Aussie Porsche owners get a chance to drive the Albert Park F1 circuit
Porsche owners are being offered a special chance to become one of the few who have lapped Albert Park, via its ‘pole position’ programme.
THE ALBERT PARK race circuit in Melbourne, Victoria only exists for a few days each year, so it’s pretty special. Track time is limited so it’s hard for the average punter to get a chance to drive the circuit, but Porsche have fixed that for their owners with a “Pole Position” programme.
Usually track days are for just any driver, but this time Porsche say: “you will need a road registered Porsche and the driving ability to match. This is not your usual track day and previous relevant experience is required.”
Specifically, the entry form asks the level of Porsche driver training experience you’ve had, and your competition experience, especially sprints (timed track days run under competition rules) and tarmac rallies. You will need a CAMS Level 2 Speed (L2S) license, but that’s just an application form away, there’s no test.
There are two sessions; 0620 – 0940 and 0840 – 1200, both on Wednesday the 16th of March. Porsche reckon that’s enough time for up to 15 laps, so there’s clearly some briefing and familiarisation time involved. The cost is $3450, and $150 for a non-driving guest.
No competition cars are allowed, and there’s to be no signs on cars. No slick tyres permitted. All cars will be scrutineered by CAMS, so clearly this is run more as a motorsports sprint day than a customer track day.
There will be Porsche driving instructors in attendance including a guest by the name of Mark Webber (read our review of his autobiography here).
If you’d like to have a crack at a racetrack in a Porsche but don’t meet the criteria for the Albert Park event, then there’s also the High Flier experience – fly from Melbourne’s CBD to Phillip Island in a helicopter, drive a few 911s or similar around the track, fly back direct to the circuit and watch the action. No Porsche ownership required.
I’ve done this, and I can say there are worse ways to spend your day. What was notable about the day was the speed the instructor drove the circuit at with us following – usually these days are pretty tame, but Porsche seem to take performance driving more seriously than most and we had a proper crack at the circuit. So while the average club day at Phillip Island is $220, the ask of $3450 for Albert Park is likely to deliver more than just an average day.
There have been other programmes in the past – at least for last year Mercedes-Benz AMG ran a programme where you could drive their cars on the circuit, but not your own. It’s not clear whether or not they’re running it again this year. It never hurts to ask, and the more demand there is the more likely it is something will be organised.
You can find out more, and apply to join Porsche’s F1 programme here:
Porsche’s regular driving training programme can be found here:
Here’s a look at what Albert Park is like from inside a Porsche 911 Carrera Cup car:
Yes, we know the track image on the right of the title photo is not Albert Park. But we don’t know which track it is. Any ideas?