CAinCA
CAinCA HalfDork
8/5/21 6:05 p.m.

My wife kept asking me what I wanted for my 50th birthday this year and I kept telling her I wanted a 981 Porsche Cayman S. On my birthday she patiently explained that since we'll have at least one child in college for the next 6 years that maybe it wasn't the best time for me to buy a money pit, er, used Porsche. Clearly I need to work on my powers of persuasion. So she didn’t buy me a Porsche but she did the next best thing. She sent my brother and I to the Porsche Experience Center in LA for a driving experience.  

We drove down and stayed in Redondo Beach on Wednesday night. Our appointment was 9AM Thursday morning so that we could hopefully avoid rush hour traffic on the way home. At the center we met with our instructor, he gave us a little prep talk and got us into our cars. We were about to head out when he let me know that my car had a chunked tire and not to get too comfortable. They wound up upgrading me to GTS 4.0 since they didn't have another S prepped.  I didn't argue.  ;^)

 

There are 7 different stations where you build up experience learning how the cars handle. At each station the instructor would demonstrate the exercise and then give us real time instruction and feedback via radio. The first three modules are on wetted epoxy coated concrete. They are designed to put the cars at the limit of traction at fairly low speeds. We started in low friction circle so we could get used to the way the cars handled at the edge of traction and our instructor worked with us on drifting. We were both moderately successful so we moved to the next station, the Kick Plate, where you drive straight and a steel plate kicks the rear end of the car in a random direction when you driver over it. You have to correct the spin and keep the car moving in the right direction in order to move on. That was actually a lot of fun. We moved to the ice hill where you drive down a slope then try to make a 180 turn at the bottom. We then hit the low friction handling course (an epoxy coated track sprinkled with flour) to get used to drifting the cars around a corner. The next module was a autoX type course with a slalom, sweeping turn, short straight and a chicane at the end. We also got to try launch mode a couple times. Launch mode in these cars is like the start of a roller coaster. The tires don't slip, the car just launches smoothly and plants your butt into the seat. By this point we had a decent feel for the cars so he took us out on their 1.3 mike handling circuit. We started doing laps at about 65% speed and worked our way up to 90% or so. By the end we doing some pretty fast laps on the tight course. Finally he took us on the 8/10th mile acceleration straight that has a copy of The Carousel at the end. After 90 minutes it was over. We were exhausted but we had a ton of fun. For those of you thinking about buying a P car I'd highly recommend it. 

 

Here's a little video of me working on drifting:

Cayman GTS Drift

by Chris Attebery, on Flickr

 

Some eye candy in the lobby:

CJA_1355

by Chris Attebery, on Flickr

 

CJA_1362

by Chris Attebery, on Flickr

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
8/5/21 7:42 p.m.

Very cool!  I'm guessing the radio instruction was because of covid (vs ridealong coaching). 

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
8/5/21 7:56 p.m.

That sounds like a fun and intense 90 minutes.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
8/5/21 8:19 p.m.

COOL,  I drive by there all the time ,,,but have only stopped a few times ,

Did you go across the freeway for a blimp ride :}

JimS
JimS Reader
8/6/21 12:03 a.m.

you,re only 50. Plenty of time. I was 71 when I got my first and present Porsche, a base 991 bought used. Awesome cars. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
8/6/21 12:35 a.m.

Thanks.  I was very curious what the experience was like.  

CAinCA
CAinCA HalfDork
8/6/21 1:12 p.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

I don't think so. You can have up to 6 people in a group. I think this is their standard operating proceedure.

CAinCA
CAinCA HalfDork
8/6/21 1:14 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

COOL,  I drive by there all the time ,,,but have only stopped a few times ,

Did you go across the freeway for a blimp ride :}

The second we were done we hopped on the freeway and headed North. We still hit quite a bit of traffic. 

CAinCA
CAinCA HalfDork
8/6/21 1:15 p.m.
JimS said:

you,re only 50. Plenty of time. I was 71 when I got my first and present Porsche, a base 991 bought used. Awesome cars. 

Thanks Jim. Some days it seems like a long way off and some days it seems like it's right around the corner. I don't want to be the old guy that can barely climb out of his Porsche every time he parks it.  ;^)

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
8/6/21 3:07 p.m.

Very cool and looks like you had good fun.

 

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