The potential of Porsche’s fleet is brought to the fore with its driving academy.
Posche’s array of driving experiences uncorks the full performance potential of its fleet.
The Porsche Media Driving Academy is, as the name suggests, a training module for journalists. Its beginner – or Individual – level deals with the essentials including seating position and optimum driving habits, while the intermediate (Professional) level delves into the foundations of track driving. Similar events, such as the Porsche World Roadshow and Porsche Driving Experience, are organised for owners and prospective customers. All three events are held at the Sepang International Circuit.
The day’s activities for the Professional
level includes best racing line, braking techniques and throttle control. Off the track, drivers are put through an exercise session and a theoretical lesson on weight transfer and its effect on available grip.
The most important areas for strength and endurance on the body are worked over by a certified nutritionist and motorsports fitness instructor. According to the latter, certain minor muscles, such as those in the neck, are hardly strained under normal circumstances but are crucial for motorsport to keep the head steady under G-forces, not to mention the weight of a racing helmet.
No Porsche track day is complete without the new Boxster. A back-to-back slalom between a Boxster S and a Macan demonstrated the former’s mid- engine balance. Repeated drives of the Boxster S eliminated any prejudice against its subdued engine orchestra, such is the improvement in performance. A Macan also featured in the racing line exercise at turns five and six. The use of an SUV is beneficial for beginners to experience the shift in weight for different throttle and steering inputs. When a 911 or Boxster corners quite flat, there is less communication on the levels of grip from the perspective of the less experienced.
The fact that the Cayenne is every bit a Porsche in dynamics despite its sizeable dimensions is old hat, but it was during the lane changing test that its disrespect for physics was brutally displayed. In one run, it remained level and controlled despite having two wheels off the ground. Porsche Stability Management seems to be equal parts engineering genius and German wizardry.
On track with us, as an instructor and to offer insight into Porsche’s motorsport activities, was Kiwi racer and brand works driver, Earl Bamber. His maiden competitive
Off the track, drivers are put through an exercise session and a theoretical lesson on weight transfer and its effect on available grip.
outing in a Porsche 919 Hybrid in the 24 Hours of Le Mans ended in a stunning victory, and was the first time Porsche had been crowned champion since 1998.
As part of the ‘closing loop’ of a Porsche road car’s development, Bamber tells us that he and his fellow aces are given some wheel time and are expected to provide feedback for minor tweaks. More directly involved, however, are the engineers; as they serve both road car and race car departments, what is learned on the track from car and driver is directly fed back to shape what comes out of the showroom. In Bamber’s words, this is crucial to Porsche’s commercial success because the true spirit of the Porsche brand is a race car for the road. I couldn’t agree more and now await the advanced module of the Porsche Media Driving Academy, the Elite level. www.porsche.com≠
Journalists from around the Asia-pacific region are invited to participate and understand Porsche cars through active driving.
The Porsche Media Driving Academy was introduced in 2015.