When Spring arrives in the Bay Area, there's no better way to celebrate the fresh air but in a Porsche.
Consider this blog as a depository for awesome Porsche drives/tours in and around the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.

Draw an imaginary line across the center of California. Anchor one end off the Monterey Area/Santa Cruz mountains, on the Pacific coast. Run the line east over the Coast Range, through the Central Valley, and over the Sierra Nevada mountains. Tether the other end of the line at the Nevada border, on the fringe of the Great Basin Desert.

"Backroads of Northern California" covers the incomparable natural beauty, the myths and the history of the Golden State on the northern side of that line, while "Backroads of Southern California" does the honors for the lower half, from the San Joaquin Valley to the border with Mexico.

TOURS are what they sound like - someone leads a bunch of Porschephiles hither-and-yon for the express purpose of having them follow onto great Porsche roads, go interesting places and generally have a wonderful time driving their cars.

"Email-a-Ride" - called short notice drive/tour


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells…Oh, what fun it is to drive a Porsche Panamera Turbo Sleigh!

Dashing through the snow… a 500 hp @ 6,000 rpm open Panamera Turbo Sleigh…..o’er the fields we go, drifting all the way…….exhaust notes ringing, making spirits bright….Oh what fun it is to drive a Panamera Turbo Sleigh tonight !…Oh Jingle bells, Jingle bells…Jingle 188 mph all the way.


Oh what fun it is to laugh and sing in a Porsche turbo sleigh…..dashing through the snowdrifts in a big white cloud of snow………with a V8 twin-turbo engine ….HO HO HO a way we go! Oh, what fun it is to drive a Porsche Turbo Panamera Sleigh.





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Friday, November 12, 2010

Marines run across the US in a 'Gumpathon' - from New York to California

Marines run across the US in a 'Gumpathon'

The Gumpathoners - five Brits and one American - started off at the USS Intrepid in New York City on 10 September and finished on the Santa Monica Pier in California on 11 November - Remembrance Day, or Veterans Day.


By Katie Connolly BBC News, Washington


The team members were greeted by cheers as they crossed the finishing line

Six British and US servicemen have run across the US - from New York to California - to raise money for wounded military veterans, the BBC's Katie Connolly reports.

Colour Sgt Damian Todd doesn't even like to run. "I hate running. I absolutely hate it with a passion," he told the BBC.

And yet he has just led a team of six servicemen - five marines and a British Army member - on a 3,530 mile, eight-week running odyssey, passing through three deserts, four time zones, 10 mountain ranges, 16 states and 789 towns across the US.

Colour Sgt Todd dubbed this trek "the Gumpathon", after the film Forrest Gump, where the title character runs across America. Colour Sgt Todd liked the idea when he saw the film 14 years ago, and stashed the seemingly fanciful notion in the back of his mind for a later date.

That date came on Christmas Eve 2007, when Royal Marine Mark Ormrod stepped on a land mine in Afghanistan and lost both his legs and one arm.

Gumpathon team on the USS Intrepid
The Gumpathon set off from the USS Intrepid, which is docked off Manhattan

Inspired by the courage and strength of amputees like Marine Ormrod, Colour Sgt Todd revived the idea of the Gumpathon as a way to raise money for wounded veterans.

The Gumpathoners - five Brits and one American - started off at the USS Intrepid in New York City on 10 September and finished on the Santa Monica Pier in California on 11 November - Remembrance Day, or Veterans Day.

Each day - rain, hail or shine - they ran anywhere up to 88 miles, keeping an average pace of 10 minutes per mile or less.

Most days, they ran relay-style for about 10 hours, with one runner completing 10 or more miles before handing off to the next.

Gruelling feat

Other days they set personal challenges. Master Gunnery Sgt Charles Padilla, the one US Marine, achieved a personal goal of 85 miles (137 km) in one day, which sparked a friendly trans-Atlantic rivalry.

