS GET TOGETHER!

Old Timers
Terry Zaccone, George Neidel, Dick Osgood, Karl Keller, Dick Wallace
Here are links to videos which Jim Fleming took:   GGR OT 2   GGR OT 3  GGR OT 4   GGR OT 5  GGR OT 6

Voter's Guide

--by Bill Benz, Political Analyst, Campaign Strategist & Media Spin Doctor

You're confused about next week's election.  Not to worry.  This timely article will prove invaluable.  Follow its rules and maximize your voting fun.

Growing up in Ohio, I understood the two rules that applied to Midwest elections.  As a Democrat, my rule was that victory followed from full inclusion of ALL possible voters.  "Deceased, you say?  That doesn't matter.  Everyone knows she always counted on me to vote Democrat for her.  Could I have her ballot, please?" Hence our rule -"Voter Early, Vote Often" 

Republicans had a different rule. They better appreciated that elections were dynamic processes and that nothing was certain until all votes were collected and counted. "This news just in -- Republican precinct workers were at a loss to explain how all the ballot boxes from  the highly Democratic 20th precinct spontaneously ignited while en route to City Hall for counting."

California voting has a different set of rules - three in number.  If properly followed, they can make elections a lot more exciting and fun

Rule 1. Wait until after 4 pm Pacific Coast time to vote. By that hour  the major powers in the East like Joe Kennedy's heirs and Jeb Bush  will have taken all needed actions to get the vote lined up and decided. MacNeil-Lehrer and Fox News will have announced all the winners and losers and the trends that unquestionably will apply to California.  Katie Couric will have done her special on the cutest puppy seen voting in ALL of Manhattan.  This renders us in California totally irrelevant.  This means that we can vote for fun and follow the remaining two rules with zero guilt.

Rule 2. Go for the glamour.  Never pass up the opportunity to vote for an entertainer or a sports figure.  Years ago, I had the chance to vote for Shirley Temple and passed on it.  A regrettable mistake.   I didn't blow it when Arnold appeared.  I was all over this.  To this day my fellow liberal Democrats get all red-faced and stuttering when I say I voted for Arnold.  It's great.  My biggest dream in this department is to someday meet a dedicated American voter who's pulled off the ultimate glamour-voting trifecta  - a vote for Jesse the body Ventura for Governor of Minnesota, followed by a vote for Sonny Bono  for Congress and the capper vote for Arnold.  Now that's some hall of fame voting!

Rule 3.  Words like "indictment", "conviction"," incarceration" and "Big House", may (and should) be disregarded entirely when associated with a candidate  of interest.  These are complicated legal terms designed to confuse the savvy voter.  We should all be pleased to vote for dedicated public servants like former Illinois Governor Rob Begoinovich if we ever get the chance  He's one straight shooter who speaks his mind.  Independent-minded voters are never dissuaded by trivial technicalities.

But wait, it's FIVE rules in California, not three!

Rule 4. Go with the uniform.  A firefighter in turn out garb or anyone with a stethoscope around her or his neck knows more than you or I do about all aspects of the electoral process so must be followed.  This particularly applies to those pesky propositions.  It doesn't matter if the issue is redistricting the Mohave desert or banning the feeding of soft cheeses to leopards at California zoos.  You and I are not equipped to form our own opinions.  Left to our own devices we will likely do something foolish. The uniform will save us from ourselves.   The uniform will tell us what to do and YOU AND I DO IT!

Rule 5. Write in a vote for Willy Brown somewhere, anywhere.  This man ran California for a generation and San Francisco for a decade and never was uncool.  He's the only active or former  politician who had a Porsche Turbo and a Ferrari as his San Francisco to Sacramento commute cars (and probably made the drive at three digit speeds with a grin on his face the entire way).  Enough said.

Disclaimer:  These views are the author's alone and do not represent  the positions or opinions of the Golden Gate Region of the Porsche Club of America  (except maybe about the leopards and the soft cheeses.)

