Not everyone is destined to drive a Porsche in their lifetime – let alone own one.
Porsche owners describe driving a Porsche as a sensual experience, one that can’t be replicated by any other car. With cars ranging from expensive, to very expensive, there is a Porsche to suit every level of success.
It’s the same story with the five levels of driver training offered by Porsche at their tailor made driver training program – the Porsche Driving Experience. Each level offers a different and unique experience, ranging from beginner courses in cars like the Boxster, Boxster S, 911 Carrera and 911 Cabriolet, right through to advanced courses in vehicles like the hard core 911 GT3 and even track time in the 911 GT3 Carrera Cup race car.
Level 1 – Precision
Before you get thrown the keys, you are taught the basics of car control, such as the differences between understeer and oversteer, along with the way to manage – and avoid – hazards, if and when they arise.
After a bit of theory, participants jump in to sample hazardous situations first hand. Professional instruction is constant, with drivers experiencing every aspect of control.
The Level 1 course runs for one day at Mount Cotton (Queensland) and is priced at $1,265. This is the perfect start for beginners and offers the perfect opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Porsche.
Level 2 – Precision Plus
Level 2 training builds on the basis offered in Level 1. Level 1 training is therefore a prerequisite for Level 2 training.
Perfect for those punters who enjoy decidedly sports driving, the Level 2 course offers attendees training on how to handle a vehicle and respond correctly during a hazardous situation.
Participants learn how to master bends under the mindful eye of a professional instructor, with a focus on road traffic hazards. Drivers are then offered a chance to experience exercises which simulate loss of control, with an emphasis on retaining control while driving at the vehicle’s limits.
The Level 2 course is a single day course and is available at Mount Cotton (Queensland) and is priced at $1,265. Remember, prior completion of the Level 1 course is required before being permitted entry into the Level 2 course.
Level 3 – Performance
With Level 2 and subsequently Level 1 as prerequisites, the third level of driver training offered delves deeper into the track aspect of Porsche driving.
Participants in the Level 3 course receive tuition on maintaining the racing line at high speeds, along with load changing reactions the vehicle emits with varied braking and cornering techniques
Circuit lapping is concentrated on, as is keeping the vehicle steady throughout all parts of a race track. Drivers are also given the opportunity to hone and test their skills on a specially designed ‘challenge circuit’, set to sort the good from the bad.
Instructors monitor your performance from a lead vehicle prior to offering further advice. It’s then onto the solo lap where the reins are yours to punt a Porsche around the track to test all the skills learnt.
Both Level 1 and Level 2 driver training courses are prerequisites for the Level 3 course. The third course is held at Queensland Raceway and runs for a single day. Entry into the course costs $1,540.
Level 4 – Master
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is where the men are separated from the boys. The Level 4 course not only brings on further honing of race techniques, it offers drivers quite possibly one of the best training vehicles known to man – the Porsche 911 GT3.
The 911 GT3 is Porsche’s road legal race car – so to speak. Punching out 306kW from its 3.6-litre motor, the 911 GT3 features adjustable dampers, roll bars and race tuned suspension – coupled with the ultimate in race tread, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres. There is no better way to learn car control on a track than in the 911 GT3.
Level 4 participants drive 911 GT3s fitted with satellite tracking nodes that – after completing a race lap – can record precise information about the vehicle’s speed and braking habits, which are then compared to those recorded by the instructor.
One on one tuition with racing professionals, along with radio communication provides the perfect test bed to bring out the racer in you. Such an experience can only be found on a race track and there’s no better way to sample it than in a race-prepped 911 GT3.
Levels 1, 2 and 3 are prerequisites for Level 4. This one day event is held at Queensland Raceway and costs $2,997.
Level 5 – GT3 Cup
This is quite possible the ultimate driving experience on offer in Australia for a racing nut. Porsche’s Level 5 Driving Experience course offers up to six participants the opportunity to drive a race-prepped Porsche 911 GT3 Carrera Cup race car around Queensland Raceway.
This course isn’t open to anyone though. Drivers must have either completed training levels 1 – 4, or have a national racing license.
A professional instructor and Porsche engineer is on hand to work with you to improve your experience and explain aspects of the car and your performance around the track. After a few laps with the instructor to confirm braking points and racing lines, you are handed the keys to begin solo laps in manageable blocks – whilst being monitored from pit lane by the instructor and Porsche engineer.
At the end of this adventure packed day, participants will be provided with their own unique DVD which includes footage from in-car cameras to provide a memento to treasure for life.
Porsche’s Level 5 course is a one day event and costs $5,995 to complete. The event is held at Queensland Raceway.
As you can tell, the Porsche Driving Experience is a unique training collaboration that enhances a driver’s ability on the road and in the case of Levels 4 and 5, can be the ultimate excuse to hit the race track.People who don’t readily have access to Porsches will find the courses on offer a win-win situation. Driver training, along with the chance to ride in an expensive sports car is often hard to come by. With reasonable prices and professional instructors, there’s no better way to learn advanced driving skills in a safe and manageable environment.
For more information about Porsche Driving Experiences, please call Porsche Cars Australia on 1800 062 911.