Helping to Break in a 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4

A friend recently took delivery of a 2016 Porsche GT4 (non-car nerds: it’s a rare model, there’s like, 4 in Canada.)

He messaged me, “want to come help break it in?”


This is only my 2nd time around the big track at Mosport.

I am loving this.

Then I see the odometer.

Me: there’s only 390 km on this thing?! It’s too soon to be doing this!
Him: [smirks] you sure?
Me: Very! I wrote a column about it – 1,000 km minimum before you go nuts
Him: it’s okay Keri, we’ll get there, we just have to keep going around

So we did.

He had to be interviewed before Porsche would even sell him the car, isn’t that crazy? Now there’s a column topic.

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4

3.8 Litre engine
385 horsepower
309 lb.-ft. of torque

Rear-wheel drive
6-speed manual transmission only

0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds
Top speed of 295 km/h

Starting at $96,500
This one $117,500

There’s even a G-Force monitor.

Look what he did to the tires HAHA.

Then the best thing happened.

“You want to drive it Keri? You can’t on the track, but here.” He tosses me the keys and walks away.

I’m standing there open mouthed, he’s not even coming to supervise?

No way would I be this cool with my new car.

So I sound good, I turn on the SPORT button – automatically blips the throttle on downshifts – and the sport exhaust too.

First things first – let’s do a photoshoot.

Come ON this back end.

Driver-oriented interior indeed.

And I’m off.

First Porsche I’ve driven, and is it always this easy?  There’s zero learning curve, it’s just … intuitive is the word?

Loved the gearbox and engine note, inside is ergonomically beautiful, and how refreshing is the lack of steering wheel controls.

I hang a right out of the track and it’s around the block, again, again, again until okay go back in and stop pushing your luck.

But not before I stop inside the tunnel, put the windows down and rev it for quite a while.

Blog tag = 2016 Porsche GT4

(Photo by Angelo Parisi)




I Tracked the 2017 Audi R8 V10

All this 2017 Audi R8 V10 content looks pretty great eh.

Truth is – I stumbled on it, and when it was time to drive, I’m nervous for many reasons.

First, it’s wasn’t a media track event, as in, totally different setup.

It was the 3rd and final stop in Audi’s pilot program of their all-new sportscar experience.

So it’s 20 owners & enthusiasts and me, the only girl and only auto journalist… only one darting around taking 400 photos, paper and pen in hand, I’m awkward.

Today is my 1st time with 500+ hp, making it the most powerful car I’ve ever driven.

Specifically, it’s a 2017 Pre-Production German-spec Audi R8 V10.

It’s the fastest production Audi ever.

Audi R8 v10 = 540 hp, 398.3 lb-ft, 0 – 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds, top speed of 320 km/h

Audi R8 V10 plus = 610 hp, 413.0 lb-ft, 0 – 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, top speed of 330 km/h

During lunch I was photographing the 2017 when, “You excited to drive that, Keri?”


I had no clue it was part of the program, thought it was display-only. I’m about to be the first journalist to drive it in Canada. 

There’s only 4 of these R8s in Canada.

The VIN # isn’t even 3 digits, look – #98 in the world.

And it’s my 1st time around a real track, a world-class one.

I have some autocross experience, done 3 small tracks, the end. Oh boy.

Wreck this car, and is on the cover of Jalopnik for all the wrong reasons, omg please no never no.

Coming out of a corner,
all the above is repeating in my mind.

2017 Audi R8 KeriBlog WOAH

Always and forever, say it with me – Queen of the Late Brakers.

How’s it handle compared to the 2015 R8?

The 2017 has more grip, the additional about 50 hp makes a real difference, and the all-new instrument cluster and steering wheel are ergonomic elegance.

But let’s be real here – I’m not experienced enough to give a proper comparison of the two. The Audi instructors are though – they’re some of Canada’s most decorated racers.

They feel it’s better balanced than the 2015, with more power, better brakes, and a better vehicle overall, “a huge leap ahead.”

