Track Corner

James Diehl

 

 

The 2021 Track Chair for the Bluegrass Region of the Porsche Club of America is James Diehl.

Track days are fantastic for increasing driving skills making you a better driver on the road. Those who have been before can attest to that as well as the fact it is great time to meet other enthusiasts and enjoy the camaraderie. Whether you have been involved in track events before or thinking you would like to try a High-Performance Driver Education (DE) weekend, please reach out. My hope is to help organize our region’s interest and build some networks for members added enjoyment. 


EMBRACING THE UNKNOWN! When you were young, like many of us, did you dream of owning a Porsche? You may have also been intrigued or even fantasized of racing a car. Well, now you have accomplished that dream of owning a Porsche, Congratulations! What is holding you back from that dream of roaring down the track and “straining the limits of machine and man”? (My musical reference for some).


Let’s take some mystery out of “tracking” your car, otherwise known as High performance Driver Education or DE. This should provide a condensed list of the requirements, but let’s dispel a few things. All too often, we let things like this fade away, or simply don’t take the next step because of perceived barriers, doubts or questions. Don’t let that happen! First, it is not a race, but rather a very controlled and safe environment for both you and your car. Secondly, if you enjoy let’s say “spirited” driving on backroads, then you will love this and become a better driver. “It’s for the guys” – that would be a big NO, as women participate too. I know of a father and daughter that attend regularly, a husband and wife and a high school friend that has been taking her car for many years. “It requires a lot of equipment” – yes you will need a car and a helmet, but the overall answer is – NO.


So, what do you do?


• Choose an event that is labeled HPDE or DE that provides a convenient location and date. These can easily be found on Motorsportreg.com. From there you can register for that event and will be placed in a novice group with an instructor to help you learn.

• You will need to purchase a helmet or get a loaner. Only important note that it is rated SA2015 or SA2020. This is NOT an (M) or motorcycle helmet but a quick search on the internet will show you options if you are buying one.

• Tech Inspection – upon registration you should be able to download a “tech” sheet. This sheet will review a list of items to ensure your equipment is in working order. Go to whomever services your car, and they may provide this service for free or at a nominal fee. That sheet will be signed and presented at the event location.

• You will need insurance! Please note that personal insurance most often excludes anything outside of normal daily driving. (You may want to check with your agent) Through the PCA, you can get a discount at Locktonmotorsports.com and the process takes minutes. There are other companies as well.


And, to help get you even more interested in your first track day, here are a few links I think you may like:


PCA Drivers Education – Home
PCA Learning Curves: High Performance Driving Education

At this point you are ready to drive to your event! Sure, a track regular can mention several other things they probably do, but for a first trip, this is all that is really holding YOU back. There are many in the Bluegrass Region who have done DE, so ask around or simply email me at with any questions.


See you in the paddock!


Maybe its from the comforts of your home, come rain or shine, don’t forget PCA Sim Racing. You might be surprised at how captivating it is, tune in once and see. For schedules, check out the PCA Sim Racing website.


 

If you wonder what it is truly like, the PCA put out a great video to actually see what HPDE is like.  Do you want to learn more about PCA Drivers Education Program?  Check this video out!  Please click on the link or go to the PCA news page.

The mission and purpose of the Porsche Club of America’s Drivers Education Program is to provide a safe, structured and controlled teaching and learning environment. The PCA DE  Program is designed so that participants can improve their driving abilities and acquire a better understanding of vehicle dynamics and driving safety. Participants will experience first-hand the capabilities of high performance automobiles in a controlled, closed-course environment and acquire skills that will enhance safer vehicle operation in all driving situations.

But wait!!!! Do you own Macan or Cayenne? Sure, they may not have the speed of a GT3, but they are amazing on the road course. Don’t rule yourself out, These SUV’s will deliver a fantastic time and provide you the opportunity to REALLY learn to handle your vehicle. The point is that no matter what you drive; HPDE will make you a better and safer driver on the road facing the day to day challenges of simply commuting.

For a list of events, you can go to Motorsportreg.com and registration can be completed there.

If you need help or are looking for other members of region that might go, I again, encourage all to contact me so we can build a BGPCA coalition attending events.  


A message from PCA National:   Club Racing has created a website separate from pca.org. The new site is http://pcaclubracing.org/.