What a great weekend at the PCA (Porsche Club of America) April 4th-5th, 2009 Roebling Road HPDE event. Arriving early enough Friday evening to actually get a good night’s sleep set the stage for an enjoyable weekend. The 260 mile trip from IPG Headquarters to the hotel just off of I-95 in the Savannah, GA area finally gave us some decent gas mileage in the STi, although still not great at 22.6 MPG. I am still amazed at the crappy gas mileage that this car gets. The 22.6 MPG result was driving around 75-80 mpg on the highway. But that isn't why I bought the car so no reason to get too upset about it.
Saturday morning started bright and early as we headed to the track at 6:30 am to get through registration and tech inspection. Being in the Green Novice group with PCA introduced me to a great instructor by the name of Shaun Wooten. Shaun was a pleasure to work with throughout the weekend and I look forwarded to running into him at HPDE events in the future. The first couple of sessions Saturday were great opportunities to learn the best line around the track and get comfortable with the STi. As the day progressed so did the learning process and as the 1st day came to a close a lot of progress had been made memorably in the area of braking. Don't be afraid to get on your brakes as hard as you can, it is amazing how well they will work when pushed to the limit. Saturday evening brought a nice dinner with friends at The Pirate House in Downtown Savannah, GA. The Pirate House is a quirky place, not really sure how to describe it but our party of 9 was actually sat in what is the oldest existing house in the state of Georgia, the "Herb House" built in 1734.
Sunday came with overcast skies and cool weather. Threats of rain in the afternoon meant that it would be prudent to enjoy every dry lap you could achieve in the morning sessions. The first morning session got me back in the groove of circling a track at speeds from 50-120 mph. The 2nd and 3rd sessions came and went still avoiding the rain and the laps getting smoother and more consistent and as sprinkles began to come down for the 4th sessions we headed on the track for what would be the most enjoyable as far as traffic as there was barely any. Being able to circle a high speed track like Roebling Road as if it were your own with barely any other cars is a great experience.
The PCA events draw a huge range of cars. From basic economy cars like the Mini Cooper to performance oriented street cars such as the BMW M series and Porsche 911's to fully fledged race cars like the Porsche GT3 and there was even a Ferrari F Series Challenge car there. Overall it was a very enjoyable weekend of motorsports activities and friends and I will be heading to another HPDE event very soon (next time with some more go fast parts on the project 2008 STi). ...oh yeah...and back to the MPG story -- Saturday's track sessions netted a solid 10.23 MPG and Sunday's with some more aggressive driving put us at 8.95 MPG, I guess 22 ish MPG isn't too bad after all.