GT3/RS/RSR Register Evening Run to SkyHigh, Mt Dandenong
Sunday December 2, 2018
Story & Photos by Greg Humphries (with input) Image Gallery
Change is a constant and a good thing. In trying to determine the style of event for December, the ‘brain’s trust’ of the GT3 Register were looking for something different away from the typical run timings and venue styles. What about an afternoon / dinner event to an outer suburban tourist destination? If that wasn’t risky enough, why not make it the day after the PCV Annual Ball!
The following is a collection of observations and anecdotes from the day.
Some 18 starters in 10 spectacular vehicles signed up, turned up and kept up during the afternoon / evening. Our inaugural evening outing was obviously so intriguing that it even enticed two long term Club members, Past President, Greg Cook (joined 1983) and Past Social Director, Michael Dennis (joined 1999) to make this their FIRST EVER Register run. Welcome all!
We hoped that being on the roads much later in the day than usual would lead to reduced traffic and subjectively, that seemed to be the case. The first half on the run was the ‘twisty’ section, with three awesome short but undulating, narrow routes, Pigeon Bank Road, Alma Road and Clintons Road, testing out the cars & drivers steering and braking talents more than simple acceleration. And also testing, I should add, the passenger’s fortitude!
Sunday drivers returning to Melbourne may have been wondering under what auspices the run was actually being conducted, when a stunning black McLaren 720S briefly slotted into middle of our Porsche GT3 convoy, by chance, right behind the Dennis's recently acquired Aston Martin V8 Vantage SP10. Incidentally, Michael's excuse for bringing that car along was to ask his new Aston 'the question' on the challenging roads chosen for this run, and I suspect the huge grin on his face at our Yarra Glen pit stop (and Kris’s ashen face) was a fair indication of the answer!
At the rest stop in Yarra Glen, because of the time of day, in addition to the usual tea/coffee/water, a cleansing ale or glass of wine could also be, and in fact was, had. The second stage which took us across the Yarra Valley was at a more sprint pace towards Mt Dandenong and the SkyHigh Restaurant, our dinner destination.
The public interest in our cars never ceases to amaze, with some young lads taking seemingly endless photographs at our Doncaster McDonald's meeting point and groups of overseas tourists pausing wide-eyed on their way to the viewing platform at the SkyHigh Restaurant with compliments and questions.
We had a semi-private alcove area at the venue which encouraged lively conversation whilst consuming the standard SkyHigh entrée platters and various pub-style mains. Reflecting 'the partner-friendly vibe' of the register, one attendee happily commented that much of the conversation over dinner had absolutely nothing to do with cars!
To top the evening off, several reports confirmed that descending the mountain in the dark following dinner was an additional bonus. With the snaking roads virtually clear of traffic and high beams able to be generously used, further excitement on the way home was guaranteed.
Many thanks to Peta & Peter, Greg & Helen, Michael & Kris, Philippe & Wendy, Brendan & Catalina, Adrian, Michael & Judy, Tony, Linley & Helen and Robin for your contributions in making the run so enjoyable.
GT3/RS/RSR Register Lunch Run to Yea
Sunday 30th September, 2018
By: Greg Humphries
To give due respect to any potential AFL premiership hangovers, at a slightly later time slot than normal, our eager drivers and passengers met at one of PCV’s ‘traditional’ starting points, the Hungry Jacks / Croydon Hotel carpark on Maroondah Highway, Croydon.
Even though it was a slightly chilly morning, the group tended to congregate in the car park rather than inside potentially savouring the delights of the burger chain. One reason might have been that the run was an hour and forty five minute direct route to the luncheon venue in Yea and too much ‘breakfast’ might spoil the appetite.
There may have been another reason and that could have been the sensational collection of cars that made up the 24 person, 13 car field. By my count, about 70% of the drivers were in GT3s, with three 996.1, one 997.1, two 991.1 and three 991.2. Of the 991 series, one was an RS and another a new Touring version. Lest other attendees should feel left out, not a bit of it. An S, a 4S and a Turbo comprised a ‘hat trick’ of the gorgeous 993 series, and the group was rounded out with a delightful Cayman S. Who would not want to stand around and look at that collection of cars and chat with the lucky owners, irrespective of the temperature!
