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!).

Circuit Tools now on Mac

The Racelogic VBOX data logging & video recording technology I have in the GT3 has previously been a Windows-only suite of software tools. While still predominantly on that platform, one of the most used components, Circuit Tools, has been ported to OS X and can now be run natively on the Mac. This is GOOD news.

Circuit Tools on Mac Screenshot
The Mac version of Circuit Tools - 2015

The reason this is good news is that Circuit Tools is the most file handling and manipulation intensive app of the Racelogic suite and often taxes my Windows skills beyond their limits. And while I have VMWare running Windows 7 on my Mac for this stuff, it is slower than the native apps.

Further evaluation of the Mac version of Circuit Tools to come..

PCV Combined GT3/Turbo Registers Run to Woodend

Due to a packed PCV calendar and a couple of scheduling conflicts, the GT3 and Turbo Registers got together to share a brunch run in mid October. Schatzi's Restaurant in Woodend was the chosen destination.

Group w:Turbo
Some of the group with Tony S's new 997 Turbo - Photo by Julie Mason 2015

Some 18 attendees in 12 cars arrived on a cool and overcast Sunday morning at the Rockbank meeting point for the prompt 8AM departure. The route over mainly Victorian country B & C roads initially took us west towards Anakie before heading north to Woodend.


The initial roads were predominantly open and flowing and with relatively light traffic the convoy stayed pretty much together and made good time. After about an hour, the route turned to more hilly country bordering on state forests and the pace was a little more subdued but more picturesque in terms of terrain. Through this section the group broke up a little bit with 'team orders' giving way to 'natural selection' with some folks taking a more accelerative view and overtaking some of their colleagues and disappearing into the distance. I am delighted to report all cars ran well, and arrived in Woodend within minutes of each other although some drivers decided not to follow the numbering system of the Main Street to find the restaurant and decided to park a couple of hundred metres away instead…

Schatzi's Table
The big table - Photo by Julie Mason 2015

Gorgeous spring sunshine greeted us as we made our way to the venue. Once seated inside, the food started to flow. And flow and flow… Our host Frank warned us to bring our appetites but at a relatively modest cost I wasn't sure how much fare could be provided. Platters of mini egg & bacon rolls, potato rosti, bratwurst pastry pin wheels, roasted tomatoes, steamed spinach, mini filo quiche cups, sautéed mushrooms, apple cake and tea & coffee were all enjoyed.


Feedback on the duration, format and venue was positive I am pleased to say. Special thanks to Julie Mason for the photos and to Robin Humphries for putting maps and run instructions together. And finally a big thank you to everyone for joining in and making the brunch run a most enjoyable morning.

1997 911 Turbo Refresh

Our 993 Turbo is going as well as we can remember but there are just a couple of niggling mechanical and cosmetic issues that could or should be resolved to turn it into one of the best air-cooled Turbos going around.

The 'Before' image - 2015

So I took the car to Stuart Drummond of Nineauto Porsche Service in Highett to get the process started. I will update this post when recommendations are made and work gets underway.

We are looking forward to this classic being back in our hands in a month or two.

PCV Sprint at Calder

It has been five or more years since I have had a drive at Calder Park Raceway. Some ownership squabbles have meant that the circuit and facility hasn't been kept in the most pristine shape.

At rest - 2015

At the start of the day, Peter Fitzgerald talked his customers through the complexity of the circuit, particularly the 'bumps' and the risks of the high kerbs which can unsettle the car resulting in an unwanted meeting with the many concrete walls around the circuit. It took me a couple of sessions to get the hang of the track again. It is a bit tricky with some tight second gear corners and a couple of long straights where you need to focus on getting a good run to maximise top speed.

Sessions three, four and five saw some progression and on the last lap of my last session I managed a 1.05.59 which was a Personal Best by about 2 seconds. Mission accomplished for the day. Thanks to Peter Fitzgerald, the FRS crew and Robin for their support.

Car & driver - 2015

PCV 40th Anniversary Lunch & Tour

Story to come.

Parking with the Turbo group - 2015
thumb_IMG_6132_1024 thumb_IMG_6125_1024
Robin & Peta Garriga (left) and Peter Fitzgerald (right) - 2015
Vintage Porsches at Rochford Winery - 2015

PCV Sprint at Phillip Island

I was very much looking forward to a run at Phillip Island again. After a slow start, I finally got my act together as the day went on.