Refusing to be outdone by an American, Army Staff Sgt James Mazzoni-Dalton ran 86 miles. Egged on by his fellow Brits, he completed the run in 19.5 hours. He was so exhausted when he finished around midnight that Colour Sgt Todd had to carry him to his bed.

Marine Mark Ormrod
Marine Ormrod usually completed at least one mile per day

On his prosthetic legs, Marine Ormrod usually ran one gruelling mile at a time. His prosthetics have no knee joints so he had to run with stiff upper legs - a much more physically taxing style.

Over the course of the Gumpathon, his fitness and endurance increased so dramatically that some days he managed to run up to five miles in one stretch.

Colour Sgt Todd snapped his Achilles tendon just before leaving the UK, leaving him unable to run. He completed his legs of the relay using a hand powered recumbent bike he's affectionately nicknamed "Achilles".

"I have to say, my upper body is quite buff now," he jokes. He has lost at least 11lb (5kg).

Another Gumpathoner, Cpl Lloyd Renner, has lost almost 25lb (11kg), even though each runner has been chewing through about 6,000 calories a day. They have eaten anything - chocolate bars, cookies, pizza - just to get those calories in.

Only Staff Sgt Mazzoni-Dalton had ever completed a marathon before the Gumpathon - which is the equivalent of 34 marathons for each runner. Colour Sgt Todd says he deliberately sought participants who weren't experienced runners to make the achievement even more impressive.

Mark Ormrod and Jamie Jobson
Triple amputee Marine Mark Ormrod was the inspiration for the Gumpathon, which unfortunately may not meet its fundraising goals
Never quit

Sadly though, despite their astonishing endurance, the Gumpathoners are falling short of their fundraising goals.

"Every one of us has picked up at least one injury," Marine Jamie Jobson wrote on the Gumpathon blog last week.

"Our bones ache first thing in the morning and last thing at night, we have blisters, shin splints, clicking ankles and knees, bruised heels, colds… the list could go on but I'll round it up by saying we're all hurting, but all of this will be in vain if we don't raise as much money as we can for our chosen service charities."

Marine Johnson running the Gumpathon
Communities across the US have cheered on the Gumpathoners

But Colour Sgt Todd says the idea of quitting never entered his mind - even when running uphill on a humid 110F (43C) day in West Virginia, getting frostbite in his fingers on a chilly night in California or struggling against the driving rain in New Mexico.

His spirits are buoyed by the people he has met and the generosity of the communities they have passed though - many have provided food, shelter and donations.

Among his memories are highs like being cheered by onlookers as he crossed the Hoover Dam, and lows like getting a flat tyre on the downhill stretch he had been longing for on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

But an Arkansas man holds the honour of making the biggest impression on Colour Sgt Todd. After hearing what the Gumpathon was about, the man turned to Colour Sgt Todd and told him: "You're the most remarkable man I've ever met."

Upon hearing such a positive affirmation of his work, Colour Sgt Todd, tired to the point of breaking, had just one response: he cried.

...and those who would like to contribute can go here:


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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

PORSCHE MUSEUM holds treasure trove of history: As the company’s “memory,” the Porsche Archive

The Porsche Museum houses a Central Department offering all the historical and contemporary knowledge about Porsche. The Historical Archive of Porsche AG moved also into the new edifice, where portions of it are visible through glass walls from the lobby.

As the company’s “memory,” the Porsche Archive collects all important information concerning business, technical, social, or cultural matters relating to Porsche AG and its subsidiary companies. The archived items include anything worth saving about the unparalleled Porsche success story, from the beginnings of Ferdinand Porsche as an automobile designer to the engineering office established in 1931 all the way to today’s Porsche AG. The present files of the Porsche Archive cover 2,000 meters of shelf space, including bookshelves, display cases, steel cabinets, and safes.

