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Porsche Club of America Club Racing Driveway to Raceway: Dan Martinson

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Article by Kate Taylor

Minnesota native Dan Martinson convinced two buddies to sign up for Skip Barber Racing School at Laguna Seca, and the rest is history! After doing an actual event race at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois, Martinson knew he was hooked.  

"Our first race was against Shelby Blackstock and Tristan Nunez - how funny is that? Tristan is now a factory driver for Mazda and Shelby in in IndyLights. You never know who you'll end up racing against!"


Although Skip Barber was fun, I wanted to start looking for some other options closer to home. I had met other Porsche drivers in the Twin Cities at one point or another, and asked them for advice about what kind of car I should start racing in. The Porsche 944 came up and I was directed to a guy named Bob Viau at a local shop called Auto Edge.  

Bob and I talked length about PCA, its members and how much fun it was to race at tracks around the country. He had a ton of experience building and racing 944s and highly recommended that I consider an S2 for my first race car. After rounding up three cars, I did my first HPDE event at Brainerd International Raceway in 2012.  I was hooked after that event for sure!

In every case, the best racing moments came when I was able to battle it out with a great driver who I could trust and push to the limits with. I've had this opportunity in every car at one time or another. And, at this point, I've decided that the speed of the car really doesn't matter. It's the door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper racing that makes it fun. That's why I'm racing an old 911 currently!


My buddy was racing my first Porsche 944 S2 race car. Unfortunately, he crashed it at The Kink at Road America and it had to be retired. 

It will live on my wall forever!


  • 356 Convertible D (his favorite)
  • 1985 928
  • 1989 911 Carrera Safari
  • 1989.5 964 Carrera 4
  • 1968 911S 
  • 2017 911 Targa 4S 


Racing is expensive. Even if you have the money to spend, you need to find someone with experience to guide you into the sport - jumping into a $200,000 911 Cup Car is not the way to start your hobby. It's just not fun when you ball up that car at 180 mph!  And, it’s not safe for you or anyone else around you.   

Start in a ridiculously slow car with really good handling and cheap tires that is reliable and fun to drive in big run groups. E Class 911, SP1 944, Spec Boxster, Spec Cayman are a few I would suggest. Find a coach. Period. Day One. Like any sport, figuring it out on your own is a waste of time and, in this case, it's a waste of money. A good coach will make you a safer driver and help you make good decisions in all kinds of conditions and situations. I can't stress that enough.

PCA Club Racing has a class for all Porsche sports cars, including both street and modified cars. To learn about PCA Club Racing and how to get started, visit the PCA Club Racing page at for more information. There you'll find information on how to get started, rules, and other useful knowledge on how to get your own Porsche on track.

For more information on PCA Club Racing sponsorships, please click here.

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