Thirteen drivers from the Appalachian Region drove the season-ending High Performance Driver’s Education (HPDE) at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) hosted by the Carolina’s Region.

It was a cold weekend so it was important for the drivers to put heat in the tires quickly for maximum grip and safety. Drivers spent the weekend adjusting tire pressures as the temperatures rose from the cold of 28° first thing in the morning up to the mid-50’s later in the day.  Tire pressures are the one easy adjustment for drivers to make on-the-spot to improve handling.


Many of us run Michelin tires and they have an interesting feature on the tire that helps evaluate your pressures with a visual inspection.  On every tire sidewall there is the Michelin Man (formerly known as Bibendum) pointing at a bar that is a tire roll indicator.  If the tire is properly inflated for tire roll as the car corners.  If the wear is not below the line, then your inflation is proper.  Research indicates that most tire manufacturers have similar roll indicators.

Four of the Region’s more advanced drivers had already been on the track on a special Friday advanced driver session, but for the rest of us, Friday is travel day and tech inspection day. HPDE Chair David Wells arranged a welcome Friday night dinner at the Oak Tree Tavern located on the VIR property so we all could gather to socialize before we started to attack the track on Saturday morning.

Saturday morning started with frost on the windshields and gloves and hats on the drivers in the paddock.  Some cars had also been tucked in for the night so they were warm and frost-free.

All the Appalachian Region drivers respected the track with the cold pavement and cold tires that provided less grip.  VIR is a big, fast track that you have to respect to stay out of trouble and every drove safely in the cold first session.

The group had one mechanical problem with Robert’s clutch cable breaking in his first session.  Patrick from Porsche Asheville had registered for this event so he was at the track to diagnose the problem.  They sourced the part in the Washington DC area and made a quick dash to DC for the part and then had it installed at the track by a performance garage located at the track.

We had four different groups of drivers within Appalachian Region with David and Patrick in the most advanced group.

Don, Greg and Robert drove in the Solo driving group, while Jim, Larry, Elliott and John were in the instructed/solo group (unfortunately there are not photos of the instructed/solo group on track as the author drives in this group).

Diana and Justus new to the VIR in the instructed group.

No matter what group you are in, it is really rewarding to be learning the performance capabilities of your Porsche in the safety of an organized performance driver’s education event.

A couple of our drivers had “offs” as they experimented with braking points, acceleration points and track lines but the advantage of trying this on a track is that safety is set in the process.  No damage, no injuries, just a bruised ego and a good learning experience.  It is all part of the process of understanding how the performance of your performance and making you a better driver when you are navigating the mountain curves and elevation changes, we deal with on our mountain drives.

The HPDE season is over until the Spring, but think about joining us next Spring as part of the Appalachian Region HPDE introductory program.

The end of the weekend at VIR – Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

Enjoy the gallery of photos from the weekend.

Jim Moore – Appalachian Region President






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