The Historical Archive with its accumulated knowledge is available not only to internal departments but also to external users, such as journalists and scientists. Many thousands of inquiries annually are handled here in a professional manner by the Porsche archivists.

Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche shared one characteristic with other automotive icons such as Enzo Ferrari and E. L. Cord: a complete concentration on building the future and little interest in the past.

However, in more recent times, automakers have come to realize the value of their history, Porsche among them.

In a quiet corner with no signs in the Porsche museum in Zuffenhausen, Germany, are a number of fireproof vaults and a huge library. This is Porsche’s DNA.

Available to researchers and writers, hundreds of thousands of period photographs and negatives are stored, along with all company publications. It’s likely that everyone who has ever written a book on the marque has spent a lot of time here.

Ferdinand Porsche was near the end of his life when the first Porsche car was built in 1948. But he had been building and designing cars for almost 50 years, including a hybrid at the turn of the 20th century, the iconic supercharged Mercedes-Benz SSK sports cars of the 1920s, the rear-engined Auto Union Silver Arrows, the Volkswagen, and finally, along with his son, the car that bore his name.

Most of the records of Porsche’s design firm were lost in World War II, but the archives still contain Porsche family albums and photographs going back to 1900.

The main focus of the library, however, is from 1948 onward. Period photographs of every Porsche produced are catalogued, as are photographs from every competitive event the factory entered, plus many others. Most have never been published.

A huge collection of rare catalogs and posters is also stored, as is virtually every works manual. Original works drawings are kept in a separate archive in Weissach, Germany. Porsche is not convinced of the longevity of digital storage, so all original drawings are also photographed using traditional cameras. New material is always being added, including rare collections of racing posters from around the world, sometimes donated by collectors. A varied collection of memorabilia is stored.

The archive does not authenticate individual cars, although it is certainly helpful in locating original photographs of cars that have significant provenance.

Of course, it helps to be able to walk downstairs to the museum and the attached garage. On the floor, an original Formula One car alongside the 1970 Le Mans-winning 917 and some other jaw-dropping cars. A few of the rarest customer cars make it to this, the best Porsche garage of the lot.

Given the lack of interest in history that the Porsches had, it’s amazing that it all survived intact and became the authoritative source for those with a keen interest in Porsche’s past.


Facts About the Historical Archive

  • Principal contents: product history (production and racing vehicles, design studies, in-house and third-party developments), company history (information and documents about Porsche AG, subsidiaries, associated companies), and media archive (pictorial, motion picture, and sound materials)
  • More than 2.5 million images (one of the largest image archives in the automobile sector)
  • Media archive with over 1,000 hours of motion picture materials
  • Library with more than 3,000 books on automotive subjects



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Sunday, November 7, 2010

A successful season finale for Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid fastest and most economical GT car

Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 3 in Zhuhai, China
The relentless pace of the Porsche GT3 Hybrid of Bergmeister and Long was impressive.

The first GT first to finish the race - but ranked outside classification - finished in sixth place overall in the 1000 km of Zhuhai and made only four pit stops!

A performance that earned the German manufacturer the Motul trophy for technological innovation.

