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Porsche ready for Albert Park grid

Poles apart: Porsche's Pole Position program allows local Porsche owners to use their own car for a few laps of Albert Park's Formula One Grand Prix circuit.

Cashed-up Porsche owners can put their own cars on pole at Albert Park

26 Jan 2016

A DRIVE around the Albert Park Formula One circuit in a Porsche no longer requires a spot in the Carrera Cup.

The German sportscar-maker is offering customers the opportunity to drive their own Porsches around the race-ready Albert Park circuit through the Porsche Pole Position program.

The new program affords Porsche customers the chance to rub shoulders with Porsche sportscar driver and former Formula One star Mark Webber as well as drive their cars around the Australian Grand Prix circuit on Wednesday March 16, the day before official racing starts.

Porsche Cars Australia said that there are limited positions available and applicants must have a road-registered Porsche and “substantial” track or driving school experience to participate.

The event could involve “up to 15 laps on the famed 5.3 kilometre race-ready Albert Park circuit ahead of the weekend's action,” according to the company’s promotional material.

Given the cost of a new entry-level Porsche sportscar is more than $100,000 then the participation fee of $3450 (or $150 for the accompanying guest) is probably not going to deter many applicants.

Porsche Cars Australia said the conditions include holding a current CAMS Level 2 Speed licence or higher, drivers are required to have their own compliant helmet and be fully-covered in non-flammable clothing, with racing suits recommended.

The company has also stipulated that “only those applications where the participant has previous relevant driving experience may be accepted at the sole discretion of PCA” and no competition cars or slick tyres can be used.

The program also said vehicle third party property insurance and/or comprehensive insurance is the sole responsibility of the participant.

“Under no circumstances are participants permitted to use any GoPro action cameras and/or camera or filming devices to capture images or footage within the venue and/or throughout the event. PCA will arrange on track still photography of every car participating in the event,” the terms and conditions said.

Even so, there is unlikely to be any shortage of potential applicants given Porsche sold 4090 cars last year, a 45.4 per cent increase on 2014.

Although 2004 of those were the Macan SUV and its bigger SUV sibling the Cayenne contributed 1263, the iconic 911 sat third on the tally with 377 and the Boxster/Cayman duo also recorded almost 400 sales.

The track component is the latest addition to the German brand’s off-track presence at the F1 event, with the Porsche Pavilion hosting customers trackside and the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia part of the support program for the opening race of the Formula One Championship.

There is also its Porsche High Flier Grand Prix Experience, which choppers customers from Melbourne to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and a pit lane full of Porsches for a track day.

Porsche Cars Australia marketing director Toni Andreevski said the company was pleased to offer its customers this unique experience.

“Lapping the Albert Park circuit is usually reserved for a privileged few who compete in a motor racing championship, so we’re thrilled to extend this opportunity as part of the Porsche Sport Driving School to our customers,” he said.

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