Porsche First at the new Dubai AutodromeApril 12th, 2004
Dubai – Porsche became the first car manufacturer to host an action-packed driving event on the new world class FIA sanctioned 5.35 km motor racing track here in Dubai when Porsche Middle East kicked-off four days of “driver training” for Porsche Club members with sports cars in the region. The Porsche excitement ran from April 8th through the 11th.
Five instructors, themselves ex and current racing champs from Porsche’s home base in Stuttgart in Germany, set up a day of slalom circuits, fast curve driving, over and under steering practice loops and more, finishing with an exhilarating run of hot laps around the track. Several also won a draw and had a chance to ride in a Carrera GT3 Cup Car, the famous race version of the road-going 911, brought in specially from Germany for the occasion.
Mark Bishop, managing director of Dubai-based Porsche Middle East opened the morning’s activities over breakfast in the pit lane complex, still in the final stages of construction. “We are thrilled to have this opportunity today to welcome our customers to something we hope to offer them on a regular basis. The use of this new Autodrome is something we have looked forward to for a long time and we are happy to be the first to give it a go,” he said. “The driving possibilities for Porsche with a track of this calibre in the hub here in Dubai are endless,” Bishop smiled.
Regional owners clubs currently active in the Gulf include the Porsche Clubs of Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose members were all invited to participate ensuring that each day there were at least 40 sports cars on the track at any given time in various sessions taking place throughout the day. Enthusiastic cheers and cries could be heard from time to time as fellow club members encouraged each other on during the timed slalom sessions.
For Porsche aficionados, it was a great opportunity to see a parade of some of the most rare and most unusual Porsche sports cars found anywhere in the world, paired with some of the newest, most elaborately accessorized and some of the most simple. Porsche owners in the Middle East, now the fifth largest subsidiary for Porsche in the world, are renowned for proving their passion for all things Porsche by personalizing their cars; it is rare indeed that any two sports cars on the roads of the Gulf are identical through and through.
Porsche Middle East’s marketing manager, Amaury La Fonta, commented, “It’s been tremendous to have had a fun-filled few days with many of the Porsche Club members in the region, many of whom have been customers for most of their driving years. The clubs in the region, as part of the Porsche Club Organisation worldwide, are becoming very active and we are happy that ours is one brand that breeds such enthusiasm and passion among owners.
“Porsche made history here over the past few days: for the Autodrome, for Porsche the brand and for the Porsche Clubs,” he said.
There are currently more than 470 officially recognised Porsche Clubs with around 100,000 members in over 40 countries - and this figure is growing.
Report from 19/04/2004