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Old October 29th, 2002, 07:31 AM   #1
Magic Mtn Dan
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Porsche Driving Experience Relocating to Birmingham

Porsche Driving Experience Relocating to Birmingham; New Home to be Barber Motorsports Park

ATLANTA, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) today announced it will relocate the Porsche Driving Experience (PDE) to Birmingham's new, multi-million dollar Barber Motorsports Park. The announcement comes as the park prepares to open the gates of its 700-plus acre facility next year. Accelerated interest in the PDE performance-driving programs and the Panoz Racing School facilities drove PCNA's decision to move from its current locations at Road Atlanta and Sebring, Florida.

"In this case, outgrowing each other has been good for all parties," said Frederick J. Schwab, PCNA President and CEO. "Demand for track time at Road Atlanta and Sebring has increased dramatically and so has interest in PDE. This move allows both PDE and the tracks to accept more participants and make better use of the facilities."

Starting in March of 2003, PCNA will host its PDE program at the park, located off the 459 corridor on I-20. The park will showcase the company's first sport utility vehicle, the Cayenne. The facility will enable Porsche to demonstrate the Cayenne's handling both on and off the pavement.

"The Barber Motorsports Park gives PCNA the opportunity to start with a fresh face at an exclusive track that is second to none," said Le Mans and Daytona champion Hurley Haywood. "We all know that our business is based on emotion and the Birmingham track is without a doubt the most beautiful and demanding facility in North America."

"It has been dubbed the Augusta of racetracks with its prime location and manicured landscaping," said Jeff Ray, executive director of Barber Motorsports Park. "We've taken careful measures to be certain the park exceeds the industry's safety standards and is an environmentally friendly and economic contribution to Birmingham."

Fifteen minutes from downtown near the Leeds district and ten minutes from the Birmingham International Airport, the park rests on 740 acres of forested land along the Cahaba River. Only six percent of Barber Motorsports Park will be covered in impermeable surfaces, meaning most of the land will be natural forest or replanted wooded and grassed areas. Measuring 2.38 miles, the circuit is designed in the same fashion as many European racing facilities -- with no paved parking lots or grandstands, an added attraction for spectators.

While in Birmingham, PDE participants will have an opportunity to select from a number of lifestyle packages associated with PDE's preferred hotel, the Wynfrey. The award-winning hotel is Alabama's only AAA Four-Diamond Hotel and has received this coveted award for the past 16 consecutive years as well as the Pinnacle Award for the past 5 years.

Since its inception in 2000, thousands of enthusiasts have participated in the Porsche Driving Experience. The program features professional drivers and uses the 315-horsepower (SAE) Porsche 911(R) Carrera(R) Coupe -- to demonstrate performance, accident avoidance, and safe driving techniques.

Haywood and other professional drivers such as Doc Bundy, Pierre Savoy, Jeff Purner, Dave Murry, Jack Baldwin, and Bill Adam conduct the program. Due to a low 4:1 participant-to-instructor ratio, the drivers are able to offer hands-on, personal attention.

In July of this year, PCNA began offering a "masters" program, which is designed for those who have been through the initial PDE program. It offers participants more track time and advanced instruction. For more information, visit the Porsche Driving Experience Website -- www.porschedriving.com -- or call (888) 204-7474.
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Old October 30th, 2002, 06:14 PM   #2
clayton in walnut creek
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Alabama....I'm never going to get close enough via bus trip 2 go now *NM*

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