The chance to indulge in a day behind the wheel of a current model Porsche 911 GT3 on an unrestricted racetrack is surely one that most driving enthusiasts would jump at with great gusto. If this sounds like you, then such an opportunity can be yours thanks to the Porsche Sport Driving School. Okay, a fee of around $2000 might cut the number of willing participants back somewhat—but is this a small price to pay to sample motoring nirvana, or is Porsche just having a lend?
Lucklily for you a couple of AUSmotive readers recently took on the burden of answering this question for your benefit. Below is a report from one of the guys who went along…
Porsche Australia Sport Driving School – 2010 GT3 Experience
To date, my only experience with Porsche have been limited to a few drives in a 997 Carrera S. So when the opportunity to drive the new 2010 GT3 presented itself, I did not need much convincing.
The day was organised by Porsche Australia’s Sport Driving School and was held in Queensland Raceway (QR). The format of the day involved three cars, servicing 12 drivers plus three instructors. As participants, we were promised 20 laps around QR, but what was unknown till the day was how much freedom we would have as drivers.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover that out of the 20 laps, only the first five involved mandatory instructor input. As an added bonus on the day, we were each given an additional five laps, including a hot lap from the instructors in both the GT3 and Panamera. The day comprised of four sessions. The morning started with five initial laps with an instructor, followed by another five solo. After lunch we had another two sessions of 10 and five laps respectively.
The instructors included the driving school’s chief instructor Tomas Mezera, Warren Luff and Scott Jacobs. While the mandatory safety briefing was covered, the emphasis on the day was for total freedom and enjoyment to experience the GT3 in its element. To reinforce this message, no limits had been defined and drivers were not required to wear helmets.
The cars themselves were almost fully optioned (with the exception of PCM) clubsport models (half cage and harness etc), with the highlight being the inclusion of Porsche’s newly revised ceramic brakes. Since so much has already been written about the car by professionals, I will not even contemplate delving to any great detail. What I can say is that driving this car on a racetrack is an absolutely exciting and intense experience.
The car did everything it said it would on the packaging, ie. “track car”. What caught me off-guard was how surprisingly easy it was to drive fast (or what seemed fast). Turn in at speed is confidence-inspiring. The steering is nicely weighted and the shift is short and positive. I particularly liked the GT3’s power delivery, while strong and progressive, it was never violent. Having said that, you still have to be judicious in your throttle application as you exit a corner in a car like this. Another aspect I marvelled at was the balance of the car and the feedback you received as a driver. The GT3 felt very predictable around QR’s bump-riddled corners even with the Sport button switched on (switching the PASM to firm).
With the exception of no seat height adjustment due to the race seat configuration, everything seemed to fall into place quite well. For a small individual, I was also surprised at how snug and comfortable the race seats were. I just wonder how larger individuals would fare with this kit.
Overall it was a very enjoyable and rewarding day. Mr Mezera’s team did wonderful job to ensure that the drivers and cars ran as smoothly as possible. What made the day even more worth while was knowing the fact that we were able to drive the car without having to complete the standard three requisite driving levels that the Driving School conducts before being qualified to drive their GT3s.
If you ever get the opportunity to drive a GT3 on a track, I strongly suggest you grab it with both hands and never look back.
– Eddie M