Rennsport Dragon Rally

A friend of mine, Sean Phillips, recommended I sign up for this event about a year ago. He said it was a great experience with great people and with only Porsches.

Josh Vandergriff owns and operates Rennsport Dragon Rally among other events. Twice a year, June and October, he organizes a 3 day event centered around the The Tail of the Dragon. Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap with 318 curves in 11 miles: America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road.

GROUPS

CRUISING GROUP: A leisurely cruise through these mountains roads, as you would do during a Porsche Club drive.

TOURING GROUP: A step up from a cruise, where you will have some spirited driving mixed in. This is what most people would refer to as a “spirited drive’. 

SPIRITED GROUP: This group is for former participants who know what to expect, drivers who really know these roads, or drivers who really know their car well and have significant driving skills.

DRIVING ITINERARY

FRIDAY, JUNE 4th 255 miles of driving
8am:  Check-in opens
9am:  Driver Meeting
10am: Staging and starting of drives
12:30 – 2:30pm: Lunch stop and open-house at Ohlin’s Suspension (they have three food trucks, and an ice cream truck. There will be BBQ, German, and Cuban food options)
6 – 8pm:  Welcome Dinner at the Fontana Village Resort Event Center

SATURDAY, JUNE 5th – 245 miles of driving
9am: Driver Meeting
10am; Fontana Dam takeover and Photo Shoot Parade
12:30 – 1:30pm: Lunch stop in Maryville, TN (everyone is on their own for lunch and there are more than enough options)
4-6pm: Block takeover at Appalachian Driving Experience (everyone is on their own for dinner and there are 20 restaurants within a 1.5 mile radius)
7pm: Carolina Room at the Fontana Village Resort is reserved with a keg of beer and cash bar available

SUNDAY, JUNE 6th – 234 miles of driving
9am: Driver Meeting
11am: Snack stop
2:30 – 4pm: Late lunch / early dinner stop in Maryville, TN (everyone is on their own for food and there are more than enough options)
5:30pm: Return to Fontana Village Resort for the conclusion of the Spring 2021 Rennsport Dragon Rally!

LODGING

The event is held at Fontana Village Resort and Marina. Very interesting story behind this resort. From what I understand it was built to house the workers who built the damn then it was sold and converted to a resort. The resort is quant but dated. There is no cell service and their wifi is decent.

The have the traditional rooms in the main lodge along with cabins spread out through the property. It has the basic amenities of lounging areas, pools, 2 restaurants and a large convention style room to hold meetings.

COST

Rennsport Dragon Rally Registration: $149

Lodging for 3 nights: $329

DAY 1, Thursday, June 3, 2021

Met up with a group from Atlanta at the Quick Trip off Old Milton Parkway. We drove up and did Blood then made our way to Fontana Dam, NC where the resort is. Before we arrived we did the Skyway and Dragon but it was raining. Regardless we had a spirited run.

I met some great people. Michael and Colby in a 2015 Porsche Carrera 4S, Jeff Wolf in a Porsche Targa GTS4, Porsche Turbo,

Once we arrived at the resort we checked in. I stayed in room 107 while others were in cabins

REGISTRATION

Drove down to the Event Hall to register. There we signed a waiver and was given a pretty nice swag bag

From there I went up to the main lodge to have dinner where I met up with my new friends.

DAY 2, Friday, June 4th, 2021

We met up for the Drivers meeting at the Event Hall then we dispersed into our groups. I was in Group 1 but we couldn’t have a great drive because most of the day was spent behind local traffic.

We stopped for lunch at Ohlins, a performance shop and sponsor of the event. They had several food trucks. BBQ, Cuban Sandwhichs, German Schnitsels

DAY 3, Saturday, June 5, 2021

This day was much better. Began with a buffet breakfast at the main lodge, lined up in our groups, then went inside for a brief drivers meeting. This day was so much better than the previous day.

We began with a parade at the dam

Then proceeded to do The Tail of the Dragon along with other routes

We stopped at a mall and had lunch at Aubreys Maryville. Then we continued.

We stopped at the Appalachian Driving then proceeded to go to have dinner at Tapoco Lodge

From there, I followed Tyler in a Miami Blue GT3 and Danny in a red Turbo S while Colby was driving Gregs white GT3

Then Colby sat with me while we followed Tyler, Miami Blue GT3, who was following Greg, White GT3 but then Tyler turned around to get Jeff, Green GT3.

