First Timers

First Timers

GGR Track Events are a great way to enjoy your Porsche at speed in a safe, fast and fun environment. Modern Porsche cars offer performance levels (speed, handling, braking) that cannot possibly be explored safely on public highways. Fortunately track days provide a safe and controlled alternative. Consider that:

  • All the drivers are there for the same purpose
  • The course is closed
  • There are no other traffic distractions

Our weekends are family-oriented, with husbands, wives, fathers, sons and daughters sharing cars. The weekends are a chance to meet fellow Porsche owners, bench-race, and push your car without worrying about the CHP.

 

Driver Education

Hot pit at Laguna Seca

Hot pit at Laguna Seca

While a Porsche comes out of the factory naturally capable of going fast, we drivers have to learn how to take advantage of all its capabilities. GGR prides itself in having one of the most extensive driver education programs and the best instructor corps of any club on the West Coast. We want to help everyone become a better driver. Safety is emphasized throughout all the events.

You will start with Track Orientation, held at the track the evening before your first event, to learn how GGR runs the program, what you can expect from fellow drivers, and the first tips and tricks to drive your Porsche at speed on a track.

For your first GGR track event, you will receive in-car instruction all day on Saturday. Typically you will have two different instructors during the day. You will learn to identify the entry, apex and exit of each turn, to use the whole track, to pass and to get passed, and to find comfortable braking points. In between driving sessions, a group debriefing will provide more instruction and answers to your questions.

If, at the end of your first full day, the instructors believe you are safe to go out alone, you will be allowed to drive solo on Sunday. If you need or want more instruction, we will be happy to provide it.

For your second GGR track event, the routine will be the same, but you will learn to refine your lines and pick up a bit more speed. At the end of Saturday, again if the instructors believe you are safe, you will become certified to solo at all future GGR track events. For your second event, you will not be required to attend Track Orientation the evening before; however, you may choose to do so if it is a new venue you have not previously driven.

Once you are certified you can get additional instruction as you desire. This may be to help you learn a track that is new to you, to solve a particular problem in a given corner, to get a quick refresher, or any other reason. Our instructors are always available to help.

Driver Education participants are assigned to color-coded run groups according to speed and experience. New drivers are typically placed in the “Yellow” run group where speeds are lower, so they will not be intimidated on the track by experienced drivers and zoomy cars. Run groups range in size from 20 to 30 cars and enter the track at scheduled times for their run sessions. Run sessions last typically 20 to 30 minutes. Each run group goes in turn, and then the cycle repeats several times to fill the whole day. Of course there are breaks for workers as well as lunch in there, too!

Timed runs

Time trial Grid

Time trial Grid

On Sunday afternoon, GGR organizes timed runs. Each driver gets three laps on the track, one to warm up and two timed. The cars are spaced widely (typically 5 cars spaced evenly on a 2.5 mile track) so that you effectively have the track to yourself. Your times are recorded electronically and you get to see how you are doing. Over time you can monitor your progress and enjoy the excitement of seeing your lap times drop, weekend after weekend.

Anyone who can participate in Driver Education can participate in the Timed Runs part of the weekend. All you need to do is guess your time, so you can be placed on the grid among drivers who have about the same speed, and therefore never catch up to them or be caught. No passing is allowed during timed runs: safety first. GGR will provide an electronic transponder for a nominal rental fee.

 

 Club Racing

When you are fast and comfortable around a race track, you will be able to progress to wheel-to-wheel racing with GGR, if you want to. This is an entirely different program described elsewhere on this website; our Driver Education and Timed Runs events do not involve wheel-to-wheel racing.

Getting started with GGR Track Events

It is not hard to participate if you get organized as follows:

  • First join PCA. If your membership region is GGR, you are done. If not, we will ask you to pay a small annual dual membership fee – see the event application for details.
  • Sign up for our email announcements to get the latest info on events and schedules.
  • Sign up for the event of your choice and for Track Orientation, both through MotorsportReg. Registration normally opens 6 weeks prior to each event.
  • Book your hotel room. GGR often gets discounts at the event hotel.
  • If you plan on participating in our timed runs, classify your car by following this link.
  • We will assign you a car number before your first event. If you want to influence the number choice, contact the registrar once you have registered for an event. Here is the list of numbers already taken.
  • After you are registered, a few days prior to the event, the registrar will send you an email with links to information about the event. Print out the Tech Form, fill it out and bring it to the track with you. You’ll probably want to print out the schedule, your instructor assignment and a track map as well.
  • If you have questions, email the registrar, the Chief Driving Instructor, the Track Orientation instructor, and/or post questions on the member forum.
  • Attend the event and have fun!

Preparation

Prior to your first track day, you need to prepare your car:

  • Get your car teched by a qualified shop or individual 30 days before your track day. (It is a good idea to have a professional check your car thoroughly once a year).
  • Check your tires and brake pads for wear before coming.
  • Fill out the event tech sheet yourself and bring it to the track.

And prepare yourself:

  • Get a good helmet that fits well. Must be certified Snell 2005 or better.
  • Wear a cotton T-shirt, long cotton plants, closed shoes made of natural (non-synthetic) material.
  • Driving gloves are optional but recommended.
  • Learn or review the flags.
  • Review the track turn-by-turn description.
  • Autocross as much as possible to understand your car dynamics.
  • Internalize: safe and fun first, then fast.
  • Relax and prepare to have a good time.

Note: Save timers, pyrometers, accelerometers and other gadgets for later. If you bring a video camera, it MUST be securely installed in the car; it cannot be held by hand.

Comments are closed.