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Enjoying the Road in a Porsche Again

Porsche drivers have drive groups like golfers have foursomes. Some drive groups are a tour, some are spirited and some are just friends getting together spur of the moment. I have one of each in the next two weeks now that North Carolina is moving into Phase 1 of exiting the Stay at Home order. We are able to socialize again.

Porsche driving tour
Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 Driving Off to the Mountains

Today it is a spur of the moment since the Stay at Home order is just coming off with three of us meeting up in our air-cooled Porsches to drive a near-the-home back road loop with lots of twists and turns with gradual elevation changes. We’ll be out in a 1979 Porsche 911SC, a 1995 Porsche 993 and my own 1986 Carrera 3.2.

The Spur of the Moment drives are relaxed because they are driving known roads with buddies so they are much more relaxed. I lead a lot of drives and a three-car lead is easy. I know every one’s abilities, I know the roads and the goal is fun not speed.

The next drive up on the calendar is the Power Porsche group. This is the serious driving group of powerful water-cooled Porsches consisting of 911 Turbos, Cayman GT4 and GTS and an assortment of Porsche 911 S’s. This drive is a spirited drive of five to six hours on secluded mountain roads where the Porsche engineers are proven right on how to build a proper sports car.

It is interesting because this group consists of ten getting the notice and usually only four or five participate. Well, no one has other events on the calendar and we’ve all been cooped up for weeks so we have a full drive group of seven.

The Power Porsche drive is always tougher because it is spirited the roads are unknown and as the leader I have the added charge of minding the herd. Who’s with us, did they all make the turn, and where are we going. Each car has a two-way radio so we can communicate and I lead by Garmin as I generally haven’t scouted these roads.

Porsches driving the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Spirited driving of the water-cooled Porsches

As the lead I will study maps and create a route that is two hours in the morning, lunch and two hours in the afternoon. This makes for a full day of spirited driving. The entire route is loaded in the Garmin so I am relying on Miss Karen in the Garmin letting me know when to turn. Another benefit of the GPS is to have a map on allows you to see the turn coming up since we are driving unknown mountain roads. Is it a tight right-hander, a sweeping lazy turn or a series of essess. It helps your braking, cornering and exit speeds just like on the track. The difference is on the track you know the course and there is run-off. Mountain driving doesn’t afford you such luxuries.

The third group is a tour and this drive will consist of charter members of Air Brigade who were at the first drive in 2018. Normally this drive would consist of two tour groups of 10-12 each but because of the guidelines in effect we are still required to limit ourselves to social gatherings of only 10. Even though we are in our cars, we will adhere to this guideline/law since a row of Porsches driving the roads garner enough attention without flouting the health safety guidelines we are all living under at the moment.

A big piece of this drive and every drive is the socializing before, during and after the drives. We’ll miss most of this though the plan for lunch stops is to picnic where we can maintain the six-foot correct social distancing.

A fourth group of Porsche driving is PCA drives. None are scheduled in the short term though we hope to be able to return in June as the state’s guidelines relax. These drives usually bring 40 people together and the participants within the Appalachian Region tend to be people in the at-risk age bracket so we need to wait for the state to move to Phase 2 or 3 where we can have a 40-person social gathering. We are hoping for June, but it may not be until July.

In the meantime, hop in your Porsche and drive. Enjoy a spur of the moment, or a small, organized tour, but drive. Just getting out of the house after weeks of self-isolation requires the outdoors and socialization for everyone’s mental health.

Porsche driving the curves
Caution: Porsche Driving Roads Ahead

Tags: Porsche driving, Porsche tours, Drives

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