DAY 4, Sunday, June 6, 2021

There was a drive but I needed to get home so I left around 8am and arrived home around noon.

Here is the itinerary for that day

FINAL ASSESSMENT

A fantastic event held by a fantastic group and met some fantastic people for whom I hope to have a long friendship with.

I did register for Octobers event.

First Vaccine

At the end of 2020 there were rumblings of 2, possibly 3, vaccines that were in development. The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. The first 2 require 2 doses a couple of weeks apart. the 3rd on required 1.

My concern was how rushed this vaccine came down the pipeline. This is the exact premise of how the Zombie Apocalypse or the end of humanity begins. Oh sure, this vaccine prevents you from contracting the Covid Virus that strange enough affects everyone different no matter what age or shape you’re in. But whose to know what the side effects are 1, 3, 5, 10 years from now could be?

Are we witnessing the origin of something devastating in the next 5 – 10 years??

Regardless, I made the decision to sign up. At the time, the vaccine had been given to front line workers and the elderly. Then a new wave opened up with some pretty interested qualifications. From being a care giver to being a parent of a child who has a condition to just having a BMI of over 21, which is everyone.

I had dinner with a friend of mine, 40 and in great shape, and said he received his first dose and he said he was a caregiver. They didn’t check to see if his role was true or not. He also told me a friend of ours signed up to be on a list of “excess” un used doses. Apparently, they have shelf life and if they don’t have enough people to receive it they have to throw it away so instead they give it to anyone who wants it.

I asked him to send me the site where he signed up. The Site was MyVaccineGeorgia.com. Which I found it a little tough to navigate through but when I did find a provider it sent me to a scheduling page where I figured out I had to constantly refresh until there was a time and date available. And when I did find it when I went to click on it the appointment had been taken.

I searched through a neighboring neighborhood FaceBook page on posts that contained people helping people to sign up. I found a post where a nurse who offered to assist anyone with signing up for the vaccine

I contacted her and she was able to get my girlfriend and I an appointment on March 19, 2021 and she was able to get us an appointment on March 26th.

We gave her our names, cell numbers, emails and availability. She asked us if we were willing to travel and the answer was, yes. She booked us 2 appointments with a Drive Through facility in Clarkesville, Georgia about an hour and 20 minutes from Atlanta.

We received and email with a questionnaire to fill our which ultimately gave us a QR code for us to show when we arrived at the facility

We arrived at the facility and navigated through cones where people were checked through by FEMA and some Military personnel. Very OutBreakish feeling.

Atlanta Porsche Enthusiasts

Mark Lamarsh has created a Face Book group of Porsche owners/enthusiasts and had his first mountain drive this weekend. Small circle of Porsche owners but it was good to see old friends and meet new ones. I took my 2013 991.1.

We met at Perimeter Mall and caravanned on 400 North and met at the usual Chevron on S Chestatee then went to Suches.

MDGA then Wolf Mt Vinyard

Mountain Drives Georgia is a group led by Travis, Tyler, and Cameron dedicated to provide a safe group outing for drivers with any car model.

They alternate between Saturday and Sunday Mountain Drives. They are very well organized and encourage/sell/provide radios so drivers can know when there is a safety issue or be alerted to the next turn, etc.

Prior to the rider Seyhan had invited a small group of us to go to Trip Campbell’s luxury garage man cave located across from Road Atlanta. There I met, by coincidence, TJ Vogt, Vice President of Caffeine and Octane. Caffeine and Octane is the largest car gathering meeting the first Sunday of every Month at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta/Sandy Springs, Georgia.

The purpose of the watch party was to look at the first episode of Sam Low Car Show that was filmed at Trip’s man cave/garage airing on Motor Trend

Seyhan, Sean, Alex and I decided to stay at Trip’s Garage instead of going with the group on their spirited and well organized run.

We left Road Atlanta to have lunch at Wolf Mountain Vinyards where TJ had arranged Karl Boegner to show us his Porsch Collection. Karl’s garage has been showcased on Caffeine and Octane’s TV show airing on NBC SN and interviewed by the Worlds 3rd Porsche Enthusiast Magnus Walker

Mountains Drives Georgia Group

Seyhan introduced to this group. Met Tyler, and admin, at the Quiktrip off 400 at Exit 12b. then met up with the rest of the group at the Chevron, our usual spot.

Tyler sold me a radio for $40 with plenty of accessories. Clutch when riding with a group. Then Cameron, Tyler, and Travis went over the safety protocols as well as the groups.