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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anyone here attended the Porsche Driving school and care to put in their 2-cents?

$3K can buy a lot of DE seat time (or a trip to the 2010 Montreal F1 race ;) )

 

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I was considering it myself, in a two day so over 3k I think.
 

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Ugh, you're right, I had the $2K number burned in my head for years ago when I first looked it at. I'll edit my post...

I was considering it myself, in a two day so over 3k I think.
 

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I attended the Performance 2 day class earlier this month. Let me know if you have any specific questions. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone new or intereted in learning how to drive on track. I wished the program was a bit more advanced but that's my only complaint. You have a mix of people with and without experience. I still learned a lot but the track sessions were relatively tame.

The Barber Motorsports facility is incredible. It's individually owned property and he has built a truly world class experience. Don't mis the museum. The track is great. Short straights and a lot of technical twists and turns.

The instructors are the real deal. True pro drivers with long and diverse careers. I am considering going back mainly because I was so impressed with the quality of the instructors.

Is it worth the $$ ? I have no regrets. If you have track experience, which I know you do, try to convince them into letting you in the Masters program. They wouldn't for me but I didn't really push.
 

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Just do it! This was one of the best experiences that I have had with Porsche.The instructors are the absolute best. I'm going back for the Masters class asap!
 

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I can only comment on the Porsche driving schools in Germany. I've attended the Precision and the Performance courses at Leipzig. Both were outstanding! The overall "Porsche Experience" was great. My wife attended the "women's only" course in Baden Baden this summer and also loved it. A bit expensive? Yes - but Porsche does a great job with their events!
 

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Hey Pete,

Her987CS and I are going to be at PSDS the week of Dec 7th. We are both very excited about the upcoming experence. When we return, I'll post back here, and provide what details I can about how it went for us.

Mark
 

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I've been to both the 2-day advanced school in 2001 when it was at Sebring, and the 2-day masters school in 2003 at Barber in Alabama. They pack a ton into two days at the advanced (now called the "performance" school), and it is a lot of fun. The instructors are the best, and the atmosphere as great. You'll learn a lot. Now, is it worth the money vs. $3K worth of DEs? Really depends on the caliber of instructors in your region and the quality of the track. The track at Barber is first class as is everything else during the two days. Remember, you also put the wear-and-tear on their cars, not yours.

On top of the $3k fee, you can buy insurance: "Each participant has a liability of $10,000, per occurrence, for damage to the car they are driving. We offer an opportunity to reduce your deductible from $10,000 to $2,000. The additional insurance costs $100 per day."

I would highly recommend it, but if you have good region instructors, and some good tracks, $3K buys a lot of seat time, as you said.

brad
 

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I've been to both the 2-day advanced school in 2001 when it was at Sebring, and the 2-day masters school in 2003 at Barber in Alabama. They pack a ton into two days at the advanced (now called the "performance" school), and it is a lot of fun. The instructors are the best, and the atmosphere as great. You'll learn a lot. Now, is it worth the money vs. $3K worth of DEs? Really depends on the caliber of instructors in your region and the quality of the track. The track at Barber is first class as is everything else during the two days. Remember, you also put the wear-and-tear on their cars, not yours.

On top of the $3k fee, you can buy insurance: "Each participant has a liability of $10,000, per occurrence, for damage to the car they are driving. We offer an opportunity to reduce your deductible from $10,000 to $2,000. The additional insurance costs $100 per day."

I would highly recommend it, but if you have good region instructors, and some good tracks, $3K buys a lot of seat time, as you said.

brad
Hey Brad,

We have SF insurance, do you think we should get the additional $100.00/day insurance that PSDS offers?

Mark
 

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Hey Brad,

We have SF insurance, do you think we should get the additional $100.00/day insurance that PSDS offers?

Mark
You should read your policy in detail and/or check with your agent before you go to see if you would be covered for all or part of the deductible. To me, $100/day to reduce one's liability from $10k to $2k seems reasonable.

Some of the instructors from PSDS were out here at Spring Mountain for a dealer event a couple of weeks ago, and I had good chats with with pals Cass Whitehead, Chris Hall, John Lewis, and Christian Coggins - all great guys and great instructors.

Say "hi" to Kathleen for me... and I hope you both have a lot of fun - I know you will.

brad
 

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Hi Brad!

We have read our policy and I have called our agent; their read on this is we are covered as long as the driving school is a "closed course" and you are "not" racing. I am still a little uncomfortable so I will personally visit the agent tomorrow, but that said, something really radical would have to persuade us from not taking the additional coverage. Better safe than sorry.

Thanks for naming some of the instructors--we will take that list with us. Too bad you aren't on that list!

Is it too early to ask if you are attending the Chicago Parade in July?

Kathleen
 

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I'm not sure if those particular instructors will be there - I think there's 28 of them... Cass and Chris will, probably. Not sure about Parade next year... I'd like to hear more about the AX venue before I decide.

Have a good time in Birmingham...

brad
 

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Well Pete,

Her987CS and I are back from PSDS. The short version, “Over-the-Top and Off-the-Chain”. We really had a great time. We arrived in Birmingham on Tuesday afternoon to a rather inauspicious beginning. It was raining so hard that the pilot had to make three attempts at landing at the Birmingham airport before he was able to land. Then on the drive to the Ross Bridge Resort, there was a massive accident on the North bound side of I65. Fortunately we were heading south but even in the south bound lanes the traffic was just plain ugly.

