The call of the racetrack
When you put Christina on a track in her Porsche 911 GT3, it’s near on impossible to get her out of her car, she admits. Or to slow her down. Even to stop at all. Today, the 38-year-old from Mannheim is taking part in a very special activity at the legendary Nürburgring as one of the lucky participants to feature in the Porsche Racing Experience format, developed exclusively for GT street and race cars. Taking up two whole days, the Porsche GT Trackday is a chance to find out on the Eifel Grand Prix circuit just what her vehicle is capable of. Where you can experience a Porsche track day at the Nürburgring and push the envelope in a safe setting, where no one is imposing a speed limit. A place that induces goosebumps lap after lap. Where later this evening, as she rubs the insects that have collected on her bumper, the adrenaline still rushes through her system.
The ultimate feeling of freedom
Early on her first day, Christina arrives at the circuit extremely early. But that’s what anticipation can do to you. When it’s finally time to let her loose to drive a Porsche on a racetrack, Christina climbs into her white GT3. On the other side of the pit lane is 5.148km of prime tarmac. She grips the steering wheel in the classic race driver’s position. Right hand at three o’clock, the left at nine o’clock, the yellow stripe at the top centre of the steering wheel to mark the 12 o’clock position. Tightening her grip so that her knuckles briefly turn white, her gaze is fixed ahead on the flashing light of the pit lane’s start light. Breathe deeply, she tells herself. When she was 14, her father took her along to a Porsche Centre for the first time. An unforgettable Porsche moment that remains at the forefront of her mind. Just a few years later, Christina bought a Porsche 911 Carrera in Guards Red and did her first driver training course. She ended up being one of the best to take the course. This feels natural to her. Starting the lap timer, as she has so often done in the past, Christina’s heart starts to pound. Those 5km ahead of her feature seven left turns, ten right turns. Today is already shaping up to be another of her most memorable Porsche moments.
At the Nürburgring, Christina is surrounded by people who share her interest. Like her, Peter is also a regular at when it comes to a Porsche track day at the Nürburgring. In his green 911 GT3 RS, he closes the gap to Christina in her car, which bears the start number 46, made famous by bike legend, Valentino Rossi. The logo of the good Doctor adorns her helmet in the form of a brightly-coloured sticker. Christina briefly signals to Peter to go ahead and pass her. Peter, who says he spends all but a few weeks of the year on one or other of the world’s racetracks, has booked a personal instructor, a race engineer and his own pit for the track day. Having the support of a competent team, with their own international motorsport experience in Porsche racecars, is another option for you to make the most of it when you drive a Porsche on a racetrack here.
It was as if someone had given me concentrated adrenaline in a time capsule
Meanwhile, back in Christina’s car, she’s entering the Bilstein Corner, the start of the fastest section on this greatest of racetracks. She takes a sporty, fast-paced line through the Veedol Chicane, then floors it down the start-finish straight. At last, her GT3 is being driven as it should be. This is the highest point of the circuit, at just over 625m. She closes up on the rear of a foil-wrapped Porsche, lilac, purple-white, with a personalised plate showing GT3 RS and an outline of the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife emblazoned on its left-hand side. Her attention to the demands of the Nürburgring doesn’t waver as she negotiates the Dunlop Hairpin and then heads into the Müllenbachschleife, the circuit’s lowest point. Then it’s a tight left turn after a long stretch of acceleration, the high-speed combination of the Schumacher-S soon upon her, which requires a hard braking manoeuvre. You can feel that Christina is totally at one with the asphalt. The recurring heart palpitations she is experiencing is all part of the fun, she says. Time seems to stand still. This must be the flow that so many racing drivers wax lyrical about.
I get faster every time, feel safe. No one tells me what speed to drive at. I set the pace – enjoy the freedom with no speed limit
A new dimension in the track day experience
Christina approaches the Advan Curve, the fastest right-hander on the Grand Prix circuit. She is well prepared for the tight turns, fast hairpins and long straights of ‘Little Monaco’ – after all, she calls the Hockenheimring her home circuit, where she learned to drive a Porsche on a racetrack as quickly as she does. A glance at the lap timer confirms that she has reached her top speed on her Porsche track day at the Nürburgring. Lap after lap, her speed has increased. It comes from her love of challenging herself and the joy of experiencing speed without limits. It creates another unforgettable Porsche moment that’s sure to stay with her – just like that first time with her dad, well over 20 years ago.
Driving Europe’s most celebrated racetracks on a GT Porsche Trackday
Fast forward a few weeks, and Christina is back on her laptop, searching for the next available set of track day sessions. It’s now or never, she thinks. So she signs up for it again. Perhaps, in the future, she can head off to one of the other Porsche GT Trackday Events at some of Europe’s top Grand Prix circuits. The best of the best, like the Paul Ricard in the south of France. Many participants bring their own GT street or racecar, but there’s also an exclusive selection of Porsche cars to hire for the day. In fact, Christina considers renting a GT4 Clubsport at the next track day, tempted by its perfect balance, mid-engined layout and pure motorsport feeling. Or maybe she fancies a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup/Cup MR, 911 RSR or 911 GT2 RS Clubsport? The rental line-up here at the Nürburgring includes a very special specimen – the 911 GT3 R. An opportunity to experience a GT race car? What are you waiting for? It's now or never.