Context: 50 Porsche GT and Turbo cars. 3 days of driving. Porsche Experience Center LA. The Thermal Club. Palm Springs. Las Vegas. Yeah…
All photos via Duncan Bonar
So this past weekend I had an opportunity to join in on the fun on Targa Trophy’s first Grand Tour event with the featured brand being Porsche. Of course, I had an issue in that I don’t own a GT or Turbo Porsche but Scottie was incredibly generous and lent me his 991 GT3 Street Cup for the weekend. Now equipped with basically a racecar for the journey, I knew I was in for an epic time.
Friday morning kicked off with everyone meeting at the Porsche Experience Center LA in Carson, CA. While there, we were able to tour the facility and grab breakfast in one of their cafes. All immaculately clean and tidy, of course. The Porsche way. Once everyone had finished up breakfast we ran through the usual driver’s meeting and then it was out into the lot to get ready to head out for Thermal.
Typically, the drive from Carson to Thermal would be fairly boring, even in cars like these. Typical, however, isn’t the Targa way. While we got started a little late on what I like to call Targa Standard Time [sorry J ;)], we immediately broke away from the freeways in favor of a much more scenic alternative through the mountains. It’s probably a good thing we haven’t been hit with as much snow down here as some other places because a bunch of rear wheel drive Porsche’s aren’t exactly the best snow vehicles but it made for some epic backdrops and fun driving roads. A few patches of black ice here and there but otherwise totally dry roads. Being the middle of a Friday I suppose most were still at work so other cars were pretty scarce, just in case we didn’t stick out enough already. For those of you who may have never been in a caravan or in “attention grabbing” cars, let me just say that small town officers are not big fans of travelers through their territory.
Once clear of the snow we descended back down into familiar desert through the back side of Palm Springs. Shortly after, we arrived at one of my favorite places to spend time… the Thermal Club. Unfortunately time was against us when we arrived so we had limited time on track but I enjoyed being able to lead several groups of lead follow around their South Palm circuit.
After an awesome first day, we all headed back to Palm Desert to stay at the JW Marriott. Pretty sure everyone was beat at that point, so not much happened after dinner since everyone was fearing Vegas the following night…
After a solid night of sleep it was back at it. Kicked off with a drivers meeting at 9:30 and then we were off for the longest day of driving to Las Vegas. Again, there was a short and boring way or a longer and much more exciting way. We went the long way, of course! This one took us through Joshua Tree national park into 29 Palms, then north through the mountains until we caught a backroad into Baker for lunch. From Baker it was the back way on 127 which took us back into a bit of snow before dumping us right into Vegas at the start of the strip.
We got into Vegas just as daylight was nearly gone and I think everyone was stoked on not only the driving from the day, but also the fact that it was time to regroup at the Aria, rest a bit, and celebrate later in the night at Omnia. Sunday was a bit complicated (no issues just a long story!) so I think this is where I’ll end off on the details.
Saturday night was epic. Great times with great people. It’s really incredible how well such a large group clicks along when sharing the same passion. To everyone that was on the Grand Tour, thank you. It’s the people that make the event as enjoyable as it is. And of course a special thanks to Scottie for providing me with the car to be able to do it. If you didn’t make the connection, it’s the same GT3 Street Cup that we did a ride check on way back as our first episode. One badass machine. Check the episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yii6XJL9qJk
Counting down until the next one!
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