Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter Driving in Steamboat Springs

This weekend my husband and I got the chance to attend a special weekend in Steamboat Springs with Porsche Cars of North America. They were hosting a winter driving event at the Bridgestone Winter Driving School. There were about 35 of us on the trip from all over the state of Colorado.

Our journey started after lunch on Friday at Porsche of Colorado Springs, where a Ramblin Express tour bus was waiting to take us to Steamboat Springs. We stopped at Stevenson's Imports in Littleton to pick up a few more passengers.

Tim's ready to roll!
  There were a total of nine of us on the huge bus!

We arrived in Steamboat at 6pm, and got settled in at the Sheraton resort. Tim and I grabbed some food at one of the hotel restaurants and then headed to the Porsche welcome reception.

Saddles bar at the Sheraton resort.
Nice and warm inside!
a few of the trouble makers on the trip
The hotel is right on the slopes. This was actually my first trip to a ski resort in the winter. I don't ski...
view from the hotel to the slopes
Saturday was the big event day. In the morning after breakfast I went for a run on the treadmill in the fitness center. I would have liked to have run outside, but finding an appropriate trail and no ice seemed like it might be more trouble than what it was worth. The fitness center was small but nice - check out the foam rollers!

stretching area in the fitness center at the Sheraton
After my run I got cleaned up and headed to the complimentary spa treatment all the women were getting. I opted for a massage, and got a fabulous one! Next up was lunch and our "briefing" before the ladies headed to the track. The men had a morning track session, and the ladies the afternoon.

Heather and Cass tell us what to expect.
 We get to the track a little after 1:30 and spend the next three hours in the cars learning the tricks of winter driving in some high performance cars.

The fleet of Cayennes and Panameras
we didn't get to drive this one, but we did get a ride in it!
The group split in half - three cars with three people each went to one track, and three cars with another three people each went to the other track. The instructors were on radios and gave us instructions and tips as we drove. Every few laps we swapped drivers. My group (Ellen and Kathrin) started in a Cayenne hybrid. Very nice. According to the men, it didn't drive very well, but what would I know - it was my first time driving a Porsche an drives much better than my Mitsubishi Montero Sport!

We tested out the ABS and learned how to take corners with appropriate braking and accelerating. "Separation of controls" was the phrase of the day.  It was tons of fun! After about 90 minutes on that track we went to the other track, although it wasn't as exciting. The curves were much more mellow.

The console of a Panamera 4S. 
The Panamera 4S I drove
Once the groups had sufficient drive time, it was time for the "hot laps" with the instructors. Here are a few videos that'll show you what went on:

After all the driving was done, we were pretty exhausted! The men were snowmobiling around the Rabbit Ears Pass area so we were all wiped out. Tim and I grabbed a quick drink at the bar before dinner. I suppose this was the closest I got to the slopes with a Double Black Diamond Chocolate Martini! We then had a very nice dinner with the Porsche of Colorado Springs representatives and the other COS guests at Sevens, after which we called it a night.

Sunday morning Tim and I got up, hit the gym for a quick workout, had breakfast with the group and got back on the bus (a smaller bus this time) to Colorado Springs. Now back to the normal grind...


Terry Odell said...

So, now that you've had professional training, will you be allowed to drive Tim's Porsche?

Nicole said...

I really have no interest in driving Tim's car. It's is a manual and I don't drive those unless in an emergency. :) Plus I like being higher up...much preferred the Cayenne over the Panamera.

Simon Schempp said...

Man, of course it's better than a Montero. It's a Porsche! Haha. Oh my, it's my ultimate dream to drive a Porsche at full speed. Not a Cayenne though, that's just too big for me.

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