Information for New Club Members
- Last Updated: Thursday, 19 August 2021 09:08
- Written by Ron Flax
If you are new to PCA and specifically the PCA Potomac Region, this page is here to help you get started and to explain some of the things I wish I knew when I first joined PCA.
At this point you probably own or lease a Porsche of some sort, so congratulations on that and welcome to the club! There are lots of fun activities we Porschephiles like to do and that's what the club is all about. There are different activities that cater to those of you who are looking for a variety of ways to meet new people with similar interests while learning more about Porsche in general and even more about your specific Porsche in particular should you choose.
These activities include:
- Concour - There are different levels or types of Concours. The classifications are designed to accommodate various levels of commitment (both of time and finances), car usage, age, and originality. As a beginner you can enter your daily driver and learn a great deal about the history of that model and year while making it gleam like it hasn't since leaving the showroom. If you want to take it a little more seriously then there are categories in which the originality of the car is considered as well as every tiny nook and cranny of the undercarriage.
- Autocross - Autocross is very simple – use traffic cones to make a mini-roadcourse in a large parking lot or track space and see who can get the lowest time driving the course without hitting any cones or going off the course.
- Drive and Dine - Drive and Dine is a touring activity where members get to know each other better and enjoy their cars in a social, non-competitive atmosphere. A Drive and Dine event typically consists of a meeting place followed by a casual drive through the country, and lunch, dinner or other fun activity or libations. The meeting point is usually some place convenient in Virginia or Maryland.
- Drivers' Education (DE) - The DE program is a high speed event designed so that participants can improve their driving skills and acquire better understanding of vehicle dynamics and driving safety. Participants will experience first-hand the capabilities of high performance automobiles in a controlled, closed-course environment and acquire skills that will enhance safer vehicle operation in all driving situations.
- Rally - A rally can be competitive or for fun. The objective of a rally is to follow a course, usually on public roads, to the precise details specified in the rules for that particular rally. Competitive rallies dictate a certain schedule for the checkpoints along the way. Points are deducted by arriving at the checkpoint either early or late. Fun rallies may include a gimmick (poker rally, regional interest). Part of the challenge with a fun rally is to discover the intended route, which may require other skills such as solving a puzzle or looking for obscure reference points.
- Club Racing - Porsche Club of America Club Racing is highly competitive car club that went racing. While it is amateur racing, it is true wheel-to-wheel racing and is therefore only for qualified drivers, just like the professionals. This distinguishes it from Autocross where you are racing against the clock, and from Drivers' Education (DE), which is not competitive in any way.
Each of the above listed event types has volunteers who spend their own personal time organizing and running these events. You can find out about these events by navigating this website under the Activities menu. In most of the web pages specific to each Activity, you will also find a schedule page with links to sign up for the events for that Activity. This brings up an interesting and important piece of information about our website and how you sign up for events. We decided long ago not to directly conduct commerce on the PCA Potomac website itself and because of this, there are several other websites that you as a Porsche Club member will need to navigate. These are PCA.org, MotorsportReg.com, pcapotomac.org (this site) and the Goodie Store website. Here's a little bit more detail on each of these sites:
PCA.org - This is the PCA National website and it contains information that pertains to Porsche Club of America at the national level. Upon joining PCA, you will be given login credentials to the PCA National website. The URL for PCA.org is: https://pca.org. PCA National separates the individual PCA Regions into Zones and PCA Potomac belongs to Zone 2. There is also a Zone 2 website located here: https://zone2.pca.org/. You may find events you'd like to attend from other regions and you can find their websites by going to the Zone 2 website first. As a PCA member you are invited to join events from other regional clubs.
MotorsportReg.com - This is where you can sign up for PCA Potomac sponsored events. You will need to establish a login on this site if you intend on participating in our club's events. URL for MotorsportReg.com is here: https://pcapotomac.motorsportreg.com
pcapotomac.org - This website that you are viewing right now. This is the PCA Potomac Region's website and contains information that pertains to only our region. You can request a login for this website as well. There are several pieces of content on our website that are protected behind a login and password. These are club meeting minutes, our executive board's meeting minutes, and very old issues of our DER VORGÄNGER club magazine. Only PCA Potomac members may request a login to view these items.
PCA Potomac Goodie Store - This website is run in conjunction with PCA National where you can buy PCA Potomac logoed products (clothing, hats, assorted gifts, etc.). The URL for the PCA Potomac Goodie Store is here: https://www.pcawebstore.org/regions/POT
Who do you ask for help? Pretty much anyone associated with the club. We do have a membership chairperson who can answer all of your PCA and PCA Potomac related questions. For questions related to a specific Activity, please reach out to the chairperson for that activity. For questions related to the pcapotomac.org website, please reach out to our webmasters. Email addresses for all of our program chairs can be found here: https://pcapotomac.org/about-us/club-officers
Where should you start? Join us at an event or come to one of our quarterly open board meetings - check out our calendar of events here: https://pcapotomac.org/calendar. Get involved by volunteering your services, attend an Autocross or Drivers' Education (DE) event as a spectator, join us at PorscheFest! Sign up for one of the High Performance Driving Clinic (HPDC) events (see https://pcapotomac.org/activities/drivers-education/hpdc for details). HPDC will give you a taste of Drivers' Education events with a combination of classroom learning, hands-on driving skills both on the track and the skid pad, as well as actual on-track driving with a qualified instructor.
Read the weekly email-blast. You should be receiving these once you've signed up at PCA.org, if not please contact our membership chairperson.
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (see the link icons at the very bottom of this page) - There's lots of current, up to the minute information on social media. You're welcome to share your own photographs, etc. with our social media chairperson for display on these sites.
There's something for everyone at PCA Potomac. It's not just the cars, it's the people.