My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi
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Thread: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

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    My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    INTRO

    A story about GT3 RS's, GT3s, turbo's, one GT4 and every other 991 & 981 model under the sun along with one 997 GT2 and one 997 GT3... all met at Porsche Driving School @ Yas Marina Circuit Abu Dhabi in the UAE. I was there to get certified for Precision. I'll humor you through with few surprises that took place during the event to get you laugh before I break your heart with an accident that struck a masterpiece of engineering.


    THE SCHEDULE

    It's a one day class from 8:00 to 17:00. But I was there for two days (Feb 12 & 13). First day I got certified and the next day I attended with my friend who was driving my car for his certificate. In summary, at 8:00 am we got to sign few papers as we enjoyed coffee and breakfast. Then at 8:30 an interactive presentation began between the instructor and us for 30 minutes summarizing what we'll practice in the morning session. At 9:00 am we start our engines as we get divided into four groups, each group consists of four cars.

    My group consisted of one 991 turbo S, my 991 turbo non-S, 991 GT3 and a GT4. The GT4 driver has a 991 GT3 and a 991 turbo S. Believe it or not, his favorite is the turbo then the GT4 then the GT3! The GT3 attendant has a Speciale' too. His favorite is the Ferrari. The turbo S driver, I don't know what else he has. Our instructor was driving a yellow Cayman GTS.

    We started with the Slalom. We were only allowed to do it only in the GTS. It was my first time to do a slalom test. Man, I was terribly bad... just like everybody else in the group except the GT4 driver who was a pro.

    Then we did the hard braking test. To me it was boring but my turbo had the best braking distance vs. the GT3 and GT4. The use of this test was to teach us that the ABS works and saves us under hard braking even as we jerk the steering to turn, for the car doesn't lose control.

    Then we went to the Skid Lane... tons of fun. We got to enjoy skidding the car in a very controlled environment testing it with PSM on and off. I walked out knowing the PSM helps a lot (that I knew) but doesn't do magic when the traction between the tires and pavement gets minimal... silly me, I thought it does, based on the theory I kept in my head for it never failed me before.

    Then we went to the Skid Pad to show us the difference between understeer and oversteer. Silly, right? Almost every driver in the morning presentation didn't know what each stands for. So, now they knew! However, holding oversteering on a small diameter roundabout made of cones... nobody could do it except the GT4. We were told there are specialized courses called G-Force that we can learn at Porsche School to master drifting.

    Lunch break followed by 30 minutes presentation about track orientation. We started our engines with guided drives by the instructors on the track to learn how/where/when to brake and the Apex Line. I say that was the most helpful for me. While the PDK, PDCC, 4WD, 4WS and PSM always gave me confidence that I don't need to follow said rules, I experienced firsthand how my tires lost grip after few laps for not following the Alex Line. Almost two hours guided track laps with the instructor of each group leading his own and educating us through crystal clear voice on the walky-talky.


    THE RACE

    Afterwards, the instructors remained in the pit and unleashed two groups together onto the track with few seconds interval in between every two cars. First two laps I started mastering what I learned as I kept closing the gap between me and a red turbo S ahead of me till I took over him. Afterwards I became worried for he was on my tail and the thought of him braking late scared the hell out of me. So I kept building speed on corners and getting further from him till I saw a trio of a Lava Orange RS in the lead and a black 991 GT3 and a white 991 turbo S. That moment I didn't want anything other than getting ahead of the RS.

    I got Low Fuel alert, and I thought of getting back to the pit... the thought of abandoning the chase depressed me. But I kept telling myself, we all ought to be running out of fuel at the same time since we started our day with full tanks. So I kept going, taking over one after another till the RS remained ahead of me. I knew as I was closing in that he's within reach but I was worried to run out of time or fuel before I frame him in my rearview mirror... and man, what a feeling when I did!!!

    I began screaming with excitement. A whole lap and a quarter lap with him in my rearview mirror before I saw the Checkered Flag announcing a cooling lap. That was when he hit his hazard button announcing he's slowing down. And I yelled "Hey Siri" calling my friend to announce my victory... what a feeling!

    Got back to the pit and saw my instructor. I asked him, you didn't watch the circuit, did you? You don't know what happened, do you? He claimed he did watch, but I doubt. And when I told him what happened, he said the tower alerted him that there's a crazy driver on the loose. I laughed, and said "I wish". But I don't think he watched or heard. All drivers I passed were kind enough to approach me expressing their admiration... all but the RS driver who ignored my presence completely as if I was invisible to him till the end of the day. At 16:00 we filled the survey report, had a ceremony, had a group picture and got our certificate along with a gift bag. But that victory made my day and I took it with me to bed along with wonderful memories from the event.


