When You’re Green, You’re Growing!

IN THE PCA UCR Driver Education program, there are five levels of advancement — green, yellow, white, black and red. Green and yellow are instructed, white and black are solo, and red is for instructors. The green level was particularly impacted by COVID-19, as it was removed from the program for both 2020 and 2021. So we’re thrilled to see them back out this year. On the weekend of July 9 and 10, we spoke with a few to get their thoughts on the DE program from a new entrant’s perspective. What follows is what each of them had to say in response to these questions:

• What was your expectation before the DE weekend?

• What was your opinion of a DE weekend by Sunday afternoon?

• Comments on your two most significant takeaways from what your instructor taught you.

• Comments on any personal objectives you might have that are related to DE.

• Any advice for new green run participants now that you have experienced it for yourself?


Mike Hoang  |  #250

PRE-WEEKEND Expectations

Truthfully, I expected a testosterone-packed environment and a lot of tough lessons on and off the track, including not making it past the tech line. I was very nervous about where to go, what to do, who to talk to, and whether or not I was even properly prepared for the weekend. In my head, I thought this was a competition as to who would be fastest. More so, I was unsure of how safe things would be. I wasn’t even sure I would enjoy the lessons or return in the future.

OPINION AFTERWARDS

In one word: Fantastic. Everyone from my run group, to the instructors, and the track team were extremely helpful and encouraging. I had a blast and this program is simply amazing. I came to learn that this was a very safe, controlled and encouraging environment, and in no way, a race of any kind. I would go as far as to say this program is the gold standard. I cannot recommend this program enough.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Learn your lines and look far ahead. And if I could add a third takeaway, it is to trust their experience. My instructors Rick and Jon have a tremendous wealth of experience and knowledge and in no way steered me in the wrong direction. They walked me through, step by step, and explained when and how to take the corners and helped me overcome my fears. There was definitely an improvement and progression from Saturday to Sunday. For that, I am extremely grateful for their guidance and patience with me.

RELATED PERSONAL OBJECTIVES

I consider myself a lifelong student and, as such, my objective is to become a better driver and to learn more about the potential of my 986 Boxster S. Another objective is to be able to advance up the run groups with the DE program. Given the quality of instruction I received, I hope to one day be able to teach students in return at some point in my DE career.

I learned a lot about my Boxster and my driving abilities and was only able to do that by participating in the DE program. This would not have been possible without an amazing group of instructors and an awesome track team.

ADVICE FOR OTHERS

Take the plunge, sign up for the introductory driving school, register for as many DE weekends as possible, and enjoy the experience. Everyone I met throughout the weekend was super friendly and very helpful. I met a lot of people, made new friends, and built some professional connections as well. This was not only a very social environment, but also a very safe and friendly one.


PETER BOUSTANY  |  #277

PRE-WEEKEND Expectations

I wanted to enjoy and find greater limits of the car in a proper environment, none greater than Mosport.

OPINION AFTERWARDS

I believe it’s a must for every Porsche owner and enthusiast.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

I learned very quickly about hitting apexes and tracking out, using the full track and balancing throttle inputs.

RELATED PERSONAL OBJECTIVES

At this stage I think it’s fantastic to have more experienced drivers providing in-car instruction. I see a path ahead to move from the green to yellow run group, but I’m in no rush.

ADVICE FOR OTHERS

Start slowly, learn the lines of the track, build up your speed comfortably, as smooth quick driving is better than a fast choppy pace.


Tim Deacon  |  #173

PRE-WEEKEND Expectations

I didn’t know quite what to expect as this was my first DE weekend with PCA UCR. I had been reading the track updates in Provinz and could sense from those articles that it was going to be a very well-organized and safe event. 

OPINION AFTERWARDS

It was an incredible experience. I had previously attended several one-day track events at Mosport with some of the manufacturers and third-party event organizers — but can safely say that the UCR DE is, hands down, the best value and best-run driver training out there. The two-day event allowed for much more track-time and the opportunity to continue to further develop skills learned on the first day — for a fraction of the cost of other events. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

I really lucked out and was assigned an exceptional instructor, Hazel, who had over 20 years of instructing experience. Hazel reminded me of the importance of keeping your eyes up and looking through to the next turn. This helped increase confidence and ability to anticipate the next turn well in advance. She also reminded of the importance of smooth inputs — steering, braking and applying gas in order to optimize the turn. 

RELATED PERSONAL OBJECTIVES

I was keen to try and push my limits on the track and experience the incredible research and development that go into Porsche vehicles. The new 992 GT3 is an absolutely phenomenal machine. Can’t wait for the next DE weekend.

ADVICE FOR OTHERS

It’s easy to feel intimidated as a first-timer, but as I experienced first-hand, you’ll be surrounded by fellow car enthusiasts who are keen to help out and show you the ropes, answer questions and even lend you equipment you may have forgotten. The rigorous track safety protocol mandated by the DE program will also help put you at ease. Don’t hesitate to sign up. 


Phil Morrison  |  #319

PRE-WEEKEND Expectations

I was hoping to be promoted to the yellow or white group as I haven’t been with the Porsche at the track since before COVID but had continued on in other clubs. I did get bumped to yellow with a recommendation for white group, so it was great.

OPINION AFTERWARDS

I had a fabulous instructor and by Sunday I was getting sad knowing that it was coming to an end. It was a great weekend at the track.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

We really got a great handle on turn two. Also corner combo eight, nine and 10 came into focus much better than where I was at in the past.

RELATED PERSONAL OBJECTIVES

Besides getting to solo which is a main goal, I really want to master the track to the best of my ability.

ADVICE FOR OTHERS

Don’t worry about speed as much as learning the track and how to take the corners. The speed will come.


John Ecklund  |  #294

PRE-WEEKEND Expectations

Honestly, I was not sure what to expect. I mean I knew there was going to be instruction. I had thought I was going to follow another car around the track but was glad DE had instructors in the car for all the sessions, providing insight and training as you drove. I liked this format as it provided great feedback in real time.

OPINION AFTERWARDS

Very well run, very organized. Impressive roster of veteran drivers volunteering their time and more then willing to pass on their knowledge to the rookies (green group). I never felt pressured to do something I was not comfortable with. Safety was a very important aspect of the DE weekend. I quickly got the sense that the organizers would not put up with any reckless behaviour, which made everyone’s experience more enjoyable. I met so many people, I was surprised at the open social aspect of the event. I quickly discovered that my limitations as a driver were much greater than the limits of my car. Over the course of two days, I learned so much and felt much more comfortable driving my car by the time the last session ended. Most definitely recommend this program to any new Porsche owner.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Balance — feel the car, it’s a dance, don’t be tense, relax those shoulders. Look up – keep focused ahead.

RELATED PERSONAL OBJECTIVES

Continue to learn and increase my confidence.

ADVICE FOR OTHERS

I’m not sure I’m in a position to give advice to my fellow Green Run Group participants, I mean they have already made the decision to take the IDE and sign up for the DE.

But I guess if they have not attended a DE event yet, I would advise to go to DE with an open mind, listen to what your instructor is saying, absorb the knowledge that is being passed down to you, leave your ego at home, be safe and have fun. </>

Story and Photography by Roy Ojala

More Great Articles

Previous articleSubscribe Me Not
Next articleCars & Coffee: R Club

Comments

Popular stories

0
YOUR CART
  • No products in the cart.