Below – Top Left > Clockwise: 

  • centre stack
  • centre console
  • driver’s door

The Canadian model can be equipped with lasers. LASERS. More here.

And Audi’s new virtual cockpit too, more here.

Couple more laps and I start to settle in.

2017 Audi R8 KeriBlog Driving

Choose between the quilted seats, or upgrade to RECAROs.

Tested both but can’t comment on a preference, I was floating the entire time.

20 minute chunks of lead-follow. I’m fully settled now.

So I stand on it, straight up to to 200 km/h.

2017 Audi R8 V10 hits 200 by KeriBlog

That’s what I’m saying, “that’s 200.” First time I ever did that. Did not need another addiction.

It’s ok, flipped it in post.

There’s 5 main difference between
the 2015 and 2017 models.

See the post here.

The 2017 R8 will arrive in dealerships about 6 months from now.

For a detailed account of the sportscar experience, read my story at The Co here.



About Audi’s All-new sportscar experience

I arrive to massive white tent, RS 7s and R8s lining the walk up.

Sign in and then, “would you like a made-to-order omelette?” What?! Why yes please, extra bacon.

Our group of 20 is paired off, then is further divided into 4 groups, with both types of vehicles in each group’s fleet.

The morning is spent cycling through 4 exercises, like slalom and braking. And quickly, too; it’s the most efficient drive event I’ve attended.

That’s why these photos are good not great -there is very little downtime between sessions, as in, there’s a LOT of seat time.

Plus you’ll drive backwards around Mosport, come ON.

The afternoon is all track.

You’ll have access to some of Canada’s most decorated racers, the Audi instructors are all very experienced.

They drive around the track with you, watching in the mirrors and coaching over the radio.

Later in the day it hits me, and when we pit I approach Jeff Boyce (above left):

“I’m laser-beam focused to keep up to you, while you’re operating the radio AND coaching me?!” He smiles, “actually there’s two radios Keri, one is back to base.” Cartoon eyes.

At about 1.5% of the car’s total cost, it’s wise money spent. Because ever seen someone mess up while driving an exotic?

Last summer I was walking through downtown Toronto, oooh that’s a _nice_ car. So I’m watching, the guy stumbles when the light turns green and I burst out laughing. Along with the rest of his audience.

If you’re lucky, a friend will photograph you from the sidelines, so you too can pose at 180 km/h.

Vision. Vision. Vision.

It’s easily the most repeated lesson of the day. Look further down the road, turn your head more, racing comes down to vision more than anything else.

Holy woah to turn 5.

“Just look for the cone Keri,” ok, but WHERE IS THE CONE :O

Having an engine this large behind me?

Ohhh, I liked that.

The event concludes with you in the passenger seat for a hotlap with an instructor.

Richard Spénard took me around, and yup, I didn’t come close to reaching this car’s capabilities.

For the price tag of about $2,000 – you’re on the track 9am – 4pm, with a small group, testing vehicles in an environment they were designed for, while the instructors encourage you to push it. Plus 3 homemade meals.

Just the cost of brakes and tires would come close.

Because do what I did, and keep handing back the car reeking of both every. single. time.

Audi is expanding their sportscar experience next year, find details on their site – Audi sportscar experience.

For a detailed account of my experience, read my story at The Co here.



Learned How to J-turn

To J-turn – drive in reverse, yank the wheel to initiate a turn, the vehicle spins 180 degrees then continues driving in the same direction, but facing forward.

Listen for the clapping at the end *bows* ;)

To be clear, this is like a baby J-turn… note how the instructor is operating the gear shift for me.

Do it alone without coaching, now it’s impressive.

At the completion of the turn the car was so discombobulated it went into limp mode, how anti-climactic.

Learned during a BFGoodrich tire test event at Mosport, and that’s a 2015 Ford Mustang.

Read my review of BFGoodrich’s all-new g-Force COMP-2 A/S tires here.

Above is what the video looks like.