With the briefing out of the way we departed on time. The first few minutes of the run required a couple of turns controlled by traffic lights that naturally spread the group out. Our journey progressed through the back blocks of Wonga Park and I wasn’t sure if it was from the recent rains, but many of those houses looked a lot bigger than when I last saw them! We made good progress from Yarra Glen to Healesville towards the Chum Creek Road. The drivers enjoyed that famous piece of road in favourable conditions on the way to the Melba Highway for a short ‘transport’ stage before turning off on to the Break-o-Day Road towards Flowerdale. This piece of tarmac was new to me but should be on everyone’s drive list as the flowing route is a delight to drive and provides splendid vistas for the passenger.
A quick left / right put us on to the Flowerdale / Broadford Road, another open flowing road that included a pretty impressive vertical escarpment towards the Broadford end. One element of our overall route was the number of ‘Turn Here for Yea’ signs we passed going apparently the wrong way! This was confirmed by one of our group who were coming from a different starting location to meet us for lunch passing us going the ‘wrong way to Yea’ on this stretch. The final stage from Broadford to Yea was a pleasant tour observing the bike riders enjoying the rail trails while travelling in convoy with similar paced vehicles.
One of the principles for our luncheon runs is that the roads, distances, pace and scenery should facilitate enjoyment and in-car harmony between driver and passenger. There was an interesting combination on this run as the two GT3 Register Vice-Captains, Chris Mason and Linley Baxter, shared a car together with Chris driving his 996.1 to lunch and Linley driving Chris ‘home’. The very politically correct feedback from both of them about the combined drive was that each drove ‘very efficiently and competently’. Mmmmm…
Our destination, the Peppercorn Hotel in Yea, is a delightful ‘old world’ pub with plenty of atmosphere and a deserved reputation for great food and interesting local wines. Considering that the venue was completely booked out on the day, for our largish group, the kitchen and service team did a great job in preparing and delivering our meals in a most acceptable timeframe. Judging by the ‘clean’ plates that were returned for both courses, the food was very well received indeed. And, as always, the table conversation was lively.
Many thanks to all that came along and lent their fellowship and love of the Porsche marque to ensure a most enjoyable day.
GT3/RS/RSR Register Run to Toolangi
Sunday 29th October, 2017.
Story & Photos by Chris Mason
Perfect Melbourne weather heralded the prospect of one of the best GT3/RS/Register runs in the Club's history and as the cars started to arrive that forecast was quickly confirmed.
First to arrive was Linley and Helen Baxter's 996 GT3 Mk.1, then a couple of 991 GT3 RS's arrived, followed by David and Kathy Danziger's 997 GT3 RS 4.0, and the stage was set.
The rest of the pack included a McLaren 650S, 996 Turbo cabriolet, several 997 GT3's, and a couple of 996 GT3 Mk. 2's. Linley Baxter, filling in for Register Captain Greg Humphries, did a perfect run briefing reinforcing the need to drive responsibly, and then the cars briskly headed east from the Mulgrave McDonalds towards Lysterfield searching for the morning team venue in Gembrook.
The Sunday morning traffic was light but traffic lights split the group into two. The rural setting of the Dandenong's was the perfect backdrop for effectively warming up the cars (and drivers) and there were enough twists and turns to keep the navigators on their toes as well.
Gembrook was already busy when we arrived, but the spirited driving in our first stage was demanding enough for everyone to need a break. New members were welcomed, the specifications of the various cars compared, and the coffee and cake sampled.
The second stage, the run to Toolangi, took us through Cockatoo and skirted past Woori Yallock, Healesville and Yarra Glen, familiar roads to most register run attendees. Being Sunday and a beautiful day meant keeping our eyes open for speed cameras, and sure enough there were three cameras along the way. Most of the run is in the twisty sections of the Dandenongs where, even with an 80 km/hr limit, even our quick drivers like Tony Stephens in his 991 GT3 RS would be hard pressed to exceed the limit. The perfect run to test these Porsche GT cars.
