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Porsche Club Singapore at 30: Still going fast and strong
FRIDAY is "Sportscar Together Day", but that's something you may not be aware of unless you drive a Porsche. The luxury and sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart turns 70 this year, and the company has designated June 8 as a day for worldwide celebrations.
Closer to home, another organisation will also celebrate a significant milestone, as the Porsche Club Singapore (PCS) celebrates its 30th anniversary. Both occasions will be marked by a charity gala dinner on Friday night at the Shangri-La Hotel.
With over 330 members, the Club is one of the largest and most active luxury car clubs here. It started out as the Porsche Motoring Club, when 20 owners of the brand's sports cars met regularly to go on informal breakfast drives around Singapore on Sunday mornings.
Ten years later, it was adopted by Porsche itself and renamed Porsche Club Singapore. The club is now one of more than 670 official Porsche Clubs in 80 countries, with around 200,000 members.
"Porsche Club Singapore was founded in 1988 on three core passions: a love for Porsches, a love for driving, and a love for fellowship," says Leon Liu, the club's president.
These passions are borne out of the club's activities. Weekend breakfast drives are still common, as are social events at holidays and major festivals. There have also been numerous trackdays and driver training days at Sepang Circuit in Malaysia, as well as go-karting sessions in Singapore.
"The club's biggest highlights though have been our Drives Of The Year. Each trip takes about two weeks and so far we've driven up to Chiang Mai, Thailand as well as Siem Reap, Cambodia," says Mr Liu. "That was an especially magical feeling, seeing the cars lined up at Angkor Wat."
Charity events also keep the club's calendar full. "We like to give back to the community, and have supported events for the elderly with Awwa, as well as cancer-stricken children with KK Hospital." Awwa was formerly known as the Asian Women's Welfare Association.
Friday night's 30th anniversary dinner will raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money fund.
While Porsche Club members have no shortage of social activities to attend, what actually binds them is the passion they feel for their cars. "My love for Porsche was sparked by its racing heritage, as well as the thoroughness and dependability of its engineering," says Mr Liu.
He bought his first Porsche in 2008, a 911 GT2, which was the fastest and most powerful Porsche available at the time. Now he owns a Cayman GT4, a hardcore, track-focused model that was only sold with a manual gearbox.
The cars are extremely durable, he told The Business Times. "In nine years I covered over 250,000km in my GT2, including those trips to Thailand and Cambodia, and only had to replace wear and tear items - no major issues whatsoever," he says.
Despite the club members' love for driving though, Mr Liu is keen to stress one thing. "The more powerful your car, the more responsibility you have," he says. "We take safety as our number one priority. If you want to test your car's limits, do it on the track, not on public roads."