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Off through the dunes

A Porsche driver cheats

27 February 2024 | Member stories

A Porsche driver cheats - that could be a newspaper headline. Here, however, is a report on the Pistenclub track day at the Dutch Circuit Zandvoort on 30 October 2023, when GT3 driver Manoj took his first seat behind the wheel of a 700 hp Camarzo.
  • Text:
    Manoj George
  • Photos: & Manoj George

A big thank you goes to Angela and Guido Dentz for making this unforgettable track day in Zandvoort possible. As soon as we booked, we went straight to the simulator to explore the track virtually and prepare ourselves in the best possible way. Guido knows my affinity for simulators, but my worries about setting an even faster lap time were unfounded.

On the evening of 29 October 2023, the adventure began with a meal together in a convivial group of Pistenclub legends. The atmosphere was charged with anticipation and enthusiasm for the days ahead. A special activity the next morning at 6 a.m., a run along the beach by headlamp, accompanied by the calming sound of the sea, set the mood for the day in a unique way. The beach run was followed by the unloading of the cars and the obligatory route briefing. The weather was at its best - sunny, frosty and dry. On this day, however, the focus was not on GT3 cars, but on pure US V8 racing cars. A Porsche driver goes off-road and to get me in the mood, I was allowed on the track with Angie's Camaro and its impressive naturally aspirated engine. The sound was breathtaking, even if the automatic transmission seemed a little sluggish.

After a few relaxed laps, I slowly gained confidence, and after four laps, I got out with pleasure. A short break with coffee and snacks allowed me to process my first impressions. It became clear that driving a Camaro on the racetrack means work, here you drive with all your senses. As usual, there were nice petrol talks with other participants, including Porsche colleague Markus Wang, Thomas with his Mini and Michael Braun with his stripped Camaro. A great and honest group that made the track day a special experience.

Guido recognised my willingness and suggested I try the manual Camaro ZL1 1LE next - almost 700 hp and plenty of torque awaited me. I got in with sacred respect for the property and the car. Helmet on, pit exit out, and gently on the throttle. The Camaro greeted me from behind in the first few turns, and we were off down the track. Always at low revs, due to the abundance of torque, and slowly every lap got better. The respect remained, but the fun increased continuously. The soundscape was pure goosebumps, an emotional connection was created between driver and car - the Camaro ZL1 1LE is a symbiosis of US steroids with German suspension, which guaranteed fun at a high level.

It was lunchtime and I had a five-hour journey back to Frankfurt ahead of me. As I was packing my things, Michael, alias Mike, approached me in his matt brown Camaro. He suggested we go for a spin and, as a true racer, I didn't say no. Helmet out and on, I was back on the track with Mike. The Camaro, completely geared towards racing, felt surprisingly light on its feet. We devoured the next four laps together with great joy.

This day was a real treat for the eyes and ears. The V8 Camaros want to be driven differently than Porsche GT3s, but the fun factor was at least as high. All three Camaros will be fondly remembered.

A big thank you to Angela, Guido and Mike for their trust and the loan of their V8 cars. The Pistenclub trackday in Zandvoort was a feast for the senses, and although the season has come to an end, I'm still looking forward to next year when I'll be back in the saddle of the GT3 on the Nordschleife. I'll be back soon.

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Trackday Circuit Zandvoort
Monday, 07.10.2024 09:00
Price: from 590€
  • Manoj George

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