Judd Blunk is the Regional Manager for Porsche here and he covers a lot of ground supervising the activities of 16 locations throughout the Midwest. A busy man. But he gave me a little time and we discussed Porsche’s past, present (in this case, the Porsche Sport Driving School) and the future (I’m sworn to secrecy). hint—HYBRIDS.
With Porsche since 1984, he’s seen the tough times of sports car sales, and the good-going -to-better times as the economy starts to turn around. Busy all day, he rubbed elbows, tightened helmet straps, and made everyone at the Porsche school feel welcome, Porsche owner or not.
I had managed to get invited (begging will get you everywhere) to the Porsche Driving School at the Autobahn Country Club, July 13th . Northern Trust Celebration of Speed had brought up the Porsche driving instructors from Birmingham, Alabama, to instruct for the day, allowing participants to drive Cayman, 911, Panamera, and others, on both the road course and an autocross.
Giving credit where due, top honors in the autocross went to:
- Dave Nawrocki from Dimostra Automuseo in the morning session
- Martin Hancock in the afternoon.
- I tied for last with the little blind girl with the seeing eye dog.
A truly wonderful event with a good deal of track time for everyone, the event ended with hot laps with the instructors driving.
From the Porsche Sport Driving School Website:
“Definitely not for the faint of heart, the Porsche Sport Driving School offers to all who dare to rise to the challenge, the opportunity to live their automotive fantasy. You will pilot the latest Porsche models; Carrera, Carrera S, Boxster, Cayman and Cayenne S and experience the incomparable Porsche 911 Turbo.”
“Perfecting the most efficient driving line, the importance of being smooth, trail braking techniques, heel/toe downshifting and refining your car control skills are all part of the curriculum…”
So I won’t get emails;
- yes–the Porsche Sport Driving School is really in Birmingham, Alabama
- yes–it is suppose to be one of the premier tracks in the US with the largest motorcycle museum in the world
- yes–it is the only official Porsche driving school in the US
I’m plugging this school, or at least the experience because,
- no matter what you drive, you’ll probably come out a much better driver, and
- because all of the instructors where so damned nice and ridiculously enthusiastic about showing one a good time.
If this is only a taste of the real school, I’m headed to Birmingham sometime next spring.
Also at the track, The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum features over 1200 vintage and modern motorcycles and racing cars. Considered the largest motorcycle museum in the world, the bikes date from 1904 to present day, and there are about 600 of the 1200 motorcycles on display at any given time. As well, it houses the largest collection of Lotus race cars in the world.
See you on down the road,