Words by Ardie O. Lopez Photos by Jerel Fajardo & Author
Perennially booked and busy with all sorts of high-performance cars, bikes, and even karts launching, hot-lapping, and skidding around the tracks of the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga, it’s hands-down the busiest racetrack in the country. The smell of burnt rubber and the sound of engines revving are all too familiar to those who frequent the place. Last February however, the racetrack was significantly transformed- the atmosphere was different, as the air had a more orderly and professional feel about it. All around, white banners, signages, and vertical flags- all bore the famous crest from Stuttgart- the Insignia that’s synonymous to high performance cars and the excitement of driving them. It was the Porsche World Road Show for 2015, as hosted by PGA Cars, Philippines.
For over a week, the Clark Speedway was an exclusive Porsche playground for all sorts of Porsche enthusiasts, from current owners, exotic car and motorsports aficionados, those looking to acquire their very first or next Porsche, and everyone in between. It was the most wunderbar opportunity to get behind the wheel of almost every Porsche nameplate in the current lineup. And lined-up magnificently they were, gleaming under the golden early morning sun: the 2015 Porsche Boxster GTS, the Cayman GTS, 3 variants of the 911 Carrera, 4 variants of the Cayenne, a Macan Turbo and S Diesel, a couple of Panameras- highlighted by the Panamera S E-Hybrid; one of Porsche’s highly acclaimed Plug-in Hybrids.
A very sharp team of professional Porsche high-performance driving instructors were flown-in to conduct the driving experience for all participants that over the course of a few days, swelled up to well over a hundred. It wasn’t your token drive around the track with a bit of a show and tell- it was a total immersion for each participant that practically took the entire day. Grouped into small teams, the drivers went through the activities held in various parts of the track like clockwork, shifting and shuffling from one Porsche to the next, all the while encouraged to push the car as hard as their skills and courage would safely and comfortably allow showcasing the exceptional performance the rides were capable of delivering. Hot laps around the circuit, hard braking, high-speed slaloms, even extreme off-roading with the Cayennes and Macans on a special 4×4 trail off-track were held. There was no shortage of ear-to-ear grins, high-fives, fist bumps and wails of exhilaration (oh and thousands of selfies perhaps?) going around all-day, day-in and day-out, as it was an all-out and flat-out experience with what’s undoubtedly the German brand with the most comprehensive lineup of high-performance roadsters, coupes and even SUVs around. Indeed, that was the road show to prove it. Seriously, I heard the catch-line from a classic Tom Cruise film spoken a few times on the tracks: “Porsche, there is no substitute.” I tend to agree.