PCA Zone 1 website National PCA website Central New York Porsche Club of America

How to Chair a Driving Tour
by Rush Pond

It has come to my attention over the past 4 or 5 years that driving tours are very well attended by members of CNYPCA. This means we like to get our cars out and DRIVE! During this time, I’ve chaired several driving tours for our region as well as for Zone-1. Having done so, I have learned quite a bit about what to do and NOT to do when organizing a driving tour. As your new Driving Tour Chair (a new position for our club) it is my intention to get more members involved in organizing driving tours. So this is a “How To” guide to encourage you, yes YOU, to organize/chair a Driving Tour (hereafter referred to as DT). Some of this information may seem obvious and some not so much. I’ll trying to cover all the bases so stay with me.

As members of PCA there is lots of documention available to help you organize a DT. Back in 2019 there was a PCA webinar #17 that did a great job of explaining the process from soup to nuts. Here is a link to that webinar;


In our Regions Procedures Manual (aka RPM) there is a section that lists minimum standards for DT’s. Here’s the link to the RPM. Pages 84-86 discuss DT’s.


As soon as you know basic details of your DT (Date & Time) get CNYPCA Board of Directors (BOD) approval to have the event. Discuss with Activities Chair how to advertise the event to our members and how they should sign-up for the event. This could be by a simple RSVP to you or our Activities Chair or by using ClubRegistration.net.

A DT can be broken down into 3 basic sections, Planning, Executing and Follow-up.


The start and end points;

  • Decide where you want to start and where you want to end. This may seem obvious but where you start from can really have an impact on participation and on route complications. If you start too far to the north, then members from the south won’t participate and visa-versa. If you start in a city or village it may be difficult to get the group started all together.
  • The starting point should be in a location where there is ample room for everyone to park without disrupting the flow of the public.
  • The starting point should have a restroom available.
  • The starting point should have enough space for all to gather for the Drivers’ Meeting
  • The starting place and time must be well communicated when advertising the event.
    • Make sure attendees know the address of the starting point
    • Make sure to communicate the planned departure time and how soon before departure participants should arrive.
  • The ending point should also have ample parking for the group without disrupting the flow of the public.

The route;

  • Make it fun and interesting. Avoid long, straight stretches. Look on maps for roads that follow rivers, streams and valleys. These are usually winding roads that we all love so much. They are also the most beautiful drives. DeLorme topographical maps are a good resource to find such roads. You can find them at book stores or online at https://www.garmin.com/en-US/p/575993
  • Try to find routes that are easy to follow. If you have too many direction changes you are more likely to lose some people. When you have a direction change call out the street names or route numbers onto which you will be turning. Landmarks are good too. Such as;
    • Left at T
    • Stay left at Y
    • Right at Sunoco Station
    • Right at Pondo’s Pizza Pub
  • Avoid instructions like, ‘Left at 3rd traffic light’ or ‘Right at light’. People will lose track of how many lights they gone by or if it’s a flashing yellow or one with R, G, Y. Be specific.
  • If a road curves to the R or L but you want group to go straight, then be very specific about this instruction otherwise they will follow the main road around the curve and then they’ll be off course. (I’ve made that mistake)
  • Our Porsche’s have good suspensions but some are better than others at soaking up bumps and depressions. So try to find roads that a relatively smooth. If staying left or right at a small stretch would be advantageous then call that out in your instructions.
  • Avoid gravel, dirt, and freshly tarred roads! Otherwise you will never hear the end of it. Enough said.
  • Avoid construction zones because these can include gravel, dirt, tar, dust, and delays that can separate the group.
  • Plan for a stop at after about 60 – 90 minutes of driving. This stop should have ample parking for the group and have restrooms.
  • Every DT needs a Leader car and a Sweeper car. So those people should be contacted ahead of time. A group of 10 – 15 cars should be about your max. Groups larger than that are very difficult to keep together. So if you have more, then have a plan to split into multiple, smaller groups. Then remember to have a Leader and Sweeper for each group.
  • Once you have the route planned, you have to drive it yourself. You’ll likely drive it multiple times because paper maps and on-line maps do not tell you the actual condition of the roads. During the planning process be prepared to change the route based on conditions that you find. If possible have Leaders and Sweepers drive it with you so they learn the route.
  • After the route is planned and you’ve driven it, plan to drive it again just a couple days before the event. This reduces the chance that something has changed such as road construction, detours, parade routes, festivals, etc. Surprises are not good once the DT starts!
  • You route instructions should list point-to-point mileages as well as cumulative mileage. (Odometers differ from car to car but since this is not a TSD Rally that is of little consequence)
  • Your route instructions should include the cell numbers of the Leaders and the Sweepers. If someone gets separated from the group, then they can make a call.
  • Last, but not least, you MUST have a Certificate of Insurance (COI) for the event issued by Porsche Club of America.
    • A request for this insurance is submitted to PCA 2 – 3 weeks in advance. This form is found on the PCA website under “Commonly Used Forms” at the Members Dashboard after you log in.
    • The COI can also be requested by your Driving Tour Chair or another board member.
    • Once you receive the COI, the starting point and ending point cannot change without advising PCA.