Driving the New Lotus Evora

--by Stephan McKeown


Lotus is pitching the Evora as the world's only 2+2 mid-engine sports car, defining a niche between the Cayman S and 911 Carerra by blending the mid-engine goodness of the former with the 2+2 capacity of the latter. With the Evora, the company is walking deep into GT territory, a blend of luxury and performance Porsche knows very well. Since I drive a Cayman S and love it, I've been very interested to see how the two cars stack up. Over the course of an intensive two-day press drive Lotus squeezed into the hectic ten-day phantasmagoria known as Pebble Beach Week, I drove the Evora on road and track, discussing it in detail with Lotus engineers and marketing folk. Here's what I learned:


Lotus has a new leader, a new vision and more new cars in development. Dany Behar, new CEO of "England's Ferrari" comes from the other Ferrari, where he headed up road car and F1 marketing. Before Maranello, Behar was right hand man to Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz, implementing the two-team F1 program and managing the company's NASCAR operations. At 38, Behar is a young man with big plans. "My vision is simple; Lotus will be profitable by producing beautiful, environmentally relevant, credible sports cars that are honest and authentic. By doing this, we will return the brand to where it was in the past, and where it rightfully belongs."



This first all-new Lotus in fifteen years is designed to be easier to get into, more practical and better built than any Lotus in memory. Not a pure track toy like the Elise or Exige, the Evora aims to be a luxury daily driver that can hit the track on weekends. Based on a design brief originating with Mike Kimberly, Behar's predecessor at Lotus, the Evora employs Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) a development of the original extruded and bonded aluminum Small Car Platform system used by the Elise/Exige, a variant of which is licensed by Aston Martin. A modern exemplar of founder Colin Chapman's famous dictum, "...add lightness", VVA combines lightweight with extreme stiffness, allowing suspension tuning without concern for chassis distortion or noise, vibration and harshness.


Seen in the round, the Evora squats lower, shorter, and wider than either the Cayman or 911. Styling echoes the faintly insect-like Elise and Exige; you either like this or you don't. With its bonded and riveted frame clad in lightweight composites and bristling with vents, grilles and slots, the Evora's looks declare modern, technical performance and exude a delicate menace.

A front splitter, careful air management and a rear wing and diffuser deliver five pounds of positive down force at 100 miles an hour, more than enough for a lift-free sense of solidity at high speed. The Evora rides on P-Zero Nero clad 18-inch front and 19-inch rear five spoke cast alloy wheels; lighter ten spoke forged rims are an option. Stopping is guaranteed by custom Lotus AP Racing four piston calipers riding big 350mm diameter front and 330mm rear rotors serviced by standard stainless steel brake lines.


The good news is you don't have to be a 20-something contortionist to climb into the Evora. While negotiating the doorsill still requires athletic commitment, it was easy enough to lever myself in as I do in the Cayman by straight-arming the sill and plopping backside first into the seat, swinging legs in afterwards. And what seats they are: a version of the wonderfully supportive Recaro Sportster as seen in the late great Audi RS4. Although they lack height adjustment, there is enough fore and aft movement for a 6 ft. 6 in. member of our press group to get comfortable, with ample remaining headroom for helmet clearance. The Recaro easily matches the comfort of my Cayman's Adaptive Sports Seats, with the advantage of feeling slightly wider. Harness slots are standard and seat heaters will be available from next year. Those rear +2 seats however, are all but useless. Save $500 by ordering the carpeted package shelf with cargo net instead.


The small flat-bottomed steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach and falls perfectly to hand. Beautifully made from light magnesium to decrease turning effort, this wheel is as good as the man/machine interface gets. Forward visibility over the short hood is good, while glancing in the rear view mirror at the gun slit rear window induces tunnel vision. Beautiful premium leather and solid aluminum cover nearly every surface as standard, suffusing the intimate yet airy cabin with an aura of luxury and quality unlike any Lotus in memory. So serious is Lotus about controlling leather quality that the company has opened its first dedicated trim shop at the factory.

Yet here's the thing: no matter how wonderful the materials employed, anything less than flawless application will only undermine that desired sense of luxury and quality. Signs of slightly wandering stitch lines, lifting glue and leather overstretched to make a radius are reminders of how difficult it is to nurture the skills necessary to consistently produce flawless handwork. Odd ergonomic blunders further detract from the sense of occasion the cabin works so hard to create: a dozen tiny aluminum buttons hide inexplicably behind the steering wheel, clustered on the aluminum dash to each side of the steering column. To see let alone use one of these controls, I was forced to peer ostrich-like around the rim.