A successful season finale for Porsche: At the 1,000 kilometre race in Zhuhai/China, the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid impressed once again with its performance and efficiency. The innovative sports car from Weissach, piloted by Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA), was by far the fastest GT vehicle in the field at its eagerly awaited premiere in Asia. Porsche factory drivers Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) claimed second place in the GT2 class with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR on China’s oldest race track. With this result, they secured the team championship for their Felbermayr-Proton squad at the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, run for the first time this year.
“The first race in China with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid was a complete success,” says Hartmut Kristen, Porsche Head of Motorsport. “The car contested the entire race without the slightest technical problem. The excellent pit stops by our factory squad from Weissach and an absolutely perfect performance from the drivers also contributed to this success. The development work on the hybrid system that we conducted since the last race in Road Atlanta has paid off. Today, we showed impressively just what potential the hybrid technology has. This result is a great motivation for continuing our work on the project. This was definitely not the last race for the 911 GT3 R Hybrid.”
"Our car ran perfectly"
On the 4.319 kilometre Zhuhai International Circuit, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, which started in the special GTH class, was not only the fastest but also the most economical GT vehicle. Thanks to its ground-breaking drive concept, it made one less pit stop and completed three more laps than the next GT opponent. “Our car ran perfectly from the first to the last lap,” said Joerg Bergmeister. “That was another super test of the hybrid system under race conditions – and the most successful conclusion I could think of.” Patrick Long, his teammate with whom he won the GT title of the American Le Mans Series for the second time straight this season, said: “The performance of the Porsche factory mechanics was world class. We had the most efficient and at the same time fastest GT car. Now, that’s what I call Porsche Intelligent Performance.”
Breathtaking chase through the pack
In the GT2 class, the race for start driver Marc Lieb did not begin very promisingly: Right in the first lap in a tussle with a Ferrari his 911 GT3 RSR suffered tyre damage which relegated it to last place. With a breathtaking chase through the pack, he and his teammate Richard Lietz quickly managed to catch up with the front-runners. At the halfway point in the race, the Felbermayr-Proton pilots, who clinched the GT title of the Le Mans Series for the second consecutive time this season, were already running third. Shortly afterwards they then overtook a Ferrari.
“Unfortunately we didn’t have enough for victory, but it’s still a great day for Porsche,” said Richard Lietz. “Obviously it was somewhat frustrating when Marc was forced back into the pits in the first lap with a torn-off valve. But we didn’t let that upset us and simply concentrated on working our way up the front again. Actually, it was huge fun - not least because our chase ended on the podium.” Marc Lieb added: “That was almost a perfect year for our team. Today we were very fast, but experienced a bit of bad luck early on in the race.”
Felbermayr-Proton first in team classification
With the second 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Felbermayr-Proton team, Martin Ragginger (Austria), Christian Ried (Germany) and Gianluca Roda (Italy) occupied fourth place – despite the botched and unnecessary overtaking manoeuvre of a Peugeot prototype that forced Martin Ragginger into the gravel trap in the last hour of the race. The former Porsche-Junior had to pit and lost ten minutes. In the Felbermayr-Proton camp, however, elation prevailed. “That was a fantastic year for our team. Firstly our win in Le Mans, then the Le Mans Series victory and now the best team in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup – you can’t really do more,” said Christian Ried, team boss and driver at Felbermayr-Proton. “To be so successful, everything has to run smoothly and that was exactly the case in our team. We didn’t retire once. Despite never having started from pole position, we won three races. That can only work with a good car, strong drivers and a super team.” One of the first to congratulate the crew was Hartmut Kristen: “I’m particularly thrilled that Felbermayr-Proton won the team classification.”
Despite his strong drive, Richard Westbrook (Great Britain) didn’t manage to see the flag with the Prospeed Competition 911 GT3 RSR. The double Supercup winner and former FIA GT champion was on course for a podium result with his teammate Darryl O’Young (Hong Kong) when a clutch problem in the 119th lap signalled the end. “What a shame. We were looking very good in third place,” he commented. “Our mechanics tried their very best to repair the car but time ran out for us.” Local hero Darryl O’Young said: “It was a fabulous experience to drive on this track with the 911 GT3 RSR and to be cheered by so many fans. I became more and more familiar with the car. Under normal circumstances we would have finished on the podium. That would have been a highlight in my career. What a shame it didn’t work out.”
Race result GT2 class1. Müller/Werner (D/D), BMW E92 M3, 202 laps2. Lieb/Lietz (D/A), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 2023. Bruni/Vilander/Melo (I/SF/BRA), Ferrari 430 GT, 1994. Ragginger/Ried/Roda (A/D/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 1925. Ehret/Quaife/Kirkaldy (D/GB/GB), Ferrari 430 GT, 1916. Giroix/Goethe/Fatien (F/D/F), Lamborghini Gallardo, 187
Final standings team classification GT2 class1. Felbermayr-Proton, Porsche, 72 points2. AF Corse, Ferrari, 573. CRS Racing, Ferrari, 47
Final standings manufacturer classification GT2 class1. Ferrari, 120 points2. Porsche, 1133. BMW, 69
The ILMC 2010 is now complete. Next appointment is as soon as next March 19th at Sebring in the 12 hours, for the first round of a competition that seems, certain to be even more hotly contested.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid in China is awaited with much anticipation on November 7th 2010