The destination;

  • The final destination must have ample parking for the group. Try to make arrangements ahead of time so that the group can park together. When possible it’s nice to park as a group on the lawn of the establishment.
  • Include the Name and address of the final destination in the route instructions. That way, if someone is separated from the group they join up later.
  • If the group will be eating at the final destination, then you need to find out what’s on the menu. Will everyone pay for their own or pay a set price before arriving? (Hint; if everyone pays ahead of time things tend to go smoother and quicker. This will require more planning up front.) Also, alcoholic beverages should not be included in the cost of the event.
  • If the final destination is for an overnight stay, then even more planning will be required to ensure there are enough rooms blocked for our group. If group is large enough we may get a special rate. If staying overnight, then what about breakfast?


  • The day of the event you should plan to arrive at least an hour before the start time. This will give you time to get set-up to welcome everyone as they arrive.
  • You must display the COI and have all participants sign the waiver. There is a separate waiver for minors.
  • If you are collecting any money for the event (for charity or otherwise) this is the time to do it, if it hasn’t been done already.
  • Arrange to have others help you get people signed in. Have multiple clip-boards, waivers, etc. to move the process along.
  • Encourage people to use the restrooms before leaving and ensure their cars are properly gassed-up for the trip.
  • Each car should be given a set of route instructions.
  • The DT organizer should ask one of the participants to submit an “Observer” report to PCA within a week after the event.
  • Every tour must have a Drivers’ Meeting prior to the start of the tour. This meeting should include;
    • Thank-You comments to all that are participating and to all those helping
    • A very brief summary of where the tour is headed and if/when stops will be made along the way
    • Any last minute changes to the instructions
    • Reminder that this tour is not a race and that all traffic controls will be observed.
    • Reminder to turn head lights on and to drive respectfully. We are trying to stay together as a group but we do not “own” the road.
    • Remainder to stay together as much as possible. Keep within 3-5 seconds of the Porsche in front of you.
    • Take questions – hopefully very few
  • The Leader of first group should leave as close to the planned departure time a possible. Leaders of additional groups, if any, should leave about 5-8 minutes after the Sweeper of the previous group.
  • Consider calling restaurant with a final “head-count”
  • Leader must keep watch over “the flock” to keep them together.
    • When leaving intersections with traffic controls, try not to get too far ahead.
    • Slow way down (safely pull over if necessary) to let the everyone get through the intersection and re-group.
    • Leader and Sweeper should communicate by cell phone or radio so Leader knows how the group is keeping up.
  • Sweeper retrieves those who make wrong turns to get them back on track. Inform Leader.
  • Sweeper assists any car that has mechanical trouble to ensure driver has a plan. Inform Leader. Then Sweeper rejoins group.
  • When reaching rest point ensure all drivers know WHAT TIME GROUP WILL LEAVE THE REST POINT. Say a time, like 12:20, NOT in 10 – 15 minutes.
  • After leaving rest point, consider calling restaurant at final destination with an ETA so they are ready for us
  • Upon reaching the final destination the Leader should park in the first “assigned” parking spot and quickly get out to show others where to park.
  • Leader or a helper should be first into the restaurant to announce our arrival
  • If the DT continues after the break, then announce what the next departure time will be. If this is the end of the DT, then take a deep breath and relax – you did it!!!
  • If the group will disperse and continue on their own you might consider providing the most direct routes to get home (since the DT was likely not the most direct route).

Follow Up