GT3/RS/RSR Register Dinner run to Coldstream – December 1, 2019
Report by Greg Humphries, Photos by Julie Mason
Click Here for Image Gallery
Following on from last year’s inaugural evening run to Mt Dandenong, the Register’s ‘brains trust’ decided to entrench the tradition of an afternoon / dinner GT3 Register event, this time to Meletos Restaurant in Coldstream. The prospect of a delightful sunny late afternoon drive across scenic hillsides followed by a walk around an idyllic vineyard before sitting down to a sumptuous dinner overlooking the vines at sunset sounded especially fine. At least in theory.
In spite of the best laid plans of mice and PCV Register Captains, the reality can sometimes turn out to be somewhat different.
I knew the day was going to be challenging as I headed down Eastlink towards our meeting place in the Yarra Valley. My mighty GT3 didn’t really want to track straight on what seemed more like a lake than a freeway, wipers barely keeping pace with the deluge and the brakes, when needed, seemed very reluctant to pull the car up. Courageously, I made it to Tarrawarra, where the rain had thankfully stopped. But enough about me...
On arrival at Tarrawarra I was delighted to see many of the 15 participants milling around happily chatting despite the afternoon chill. A couple of the wiser navigators stayed in their vehicles I assume mentally preparing for the challenging drive to come. Either because of the December date or the time of day, but the evening runs seem to attract not only GT3 regulars but also a broader mix of members and cars. For those keeping score at home, the vehicle mix consisted of 991 & 996 GT3, 991 & 996 4S, 991 2S, 991 Turbo S and two 993’s.
Fortunately for everyone, the rain started again just as my drivers briefing commenced thus keeping it short and to the point. Then with maps and notes distributed, we set off.
Our route took us back towards Yarra Glen before turning onto the bypass and continuing on the Melba Highway towards Yea. As disappointed as we were with the weather, I am sure we were much happier than a convoy of about six or eight AC Cobras touring in the opposite direction with either no tops or with roofs down. Brrrrr. A right turn at the Healesville-Kinglake Road intersection had us moving towards Toolangi at a reasonable pace as the rain once again subsided. Avoiding some fallen branches and general debris, we enjoyed a traffic-free sprint down Myers Creek Road to Healesville. From there (if you ignored the deliberate error in the run notes) it was an easy touring stage to our destination in Coldstream.
We arrived at Meletos a little earlier than planned and any thought of wandering outside to enjoy the vineyard were dashed again by rain. Fortunately, the venue was able to accommodate us in a private area so we could mingle, stay warm, dry and hydrated until our table was ready. Dinner was advertised as their ‘Spring Banquet’, multiple courses of appetizer platters, pizzas, fish and beef mains, and a selection of desserts served over 90 or so minutes. The presentation of the food and the attentive service was duly matched by the taste and quality of all the dishes. Local wines and craft beers were readily available and sampled while the conversation flowed down and across our long, shared table well into the evening. A true banquet indeed!
In closing I would like to thank Margaret and Dennis, Nikki and Carl, Maureen and Rodney, Anh and Richard, Jessica and Thomas, Julie and Chris and Helen and Linley for their support and contributions in making this dinner event so enjoyable. May the tradition continue!
GT3/RS/RSR Register Run to Long Island
Sunday 4th August 2019
Story: Greg Humphries Pictures: Julie Mason & Robin Humphries
Click Here for Image Gallery
The GT3/RS/RSR Register headed off on their ‘Winter’ lunch run on August 4th to the Long Island Golf Club in Frankston.
The weather gods smirked more than smiled as the 19 participants met in Springvale prior to the off. A superb collection of cars were assembled on the day. If you didn’t have an RS or weren’t fortunate enough have PCCB brakes on your ‘standard’ GT3, or didn’t have a .2 rather than the older / slower .1 of any model, then you were in the minority. And once again the Register Captain found yet another excuse to keep the kilometres off his 996.1 GT3 and was seen pedalling a 996 C4S Tip in the greasy early morning conditions… A classic 993 Turbo proudly represented the air-cooled performance fans and a gorgeous 1977 Carrera carried the flag for the classics. It was indeed a stunning collection of Porsche’s finest.
Light drizzle accompanied the first 25 or so kilometres but blessedly the clouds lifted and bright-ish conditions were enjoyed for most of the run. The morning route was a combination of a number of road styles to get us to Berwick via an interesting and winding route, followed by some highway running before a straight stretch of back-road ‘C’ roads through to the Drouin.
However, navigation to our first stop didn’t perhaps reach gold standard performance. The organiser did challenge the group to use their common sense (rather than the mapping symbol!) on one VERY complex roundabout, but another bunch of cars did seem to cruise past what might have been argued to be a relatively clear left turn…. After calling on the accumulated knowledge of Google / Apple Maps everyone arrived at morning tea within 15 minutes of each other and much to the relief of said organiser, in apparent high spirits.
