Porsche Brings the Media Driving Academy to Sepang, Malaysia
PR Newswire, SINGAPORE, Dec. 15, 2016
SINGAPORE, Dec. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Following the success of its inaugural Porsche Media Driving Academy (MDA), Porsche Asia Pacific, together with Sime Darby Auto Performance — the official importer of Porsche cars in Malaysia — jointly organised the second iteration of the MDA that ran from November 13th to 16th, 2016. The event was held at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, home of the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The MDA allowed participants to experience the maximum performance of Porsche cars through consecutive courses designed to sharpen the driving skills of journalists. With an emphasis on Porsche’s technology transfer from motorsports to its road cars, the event offered journalists the opportunity to experience the full breadth and versatility of Porsche models — from everyday sports cars to street-legal race cars. Porsche models including the 911, 718 Boxster S, Cayenne and Macan were made available for participants to drive during the MDA. Porsche showcased the complete current model range except for the Panamera as the new generation will make its arrival in the region very shortly during this transition period.
Journalists from the region joined one of the three performance courses of the MDA: Individual, Professional, or Elite. In each course, Porsche certified instructors provided expert guidance and professional tips. Making an appearance this year was top racing driver Earl Bamber, who worked directly with Professional and Elite course participants, sharing his years of track driving experience to give them a taste of a day in the life of a Le Mans driver.
Other than activities at the race track, journalists were also given in-depth classroom theory lessons and workshops, including a unique motorsports conditioning regime for higher courses that is usually reserved for the highest calibre of race drivers. At the end of the course, they received official certification that recognises the qualification attained at the MDA.
“The Sepang International Circuit provides a safe and controlled environment for drivers to break free from their usual driving routine and shift the gears up a notch. More importantly, the Media Driving Academy brings the Porsche experience from showroom to tarmac to highlight the technological innovation of our cars,” said Martin Limpert, Managing Director of Porsche Asia Pacific.
Members of the public interested to experience Porsche cars on the track can sign up for the Porsche Sport Driving School, at different locations across the world. For more information, please visit: https://drivingexperience.porsche.com/en/sport-driving-school.
Porsche Media Driving Academy 2016 — Courses
The Individual course focused on the fundamentals of vehicle control, including slalom, braking, safety lines and lane change. Led by certified Porsche instructors, the programme provided insights into the basic laws of physics relating to driving and handling as well as an introduction of various Porsche electronic driving aids for the use on and off the race track.
This course involved more intensive training in approaching and tackling bends accurately, involving more complex cornering exercises. Besides the useful brake and lane change exercise, for the first time this year Professional participants also got to experience Motorsport Conditioning by a fitness instructor who trains race drivers regularly.
Focused on journalists who are already accomplished drivers, the programme was devised to support independent sport-oriented driving. Through the use of high-performance Porsche cars and one-to-one coaching, journalists were able to gain insights and experience the full performance of the cars, through advanced techniques such as trail braking and throttle steering.
Soundbites from Earl Bamber, 24 Hours of Le Mans 2015 Winner
Earl, you were raised in New Zealand, and now you live in Malaysia. What brought you here?
I moved here about four to five years ago. There are a lot of opportunities in the region for motorsport, especially in Malaysia. And really, the Sepang circuit has become one of the central hubs for motorsport in Asia. Sepang is also a fantastic facility — I would say that this is my home track. We are very proud of Sepang obviously. Now that the track is resurfaced and a couple of the corners changed, it has made it even more attractive and amazing. It’s great to have such a track here as people in the region really start to understand motorsport and also the idea of performance and sporty driving.
What do you like about driving a Porsche on the track and on the road and what is your favourite model?
Well for me, I essentially love to drive and am always happy to jump inside a car and just drive. But what I really like is the closeness between the road car and the race car — this is really nice. Because what one always realises is, even a Porsche road car feels quite like a race car, too. Whenever you drive a Porsche you always do it with a smile on your face. For me, my favourite road car is the 911 GT3 RS. I was lucky enough to take it for a test drive, this was really cool.
Soundbites from Martin Limpert, Managing Director of Porsche Asia Pacific
With a growing customer base in Asia, will we see further developments in terms of electrification? In Asia, there may not be enough infrastructure to support electric cars, what is your opinion about that?
I think electrification will definitely become more popular, the question is just when. This might vary from country to country in terms of speed, whether for infrastructure reasons or other, but we strongly believe that it will take off. Hybridization is one way to get there, but actually if we just have a look into the end of the decade, there will be our Porsche Mission E, our first fully electric car. For Porsche, an electric sports car is not only conceivable, but will also become reality.
I saw the introduction of the 718 Boxster, 718 Cayman and the Panamera Sneak Preview around the region recently. What other products are you focusing on?
Yes, the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman were introduced earlier this year with a new engine, a proven concept of technology transfer of turbocharging from the accomplished 919 Hybrid, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, bringing innovation from the racetrack to the road. Then there is the second generation Panamera, introduced through the “Courage Changes Everything” campaign. This car is dubbed as the fastest luxury saloon on earth with a 7 minutes and 38 seconds Nürburgring lap time. You can imagine how exciting it is to have a Gran Turismo for business, family, luxury, sporty driving, all in one. Very recently, we announced the Cayenne Platinum Edition, which gives customers many standard options like the sports seats with Alcantara, 20-inch RS Spyder design wheels, exterior package in high-gloss black and privacy glass, BOSE surround system, and the very sophisticated latest generation Porsche Communication Management. The overall look exudes exclusive sporty design.