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mid life crisis
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third stage
second stage
Review Of My Porsche Driving Experiences
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My best friend as he describes himself is going through a mid-life crisis. While his mid-life crisis was not my obsession at the time, however; after getting up close and personal with several 2011Porsche's, it has created a life changing obsessive experience for me which has resulted in a review of my Porsche Driving experiences.

To satisfy his mid-life crisis, my friend, has chosen to pursue the perfect automotive toy. My friend, was beginning the exploratory process at the local Porsche dealership. The dealer extended an invitation to my friend and by extension to myself to participate in the 2011 Porsche Sports Drive. Please understand I am not an engineer and I could not tell you what engine was in each of these very fine sports car but I know that this a remarkable vehicle.

Consequently, this review of my Porsche driving experience will not be laden with automotive jargon that only an engineer will appreciate but is a reflection of the sensation and exhiliration I experienced. There is a good reason for not attempting to be technical because as my wife will tell you I am the least mechanical person she has ever met but there are some advantages to this tactic because it automatically opts me out of a lot of honey-dos.

Porsche Driving Experience

The driving experience had three testing stages to fully test and drive these magnificent machines. The first testing area was an actual road course similar to a Gran Prix course with tight "S" curves to test the handling, responsiveness, and acceleration. The second stage was a straight course to test the acceleration and braking efficiency. Finally, the third stage was a straight course that required a quick lane change at highway speeds designed to test acceleration, manuverability, and braking.

Each stage had three different Porsche models to test and each participant drove each vehicle at each testing stage. My initial impression was that the sport driving instructors would be driving and the guests would be passengers but to my surprise we actually did drive each of the Porsche's after a brief orientation.

The Gran Prix course had a Porsche 911, a Caymen, and a Boxster. The driving instructor sat in the passenger seat and briefed me on the car and the course. During the first pass the instructor verbally guided me through the course to ensure that I attacked the curves, bends, and straight aways efficiently. During the second pass you were encouraged to drive the car aggressively but with the assurance of having the instructor prompt you so that you could get the most out of this experience.

As you might imagine the thrills of driving grew exponentially. I started with the Boxster and then drove the Caymen and finally finished off with the legendary Porsche 911. It was absolutely amazing how responsive and manuverable these cars are on this tight course. They never swayed or spun out but remained true to the course being steered. As I drove each successive car the horsepower increased and my adrenalin went off the chart as I accelerated through the tight curves.

The second stage Porsche cars were a 911, a Cayenne, and a Panamera. In this stage the instructions were to accelerate the car from a dead start as fast as possible to a designated spot then slam on the brakes. While the rate of acceleration varied for each vehicle because of the size or weight the one constant that each displayed was unbelievable braking ability. I am not sure how fast I was going but the Porsche's never nose-dived, fish-tailed, or swayed. Remarkable brake engineering with complete command of the car. Never once was I concerned about my ability to stop the car; I developed complete confidence that it would stop safely during any type of emergency stop.

During the third stage and I must admit this one concerned me the most because it required a simulated lane change at highway speeds. The scenario described by the instructor was you are traveling down a highway and a large object falls off the vehicle in front of you. At this point you have to execute a quick lane change and make an emergency stop. Sounds simple enough but to add some reality to this situation, cones were set up to provide the lane I was driving in and cones were set up to configure the lane that you had to make the quick lane change into.

Once again, the instructor encourages me to accelerate the car as fast as I can from a dead start. When you punch a Porsche there is an instant reaction and the car hurtles down the track at an unbelieveable rate. As you approach the designated spot for the lane change you slowly back off the gas pedal while simultaneously making the lane change and then slam on the brakes once you have cleared the turn.

Once the car quickly stops all I can say is, that's what I'm talking about. I am all excited and pumped up. I look over at my friend for validation and I notice some concern because he knows he next. This was an excellent lesson in speed, manuverability, and braking. At this point I am so fired up I am ready to go and buy a Porsche but reality and common sense thankfully takeover. I don't know how I could explain to my wife why it was a good idea to spend my son's college education fund on a Porsche!

Now just when I thought I had finished living the dream, the instructors had one more surprise in store. The suprise was I would ride with an instructor on the Gran Prix course. Now this was truly cool. They blasted off from a dead start and drove the Porsche through those "S" curves like they stole it. I was still excited a week after the 2011 Porsche Sports Drive and now everytime I see one on the road I have fond memories of this experience.

The review of my Porsche driving experiences is truly difficult to put into words and I try to suppress my new mid-life crisis. I highly recommend to anyone if you have a chance to test a Porsche in a seting like this to not even think twice about it. Just do it. This was truly an experience of lifetime and I offer a tip of my hat to Porsche.


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