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Porsche Sport Driving School - listening to Rennlisters' advice

 
Old 12-01-2009, 11:24 AM
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go-C4S-injune
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Default Porsche Sport Driving School - listening to Rennlisters' advice

I'm planning on signing up for the 2-day session of Porsche Sport Driving School down in Birmingham, as per y'all's recommendation that best money spent on Pcar would be in gaining better driving skills. I would like to solicit advice on this. First whether Jan/Feb is a good time to be doing this in terms of weather, whether this school is better than perhaps other venues and schools available locally, any other tidbits and advice about attending these programs from you all would be much appreciated. -Jay
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:43 AM
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Great news Jay!
I've only been there in April and October and the weather was reasonable both times. I don't know about Jan-Feb in terms of rainfall in AL....what can I say, I'm a Northern boy.
Definitely stay at the Ross Bridge which is what PSDS recommends. This is where 95% of people stay. It's a nice hotel and after dinner with everyone you can just walk upstairs and crash (better there than on the track).
There are no restrictions on clothing for driving other than you want to have a good sneaker or dedicated driving shoe. Bring a jacket in case it's a bit chilly for those periods that you are not actually in a car!
Bring your camera although they will take a group pic and give it to you.
Bring an open mind for maximal entertainment and learning!

As for comparison to other schools,....Noone beats PSDS for Porsche instruction! Local PCA DE events also have some really good instructors.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:06 PM
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Been to the PSDS twice and will go back in March. First time was last March and it rained both days..... that turned out to actually be a plus as you could better feel the limits of the car and track Worht the price. Did the Masters course in September and when Hurley Haywood jumps into your car you are humbled but he recommended me for the race course so all is well. Yes stay at the Ross bridge a very nice place and you are right there for the first night party. Can't speak for other schools but if you drive a Porsche this is the one. The instruction is Outstanding. Have fun
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:38 AM
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When I was in sales I went to the LA Cayman S Launch. It was an amazing time in Ontario, CA -. John Lewis taught a 4/4S workshop. I think I did a hot lap with Owen Trinkler in a cayman S on a cone course. Cass Whitehead - lead a bunch of the events. These guys are all class acts and one of the highlights if not THE highlight PCNA offers. Down in alabama --- They'll even break out the Porsche Tractor.

While around those guys I thought my ability was improved INSTANTLY going into the first corner. To have a professional give instructors...AWESOME>!!!!

(I was told since it was near the end of the event) I turned one of the fastest laps not in a cayman S, but an M3. I said well it is my daily driver so I felt comfortable in it.- haa always nice to have someone give you a compliment -them being pro's and I'm a (as gamers say) noob especially to tracks.

Cheers ALL!

(I plan on making my reservations very soon.)
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:05 AM
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Here now for the Masters Race Course. Cool and rainy and we are having a blast.

Alabama weather can be anything in the "winter" months. Whatever- you will still benefit.

I think it safe to say the censensus I have everheard is this is certainly one of the best (if not the best) in the USA. I hear rumor Porsche considers the USA school to be the best of all it's international schools.

Best automotive investment you will EVER make.

There are several folks here who have taken this course multiple times, some (no secrets told ) more than 20 times. What can be read into that info?
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:59 AM
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Thank you for sharing your thots. just wondering out loud: does it ever snow down there? wonder if winter driving lessons would be offered in the event of a snow day.....
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by German_Saint View Post
(I was told since it was near the end of the event) I turned one of the fastest laps not in a cayman S, but an M3.

Come on. Who was timing you? I call BS.

But seriously, the PSDS and Master's courses are great. All of the instructors have excellent racing pedigrees, and many of them are currently racing in series you have heard of (ALMS, etc.). However, they know how to communicate with and instruct average Joe's like us. They check their egos at the door, and they are there to help you learn car control and how to drive your car safer and faster.

The balance between classroom time, car control drills (autocross, skid pad, heel and toe downshift), and track time is just right. There is some idle time, but not much. You will be fatigued at the end of both days, a good thing.

I have been to the school in January. The two days I was there the weather was in the 40's, and there was some rain. Don't let that deter you because if you dress appropriately, you will be comfortable. Driving in the rain is beneficial to learning the limits of your car and your driving ability at slightly lower speeds and should be viewed as a positive thing.

