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PEC trip

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Speaking of GT3s
Laz - 8 months ago
A friend got a GT3 Touring Package a few months back. In the past few days we drove it to the Atlanta Customer Experience Center. A nice adventure along Skyline Drive, Luray Cavern and Car Museum, Tail of the Dragon, and the Porsche track. We took the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel back up north. This shot is of my friend with his car, taken in front of the Solis Hotel.

Wow! What a beautiful car. Love the colour. Sounds like you had quite the trip, Laz. Aside from PEC, what was your favourite section of the trip?

So, how did you enjoy the Porsche Experience Centre?
PEC trip
Laz - 8 months ago
The color is GT Silver.

Although I had my heart in my mouth as a passenger, I'd say Tail of the Dragon was one of the peak experiences, and I was happy for my friend being able to (literally!) cut loose on it. We missed all the worst of any bad weather, but it speaks to my friend's decent skill and the fantastic, controllable, yet exciting ability of the GT3 to dance through the corners, even with wet pavement. I appreciated that the road is in excellent shape, with a consistent surface throughout, and some banking on each of the gajillion, incredibly tight turns. Initially, two cars ahead of us were kind enough to pause at cut-outs to let us by, and only in the last few miles did we catch up to someone who wouldn't.

His car is equipped with the Dunlops, and I can hardly imagine the alternate Michelins having any more all around capability. They were at least as quiet as my current Pirelli PZ4s, and thump on bumps, whereas the Pirellis have a slight ringing. Overall, I was astonished as to the long-distance comfort of the car, which has the axle lift option, and that was only used on the worst upcoming "major" low speed irregularities, like going across a curb cut, etc. Overall, the springing and damping are dialed in beautifully. And that 4.0 engine is transcendently powerful, torquey, and symphonic.

Big recommendation for anyone passing near Luray, Virginia: the cavern isn't huge, but it is awesome (yes, I mean that, and not in a hipster's ubiquitous way!) The next door auto museum is also very small, but if you want to see a Rolls woodie, a Baker Electric, a Stanley Steamer, and a Hispano Suiza, check it out.

The Solis Hotel on the PCNA grounds is quite nice, with a good restaurant, and a covered, partly open to the outside, rooftop lounge. The airport is right past the property, and even though there's a tremendous, full thrust jet roar from the take-off runway, the room we had facing the airport was uncannily quiet, I mean zero jet noise. Must be really thick double pane glass in the windows. In the HQ building there's a two floor museum of sorts, with some interesting cars, including a convincing replica of a 919.

The track experience was terrific, using a GT3 in our case, albeit with PDK. My friend split his time with me, which was plenty. On the wet skid pad the instructor had us self-inducing tail breaks and recoveries. (Ok, I spun 360 at least once, and even did a near 720!) I did get the hang of it somewhat, although with this and the wet kick-plate I had to overcome my multi-decade muscle memory, public road mindset. I was surprised to find recoveries don't happen with small, quick, deft moves, but with some pretty big steering angles. I had the most fun, sense of familiarity, and better learning curve with the track circuit, and started to operate quicker than the instructor's directions, but didn't push it too far due to a sense of diplomacy.

Hey, this is turning into a lengthy essay, so let me just close off with a few travel recommendations:
• The Roanoke Hotel
• The River and Rail Restaurant, Roanoke
• The Atlanta Aquarium. Expensive, but if you want to see four whale sharks, this is the place!
• A non-recommendation: we ate at the nearby Legal Seafood, but I don't think they're what they used to be, or at least not this one. Okay, but that's it.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2018 07:47PM by Laz. (view changes)
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