By Admin | November 15, 2007
Jeff Purner is the ultimate car guy – a former auto mechanic, race-car team manager, and top professional race car driver in Daytona 24 Hour and the 12 Hours of Sebring. He is also Manager of Operations for the Porsche Sport Driving School. Jeff tells us about the school and the cars.
What is the correct pronunciation of the name of the car? Porsch or Porsch-a?
Porsche is a two syllable word.
Are you still a competitive race car driver?
No, I retired in at the end of the 1997 season after 14 years of driving.
What was your career path to become manager of the Porsche driving school?
I worked as a driving instructor for a number of years, first for the Skip Barber Racing School and then the Road Atlanta School. In 1997, Don Panoz purchased Road Atlanta and together we founded the Panoz Racing School.
Does the car manufacturer own the school and if so, what are their goals for the school?
Yes, Porsche owns the schools and contracts with Jeff Purner and Associates. The goal is to build loyalty to Porsche, reassure owners that they made the correct buying decision, and influence future sales.
What percentage of your students are women?
What percentage of your students are over age 60?
How long is the course? And how much does it cost? Does the cost include driving instruction or does it include meals and lodging?
We have 1-day ($1,795) and 2-day ($2,995) classes as well as an advanced class called the Masters Course ($3,495). Note that prices will increase for 2008.
We offer breakfast, lunch and a dinner the first day of a 2-day course. All very high quality.
Why is the driving school located in Alabama, a place associated more with pickup trucks than with performance sports cars?
Barber Motorsports Park is the finest racing facility in North America and offers us the ability to operate on a permanent basis and exclusively.
What is your aim for the Porsche driving school?
To educate and enthuse participants, as well as give participants the opportunity to explore the limits of Porsche products. People go away having developed a new appreciation for the design, engineering. and construction of the Porsche automobiles.
How do answer critics who say that America’s roads do not need more fast drivers?
We do not develop fast drivers, but better drivers. People become much more aware of situations around them (and) have developed skills that will help them avoid collisions by being able to use more of the vehicle when faced with an adverse situation.
How often do the students crash their cars?
Not very often. We average two incidents per year. The school is conducted in a very safe, comprehensive manor and at a pace that allows participants to develop their skills one step at a time.
Have there ever been any serious injuries or deaths in one of the courses?
No, we have an excellent safety record.
Does the Porsche 911 have airbags?
The 911 has eight airbags. Full-size airbags for the driver and passenger and the Porsche Side Impact Protection (POSIP), comprised of head airbags integrated in the door-trim panels, thorax airbags integrated in the side pieces of the front seats, and side-impact protection in the doors.
Do you require students to sign waivers or buy special insurance?
Porsche requires all participants to sign a waiver.
Among performance cars, what makes Porsche special? What is the defining characteristic of the car used in the driving school, the Porsche 911 Carrera?
The 911 is regarded as a vehicle with excellent handling, power, and braking characteristics. The fact that you can take the car from the showroom to the race track is a true testimonial.
How many people who take your course later go on to buy Porsches? How many already own Porsches?
Approximately 70% are current owners and a high percentage buy after taking the course.
Why do you think men take your course?
Like owning a Porsche, the course is a dream come true. The chance to learn from the best racers/instructors in the country. To experience the track, the cars and to learn racing techniques.
Why do you think women take your course?
Basically the same as the males
What type and make of car do you and your family own?
I have a Porsche Cayenne S and my wife drives a Mercedes Benz R350.
You must be logged in to post a comment.