Packed and ready to go - 2015
The GT3 in the garage waiting - 2015

On the last lap of the day, I got a good run, saw that I was under my previous best lap and just kept my right foot buried into the firewall. As I crossed the line I glanced at my data logger and saw a PB time come up! Awesome! I finally got under 1 minute 50 seconds. Check out the video below.

Nice lap finally! - 2015

Thanks to Peter Fitzgerald, the FRS team, Linley Baxter and Robin Humphries for their support on the day.

PCV Sprint at Sandown Raceway

Last Sunday was the Porsche Club of Victoria Winter Sprint event at Sandown Raceway in suburban Melbourne. It is a great facility and a fast track that suits my car, if not my skill & bravery level!

Any outdoor event in Melbourne in late June is always at the risk of poor weather but I am delighted to say that the weather, although cold, was fine and clear for the duration.

In the pits - 2015

I had some hopes of a good day with a Personal Best clearly in my sights. Those ambitions took a hit in the first session when I floundered around some four seconds adrift of a decent time. Coming back into the pits I discovered that over-pressured tyres were limiting my grip and making the car feel pretty 'skittish'.

With a pressure adjustment prior to the Session 2, the car immediately felt more stable and after a couple of laps I managed a 1.22.1 lap which was in fact equal to my PB from early last year. I had another go before lunch and could only do a 1.22.3. Consistent but not quite quick enough.

Waiting on the grid - 2015

After some pizza (the traditional luncheon of champion drivers) I tried again but was back in the 1.23s and decided that I used the best of the tyres, the track condition and my concentration levels.

The flying #48 Kyron Audio Porsche GT3 - 2015

So I packed up and went home, pretty happy with day and confident that I can build on this current benchmark. The car ran faultlessly and thanks to the Fitzgerald Racing Services team and Robin for their support on the day.

PCV Sprint at Winton Raceway

The highlights? A PB on the Long and Short tracks. Not special times mind, but heading in the right direction. More details to come.

Taking service - 2015

Winton is a super little track and as usual the Club ran the Long Course in the morning and the Short Course (actually the original layout) in the afternoon.

The rig at the Comfort Inn, Benalla - 2015

Food is always a highlight in Benalla and surrounds.

Scaloppine with La Zona Arneis at Georgina;s, Prosecco at Dal Zotto's Winery & breakfast at the Art Gallery - 2015

PCV GT3 Register Run to Trofeo Estate

The first Porsche Club of Victoria GT3/RS/RSR Register event I had planned for this year was a breakfast run to the Whispering Vines Cafe at Trofeo Estate Winery in Dromana on Sunday May 31. With the support of Chris Mason and Robin Humphries we chose the venue, planned the route and developed the maps and detailed run notes. So all good so far until the weekend weather forecast came out. Oh dear… On the Thursday prior a member rang me from Albury and was worried that the weather would be too bad to make the trip down worthwhile. I gave whatever meek assurances I could that the planned roads had never flooded to my knowledge and it will be a great day with the fellowship of Porsche drivers and that we would enjoy a fabulous breakfast at the end. A rumour was also circulating that there was an email hook-up between three GT3 owner / drivers a day or so before to lay out contingency vehicle selection plans for the Sunday should the weather be as feared. And without any further correspondence, all implemented their Plan B! How weak were we, sorry, I meant they….

Sunday dawned clear, windy but very cold. Nineteen folks in ten cars duly met at Dandenong, (with one car meeting us at Hastings), all on time or early (thank you) so with minimal fuss and fanfare we were on our way on schedule at 8 AM. And congratulations to Colin and Vince for actually having the courage to attend in their splendid GT3s (and later to Sven for bringing his superb 993 RSCS).

The first part of the route was a highway touring stage to the Hastings Marina for a rest stop and photo op. We made great time due to the drivers utilising the great traction of the Porsche
marque and demolishing the exits of the eight or nine roundabouts on route while still staying inside the speed limits.

Group Shot
The obligatory group photo (it was cold!) - 2015

Then we were off to the cafe for breakfast driving through some interesting and undulating roads across the Mornington Peninsula. Due to the relatively early start, we were into the meat of the run by about 9.00 AM and we had an almost traffic free outing, able to maintain an enjoyable pace while taking in the lovely late autumn scenery and vistas that the Peninsula has to offer.