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid celebrates debut in China
Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, round 3 in Zhuhai, China
The race in China marks an exciting conclusion to the year.
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Last exit Zhuhai:
With the race premiere of the innovative Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid in China, Porsche sets another highlight to conclude a successful year of motorsport. At the 1,000 kilometre race in Zhuhai on 7 November, Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA) take the wheel of the ground-breaking sports car from Weissach, which features two electric motors at the front axle each developing 60 kilowatts to supplement the 480 horsepower combustion engine.
PORSCHE : la 911 GT3 R Hybrid fait ses débuts en Chine le 7 novembre!
The first outing of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid in China is awaited with much anticipation. Porsche uses the final race of the newly created Intercontinental Le Mans Cup season to showcase its prototype, which perfectly embodies the philosophy of “Porsche Intelligent Performance’, to the important market of China. At its first race, Porsche Motorsport’s ‘rolling test laboratory’ caused a sensation by almost winning the Nürburgring 24 hour race. The Hybrid-911 led the overall classification until shortly before the flag. At its race debut in the United States of America, the #911 vehicle thrilled not only the fans at the 1,000 mile classic at Road Atlanta with its strong performance. Environmental politicians, who had come from Washington D.C. especially, were obviously impressed, stating that Porsche was forging the way of the future in motorsport with this vehicle.

Exciting conclusion to the year
For Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long, who clinched the GT class title of the American Le Mans Series this season with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for the second time in a row, the race in China marks an exciting conclusion to the year.
PORSCHE : la 911 GT3 R Hybrid fait ses débuts en Chine le 7 novembre!
“Having the chance to contest my first race in Asia with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid is something quite special,” says Joerg Bergmeister, who has already manned the Hybrid racer on the Nürburgring. “For me, this project was great fun right from the start. It is a completely new technology for which there is no basis. So, as a driver, you can also contribute a great deal more than would normally be the case. And, of course, better still is when you see how everything runs so smoothly.” Patrick Long is also looking forward to the race: “It’s a great experience to be able to work on a project that writes history. Many only dream of such a thing, but for me this dream comes true.”

On the 4.319 kilometre Zhuhai International Circuit, which was completed in 1996 as China’s first permanent race track, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid competes in the GT Experimental class and hence is not eligible to earn points. Its innovative hybrid system was developed specifically for use in the race car, differing significantly in its configuration and components from conventional hybrid systems. An electric front-wheel-drive with two electric motors supplements the four-litre flat-six at the rear. Under braking, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid converts kinetic energy into electrical energy and stores it in a flywheel. During acceleration, this energy is automatically delivered to the front wheels, supporting the combustion engine. This leads to a reduction in fuel consumption and increases the cruising range on the circuit. Moreover, drivers can manually utilise the stored energy with a boost-paddle on the steering wheel for overtaking. Performance on call.
The most successful GT racer
Racing alongside the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid in Zhuhai, which borders the Macau peninsula in southern China, are three Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. At the wheel of the most successful GT racer this season, which also won the environmental Michelin Green X Challenge as the vehicle with the best overall efficiency, are two favourites in the GT class, Porsche factory pilots Marc Lieb (Germany)and Richard Lietz (Austria).
This season the pair has already clinched their second Le Mans Series title in succession. Former Porsche-Junior Martin Ragginger (Austria)
  as well as Gianluca Roda (Italy)and Christian Ried (Germany) share driving duties in the second Felbermayr-Proton 911 GT3 RSR.
The double Porsche Supercup champion and former FIA GT Championship title holder
Richard Westbrook (Great Britain) teams up with
Darryl O’Young (Hong Kong) in the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Prospeed Competition.

