Code Of The Curve
On Tuesday, 40 Porsche Cayman fans converged on Las Vegas, courtesy of Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) and the Porsche Club of America (PCA) for the Code Of The Curve. The purpose: an enthusiastic celebration of Porsche’s critically acclaimed but largely unsung model, the Cayman. The Code Of The Curve details were rather vague in the invitation, but hey, who can pass up a meeting of like minded enthusiasts, potential track time at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and a night’s stay at Encore as a guest of Porsche?
The drive from SoCal to Las Vegas couldn’t happen quick enough in anticipation. The only thing that made it bearable was the fact that I had recently had the engine of my Cayman S rebuilt, and this was the first chance I had gotten to drive it more than a short local test drive. More on the smile on my face thanks to my ‘new’ engine on a later post… Anyway, the nice folks at Encore had a section of their parking garage reserved for us Cayman devotees, so a quick park and into the check in and reception area. I have to say, when Porsche does an event, they really do it right, and if you are ever invited to one, don’t pass it up. For me, 918 unveiling at The Quail, Porsche Motorsports reception at Long Beach Grand Prix, breakfast reception at the LA Auto Show – all done right. In this case, the Encore had set up a dedicated hotel check in at the entrance to our briefing room, so we lost little time getting sorted out for the event and our room.
Code Of The Curve – The Reception & Briefing
Here we learned what was in store for us. But first, a briefing on the new Cayman (Porsche 981) by Mr. Jan Roth, Cayman Program Manager. We were sworn to secrecy on some details, but suffice it to say, this is one outstanding car. I am predicting another slew of awards from the automotive press like when the Cayman was originally launched in 2006; it’s also been on just about everyone’s top driver’s car list perennially since then. We happened to find a new 981 when we made our way back out to the garage to embark on the driving fun:
As for the rest of the Code Of The Curve program, we’d be creating a Cayman Parade down The Strip, then heading out to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a little friendly competition and some other ‘surprises’.
Code Of The Curve – Behind The Wheel
Any idea how long it takes to stop traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard AKA ‘The Strip’ for a private parade that’s being filmed? Longer than I thought. Once we got out onto The Strip, we moved along south pretty well, turning heads and dropping jaws as we went along. I’m sure from the street it was quite a sight (and sound). I’ve got some in-car video I’ll post later. Anyway, we were at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in pretty short order where we encountered the second biggest surprise of the night – laps around the NASCAR oval at a decent speed. (Video to come on that, too…) After not enough laps around the track, we were formed up on the front straight in the biggest group of Caymans I’ve ever seen:
Lurking off on the pit straight was another added treat – a Porsche 904, which most look upon as the spiritual predecessor to the Cayman:
And just beyond the pit area near the paddock garages was the surprise and for many the highlight of the night, the new Porsche 918:
On to the driving – the real Code Of The Curve – the Cayman is, after all, nothing if not a drivers’ car. Two groups, two preliminary events – slalom and threshold braking – and then a short driving course finale for the top three in each. Pretty simple in concept. We’d be driving the 2012 Cayman R. Nice! The slalom was run on the slightly banked back straight to add a little twist. Hit a cone and your time is thrown out; hit two and you’re done. The threshold braking was on the pit straight. Everyone got two runs at each preliminary event. King of the Curve would be the fastest short course driver.
As an added bonus, Porsche arranged to have Justin Bell ride along during the short course to provide instruction, encouragement, or harassment as the case may be. There’s still some surprises to come from this event, and in the interest of being a good sport, I won’t spoil it just yet.
Code Of The Curve – Post Track Fun
By the time we got back to the Encore, it was past Midnight – still early for Las Vegas. The lobby bar was the perfect place to set up our Bench Racer’s shop, sip some good drinks, and rehash the Code Of The Curve. Everyone had to walk past this place on the way to their rooms, so we just kept collecting folks as the night went on, including our King of the Curve, Carl Vanderschuit from San Diego. Word has it, Carl gave Justin quite a ‘white knuckle’ ride!
The next day, about a dozen or so of us were invited to a Cayman owner/driver focus group breakfast by Porsche. They wanted to know about us, who we were, what was our view on the Cayman. Others went on a spirited desert canyon drive out toward Pahrump and Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch.
Code Of The Curve – The Wrap
Wow! The Code Of The Curve was one first class event! I can’t say I’ve every experienced such a varied and top quality event compressed into such a short time before. Great job to Porsche, the PCA, the Encore staff, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Las Vegas Police escort – everyone.
One of the great things about this event is that along with many others, I have participated on the Cayman Register for years. For the most part, aside from people we meet locally at events, we just know each other as login names – and there are some interesting ones at that. Well, here we got a chance to meet each other in person – a bunch a Cayman nuts from all over the place – and that was pretty cool. Thanks to Mike Souza, head of the PCA Cayman Register for doing a fabulous job reaching out to the Cayman community and helping to coordinate this event. If you are a Cayman owner/driver and aren’t part of the register, get yourself over there! You’re missing out on a great community and lots of fun.