We pulled into the monochromatic valley of light grey concrete, punctuated only by the white doors and green numbers of the loading bay doors and the white trucks neatly arranged in the vicinity. Aside from the idling of one of the trucks, and the regular passing of low flying planes into the nearby Atlanta-Hartsfield airport, the lot was nearly silent. To the right of us, four car race transporters attached to Semi-trucks dwarfed our F-250 Dually and single car enclosed trailer, but signaled to us that behind one of those doors there were dozens of Cup and Clubsport cars from Porsche Motorsport. Our paperwork listed 9:30am as our appointed slot to pick up our car- but seeing as we were roughly 45 minutes early we assumed that one of the doors would soon open, and someone would guide us to collect our awaiting car. We waited patiently as the minutes ticked on, chatting with the truck drivers adjacent to us and moving about to keep some warmth in the chilly morning air. Eventually we retreated to the warmth of the truck while Tim Kuhn stood outside smoking a cigarette, gazing out across the seemingly lifeless lot.
“Some guys just went into that door. We should go. Let’s go.”
On Tim’s suggestion, we hopped out of the truck and hurried over to one of the doors that had a thin plank of wood stuck between the door frame to keep the lock from clicking shut. Through the door, the scene came into view. Tall storage racks filled with boxes containing miscellaneous office supplies, large wooden shipping crates, and industrial equipment on pallets framed two neatly arranged alleys of race cars, four rows across and six deep. At least 20 people were inside among the new GT3 Carrera Cup cars while videographers and photographers hurried around to get into position. It was a strange juxtaposition of the dimly lit, bleak warehouse and brilliant whites and silvers of the race cars.
We knew that picking up the race car would not be the ceremonious event that picking up a new car from a Porsche Center would be, but the orderly and structured process of picking up the car we had expected never happened- instead, the cars were shuffled around the warehouse and out of the way by just two or three people who were working, and pushed over to the ramp of the loading dock to the awaiting transporters. Cam walked through the aisle of GT4 Clubsports, and located his car by its VIN number against the printed confirmation sheet. Once enough of the cars had been moved out of the way, whether rolled off to the side or onto the transporter, Cam slipped into the carbon Recaro seat and the GT4 rolled backward toward the ramp and out into the sunlight.
311RS had staged their GT3 Carrera Cup cars for a photo and video shoot, slowly driving the two side by side and back in perfect unison. While they took center stage, teams of transporters and drivers that had also been waiting hustled around the periphery, hurriedly gathering their designated cars two and three at a time to get them onto trailers as quickly as possible. In what felt like minutes, the silent lot of an hour before was a bustling center of activity.
We rolled the GT4 closer to the trailer, and Cam studied the controls and cabin for a few minutes with a grin, taking it all in. He clicked the appropriate switches and the engine began to turn over, rumbled to life for a moment, sputtered, and cut out. The fuel cell was nearly bone dry-apparently the Germans had put in just enough to roll the car to the plane to be loaded. After a bout of laughter, Cam shouted “It sounded really good for the second it ran!”. We resorted to manpower and a winch, and before long had the car tucked away in the trailer. Cam was wedged in the tight space between the car and wall of the trailer, half kneeling and half laying on the protruding wheel well fastening the die-downs around the tires when he had the realization that he was most likely the only owner and driver on site that was loading their own car.
With everything secured, we set off toward the Porsche Experience Center to meet with Ray Shaffer of Porsche Classic and factored in a quick stop to get fuel for the GT4.
The bright courtyard of the PEC, surrounded by curved walls of floor-to-ceiling glass that created webs of reflections on the modern concrete architecture of the building was visually the polar opposite of the warehouse we picked up the car from. Cam and Ray caught up while pouring over the details of the GT4 Clubsport- the carbon fiber doors, the flax rear wing with swan neck uprights, the FIA welded cage, the carbon Recaro P1300 race seat, Cosworth LCD display in place of traditional gauges, and the PFC braking system, to name a few.
For Road Scholars, our GT4 Clubsport is more than just an object- its the manifestation of two decades of the highs and lows at Road Scholars, monumental growth and change that has led the company to operate smoothly enough to a point where Cam can realize the dream of racing- specifically, competing at Pikes Peak after 11 years of sponsoring competitors at the legendary hill climb. More so, it is a celebration of all of us here at Road Scholars and our official foray into the world of motorsports, and the beginning of a new branch of our company: Road Scholars motorsports. We are committed to competing for the next three years in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy class presented by Yokohama and couldn’t be more excited to embark on a new leg of our journey as a company.