I completed the third level of driver training by Porsche Cars Australia at Queensland raceway last Monday and had a great time. 20 of us got to sample just about every Porsche variant, 991 manual & PDK, 981 Boxster PDK, 987 Cayman, Panamera, Cayenne, 997 GT3 MKII, 997 Turbo, 997 4S.
I drove a GT3 from the training centre to the racetrack which was about 45 minutes via highway and was amazed how compliant it was for daily driving, sure the clutch was heavy and the gear change short and notchy, but for a track focused road car it was really livable (which has got me wondering/dreaming).
In my last training level out of all the cars I drove the one that impressed me most was the 987 Cayman, it was underpowered BUT it was the best handling and balanced car there IMHO. In this session I was amazed at the new Boxster. It just had enough power for me and its balance and chassis was absolutely fantastic, I think it would show many performance cars up, it really was that good. Between that and the Cayman it was probably the easiest to drive too.
Having a 996T, when I got in to the 9974S it felt like home and was very easy to drive.
The Panamera is no Porsche. It wailed around, the ABS kicked in too early and you could tell it was hauling some weight.
The Cayenne was very impressive for its size. It handled very very well for a 4WD and really performed well.
The 991, well I think I need more seat time as I didn't gel with the car straight off the cuff. The PDK around a track didn't appeal to me that much, to the point where I don't really remember it, it was unmemorable. The manual, I remember that and just didn't like it. I felt that the gearshift was just too high in the centre console, no doubt I would get use to it over time but it wasn't hand in glove like most Porsches. However one thing I do remember is the exhaust sound, what a lovely sound, absolute bliss for a standard road going car, it really really sounded good in the car.
The GT3 impressed as you would expect, when I sell the 996t early next year it will be up there on my list if the stars all align.
All in all a great day, I can't wait to do level 4 which sees a full day at the circuit in a group of 6/8 running around in GT3s.