Motoring

Driving a Porsche 911 Turbo S at Sydney Airport: Once in a lifetime experience

Some days you’ve just got to pinch yourself, and for me – along with a stack of Porsche’s most loyal customers today was one of those days. Given the chance to drive a Porsche 911 Turbo S on Sydney’s “Third Runway” officially 16L/34R.

I’m not a Porsche owner, oh to dream, but the idea here is to showcase the exceptional new 911 Turbo S to current owners of previous models, or to those with their cash down to buy one.

Had this event been held at a racetrack, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I experienced Launch Control at the Porsche Experience Centre in Los Angeles earlier this year – it’s epic – I know that.

But this was Sydney Airport, one of the busiest in the world, and to drive on one of the most iconic runways, one I’d normally be landing on 20-30 times a year. But not in 2020.

Covid has shut down the airline industry in a big way, and that means airports – like Sydney – are almost silent. Passenger traffic at Sydney Airport is down 97 percent on normal.

No more are there 300,000 flight movements annually.

So, what to do with all that empty space? Easy – let Porsche hold an event.

Every single measure relating to COVID safety was taken. Security was tight, and the restrictions strong. Dropping a 10c piece on the runway could mean a catastrophic incident with a commercial airliner.

So our phones, personal belongings and anything else were left back at the elaborate Melbourne Cup like marquee positioned just next to the Airport Fire Station.

Shuttled out to 16L in a Porsche 4WD, three Turbo S 911’s were sitting on the runway ready to go.

I was able to give launch control a clear and open run, no concerns.

Unleashing 478kW of power at 6,750 rpm combined with 800Nm of tourque – it throws your head back into the seat with a snap. I think my words were “Holy mother f$&king [email protected]*t” or something like that.

I’ve done launch control before, Nissan GT-R, Tesla Ludicrous mode. Whatevs mate, this is more brutal on the senses. And, this is repeatable, over and over across the day.

The official time of 0-200km/h is 8.9 seconds, and given the quarter mile comes up in just over 10, my quick glance at the speedo had me at 224km/h.

On the second run, over 1000m, the speeds were, much, much higher.

Interestingly it’s a slow tick from 220 to 230, to 240, to 250 etc.

I stopped looking at 285, but – I’m told there was a 3:)

That was on a slight rolling start and with a touch of wind assistance. Whatever the case, it was awesome.

One Porsche enthusiast summed it up well “I feel like I’ve got the golden ticket to Willy Wonka.”

This kind of thing doesn’t come easy, so it’s a credit to Porsche Centre Sydney, Porsche Australia and to Sydney Airport for all the work that was done to make it possible, safe, and fun.

Given air traffic isn’t expected to boost up any time soon, I don’t think this will be the last time the Airport gets used in such a way – but Porsche did it first, and boy was it a blast.

Driving a Porsche 911 Turbo S at Sydney Airport: Once in a lifetime experience
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