Some minor navigational challenges were encountered but all cars arrived at the venue within minutes of the appointed time. Due to a logistics failure at the interim stop, the rest rooms were a popular first point of call!

Our long table of twenty (and a half!) quickly raised the dB levels in the room once the coffee / teas / juices were served. They were followed by fruit, granola and yoghurt. All seemed to be going well when the toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato and grilled mushroom platters arrived accompanied by some tasty baked beans. The conversation lulled a little while the group tucked in.

Ready for the food - Photo by Julie Mason

Common feedback from attendees on the day indicated that they enjoyed the breakfast / brunch format which avoided weekend traffic as much as feasible. This made the drives a little shorter than the typically longer lunch runs leaving more time in the day for other activities either in the touring area or back at home.

Porsche & Vines - Photo by Julie Mason

Many thanks to Linley & Helen,Vince & Phil, Ken & Barbara, Robin, Chris & Julie, Fred & Monika, Susette (with extra thanks for making the effort from Albury), Colin & Margot, Michael & Judy, Kane & Douglas and Sven (& Sven Jnr) for attending and contributing to a most enjoyable morning.

then the rain came!

Changes to the tow rig

As much as I enjoy driving the Cayenne as my everyday road car, there was one issue I needed to get fixed to make it a more user-friendly tow vehicle. And that is the the addition of a rear view camera. Of course it is useful to navigate the beast in small city parking lots, but I really wanted it to be able to easily line up the tow bar on the car with the ball on the trailer, turning it into a one-person job.

After some research I visited the good folks at Freeway Car Audio in Dandenong who quickly found a solution that integrated the display into the existing PCM screen and gave a clear view of the tow ball. The job was promptly scheduled (with a home pick up and delivery service I might add) and completed as planned with no fuss or bother at all. Great job!

Very neat, very functional - 2015

The other change to the tow rig was not to the car but to the trailer. A few DNFs had us concerned about the usability of the portable 'PullZall' winch we previously bought plus there was nowhere to store my second set of wheels with slicks attached. Plus a spare or two. So again after some searching and discussion we went ten kilometres down the road to Transmend Panels in Somerville for a custom tyre rack and integrated winch (with battery backup and a wired and wireless remote control) to be added to the existing Featherlite trailer.

The chief designer, engineer and co-owner Phil did some research online, sketched out a design and fabricated the uprights and racks in house and the winch and rack installation looks first rate.

Again nice work - 2015

Although Robin is often around and willing to help (as are club members at the track), if I can be self-sufficient in loading the trailer and car without the need for external support the more comfortable I will be to venture further afield and do so more often with the 'big rig'. I just need to sharpen up my trailer reversing skills now…

My next outing the Queens Birthday long weekend at Winton and I looking to both the racing and enjoying the news mods.

A day out with the 4S

The weather here has been a little average recently but a brief sunny spell was enough to get the coupe out. It needed a quick wash then off to enjoy the sunshine and take in a lovely lunch with friends. It also seemed too good a photo opportunity to let slip.


PCV Phillip Island Sprint

The 2015 PCV competition season officially kicked off at the fabulous Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, February 1.

Now my car is back, I have had a couple of practice runs and am starting to feel a bit more confident and I was looking forward to maybe even challenging my PB time.

IMG_4888 (1)
Trailered-up and ready to go 2015

Although the drive down was sometimes through heavy rain, the circuit was dry to start off, and the day was not impacted by weather at all.

Trying to manage my tyre warm-ups and pressures a little differently after my most recent tyre failure, the first session saw me out with plenty of pressure and not a lot of grip as the car became more difficult to drive over the course of the session. I then fixed the pressures for the second session and my best time came down to a somewhat sensible level as a starting point. Sadly, over three more sessions for the day, I didn't improve, in fact I got progressively slower. Maybe the tyres have had it. Maybe the driver has also!

So the positive was I got five full sessions of driving, and the car went back on the trailer under it's own steam and in one piece. I just need some more pace, and that will involve some driver training. Bring it on!

Waiting on the grid - Photo by Robin Humphries 2015