The race in Zhuhai starts on Sunday, 7 November, at midday local time (0.5.00 hrs CET) and runs over 1,000 kilometres.
Watch lights-to-flag coverage of the ILMC’s trip to Zhuhai on Motors TV – Sunday November 7 at 11am

Zhuhai 1000 KM entry list updates!

  • 1 Team Peugeot Total – Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP – Sébastien Bourdais / Simon Pagenaud
  • 2 Team Peugeot Total – Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP – Stéphane Sarrazin / Franck Montagny
  • 7 Audi Sport Team Joest – Audi R15+ – Tom Kristensen / Allan McNish
  • 8 Audi Sport Team Joest – Audi R15+ – Rinaldo Capello / Romain Dumas
  • 11 Drayson Racing – Lola-Judd Coupe – Paul Drayson / Jonny Cocker
  • 23 Tokai University – Courage Oreca-YGK – Shigekazu Wakisaka / Shogo Mitsuyama
  • 24 OAK Racing – Pescarolo Judd – Jacques Nicolet / Frédéric Da Rocha / Patrice Lafargue
Formula Le Mans
  • 47 Hope Polevision Racing – Oreca-FLM – Luca MORO / TBA
  • 50 Larbre Competition – Saleen S7R – Roland Berville / Julien Canal
  • 69 JLOC – Lamborghini Murcielago – Iiri HIROYUKI / TBA
  • 75 ProSpeed Competition – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997) – Richard Westbrook / Darryl O’Young
  • 77 Team Felbermayr-Proton – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997) Marc Lieb / Richard Lietz
  • 78 BMW Team Schnitzer – BMW E92 M3 – Jörg Müller / Dirk Werner
  • 81 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKRS – Marc Goossens / Tommi Drissi / Paul Gentilozzi
  • 82 JaguarRSR – Jaguar XKRS – TBA / TBA
  • 88 Team Felbermayr-Proton – PORSCHE 911 GT3 RSR (997) – Gianluca Roda / Christian Ried / Martin Ragginger
  • 90 CRS Racing – Ferrari F430 GT – Pierre Ehret / Phil Quaife / Andrew Kirkaldy
  • 95 AF Corse – Ferrari F430 GT – Giancarlo Fisichella / Gianmaria Bruni
  • 99 Gulf Team First – Lamborghini Gallardo – Fabien Giroix / Roald Goethe / Frédéric Fatien
  • 92 Porsche AG – Porsche GT3R Hybrid – Jörg Bergmeister / Patrick Long
  • 91 Team Hong Kong Racing – Aston Martin DBRS9 – Philippe Ma / Marchy Lee
  • 96 United AutoSports – Audi R8 LMS – Danny Watts / Richard Meins
  • 97 United AutoSports – Audi R8 LMS –  Alain Li / Henri Richard
  • 98 KK Performance – Audi R8 LMS – Marchy Li / Alexander Yoong / Matthew Marsh
ILMC AsLMS Zhuhai Poster - Features R15+/908 in foreground. Background featres GT3R Hybrid and CRS F430.

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Northern California Road Trip - Muir Woods, Redwood, Lassen and more!
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Start and end in San Francisco. Mileage does not include sightseeing. Take a journey that explores National Parks, Monuments, National Seashores and more! This road trip also includes Lake Tahoe and a beautiful drive along the coast. You may want to extend the time to visit the numerous state parks and tourist areas.

Approximate Mileage/Time: 1300 miles, 12 days

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