Just as we hit the famed Myer Creek Road the Toolangi Tavern appeared on our left. The perfect venue, shared between three car clubs, the Tavern staff provided a great two course lunch at just the right pace allowing our 20 attendees time to chat and share their relevant Porsche experiences.
The debrief confirmed no-one had been caught by the speed cameras, that everyone had enjoyed the drive, no technical issues occurred with the cars, and everyone was looking forward to the next run.
Thanks to Greg Humphries for setting the run vision, Ken Anson the Registers Director for his help with the run notes and Linley Baxter for coordinating the run day.
GT3/RS/RSR Sunday Morning Experience to Drouin
Click Here for Image Gallery
With great weather, a large crowd, challenging roads, and an ideal venue for morning tea in Drouin, the GT3/RS/RSR run was destined to be a success. The flat-top truck back up plan for any break downs was not required but the ever-reliable multi-purpose race tape applied skillfully by Tony Stephens resolved an issue of a loose tail-light for one of the 28 Porsches on the run. The mix of cars was a testament to the diversity of the Porsche Club as a whole, with cars such as a 991 GT3 RS, 991 GT3, 997 Turbo, 993 Turbo, 993RS, 981 Boxter GTS, and 997 Targa generating some interest in spectators and drivers alike as we left McDonalds Mulgrave on time. The camera of Julie Mason was put to good use as can be seen in the accompanying photographs.
The 16 solo drivers (no navigator) transferred responsibility for route adherence onto the cars with navigators as two separate groups headed from Mulgrave along Wellington Road towards the Dandenong Ranges. The roads were damp in places and the bright morning sun created a need for caution but also some amazing photo opportunities as the sun rays were emphasised in the light fog amongst the canopies of the trees. The run route took us through Emerald, Macclesfield, Yarra Junction and Powelltown as we headed to Nayook. The driver briefing warned of speed cameras and sure enough a mobile camera around the half-way point of the run required a sharp eye and emergency braking for many. As we turned towards Drouin the tight windy roads turned to high speed sweepers which opened up the groups. Our route to Drouin was Neerim, Nerim South, Rokeby and Drouin West. About 20 km’s from Drouin we passed a group of around 15 Mini Coopers heading away from Drouin on their club run.
The end of the run was at the popular breakfast spot in the main street of Drouin, Middels, and Manager Brad Allan was very accommodating in providing their function room for our group. It was a nice touch that we could park a couple of RS’s right at the front door of our room to create a true Porsche atmosphere. Comments on why this run was so popular supported the strategy of a shorter run which didn’t require a full day commitment. The run was less than two hours in duration and some groups were still chatting and enjoying the Middels hospitality two hours after arrival. The blend of long-term and new members meant there were plenty of Porsches stories to share. Thanks to the GT3/RS/RSR Register Captain Greg Humphries for his help in checking out the run notes and organisation on the day.
GT3 Register run through the back of the Dandenongs to the Tarra Warra Gallery and Wild Cattle Creek Estate in the Yarra Valley
At the civilised time of 9.00am on Sunday the 23rd April the mighty GT3’s embarked on another fabulous run. The run was designed to excite the driver and delight passengers. We were over subscribed but some quick calls to the lunch venue had that sorted. Traversing the back of the Dandenongs the traffic thins and the roads opened out across rolling hills heading North towards the Yarra Valley. In this beautiful region we found a smorgasbord of open undulating roads finishing with a tight fun section just North of Healesville before our morning tea stop at the famous Tarra Warra Estate. Here there was time for art lovers to enjoy the wonderful exhibition by Louise Herman or simply to sip coffee under the peppercorn trees while appreciating the inspiring architecture. Another short but scenic drive on mostly traffic free roads took us to the lunch stop at Wild Cattle Creek Estate near Seville.
A total distance of about 130 km had us driving for about 2 hours and 15 minutes (not including a 45 minute break at Tarra Warra).
Amongst our crew were a number of hardy souls braving the event solo. Unfazed they simply followed cars that were 2 up and therefore navigation enabled. So we learnt that attendance on register runs is not the exclusive preserve of couples.
