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Zone Rep Report December 2016

Liz ShawIn the Zone by Liz Shaw

Hello Zone 9ers,

Last Zone Report of the year but still over a month to go for 2016. During the middle of October, I traveled to Spokane, WA, for Parade 2017 planning. The host hotel is the Davenport and it includes 3 properties in downtown Spokane. Most everyone will probably stay in the Davenport Grand, which is across the street from the Convention Center, where most of the banquets will be held. The area around Spokane is beautiful, with pine trees and the Columbia River running right through town. I teamed up with Leeds Gulick, the Parade Autocross Chair, and two guys from Michelin and Jackson Motor Group, to inspect possible sites for the autocross and the Drive & Compare. We’re hoping a large parking lot at an event center will work out because there’s enough space to run the autocross and the Drive & Compare at the same venue.

The following weekend, I joined many PCA members from Roadrunner, Southern Arizona, and Hill Country, to help Carrera Region celebrate 50 years with PCA. This year’s OktoberFiesta was another one for the books – fun social on Friday, well-organized drive-out to White Sands, Cloudcroft, and Ruidoso. I had the honor of having PCA President, Caren Cooper, as the passenger in my car and we both enjoyed the scenery and the camaraderie of our fellow tourers. After everyone got back to the Hotel Encanto, including the track drivers, we enjoyed a sumptuous dinner and were given a history of Carrera Region by President Dan Thomas. A special touch for the evening was when Caren presented Carrera Region with a PCA banner that was signed by everyone.

During the last weekend of October, I traveled to Atlanta, GA, for my driving session at the Porsche Experience Center. I had been to the Center earlier in the year, for the PCA Board of Directors meeting, and I looked forward to being able to drive at the Center. “My” car was a new Carrera S and I was signed up for a 1.5 hour “Sport Driving” experience. The first exercise was with a kick-plate, which was at the beginning of a slippery section. When the car was driven over the kick-plate (slowly), it moved the car left or right and the driver needed to immediately respond and try to keep the car from sliding sideways. Needless to say, this was MUCH harder than it looked!

The next exercise was with a low-friction circle, which had little jets at the edges of the circle to keep the surface wet. Again, MUCH harder than it looked! My instructor demonstrated how it should be done and then I proceeded to do just about everything wrong. I had done one of these exercises before, at an autocross school in California, but that with my (lower-horse-powered) 964, which has a clutch. I think with this PDK 911 and 400 hp, it was much harder to do. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

After a few more exercises on the track, which included a launch-control exercise, I spent 30 minutes on one of the simulators in a training room. This was a lot more fun than I expected and I was pleased at how much better I got. I spent 15 minutes with a Cayman GT4 at Laguna Seca and then 15 minutes with a 911 RSR on the same track. I’ve driven at Laguna Seca before but it was fun doing it on a simulator where driving into a wall or onto the gravel didn’t hurt or cause any expensive damage! I got much better by the time my session was over and if I have the chance to get back to the PEC, I will definitely get back on a simulator!

Coming up for me to finish the year will be the LA Auto Show and PCA Tech Tactics in November, then a few Region holiday parties in December.  

Liz Shaw, Zone 9 Rep

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