Our class did not start until Thursday but we intentionally arrived a full day early because we were concerned about potential bad weather in December and we also wanted to have some time to look around the Birmingham area. On Wednesday we drove out to Barber Motorsport and spent some time in the museum. Five floors of 600+ motorcycles on display (there are over 1200 in the collection), along with many Lotus F1 and F2 racing machines and other rare collectables. At the end of the second day of the PSDS School they give you about thirty minutes to look around the museum, but we were glad that we took some extra time to have a look-see on our own. We easily spent two hours there and could have spent more time but needed to move on due to other engagements that day.

On Thursday morning we headed out to the PSDS facility and were treated to a very nice selection for a continental breakfast. The class room session started promptly at 8:00 and Brian Cunningham introduced everyone and lead us through the one hour class room session where high speed driving fundamentals were covered. As a side note one of the instructors was John Lewis. He has driven one of the Cayman Interseries cars and could not say enough good things about the car. (Brad, if you read this John says hi). We then broke up into four groups of four, and each group headed to one of the four different driving exercises (Basic Performance Car Handling, Skid Pad, AX, and Track). They are sensitive to the various levels of skills possessed by the students and make every effort to group folks of like skill sets. Kathleen and I being total rookies were placed in the same group which worked well for us. By the end of the first day we had cycled through all venues and spent a lot of time driving and learning not only our own capabilities, but the capabilities of the cars we were driving which varied across the entire line (Boxsters, Caymans, and Carreras). On the track we spent seat time in both PDK and manual Carreras. Although I am a diehard manual person, driving the PDKs allowed me to focus on things like turn-in, track-out and proper vision without worrying about proper gear selection. That night we dined with several of the instructors, discussing the day’s activities along with other topics.

On Friday it started again with an hour of classroom time followed by a full day of driving. The second day we took it up a notch and speeds increased at all venues. We did some heel-toe exercises and participated in a friendly timed competition between groups at the Skid Pad venue (three figure-eights in the least time) and the AX venue (a relay where each driver did three laps on the course with timed exchanges between drivers). We also all got to drive the new Panamera Turbo (Big Fun) at the handling venue. In the afternoon we got to drive a Cayenne off-road and did some amazing things with it. It was then back to the track to run more laps, but this time while being video taped. Everyone got to tape two full sessions (eight laps for each session). After that we did Hot Laps with the instructors driving in the Panamera and Cayenne (fastest grocery runs I have ever made), and finally a Carrera Turbo. These laps were extremely fast.

This was a great class and well worth the price of admission. The quality of the instruction is first class and the instructors genuinely want to work to make you a better driver. I would recommend PSDS to anyone wanting to AX, DE, or just improve their driving skills. I am already thinking about attending the Masters Program after I get some seat time practicing what I learned at the Performance Program.

Mark

Here are some pictures.

This one was in the Barber Museum:


The Panamera we drove:


In the track paddock:


Off-Road:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you for the detailed report!
 

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I was just talking to my wife yesterday about taking this course next summer but I'm now a little concerned they would be teaching things I already have learned. I've taken Skip Barbers 3 day racing and 2 day advance racing as well as 6 years of DE. Would $3k be money well spent or just a chance to drive other Porsche's on a new track?
 

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I was just talking to my wife yesterday about taking this course next summer but I'm now a little concerned they would be teaching things I already have learned. I've taken Skip Barbers 3 day racing and 2 day advance racing as well as 6 years of DE. Would $3k be money well spent or just a chance to drive other Porsche's on a new track?
Jayman,

They have a Masters 2 day class that might be more inline with your skill set. I am not sure what the qualifications to get into the Masters class are (i.e. do you need to attend the Performance Program before you can get into the Masters), but I know they are very willing to work with you. Call them and see.

Mark
 

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I was just talking to my wife yesterday about taking this course next summer but I'm now a little concerned they would be teaching things I already have learned. I've taken Skip Barbers 3 day racing and 2 day advance racing as well as 6 years of DE. Would $3k be money well spent or just a chance to drive other Porsche's on a new track?
Jayman - The Masters 2-day would probably still be redundant to your experience, although it might be fun, and the track is amazing - one of my favorites. IMO, there's always something to learn and the instructors are great, but I still think you probably have a higher skill set then a PSDS Masters course grad. If you do want to go anyway, they would require you to document your experience in the other schools (certificates, etc.). It's a good policy. I'm surprised at how many inexperienced people come to our racing school at Spring Mountain boasting of all their experience, and by lunch on the first day, it's apparent they don't have a clue. People seem to have a highly variable view of what constitutes "track experience."

brad
 

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Mark - Great report, I'm glad you and Kathleen had a great time. I'm also glad you had a chance to meet John Lewis, he's a great guy, and an amazing instructor.

brad
 

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Mark - Great report, I'm glad you and Kathleen had a great time. I'm also glad you had a chance to meet John Lewis, he's a great guy, and an amazing instructor.

brad
Brad - I am planning on sending you an email re PSDS with more info that will interest you since you've been there either today or tomorrow (I'm still catching up!). It really was an amazing time...

Kathleen
 

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Brad - I am planning on sending you an email re PSDS with more info that will interest you since you've been there either today or tomorrow (I'm still catching up!). It really was an amazing time...

Kathleen
Cool, I'm looking forward to it - but do catch-up first!

brad
 
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