The Porsche File Porsche-o-phile

PCV President's Day

The PCV on-track events calendar concludes every year with President's Day at Sandown Raceway in suburban Melbourne. It is a non-competition event and the only track day where passengers are allowed to be taken. In fact, they are compulsory so family and friends are encouraged to come along and participate.

Lee Gray of Kyron Audio organised a number of his business partners to come along and have a ride, plus I had a couple of friends lined up to attend. The day seemed well planned and I was looking forward to it. The reality, as usual, turned into something different!

In the first session, I 'lost' one of my exhaust silencers that are necessary to keep the exhaust note under the track noise limit of 75dB. I alerted Robin to the issue in her role as Assistant Clerk of Course and she sent the hard-working safety crew out to scan the circuit for loose items (on safety grounds) and fortunately they found it somewhere around Turn 4. While not a large item, it is made of heavy steel and would easily cause damage to another car if struck. It did come back with some battle scars however.

Anyway, in conjunction with the guys from Fitzgerald Racing Services, we decided to take the other silencer off just to see if I would be detected / penalised for noise as I had never really checked before. Lee joined me for session 2 and sure enough I received a 'warning' that my car was indeed too loud and if I got a second bad reading after attempting to address the noise levels, I would be suspended from participating for the rest of the day. This is a Sandown Raceway management requirement that PCV has no control over. So the silencers went back on for session 3.

Slightly second hand but survived the day - 2015

Well, there almost wasn't a session 3 as a couple of Lee's contacts were unable to make it on the day due to illness and other commitments, so I had to take a club member around just so that I could have another run and check the noise levels. So the brave soul hopped in and we were having a nice time until Lap 5 when the car felt really strange in Turn 1 and then on braking for Turn 2 immediately snapped into a 90 degree slide / spin for no apparent reason. This was bad news as there is another rule on President's Day where if you spin, you get sent home. It is all about driving within your capabilities on this 'social' day and making safety paramount. I really thought something broke on the car so came slowly, and it must be said sheepishly, back to the pits, apologising to my passenger (who seemed quite excited by the spin!) and awaited a visit from the officials who I was certain would kick me out. And I had rides lined up for the afternoon. Aaargghh. Then I heard that the session had been cancelled. Surely not because of me as I immediately got going again after the spin so I wondered what happened? Unfortunately one competitor had an engine incident and spewed oil all over the track from Turn 1 to somewhere past Turn 4. I had spun on his oil and it was deemed by the officials NOT to be driver error. I am still in the game. Yippee!

Fancy steering wheel work - 2015

I sat out the session immediately after lunch while digesting my pizza (the offical race food of champions) waiting for my next passenger to arrive. By early afternoon the field was starting to thin out and the event changed to an 'open' pit lane where you were able to go out at anytime for as many laps as you wanted. So when David arrived, we strapped in and had some decent laps following in close company with a couple of other cars but it started to drizzle for the first time for the day. The car still felt all right then coming up to the fast left hander at the end of the back straight the rain got a little heavier and wipers were required. I briefly thought about staying out for one more lap, but took a late decision to dive into the pits and not risk it. Probably wise however that was the end of my day as the rain sprinkled for another 30 minutes or so before subsiding.

By this time the track was closed and the canapes and refreshments were being served to celebrate the end of the competition season.

All in all an eventful day and thanks to James from FRS for his support and a big thank you to the brave passengers for coming out with me and seemingly enjoying themselves (well mostly anyway, looking at you now Lee!).