(Darren Dugan) #1
54 march 2015


Porsche Sport Driving School


t’s the easiest performance upgrade
you can buy, yet also one of the
least utilised. No suspension
upgrade, power increase or tyre
choice will give as great a gain,
for as little outlay, as improving
the thing between the seat and the
steering wheel.
My first track day was at Hobart’s
Baskerville Raceway. Over-imbued with
confidence like most 18-year-old males,
my cockiness lasted two corners, at which
point it became clear I was well out of
my depth. My first proper lap was a 1:22,
which fell to 1:17 by day’s end. Over the
coming months, with some practice and
tuition, that fell to 1:13. Without a single
car tweak, that’s a nine-second-a-lap gain.
Still, that was many years ago now, so on
the basis that you never stop learning, it’s
time to go back to school.
Porsche was one of the first
manufacturers to open its own driving
school, holding its first event at
Hockenheim in 1974. The Australian arm
opened 20 years later at Mount Cotton in
Queensland – a facility it calls home to
this day. More than 70 courses will run
in 2015, ranging from the $1397 Level
1 course, where attendees can sample
the entire Porsche range, right up to the

$6500 Level 5 course, which includes
your own 991 Cup car and race engineer.
One step down is the ‘Master’ course;
it’s exactly the same except the Cup car is
replaced with the slightly more accessible
991 GT3 road car. This is the most
popular course, booked out well over
a year in advance. For your $3500 you
receive a 991 GT3 to drive as hard as you
like, a racetrack on which to drive it, and
an instructor and race engineer to teach
you how to drive it faster.
Yep, unlike some other schools, where
OH&S can occasionally replace fun,
Porsche’s Master course has only one
goal: to make you faster. Before the fun
begins, however, there is the inevitable
classroom briefing. Remember when you
were stuck in school on a nice day, how
you were itching to get outside? It’s even
worse when there’s a pair of new GT3s
waiting in pitlane.
The classroom time is valuable, though,
with a useful refresher on the basics
delivered with directness and humour by
Czech-born Aussie racer Tomas Mezera.
Best known for partnering Peter Brock at
the Holden Racing Team in the mid-’90s,
Mezera is an enormously accomplished
driver, having won Bathurst, stood on
the podium in the British Touring Car

With Porsche’s new 911 GT3 and an empty racetrack
to look forward to, getting to school early doesn’t
seem like such a chore





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