Our destination was Middels Tapas Bar and Restaurant in Drouin. This is the second time the register has been to this venue and they are really supportive of clubs and groups, have great coffee and cakes etc and early Sunday morning the parking is plentiful nearby. We just got in and out before the Gemini Car Club arrived…
Now well fuelled and with encouragement that navigation to lunch was relatively straight forward, the group left Drouin to head towards Lang Lang on a superb 35-odd kilometre stretch of picturesque, undulating roads. Next was a transport stage along the South Gippsland Highway through Tooradin before turning off towards Baxter, then onwards to Frankston and Long Island. I am delighted to say the group arrived pretty much together and ready for lunch.
A semi-private dining room in the historic Long Island Golf Club clubhouse with views across the golf course awaited us. The two course meal had been pre-ordered and the extremely enjoyable selections were delivered with enthusiasm and precision over a relaxed time frame. Table service drinks rounded out the attentive hospitality experience. My personal KPI for hospitality is the noise level, which in this instance was lively and constant. Happy, chatty people!
There were a couple of honourable mentions to report – Ahn Paul-Andrew celebrated her birthday on the day, and a special thanks to George Neophytou who made the big effort to join the run from Paynesville in Eastern Victoria in his 996.2 GT3 with PCCB!
Thank you to all who attended and contributed to a most enjoyable day of Porsche driving and fellowship.
GT3/RS/RSR Register Early Morning Run to Malmsbury – April 7, 2019
Report by: Chris Mason, Photos by: Robin Humphries
Click Here for Image Gallery
The GT3/RS register members are known for their stoicism and asking them to be at Calder Raceway by 7:15 AM proved to be a major test of that stoicism. For those in the south eastern suburbs it meant a 5:30 AM start to the day. Having the Bolte Bridge closed for a fun run tested the register members time management and planning skills. A total of 14 people in eight cars passed the test with flying colours. Register Captain Greg Humphries demonstrated his leadership skills with a briefing in McDonald's on the planned route, waypoints, public conveniences, and, essential for this register, the need to be a role model for the club in sticking to the speed limit and providing courtesy to other road users. He announced that Robin Humphries was the official photographer for the day and I volunteered to write up the report. This was the first of three planned GT3/RS register events for 2019, this being the early morning run, to be followed by a lunch run and finally an early evening dinner run later in the year.
Greg Humphries and Linley Baxter had done a test run of the route only two days prior and were confident that the run would be moderately challenging but very enjoyable. The best runs seem to be where the roads limit the top speed and test the handling of the cars ensuring everyone stays within the speed limit. Fellow GT3/RS register members, Allan and Kerry Hines, were the subject matter experts for the route. They knew and recommended some quiet, challenging, and fun roads within the Ballarat, Bendigo, and Melbourne triangle. The perfect weather meant these roads could be navigated well within the safety limits of our cars. The cars all proved to be more than up to the task. The Porsche marque was well represented with a 964 cabriolet (Vicki and David), Boxster S (new members Ian and Linda), Cayman (Dean), 991.1 GT3 RS (Neil), two 991.2 GT3's (David and Kathy; Linley and Helen), 996 4S (Greg and Robin), and a McLaren 650S (Chris and Bailey).
Showing lots of confidence new members Ian and Linda led the way heading north on the Calder Freeway for a short distance before heading towards Diggers Rest then through Toolern Vale and Gisborne. From Gisborne it was on the back road to Mount Macedon with all the roads very quiet with the local residents enjoying an extra hour of sleep due to the end of daylight saving. The next stop was Lancefield and our rest break at Lancefield Park. A rest stop and a chance to chamois off the bugs from the first half of the run kept everyone busy. One young Porsche fan rode his bike over to inspect the cars and to compare them to his dad's Nissan Navarra. Car people are car people no matter what they drive. A future member of the Porsche Club of Victoria no doubt.
The chilly morning encouraged us to make it a quick break and then we headed onto the Burke and Wills track with some twists and turns and ups and downs to challenge the drivers and their navigators. Hazards included motorbikes, cyclists and even a dog in the middle of the road at one point. I forgot to check whether the last driver through noticed whether the dog was still there after eight PCV cars had just missed him! I got the impression that eating dead rabbits off the road early in the morning was his normal ritual. We circled the outskirts of Kyneton and then taking the Kyneton-Metcalfe Road to Elphinstone then Taradale we arrived in Malmsbury a respectable 2.5 hour journey from the Calder Raceway. The Moto Bean Café were expecting us and provided great coffee and food for the hungry register members. With a few wrong turns taken by unnamed drivers there was plenty to chat about and, as usual, the fellowship proved to be equal to the driving enjoyment. A great day due to good organising, great weather, and roads perfect for any and all Porsches. Other registers are encouraged to repurpose this run even if not with a 7:30 AM kick-off!
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.