We were also surprised and just a little concerned when the good folk from the Highway Patrol showed up at the start. They were good humoured, admiring the cars and generally extending good will. They took the opportunity to tell us that since it was a long weekend that the highway patrol was out in force. Not that we needed to be concerned because all participants heeded our Presidents recent call to run these events strictly within the law. There were no reported incidents.
All in all I think those who attended enjoyed the run.
GT3/RS/RSR Register Lunch Run to Kyneton
June 26, 2016
Report by: Greg Humphries, Photos by: Julie Mason
Click Here for Image Gallery
Register captains and organisers do go to some lengths to ensure that their runs go off as smoothly as possible. Various contingencies are planned for, in the hope that everyone will enjoy the day however, the one thing the organiser can do little about, is the weather. The days leading up to our run to Kyneton were borderline abysmal, and the forecast for Sunday was just as miserable. Oh well, I did my best good weather dance.
Lo and behold, the day dawned relatively clear and stayed that way throughout the day. It must be said that it was cold, like bitterly cold, with drivers and passengers almost needing to be bribed to get out of their cars for a photo op at Wallan!
We lost a couple of cars before the start, maybe victims of the forecast but some 16 hardy souls in 9 cars departed Croydon. Congratulations to Rowan Thomson, Steve Porter, Chris Mason and Linley Baxter for actually bringing a GT3 to the GT3/RS/RSR Register event, comprising 44% of the entry list. Must almost be some kind of record for the Register! If only the Captain could get his act together and produce his.
Our route took us through Yarra Glen, Christmas Hills and across the northern plains towards Wallan for a comfort stop and photo opportunity. There were some challenging navigation components in this first section but drivers and navigators coped superbly. There was also a pretty simple right turn onto a national freeway on-ramp that seem to tax a couple of the brightest in-car minds (not sure why you would turn south to go north but…).
The highlight of the drive for me is the bridge across the Campaspe River just short of Redesdale. A beautiful old stone & steel structure, the likes of which you can be sure will never be made again.
One tricky ‘non-turn’ in the main street of Kyneton caught out a couple of cars but generally all arrived on time at our luncheon destination, the Albion Hotel.
I was expecting us to be seated downstairs in the hotel dining room, but instead we had a private room upstairs with our own dedicated serving staff. After some initial wrangling of the heater, we were comfortably seated and the noise level increased as the conversation fired up, assisted I suspect, by some local wines and other assorted beverages. Our meal started with some dips, followed by hearty mains and tasty desserts. I took note of the state of the plates as they were returned to the kitchen and I was thinking of asking for a refund on the washing up as most were very, very clean indeed!
After helping ourselves to tea and coffee the group began to scatter, some to the bespoke and eclectic stores in Kyneton, others to nearby locales and the rest taking to easy freeway run back to the city.
Many thanks to Dennis & Margaret, Ken & Harriet, Linley & Helen, Chris & Julie, Steve, Leigh & Dianne, Tony and Rowan & Nella for joining Robin and I in making the day a success.
Event: Combined GT3/RS/RSR and Turbo Register Brunch Run
Date of event: Sunday 18th October 2015
Story Title: A drive of two halves
Story by: Greg Humphries
Photos by: Julie Mason Click Here for Gallery
Due to a packed PCV calendar and a couple of scheduling conflicts, the GT3/RS/RSR and Turbo Registers got together to share a brunch run in mid October. Schatzi's Restaurant in Woodend was the chosen destination.
Some 18 attendees in 12 cars arrived on a cool and overcast Sunday morning at the Rockbank meeting point for a prompt 8AM departure. It was great to see a couple of new faces joining in and a familiar face with yet another 911 Turbo recently added to his stable.
