40 years of improving your Porsche 911 driving
While it’s easy to purely celebrate the legendary cars that rolled off of the Zuffenhausen production line though, 40 years ago, an important Porsche institution roared into life.
It’s August 1974 and, prompted by the release of the potent new 911 Turbo at the Paris Motor Show, the air around the Hockenheimring circuit is filled with the sound of flat sixes and tyre squeal.
This is the first meeting of the newly formed Porsche Sport Driving School where Porsche owners take to the track not to improve their lap times but to improve their skill and control behind the wheel.
Fast-forward to the present day and the Porsche Sport Driving School has gone from strength to strength, with approximately 100 instructors running courses in 15 countries around the world.
“We want to instil an instinctive feel for driving and with it the art of reading and understanding the car better,” explains instructor, Carsten Dreses. “When drivers sense the harmony in their cars, they’re automatically more secure- and also faster as a result.”
From sitting the right way, to perfect steering and braking application, the Porsche Sport Driving School was always designed with non-racing drivers in mind, with Zuffenhausen aware that it has a responsibility to teach people in the ways of the 911, especially as the Turbo was garnering a fearsome reputation from the outset.
Over the years, the Porsche Sport Driving School courses have become more clearly structured, with courses running from one to three days. The emphasis is clearly on driving pleasure though the participants now show a greater level of interest in the technical elements.
“The customers come with an ever greater degree of interest and ambition,” observes Dreses. “They don’t just want to drive better and more safely, they also want to understand when and how the cars do what they do.”
As Porsche creates ever-faster iterations of the 911, the value of the Porsche Sport Driving School continues to increase. While the courses are designed to improve the owners’ speed, the focus on safety is naturally paramount.
“Their driving automatically becomes more commanding when they’re calm and composed,” Kreses explains. By feeling in control, the Porsche Sport Driving School allows owners to enjoy their driving more. You can’t put a price on that.