Day three of the 2014 Porsche Performance Tour marked the end of a road trip that spanned 1,200 kilometres and several B.C. towns large and small. Before parting ways, there was one final long drive from Vernon with a pit stop at Mission Raceway for what many drivers had been looking forward to with bated breath: a track day with the 911 and Cayman.
Driving spiritedly on public roads was enjoyable, but the premium German vehicles were meant to be tested on a closed circuit. Especially with stats like these: the Porsche 911 Carrera S has a 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine churning out 400 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque with a top speed of 304 km/h. The Porsche Cayman has a slightly different design philosophy going the lightweight, mid-engine sports car route. That doesn’t mean it’s a slouch, though: a 2.7-litre six-cylinder engine making 275 hp and 213 lb-ft lies directly behind the front seats.
Upon arriving at the Raceway, instructors Kees Nierop and Pierre Des Marais provided some requisite training on technique and safety after lunch before setting guests loose on the track. People paired up and split into two groups, each shadowing a different instructor for laps around the track. Nierop and Des Marais were constantly on the radios put in each car, making sure special attention was being paid to following the correct lines around corners to be as quick as possible.
All the participating vehicles were equipped with the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch automatic transmission with manual mode. Fully capable of shifting on its own, I still found myself flicking the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters entering and exiting apexes. Of course, Sport mode was always on resulting in more aggressive throttle response and engine dynamics.
After a half-day of lapping, drivers were satisfied and exhausted — at least I was. The program came to a close and everyone made their way back to the Vancouver International Airport where the tour started. The next Porsche Canada performance event takes place in February 2015 at Camp4 in Quebec.