    THE FUNNY INCIDENTS

    Let's start with me, honestly I thought the PSM is a magic button. And the car will remain in its lane at any speed with no concerns of losing grip on any surface... silly me.

    A Porsche 918 Spyder was registered for the course but didn't show up... Overslept!

    A Carrera GT showed up very late after missing the morning session. And in the afternoon, it was driven on track like a Camry during the guided track drive only. You can imagine the disgust of the instructors.

    A 997 GT2 attended the course driven by a friend of its owner. The owner happened to be Porsche dealer's son who don't know how to drive it, therefore asked his friend to do so!!!! If I was a dealer's son, I'd hire world racing champions to teach me to drive with tons of money under my disposal.

    The two Ultra Violet GT3 RS refused to continue the Skid Pad session, suspended their training for the track only in the afternoon. Why? It's everybody's guess. The instructors were puzzled and disappointed. Could be because they didn't want to get their beasts wet.

    One GT3 RS Ultra Violet and one GT3 RS Lava Orange abandoned the course before the track session! Why? Nobody knows... they just quit and left.

    A beautifully spec'ed Sapphire Blue GT3 owner refused to do Launch Control in his beast. And his response was the only button he'd trigger in a GT3 is the Sport Exhaust Button!!! SERIOUSLY?!!! I felt so disgusted from him that very second and ignored his presence all day afterwards.

    Almost everybody never did Launch Control in their Porsches, ever. And they were asking how can it be done!!!

    Some drivers didn't know what ABS Brake is.

    Almost everybody kept asking about the difference between Understeer and Oversteer, all day long! And we thought Lambo owners are posers!!!

    Some of the instructors were Porsche employees and others were freelancers. None would get discounts on any Porsche from the factory. Their answer was, "Porsche is from the most thrifty part in Germany. That's why it's the most profitable company."

    The instructors were very diplomatic receiving jokes about the engine is in the wrong side of the car and comparing Porsche to other brands... I was the troublemaker making such comments and jokes. And they were kind to laugh and joke along.


    HEARTBREAKING ACCIDENT

    A Lava Orange GT3 RS, did hit a barrier on the track losing the bumper, driver's side fender, door and mirror. You can imagine the impact of such news on everybody on the track... It was devastating.


    CONCLUSION

    After two days on the track, my set of tires melted after only 1500 km on them. And my brakes have 45% lifetime remaining... I need a sponsor. P9/Ken, do you hear me?

    The turbo understeers like a pig, much on the track.

    The Apex Line is a must to maintain grip without over-heating the tires and the brakes. But correct me if I'm wrong, one doesn't follow the Apex Line to overtake others before turns. Right?

    GT3s turned to be no match on track to the turbo. Even on Time Attack track days it races vs the GT4. That was news to me. The turbo / S is in the same category with the RS as per the organizers.

    Till today, seriously, every night I dream of the RS, every night while sleeping. What a beauty to look at and what a glory... to overtake.


    PICTURES
    Some pictures can be found here
    Http://Instagram.com/Hassaan.Abdeen

    VIDEO
    Last edited by HassaanAbdeen; 02-24-2016 at 05:20 AM. Reason: added a video
    "Remember, it only took Marty Mcfly 88mph to travel through time in the DeLorean! I would hate for you to accidentally land in a time without petrol!" ...JB

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    WOWWW. I felt the adrenaline as you described the race. And that RS driver, sore loooooser

    While the PDKWhile the PDK, PDCC, 4WD, 4WS and PSM always gave me confidence that I don't need to follow said rules, I experienced firsthand how my tires lost grip after few laps for not following the Alex Line., PDCCWhile the PDK, PDCC, 4WD, 4WS and PSM always gave me confidence that I don't need to follow said rules, I experienced firsthand how my tires lost grip after few laps for not following the Alex Line., 4WD, 4WS and PSM always gave me confidence that I don't need to follow said rules, I experienced firsthand how my tires lost grip after few laps for not following the Alex Line.
    You didnt just say that.

