May 2019 Zone 7 Report
Golden Gate Region Opens DE and West Coast Race Series
Golden Gate Region opened its DE season in conjunction with the opening round of the PCA Club Race, West Coast series at Thunderhill Raceway on March 23-24th. There were over 93 drivers participating in the DE event, Drivers Education, while 22 drivers participated in the PCA Club Race. This was my first DE event in about 2 years and the first time that I have attended a PCA Club Race. The event was very well organized with dozens of volunteers needed to put the event on without issues. Golden Gate Region DE chair Jim McClelland showcased his skills organizing a flawless event not only for the PCA members participating in the DE event but did a great job coordinating the PCA Club Race. Safety is always a top concern whether in club racing or running a DE event and at the drivers meeting it was emphasized repeatedly.
The West Coast Series is a PCA club racing points competition comprised of the all the PCA club races that occur on the west coast of the USA. Historically, club racing in the PCA has been most popular on the east coast, and this series was created (starting with the 2014 season) to encourage west coast club members to take up club racing by providing them with the increased competition and sense of camaraderie that comes with having one’s own competitive series. All PCA club racers are eligible to participate and all entrants are automatically entered into the series.
DE or Drivers Education Events are commonly run in conjunction with the PCA Race Series as a way to encourage more PCA members to get involved in a track experience and to learn the amazing performance capabilities of their Porsche. Adding a DE to the Club Race also helps financially with covering the costs of the track rental. DE’s are designed for members who are first time owners who have never driven in a track environment or drivers with years of track experience. GGR requires all first timers to attend a mandatory ground school usually held a week before the event as well as another orientation at the track. Included in your fees is an experienced instructor who will ride and coach you all day long until he or she feels you have the necessary basic skills to drive the track solo. Each DE event includes from 5-6 25 minute sessions on the track. Run groups are organized so that novices or beginners run in a separate group from the faster intermediate and advanced drivers. Between runs, beginners are required to attend post session debriefings which cover safety issues, the best lines for taking various turns at the track, a review of course worker locations on the track, what to do if you go off course, and other safety procedures. I was lucky to have as my instructor, Stephen Shaw, who assisted me in the morning runs with my steering inputs, hand position, and the racing line. His 19 year old son, Matt Shaw,was also in attendance as a student and lapped me at least once in his Volkswagen GTI. Youth has its advantages!
Jim McClellandcould not put on these events without the assistance of an experienced team of volunteers which include but is not limited to the following individuals: David Bunch, Sharon Neidel, George Neidel,Chuck Kolstad, Ken Mack, Scott Kalkin, Dan Thompson,Diane Dorrand Rick Schoonover. Thank you and all the volunteer driving instructors for your service to GGR and PCA!
Looking ahead to the many of the events of interest: Porsche Parade, Phase 2 Registration, opens April 15th (Banquets, TSD Rally, Concours, Autocross, Tours, and other events). Diablo Region Concours #1, Porsche Livermore, April 28th, GGR Zone 7 Autocross, May 18th, PCA Club Race, May 18-19th, Buttonwillow, Zone 7-SVR Concours, May 19th, Niello Porsche.