The route over mainly Victorian country B & C roads initially took us west towards Anakie before heading north to Woodend, The initial roads were predominantly open and flowing and with relatively light traffic the convoy stayed pretty much together and made good time. After about an hour, the route turned to more undulating country bordering state forests and the pace was a little more subdued but more picturesque in terms of terrain. Through this section the group broke up a little bit with 'team orders' giving way to 'natural selection' with some folks taking a more ‘forward’ view and disappearing into the distance. I am delighted to report all cars ran well, and arrived in Woodend within minutes of each other although some drivers decided to ignore the provided street number of the restaurant and chose to park a couple of hundred metres away instead…
Gorgeous spring sunshine greeted us as we made our way to the venue. Once seated inside, the food started to flow. And flow and flow… Our host Frank warned us to bring our appetites but at a relatively modest cost I wasn't sure how much fare could be provided. Platters of mini egg & bacon rolls, potato rosti, bratwurst pastry pin wheels, roasted tomatoes, steamed spinach, mini filo quiche cups, sautéed mushrooms, apple cake, juice and tea & coffee were enjoyed by all.
After the food, some folks took the opportunity to get back to the city to resume their day, while a number of others stayed on chatting in street, admiring the cars and enjoying the spring sunshine.
Thank you to Julie Mason for the photos and to Robin Humphries for putting the maps and run instructions together. And finally thanks to everyone for joining in and making this brunch run a most enjoyable morning.
PCV GT3/RS/RSR Register Brunch Run to Whispering Vines Café
‘Too much weather focus...’
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Story by Greg Humphries Photos by Julie Mason
Click Here for Image Gallery
The first Porsche Club of Victoria GT3/RS/RSR Register event planned for this year was a brunch run to the Whispering Vines Cafe at Trofeo Estate Winery in Dromana on Sunday May 31.
With the support of Chris Mason and Robin Humphries we chose the venue, planned the route and developed the maps and detailed run notes. So far all good until the weekend weather forecast came out. Oh dear… On the Thursday prior a member rang me from ‘far away’ and was worried that the weather would be too bad to make the long trip down worthwhile. I gave whatever meek assurances I could that the planned roads had never flooded to my knowledge. It will be a great day with the fellowship of Porsche drivers and that we would enjoy a fabulous feast at the end.
A rumour was also circulating that there was an email hook-up between three GT3 owner / drivers a day or so before the event to lay out contingency vehicle plans for the Sunday should the weather be as feared. Without any further correspondence, all implemented their Plan B! How weak were we, sorry, I meant they….
Happily, Sunday dawned clear, windy but very cold. Nineteen folks in ten cars duly met at Springvale, (with one car meeting us at Hastings), all on time or early (thank you) so with minimal fuss and fanfare, we were on our way as scheduled. Congratulations to Colin and Vince for actually having the courage to attend in their splendid GT3s and Sven for bringing his superb 993 RSCS.
The first part of the route was a highway touring stage to the Hastings Marina for a rest stop and photo op. We made great time due to the drivers utilising the great traction of the Porsche marque and demolishing the exits of the eight or nine roundabouts on route whilst still staying inside the speed limits.
Then we were off to the cafe for breakfast, driving through some interesting and undulating roads across the Mornington Peninsula. Due to the relatively early start, we were into the meat of the run by about 9.00 AM with an almost traffic free outing, able to maintain an enjoyable pace while taking in the lovely late autumn scenery and vistas that the Peninsula has to offer.
Some minor navigational challenges were encountered but all cars arrived at the venue within minutes of the appointed time. Due to a logistics failure at the interim stop, the rest rooms were a popular first point of call!
Our long table of twenty (and a half!) quickly raised the dB levels in the room once the coffee / teas / juices were served. They were followed by fresh fruit, granola and yoghurt. All seemed to be going well when the toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato and grilled mushroom platters arrived accompanied by some tasty baked beans. The conversation lulled a little while the group tucked in.
Common feedback from attendees on the day indicated that they enjoyed the breakfast / brunch format which avoided weekend traffic as much as feasible. And it makes the drives a little shorter than the typically longer lunch runs allowing more time in the day for other activities either in the touring area or for family duties.
So, many thanks to Linley & Helen, Vince & Phil, Ken & Barbara, Robin, Chris & Julie (special thanks for the photos), Fred & Monika, Susette (with extra thanks for making the effort from Albury), Colin & Margot, Michael & Judy, Kane & Douglas and Sven (& Sven Jnr) for attending and contributing to a most enjoyable morning.
And for the drive home, well, the rain finally arrived!