    And all those incidents, damn. Few things I hate more than posers who don't drive their cars. Afraid to do LC in an RS!! Why the hell would he reserve an allocation slot then :/

    The Apex Line is a must to maintain grip without over-heating the tires and the brakes. But correct me if I'm wrong, one doesn't follow the Apex Line to overtake others before turns. Right?
    It really depends. First off, you can sometimes take an early or late apex depending on the exit you want. Secondly, in overtaking, there is "inside" and "outside" overtake. In the inside overtake you try to brake later and take the inside of the corner so that you block your opponent. It kind of screws up your corner but you gain a position.
    Outside overtake is much more difficult, you need to be much faster and overtake your opponent while he is inside the corner and you are on the outside. Not an easy or common manoeuvre.

    I loved this!! DO they have rentals in case I wanna come by? Or do I have to ship my car over?


    "Sir! We're surrounded!" - "Excellent! We can shoot in any direction!"

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    Nitro,
    The one who refused to do LC was a 991 GT3 owner, not RS. But I hated him for that and he lost my respect.

    As for participating, they don't provide cars but you can rent them from Car Rentals in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. All participants however brought theirs.

    It was an expensive experience nevertheless, whether from the upfront fees and shipping costs or aftermath costs for brakes and tires.
    "Remember, it only took Marty Mcfly 88mph to travel through time in the DeLorean! I would hate for you to accidentally land in a time without petrol!" ...JB

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    Great post Haassan. You certainly appear to have enjoyed yourself.

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    A worthwhile expense for the knowledge and memories gained. Also interesting how that course flushed out the posers. I would bet the same result would occur here in the States. Congrats though on your clear field of view and and car cluttered rearview mirror in the end! You must be a very good driver now.

    You didn't say, but was each car fitted with a camera, or was there a drone in the sky filling your race so that you could all go home with a film of your driving? If not, you should suggest that.

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    Thanks for posting this. :-)

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    Oh and my take away is
    GT4 = Top notch pros
    GT3 = quitters :-P

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    Quote Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
    You didn't say, but was each car fitted with a camera, or was there a drone in the sky filling your race so that you could all go home with a film of your driving? If not, you should suggest that.
    There were no drones. Only a cameraman and a couple of GoPros by the instructors. The pictures we received few days later. The GoPro videos still didn't surface.
    "Remember, it only took Marty Mcfly 88mph to travel through time in the DeLorean! I would hate for you to accidentally land in a time without petrol!" ...JB

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    My favorite video clip:
    My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    And here's a shot of my tires temperature at the end of the track day:
    My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi
    "Remember, it only took Marty Mcfly 88mph to travel through time in the DeLorean! I would hate for you to accidentally land in a time without petrol!" ...JB

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    Wet skidpad looks like fun, and enlightening too as to point of no return once traction is lost. Nice, safe environment to experience and learn that as opposed to real world conditions.

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    wow hassaan that looks like fun... looks like you got to try out the classic back overtakes the front manoeuvre

    sounds like some of those who bought the cars bought so purely on reputation without enjoying the car.
    however don't jump to conclusions - for example if I had semi slicks on - i wouldn't take it on the skid pad anyways.....

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeofthetiger View Post
    wow hassaan that looks like fun... looks like you got to try out the classic back overtakes the front manoeuvre

    sounds like some of those who bought the cars bought so purely on reputation without enjoying the car.
    however don't jump to conclusions - for example if I had semi slicks on - i wouldn't take it on the skid pad anyways.....
    I'll tell you this, there's nothing under God's sun -hyper cars excluded- that is better looking than the 991 GT3 RS. No Ferrari or Lambo is as exotic. Having six at the track that day, 2 GT Silver, 2 Lava Orange and 2 Ultra Violet was erotic.
    "Remember, it only took Marty Mcfly 88mph to travel through time in the DeLorean! I would hate for you to accidentally land in a time without petrol!" ...JB

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    As per our PAG instructors that day, one claimed "Porsche produced:
    2000 991 GT3
    6000 991 GT3 RS

    all because of the 3.8 engine problem."

    Now, would that mean the 911R will have 4.0? It's everybody's guess.
    "Remember, it only took Marty Mcfly 88mph to travel through time in the DeLorean! I would hate for you to accidentally land in a time without petrol!" ...JB

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    VIDEO

    "Remember, it only took Marty Mcfly 88mph to travel through time in the DeLorean! I would hate for you to accidentally land in a time without petrol!" ...JB

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    Re: My Porsche Driving Experience @ Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

    Quote Originally Posted by HassaanAbdeen View Post
    VIDEO

    Nice but MORE GT4 CONTENT PLEASE!
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