The plastic binnacle housing reflects light, a blunder no $15K Hyundai would dare commit, intermittently rendering the gauges impossible to read as the car passes through light and shadow. Compounding the issue, I found the gauge numbers too delicate, lacking the graphic clarity of the Cayman.The Alpine Sat-Nav unit appears more of an afterthought stuck on the dash than a carefully integrated electronic system. But worst of all in a driver's car, there's no dead pedal. What are you supposed to do with your left foot? Although I eventually learned to rest my foot flat on the floor, I never learned to like it. So much of the car is so good that these botched details stand out in high relief. The entire dash and instrument package needs a rethink. Let's hope that's in the cards now that Denato Coco has come over from Ferrari as Design Director.


The shifter is long and falls directly to hand, the clutch is friendly, the Toyota Avensis-sourced gearbox mushy and vague. Twist the key in the column-mounted ignition and the engine bursts readily into life, settling into a flat rumble. Put the boot in and the Lotus massaged and remapped Toyota engine feels quicker than implied by its 276 hp and 258 ft-lbs. I missed the throaty rumble and meaty midrange of the Cayman's lusty flat 6, often having to step down a gear in when passing. Overall performance is more than acceptable, although a chassis this good cries out for a supercharger. I'd bet money an Evora S is already in development.


Once underway, I forgot about my reservations with the interior. Like the Cayman, the Evora makes any driver look good. The suspension setup is terrific, with forged aluminum double wishbones, bespoke Bilstein dampers, and Lotus designed Eibach springs. Steering is hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion; turn in is immediate, accurate and assured. No matter the conditions, camber or speed, it is always easy to place the car, aided by that low effort magnesium wheel. Steering feel is a delicate poem to the suspension tuner's art, delivering finely textured details of pavement and grip into the driver's eager hands. When I got back into my own car, the Cayman's muscular steering felt just a touch weightier and slightly less razor sharp.

The Evora handles off camber bumps and rotten pavement with impressive finesse. This imparts a subtle sense of confidence to the driver, translating directly into an ability to carry more speed. During two days of hard driving on crumbling California back roads, I was only able to upset the car once, when carrying speed downhill into a nasty corner combining a grated steel cattle guard straddling an off-camber apex with a steep uphill exit.


Time spent on track amplifies a car's inherent strengths and weaknesses. Confident in the essential goodness of the Evora, Lotus took over Laguna Seca for an afternoon. Claudio Berro, Lotus Director of Motorsports, brought along world-renowned drivers Johnny Mowlem, Taku Sato and Jimmy Vasser to demonstrate the new street car's limits.


After a safety check, we began by turning solo laps. Circulating around the famous track, the Evora remained difficult to upset, stepping out its tail in the Andretti Hairpin only when deeply provoked and easily brought back in line with gentle throttle and steering inputs. Hunting apexes, the Evora revealed gentle understeer, with traction and stability control intervening lightly at the limit. Just as on the street, the Evora's inherent composure encourages carrying higher speeds through turns. Good as all this is, for me the brakes were the single most impressive part of the Evora. The AP units are fantastic, firm and fade free, with great, linear pedal feel and proved ready to take on the track straight from the showroom. The road cars pounded around Laguna all afternoon with absolutely no loss in stopping power or pedal drop.


Then it was time to benchmark our own performance against the street car's full potential by riding shotgun as Indy Car Champion and team owner Vasser, F1 and Indy Car driver Sato and Sebring and Daytona winner Mowlem repeatedly demolished perceived limits of grip, handling and braking. As the laps piled up it became clear the Evora is as impressive on track as on the street. It also became very clear why Mowlem, Sato and Vasser were the guys in the left seat!

The one negative, the clumsy gearbox, which on the street felt merely lumpy, was unhappy with my every attempt to heel and toe into second entering Turn 11. Other drivers noted the same balkiness. By the end of the day, second gear in at least one of the cars had gone on holiday.


