GT Porsche Track Evening 2016
Tuesday 28th June saw the running of the annual GT Porsche track evening at the famous Brands Hatch Indy Circuit. Upwards of 30 Porsches representing almost all of the marque’s performance-focussed models gathered in warm, relatively bright conditions at the Kent track, including several familiar faces from within the pages of GT Porsche magazine.
Prior to the 4:30pm briefing, we took the chance to have a look around the paddock. Ever-popular with Porsche enthusiasts and track drivers of all skill levels, there was a variety of old and new cars – enough to whet the appetite for the 5:30pm start time. Among the cars attending were no less than three Cayman GT4s including Richard Draper’s Sapphire Blue car and Neil Plumpton’s Carrera White example. Boxsters were well represented in 986 and 987 form and numerous 911s ranging from 1971 to the present day graced Brands’ staging area. Transaxle models were out in force including a brace of 968s and 944s – even a nearly-new Panamera Turbo lined up for some track time.
As ever with MSV events, the briefing was clear and well delivered, however it didn’t escape anyone’s attention that as it was going on that the sky was turning an ever deepening shade of grey. So it was that as the sighting laps began, the rain began to come down – lightly at first, but quickly increasing in intensity.
By the time the pack was ready to start putting in some fast laps track conditions had become what you might term ‘tricky’ – not helped by an oil slick laid down by an engine failure at an earlier track session. Initial laps were taken carefully as everyone felt their way around, testing grip levels and for areas of standing water. But it wasn’t long before the pace stepped up.
Throughout the open pit lane session there was some fantastic driving with the cars being driven as hard as Porsche intended. Paragon Porsche’s Mark Sumpter got the hips wiggling on his race-prepared 964 several times and it was really entertaining to see just how far the playing field was levelled by the poor conditions, with well-driven Boxsters and Caymans easily keeping pace with some much more powerful machinery. It was particularly good to see so much respect within the pack; despite ever worsening conditions incidents were thankfully few and far between, and even then they were far from serious.
While the rain never really let off, there was a great spirit within the pits as cars came in and went out. Marshalling was its usual high standard and as an overall event, we at GT Porsche couldn’t really have hoped for better – save for some dry conditions. Thank you to everyone who came along – whether driving or spectating. It was great to catch up with so many of you and we look forward to seeing you at a GT Porsche track event soon.