Porsche Experience Center

The Porsche facility is brand new, ultra modern, and obviously representative of the brand. The second level includes deck areas overlooking the track.

A Handling Circuit surrounds everything. From here it looks simple, but at the far end are several tight turns and elevation changes. The Low Friction Circle is a giant wet circle of concrete. The Kick Plate is a devious device that kicks your rear wheels to the left or right just as you enter a big wet rectangle. The Low Friction Handling area is a short serpentine road made of polished concrete. The Off Road area is for climbing hills in your Cayenne. And the Dynamics Area is for acceleration runs and for weaving through cones. Curious and probably envious airline passengers look down on the facility every five to ten minutes as their planes approach one of the runways just west of the facility.

Because there were so many of us, we were split into three groups. At 9 AM the first group met their Instructors and discussed their individual goals for the session. Then they were taken to their cars to get acquainted with the Porsche model they chose to drive.

Scott Klueh chose the Grey Carrera 4S Targa. Dave Hostetter picked a Boxster S. And Terry Davis wanted to drive a Carrera 4S.

Gary Maier was in a red Carrera S.

Everyone entered the track area via the Handling Circuit and then went to the various areas to test their skills and their cars' capabilities, and to learn, too. Here Scott Klueh accelerates onto the track.

The Kick Plate might have been the biggest challenge. Repeated runs helped us learn and practice dealing with sudden loss of control. First runs had us entering at 18 MPH. Regaining control got trickier as we entered in the mid 20s. Here Mark Roethemeier is in the silver Boxster GTS. Terry Davis waits his turn. That's either Gary Maier or Dale Fatland in the red Carrera S.

Accelerate to 18 MPH. As soon as your front wheels reach the concrete pavement, a plate or belt shifts the rear wheels left or right with a jerk, causing them to slide sideways when they hit the concrete. Oops! Your tail-heavy Porsche starts to spin. Use steering and throttle to catch it! Try again.

Terry Davis found it a little easier with four driving wheels.

Here's Dale Fatland in a Carrera S. To be fair, the instructors encouraged a little horsing around after initially regaining control to keep learning. Fun to watch. Busy to drive.

In the Dynamics area drivers could practice acceleration and braking or weave through cones.

Here's Dale in the slalom.

Loren Urfer chose a Cayman vs 911 Comparison. So halfway through, he swapped for this red Carrera S.

Scott Klueh was suffering from a nasty cold and cut his drive short. He asked his instructor to give Linda Barth a ride.

The instructor generously gave rides to Susan Jindrich, Debbie Jackson and Sharon Burks-Maier, too. Here, he demonstrates Launch Control's rocket sled acceleration to Susan.

On the Low Friction Circle, drivers were encourages to go just fast enough to intentionally break the rear wheels loose do a controlled drift. This required a more delicate touch than the snap reaction needed at the Kick Plate.

Most of our driving was at relatively low speeds, but the Handling Circuit had some short straights. Dale and a few others did their best to burn up the track.

It's likely that everyone tried every area of the track. We have no photos from the Low Friction Handling area because it was hidden from view. Also, there were sometimes four red 911s on the track at once, so keeping up with which driver was where was next to impossible.

A new set of drivers was scheduled for 11 AM. Here Jerry Jindrich reviews the course with his instructor. He did a 2 Wheel vs 4 Wheel comparison (Carrera S vs Carrera 4S).

Jeff Jackson drove this GT3.

Tom Southwell drove a Carrera S.

Keith Snyder waited in a white Turbo while Tom tried the Kick Plate.

Jeff Jackson and Jerry Jindrich on the Low Friction Circle.

Daniel Fernandez put this GT3 through its paces on the Handling Circuit.

Jeff Jackson on the Handling Circuit.

Jerry Jindrich Swapped for 2 wheel drive half way through and felt that the Carrera S's steering felt a fraction lighter overall and was a little trickier on the Kick Plate.


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©2015 Southern Indiana Region of the Porsche Club of America