Underlining the track potential of the Evora, Lotus unveiled the Evora Cup/GT4 track/race car while we were at Laguna. Powered by a 4 liter, 360hp V6 dry sump engine co-developed with Cosworth mated to a sequential paddle shift gearbox, this evolution of the Evora platform weighs in 400 pounds lighter than its street sibling. Equipped with adjustable race dampers, six-piston calipers, full roll cage and all FIA compatible motorsports performance and safety equipment, the Evora Cup/GT4 is designed for multiple national and international racing series eligibility, including European GT4. Lotus is evaluating joining Ferrari, Porsche, BMW and Corvette in the new LeMans GT endurance class, set to kick off in 2012.



A final highlight of this high-speed afternoon was strapping into the spare red Sparco for memorable laps of Laguna in the Evora Cup/GT4, Taku Sato style. From the get-go, Taku hit heart stopping speeds on the AMA track entrance between Turns 2 and 3, and kept up an appreciative stream of comments about the car's handling and braking, laughing as he corrected four-wheel drifts through Turn 5 and 6 and bringing new meaning to the term weightlessness as we plummeted down the Corkscrew. Too soon, Taku's Rocket landed back on Earth, leaving my heart pounding and my mind a blur of adrenalin, fear and admiration.


I'm still cruising a high from two intensive days with the new Evora. Driving this car definitely put a smile on my face. Make no mistake; despite minor ergonomic and quality glitches, the Evora is an impressive achievement with terrific handling, great brakes, comfortable seats, rich materials and some delightful details. I'm not alone in finding that for delicate steering feel and suspension composure on broken roads, the Evora just shades the Cayman.

Would I trade my Cayman for an Evora? No. For me the Cayman is a more completely satisfying sports car, with a magical engine, great grip and handling and wonderfully accurate, communicative steering. In my eyes it is better looking and better built and makes a more compelling ownership proposition.

The Evora will be exclusive; Lotus plans a run of 2000 cars a year, with perhaps 500 of that number headed to the US. The Evora, in some ways a bridge between the old Lotus and the new, is the first model in CEO Behar's announced campaign to catapult the company into the upper ranks of luxury performance car manufacturers. Four new concepts are to be unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in October. Whispered to appear are a modern take on the iconic Lotus Seven, a born again Esprit and both two- and four-door hybrid vehicles based on the Evora 414E concept.

The Evora also presents key evidence of how well the new company currently understands what it will take to succeed against the likes of Porsche and Ferrari. To thrive at this rarified level, Lotus must learn to devote the same care and refinement it traditionally lavishes on suspension set up and steering feel to every design, ergonomic, and cosmetic aspect of the cars it creates. For in a high stakes contest like this with rivals like these, the devil truly is in the details. There does seem to be a new spirit at the company that relishes this challenge. And although Lotus still has a way to go, the character and talent of the Evora offer encouraging signs for the road ahead.




Club Auto Sport
GGR Treasurer Gets a 918 Spyder
Continuing in the tradition that the treasurer of GGR always seems to end up with a 911 GT3, our treasurer, Linda Adams, went shopping for suitable wheels. However, as Linda explains, "Larry already has a GT3, and if we got a second one he'd be racing me to see who had to do the dishes." Accordingly, Linda decided instead on a 918 Spyder, and is shown here ready to take delivery.


Unfortunately, upon reviewing the sticker, Linda discovered that her GT3 budget was only enough to buy the steering wheel off of a 918. Larry is shown below taking delivery of the steering wheel instead.

New Porsche Speedster
New Porsche CEO Matthias Müller Takes Wraps Off New Porsche Speedster

Matthias Muller

Stuttgart - September 29, 2010 - Matthias Müller, the new Chief Executive Officer of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, will be unveiling the new Porsche 911 Speedster as well as the 911 Carrera GTS Coupé and Cabriolet models at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday, September 30.


An event organised by the Volkswagen Group on the evening before this autumn's leading motor show opens its doors will also see the official handover of responsibilities on the Porsche AG Board of Management. After a successful tenure Michael Macht will symbolically hand the Porsche steering wheel to his successor Matthias Müller. Matthias Müller's assumption of office as Chief Executive Officer coincides with three world debuts.


Only the fourth Speedster to have been built in Porsche's history is a model steeped in purist tradition and reflects the forward-looking nature of the brand, while the new Carrera GTS range with wide body and rear-wheel drive underscores all this.

SVR Autocross
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Porsche Club of America-Golden Gate Region
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