With the International Porsche Days Zell am See, the worldwide Porsche Club Community started off into the post-Covid era. And hands on hearts, there is no better place for a fantastic new start than the home of the Porsche brand.
Fuel consumption and emissions Taycan models*: (NEDC) Electrical consumption combined: 28.7-26.2 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km; (WLTP) Electrical consumption combined: 26.6-20.4 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km; electric range: 335-484 km; urban electric range: 382-524 km
Fuel consumption and emissions Taycan Cross Turismo models*: (NEDC) Electrical consumption combined: 29.4-28.1 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km; (WLTP) Electrical consumption combined: 26.4-22.4 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km; electric range: 388-456 km; urban electric range: 438-541 km
Mountains, finally mountains once more. Mountains mean mountain passes. And passes mean joint outings, shared experiences, discovering the world in a Porsche. The break was far too long. But now it’s time again. From Munich, the Alps greet you in the distance. Travelling via Kufstein, Walchsee and Lofer, the sense of anticipation increases for the days ahead: driving, getting back to what made up life in the past, meeting friends, admiring the vehicles they bring along, sharing experiences. In other words: Club life. Not via WhatsApp or Teams, but in the flesh, face to face, in real life and person to person in the literal sense. Zell am See will be the first international Porsche Club event to be characterised once again by the “human touch” that we have missed for such a long time.
After passing through Lofer, our journey takes us to Saalfelden, the ÖAMTC (Austrian Automobile, Motorcycle and Touring Club) training centre. Here the participants will experience one of the numerous highlights. The Steinernes Meer rises up to the left of the road. Later, patron Dr. Wolfgang Porsche will stress that he personally ordered the perfect weather. And that it was a local call... The mountain ridges glisten in the heat of the summer sun. Time to open the convertible top. This not only broadens the view, but also the mental horizon. The soul is allowed to take a deep breath, the eyes are allowed to roam. Yes, it feels new and wonderful: we are back on our way to normality. The thoughts slowly grow stronger: what a gift normality can be. What a precious commodity normality is. We are back. Back in the Club world, back in the home of Porsche, back in beautiful Zell am See, back on the roads on which the first Porsche vehicles were tested. Back with our Club friends. Back with the Porsche family.
“We were unable to drive our Porsche on race tracks or meet other people from the Club for almost one and a half years. But the Porsche Community is all about driving together, talking to the other members about our shared passion. That’s very important to me and it’s good to have it back.”
Raffaele Cafiero, Porsche Club Campania
The airport in Zell am See welcomes us with open arms. All those who land here have arrived in paradise. The rays of the evening sun cast a protective shroud over the shining Porsche cars. The vehicles of the event participants are lined up on the airfield, while the Kitzsteinhorn and Zell Mountains are a majestic presence in the near distance. Everything is bathed in soft light. Club members stand together in groups and chat quietly about the last one and a half years. Everyone had to play their part. Everyone hoped that the event could take place. Now euphoria is mixed with grateful humility. The sound of Daniel Steiner’s saxophone floats through the rows. Somewhere on the airfield, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche and Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing, stand among the vehicles and the Club members. The patron has not only ordered the good weather, but today he is mixing with his Club friends and will welcome them in the hangar. The helicopters stand outside on the field and take the guests on a scenic flight around the airport. The line of mountain peaks can be enjoyed even better from above. As can the 130 vehicles that are lined up on the ground. The fantastic birds-eye view and all-round panorama merge to create a soothing perspective. The next few days promise to be a joy.
“I’m thrilled to see all these people here at the event, with big smiles and happy faces. I think the Club members missed meeting up. They have been waiting a long time for this and now have a lot of stories to tell.
This event is all about people. I think there is no brand other than Porsche that has this loyal community, these brand ambassadors. All of this is very authentic and very simple: people from all over the world and of all ages make Porsche what it is, beyond cars and the Porsche brand. The spirit surrounding the vehicles comes from these people.”
Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG
The morning dew lies tenderly over the Zell valley floor. Engine sound cuts through the Alpine silence. 130 vehicles line up at the Kaprun Tauern Spa, getting ready for the first excursion for a long time. Excitement and anticipation are reflected on the faces of the participants. The time has finally come again. It’s back onto the roads to do what Porsche enthusiasts like to do best: namely drive vehicles in a group of like-minded people and friends. The Porsche cars start according to the year of manufacture. First off is Roland Heiler from the Design Studio in his 356 Speedster, and the Stängles are next, two Swabians who have also found their way here with their GP Ice Race-proven 356. They are followed by 911 cars from all series and years of manufacture, the 968 and 928 models, vehicles from the Boxster and Cayenne series, and also current GT3 and GT4 models. As it seems, the participants have brought the best representatives of the sports car category with them for the revival of Porsche Club life.
36 hairpin bends, sharply chiselled into the natural surroundings. A challenge for man and machine. The Grossglockner High Alpine Road. The pass winds spectacularly through the magnificent scenery. The 911s, Boxsters and 356s are in their element. The surroundings are tough, but the engines take on the challenge. Here, in this impressive natural setting, it becomes clear what we have missed over the last few months: driving always means freedom. Driving is never just a purpose-based journey from A to B. Genuine mobility is the answer to the question “how?” and not “why?”. However, the best answer of all is provided by Grossglockner and the Katschberg Pass ahead of us. For all intents and purposes, they are both something like the natural habitats of Porsche vehicles. This is where they were tested, fine-tuned and perfected. 70 years ago. Is there a better place to resume Porsche Club events? With every throttle change, braking, acceleration, and the apex of every bend, the certainty becomes clearer. Every braking manoeuvre acts as a relief from constraints. The engines start to run more freely, as do the thoughts. The lungs and engine thirstily take in the clear alpine air – while the running gear and the hands on the steering wheel hug the asphalt. Man and machine become as one. The unity of freedom.
From the Grossglockner, the journey continues to the Porsche car museum run by Helmut Pfeifhofer in Gmünd, Carinthia. The two works drivers Laurens Vanthoor and Richard Lietz already joined the participants in the morning. Together with Detlev von Platen, they visit the origins of the Porsche brand in the museum. Outside in the courtyard, the Club members celebrate the global Club Community with relaxed music and easy food.
To part 2: Porsche Days Zell am See 2021
“It is impressive to experience the spirit of these people up close. They own 356 and 911 models from every generation. It’s nice to talk to them because they all have their stories. And it’s nice that they transport these stories around the world. We hope that they will pass them on to their children and grandchildren and that the Porsche legend will continue to grow.”
Richard Lietz, Porsche works driver