The Saturday, February 4, 2023 Tech Session was designed to improve a members’ Porsche driving experience with three distinct topics for members and their cars:

  • Porsche Driving Control Modes
  • High Performance Driver’s Education (HPDE) Basics
  • Autocross Basics

Appalachian Region Tech Chair, Chief Driving Instructor and Enthusiast of the Year Dan Dazzo led off the day for the 35 members in attendance providing education and a tutorial on all the Porsche driving aids’ acronyms, i.e., PSM, ABS, PTV, etc. and what they mean.

A modern Porsche offers so many driving aids as standard and options now that it can be confusing to jump in your cockpit and understand how to command your Porsche for the conditions you are facing.  You are in luck because today’s Porsches are designed to enhance your driving experience from a ride, handling and safety standpoint with little need for you to push buttons on or off.  

There is little need to turn any of the driving aids (or nannies as they are often called) on or off.  Let your Porsche and their engineers give you the maximum in safety, handling and ride with all your driving aids working for you.  However, it helps to understand what all these acronyms with respective buttons on your console mean, but there are few instances where adjustments are needed.

Here is a rundown of the Driver Aids Dan covered in the session.  Porsche is constantly adding and enhancing the experience and options available for the driving experience so new acronyms for nannies will continue to appear in the Porsche option list.

ABS - Anti-Lock Brakes

ABS allows you to brake and steer so you can handle hard braking where you need to avoid an obstacle or navigate a turn.  ABS is pretty standard on all modern cars today.

PTM – Porsche Traction Management

The PTM system adjusts traction from the front suspension to the rear suspension.  Generally, more traction is applied to the rear with about 35% maximum applied to the front.

PSM – Porsche Stability Management

PSM (or as it sometimes known as “Please Save Me” is an active control system for stabilizing your Porsche during extreme driving situations.  PSM provides braking to the individual wheels as needed.

PSM is one nanny that you may turn off for a specific driving situation such as in snow when you are stuck and need to either "rock" the car to get going again and/or to maintain your slow forward or rearward motion.

PASM – Porsche Active Stability Management – Normal and Sport Modes

PASM provides electronic control of shock absorbers to affect the ride experience.  There are two settings; normal and sport. In most cases you will drive in the normal mode, but if you are in a “sportier” driving situation, such as mountain driving or on the track you may want to choose “sport” to give a firmer drive and lower your Porsche a bit.

Sport Plus Driving Mode

Most Porsches offer Normal and Sport driving modes, but many also have the Sport Plus mode that tightens the suspension up further for track and aggressive driving situations.  The Sport Plus mode may also turn on the sport exhaust feature automatically and inputs the throttle for quicker response recognizing that you are probably driving quicker in a track situation where you need the car to react faster.  You may not find the Sport Plus mode the most comfortable for every day driving as the suspension will become very non-compliant so that you will feel every road imperfection.

PDCC – Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control

PDCC is basically electronic sway bars to provide roll stabilization under cornering.  This is normally an option on Porsches.

PTV – Porsche Torque Vectoring

PTV improves steering and traction in cornering acting as an electronic Limited Slip Differential (LSD) that was an option in earlier Porsches before electronics came to the cars.  PTV is providing adjustments to the wheels through brake pulses during cornering.  This is generally an option as opposed to being standard equipment.

PADM – Porsche Active Drivetrain Mounts

PADM is primarily on the GT cars to provide adjustments to the motor mounts to help stabilize the engine more during aggressive driving situations.

ESC – Electronic Stability Control and TC – Traction Control

ESC and TC are essentially the same as PSM.

ESC helps prevent loss of control in curves and emergency steering maneuvers by stabilizing your car when it begins to veer off your intended path. TC uses throttle and brake intervention to limit wheelspin.  Traction control is generally only found on GT cars.

Dan noted that Porsche is starting to drop “Porsche (P)” in the names of the nannies, as you see with ESC and TC.

High Performance Driver’s Education (HPDE)

Track Chair David Wells then made a presentation on the basics of High-Performance Driver’s Education (HPDE) in preparation for the upcoming season where Appalachian Region will attend four PCA HPDE events as a region:

  1. March 11 &12, 2023 – Carolinas Motorsports Park (CMP)
  2. June 3 & 4, 2023 – Road Atlanta 
  3. September 23 & 24, 2024 – Barber Motorsports Park
  4. October 13 & 14, 2023 – Virginia International Raceway (VIR)

A subsequent article will provide details on David’s presentation.

Autocross

Past President and Autocross Chair Don Therien described the basics of Autocross and recommended it as a good “starter” exercise for learning the performance basics of your Porsches.  Autocross is a cone track set up in a parking lot that requires you maneuver your car through the course without knocking over cones.  It is a timed exercise with one car on the track at a time.  It is a low-cost entry to performance driving with your Porsche.

Appalachian Region does not conduct Autocross competitions but we coordinate attendance at Autocross events for our members with Wilderness Trail PCA in Johnson City, Tennessee or with Highland Sports Car Club at their Franklin, North Carolina events.

As the season approaches, an article detailing Don’s presentation on Autocross basics will appear.

Car Control Clinic

This year the Appalachian Region “Hands-on” Car Control that we hold at Michelin Proving Grounds is scheduled for Saturday, May 13, 2023 in Laurens, South Carolina.  This clinic teaches car control with a skid pad experience, slalom course, braking exercise and high-speed avoidance techniques.  Watch for sign-up in April.

March Tech Session

Our next Tech Session will be near the end of March, on Saturday the 25th due to PCA Werks Reunion the first weekend of March and the CMP HPDE the second weekend of March.

This Tech Session will be focused on How to use Code Scanner Diagnostic Tools with your Porsche followed by a Tech Roundtable for an open discussion with Club tech experts.  Watch for sign-up on February 15, 2023.