Porsche has held perhaps one of the most spectacular automobile launch occasions in present memory, hosting ‘Launch Control’ on a 2.2 kilometre runway at Sydney Airport earlier today, unveiling the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S in the act.
Some 48 VIP visitors could drive the car on ‘Runway 16L/34R’, 1 of 2 runways that protrudes out into Botany Bay, with teachers from the Porsche Track Experience were on-hand to properly guide all participants through two runs each down the runway.
Ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sydney Airport had been Australia’s busiest airport, hosting 44 million passengers and more than 300,000 trip motions yearly across its three runways.
With passenger traffic down 97 percent, Sydney Airport coordinated with numerous government and regulatory agencies to properly and temporarily shut the runway with this event.
The Porsche 911 Turbo S provides 478kW of energy at 6,750 rpm, along with 800Nm of torque. It moves from zero to 100km/h in 2.7 moments, zero to 200km/h in 8.9 seconds and it has a top speed of 330km/h.
It began as a far-fetched idea. With air companies running at a vastly reduced capability as a result of COVID-19, could Porsche host a meeting to introduce the 911 Turbo S on a runway at Sydney Airport?
“I feel like I’ve got the golden ticket to Willy Wonka.” That’s how one Porsche enthusiast described getting a ‘boarding pass’ from what the most exclusive activities ever held on four tires: establish Control.
Months of preparation has turned a boardroom brainstorm of driving this new 911 Turbo S down one of Sydney Airport’s main runways into possible.
“We always knew we wished to make a move unique to introduce the 911 Turbo S kind 992,” describes Belinda Coen, Marketing and Events Manager of Porsche Centre Sydney Southern.
“Operating in today’s weather at such a decreased ability, Sydney Airport stated these people were capable entertain the theory [of hosting a car launch on a runway]. Publish Control was born.”
Affectionately known as Sydney’s 3rd runway, the 911 Turbo clients were handed the secrets towards the new 911 Turbo S kind 992 for today’s occasion.
The unprecedented occasion showcased the all-wheel drive acceleration of this latest iteration of a Porsche legend, in safe and controlled conditions on expansive tarmac (under the watchful eye of Bathurst 1000 champ Luke Youlden).
“It’s such a distinctive and unrivalled occasion,” stated Coen. “It’s probably never going to be repeated – it’s once in an eternity.”
Just addressing the runway is an involved procedure involving very nearly a dozen stakeholders and months of careful planning.
“There had been numerous website visits before we could all agree it was in fact possible,” recalls Coen. “Logistically there’s numerous facts to consider, first and foremost security.”
The extensive procedure started with site assessments and an evaluation for the asphalt surface.
Certain, the runway is designed for passenger jets with upwards of 50,000 horsepower and 300 seats, but it addittionally must fit a car or truck with a few 170kg of aerodynamic downforce and suspension system designed to lap the Nurburgring.
“A large amount of work went into comprehending the duration of the runway, speeds the vehicle could reach at various lengths and then working backwards… so we could cope with any situation.”
Being airside and worries on a runway at that which was Australia’s busiest airport in 2019 also created its reasonable share of documents.
“There have already been a variety of meetings… it’s surely taken patience and perseverance from all parties.”
Since the occasion received closer, Australia had been gradually reawakening from its COVID-19 slumber. While there have been short-lived issues that increased movement may restrict usage of Sydney Airport, it quickly became obvious the next runway would still be available.
After months of secret work to bring the big idea to life, Launch Control had been ‘go-for-launch’ on Friday 30 October 2020 (today).
For many 48 faithful Turbo owners, many of whom could have been regulars at many events Porsche hosts annually, it had been the knowledge of a lifetime.