My only criticism of the PSDS is that the instructors can be a little too nice. Unless you really screw up, they don't give you too much negative feedback. But that seems to work just fine for a lot of people. All in all, it is a first class production. From airport shuttle to the accommodations at Ross Bridge to the food at the track (included) to the school itself, PSDS is top shelf.
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:30 PM
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Few questions:

- $ per person
- how are the accomadations, hotel?
- how much actual track/drinving time do you get?
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:48 PM
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I have a little different take on the PSDS and have written about this before

While I agree with all of the comments that its a great school, well run and with great isntructors I have the follwing advice for people who might attend as complete driving school novices.

Try to attend a PCA sponsered DE event first. I did the PSDS performance program last december and had a blast and learned some basics.

But now after attending several PCA DE's at the green level I am totally convinced I would have gottne so much out of PSDS if I had a few beginner DE's under my belt before going to the PSDS.

Yes, I have been lucky to have some great instructors at my local DE ast NJMP, including pro drivers and terrififc classroom instruction with Pete Trempler, the National DE instructor chairman and Nick (last name escapes me at the moment) who has excellent beginner presentations.

You get less track time by far at the DE and you have to use your own car but you can get allot of the basics out of the way and IMHO will be better able to grasp more from your inital PSDS experience.

But you also do ride with an instructor every minute you are on the track in the PCA DE at the beginner levels. Something that does not occur on the track in the basic PSDS program. (my only real complaint about the two days)

I will go back to the PSDS. Its well worth the money. But for the beginner please keep in mind the PCA DE programs.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by crw View Post
Few questions:

- $ per person
- how are the accomadations, hotel?
- how much actual track/drinving time do you get?
costs and hotel stuff is at the porsche.com website.

the hotel is first class but 45 minutes away from the track.

You spend maybe 3-4 hours on the track each day. Not including drill times like skid pad and auto-X.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by buckwheat987 View Post
I have a little different take on the PSDS and have written about this before

While I agree with all of the comments that its a great school, well run and with great isntructors I have the follwing advice for people who might attend as complete driving school novices.

Try to attend a PCA sponsered DE event first. I did the PSDS performance program last december and had a blast and learned some basics.

But now after attending several PCA DE's at the green level I am totally convinced I would have gottne so much out of PSDS if I had a few beginner DE's under my belt before going to the PSDS.

Yes, I have been lucky to have some great instructors at my local DE ast NJMP, including pro drivers and terrififc classroom instruction with Pete Trempler, the National DE instructor chairman and Nick (last name escapes me at the moment) who has excellent beginner presentations.

You get less track time by far at the DE and you have to use your own car but you can get allot of the basics out of the way and IMHO will be better able to grasp more from your inital PSDS experience.

But you also do ride with an instructor every minute you are on the track in the PCA DE at the beginner levels. Something that does not occur on the track in the basic PSDS program. (my only real complaint about the two days)

I will go back to the PSDS. Its well worth the money. But for the beginner please keep in mind the PCA DE programs.
I am a member of PCA (and live in NY-Metro) but don't know how to go about getting DE info. Could you point me in the right direction?
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by go-C4S-injune View Post
I am a member of PCA (and live in NY-Metro) but don't know how to go about getting DE info. Could you point me in the right direction?
Check out www.pca.org

look up zone one and start looking at the individual websites of the regions...lots of info and downloads for beginners.

Schattenbaum had several events I attended...I also have attended great events with jersey shore and the delaware region..NNJR has several events also and is big region

when the events get closer to april we can give you more details and you can join us at NJMP.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:36 PM
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got it. thank you very much for the info. It seems MNY region DE events are done for the season...
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by go-C4S-injune View Post
got it. thank you very much for the info. It seems MNY region DE events are done for the season...
yeah..they are in the NE...

so maybe do the PSDS and then get pumped to do the DE's starting in the spring.

good luck
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:57 PM
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did the 2 day course last Dec. and the weather was great. Just did masters in Oct. and it rained pretty hard most of day 1. The second day was much better. They can get some snow down there but should be in the 40's.

As others have said it is a great course and the facility is awesome. Someone else mentioned about instructors not riding with you in the 2 day course. I also thought it would have helped to have had someone with you as opposed to just lead/follow. You do get someone with you at the masters class.

The first time I went I stayed at the Ross Bridge. A very nice hotel but chose not to stay there this time. Just did not want to deal with the 45 minute ride both ways. There is a brand new marriott courtyard (I think it's marriott) minutes from the track and where I stayed this time. Had a rental car so went to the dinner at the ross the 1st night but much preferred being closer to the track.
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