The Porsche File Porsche-o-phile

PCV Sprint - Winton

One of the highlights of our competition / social year is the three hour trip up the Hume highway to have an extended Queens Birthday long weekend in June in the delightful country town of Benalla. Benalla is of course the closest town to the Winton Motor Raceway where the weekends track action will happen. As always our base is the Comfort Inn Motel, just a short stroll from the centre of town. Most importantly it is Porsche race car friendly with plenty of room for trailers and cars all safely stored off street and out of sight.

In convoy with our friends, the Masons we arrived mid Thursday with Chris discovering the right rear tyre on his GT3 running at 10 psi. Yikes! . With a Test & Tune Day scheduled for Friday and no R-spec 18 inch Dunlop tyres in Benalla he was at risk of missing out. Some frantic phone calls to son James, who was planning to drive his new (for him) 997 911 up on early Friday, pleading with him to source two new tyres for Dad and pop them in the back seat for the drive up! Nice effort by James over & above the work he was doing to get his own car ready for the day.

Greg & Winton Start / Finish Line - Photo by Julie Mason 2011

Friday dawned very cold but clear and dry. After a bakery breakfast we headed to the track (via Beaurepaires in Chris's case to have his tyres fitted and balanced) to prepare for an exciting test day. Plenty of sedans on the track were making fast progress tricky. Unfortunately, worse was to come for me. After a pleasant first 20 minute session, nearing the end of my second run the throttle jammed open and I nearly rear ended a BMW M3 under braking as I was approaching the very tricky left hand Turn 9. See short video below. After being towed back to the pits, a number of Porsche boffins stared into the engine bay of my stricken GT3, comparing my throttle position to Chris's, when wife Robin piped up and said 'I can fix this!'. Mmmm. After grabbing a very large screwdriver and with a couple of 'pokes' at the throttle body it released back to it's normal position. A miracle? Saint Robin? Great work subsequently confirmed by the NinePlus techies.

In between the track events, we had a fantastic day touring the King Valley Wineries as part of their food and wine festival. The best wine of the day was the Dell Zotto Arneis, an oily complex dry white which I am sure would be even better with food than pinot grigio / gris. We all lunched at Politini Winery on a delightful selection of italian treats well supported by a guest guitarist and the winery patriarch playing piano accordion most energetically. Bellisimo!

Greg in Turn 3 - Photo by Julie Mason 2011

On the official runs on Sunday, I did not match my personal best time, being about a second and a bit slower, but I was generally happy with my pace and consistency. I didn't really get a series of clean laps when the track was at it's best so I wasn't too unhappy at the end of the weekend. After the throttle issues on Friday, the car ran perfectly all day. One interesting moment was when a fellow competitor spun in front of me and in the dust I had no idea where to go until the dust settled. See below.

On the social front, we all enjoyed Georgina's, Raffetys and the North Eastern Hotel as wonderful places to eat and relax after a hard day's racing or winery touring. The food, service, wine lists and 'country' pricing make for a most satisfactory dining experience.

Art Galery

Although I had not entered for the day, we had to go the DECA Driver Training Facility at Shepparton for the PCV Motor-kana event as Robin was Clerk-of-Course for the day. The format was runs on the short & long road courses in the morning, alternating with a motor-kana course around the cones on the slippery (but thankfully dry) concrete skid-pan. After an enjoyable catered BBQ lunch, it was back to the skid-pan for a head-to-head motor-kana event.

DECA Shepparton layout (Source - DECA website)

What a great event for spectators!

Robin & Marshalls
Robin instructing her faithful team of volunteers - 2011

I have uploaded some photos of the morning skid pan session to Flickr here. All in all, a fantastic weekend. Again.