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Porsche Club of America (PCA) Club Racing Driveway to Raceway: Bob Saville

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Article by Kate Taylor and Bob Saville

2018 marks the second year for the successful Porsche Club of America (PCA) Club Racing Vintage Racing Series. Drivers in the series enjoy plenty of time on track, with multiple practice sessions and three 30-minute races throughout event weekends. 

The series is based on a point system and plaques are given to the top 1-2-3 drivers in each class. Competitors are traveling to six tracks across the country this year, including: Lime Rock Park, Monticello Motor Club, New Jersey Motorsports Park, Summit Point, and Hallett Motor Racing Circuit.

Bob Saville, who drives the No. 89 1974 914 in the VGTO class, says he was intrigued when the vintage series was first created last year. Saville is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina and owns NaroEscape Motorsports, which sells racing supplies, safety equipment, harnesses, brake pads and more. 

After joining PCA in 1993 with his wife, Nadine Saville, Bob was looking for an option to race within PCA, but not put a lot of money into rebuilding engines and cars. He found it within the Vintage Series!


Above: Bob Saville and his wife Nadine.

The Appeal

My aunt and uncle have been PCA members since 1964. After we bought my father-in-law's daily driver, (our 1974 914 2-liter I race in the Vintage series that now has a 3.2 liter 6 cylinder engine), we joined PCA and completed High Performance Drivers' Education (HPDE). Since then, we've become very involved within PCA. I was a former region president and Zone 3 Rep, and Nadine was a former PCA Club Racing timing tech and scrutineer, and we were both driving instructors.

Our 914 - affectionately nicknamed Papa Smurf - is half light blue and half dark blue. As with anything that involves nicknames, alcohol had something to do with this one. Someone said at a party that the car looked like a Smurf and then we said "Papa Smurf" since it came from Nadine's dad. The name stuck!

I'm having an absolute blast in the Vintage Series. We're all running older cars - everyone's car is important to them because we don't have unlimited budgets, and we can't find parts as easily as the newer cars. All of the competitors drive respectfully and clean.

In July at Monticello Motor Club, I went back and forth with fellow Vintage Series driver Stephen Vasina on every single lap in every single race the entire weekend. It was the best racing I've ever had within PCA! I was so focused on Steve's bumper and then on my mirror when he was on my bumper, that I didn't even look at my lap times. I placed third in Sprints 1 and 2 (second in class), just ahead of Stephen, and third in Sprint 3 (third in class), just behind him; it was great racing. 

Paddock Inside Scoop

It's funny because when I started doing HPDE in 1994 in my stock 914, "racers" was something I aspired to be - I was just a person, not a racer! I realized after my first race, everyone was just like us. All the rookies, all the veterans, everyone within PCA are racers! 

In 2007, during my first lap at Road Atlanta, some fuel sloshed all over the inside of the car because I forgot to put the fuel cap on, so I didn't complete the lap. Then in the second session, my axel broke and I got towed back into the pits. In the third session, I was repairing my axel. So, on my first real true lap during practice starts, I was prepared to be in the back, but then everyone showed up late, so they were all behind me. I was telling everyone I wanted to be last and they said, 'It's fine; you'll be fine!'

Everyone started shooting past me at the green flag and I looked down the hill right there at Turn 11 and yelled "Holy $%*^!" I seriously didn't think I would make it down that hill! 

Many years later, Road Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks, and I go down that hill flat-footed.

The Saville's Porsche Lineup

  • 1971 914 - "Huey" (yellow and blue GT style) 
  • 1974 914 - "Papa Smurf" (light blue and dark blue) 
  • 2004 GT3 - daily driver (speed yellow) 

Advice to New Drivers

Be predictable - don't be erratic and jump all over the place. Veteran racers just want you to be predictable. If you're fast, great. But follow the line. 

Watch what others on the track are doing. If they're being smooth, get behind them. By the time you get into racing, you've had some track time, but you don't understand how to drive your car with other drivers around you at every turn. Nobody is Mario Andretti during their first race.


Above: Bob Saville (right) on the podium.

We're not getting paid for doing this — you just need to have fun!

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 PCAClubRacing.org 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.

About Porsche Club of America/PCA Club Racing

The Porsche Club of America (PCA) celebrates good friends, good conversation and a common passion for the world's finest automobile - Porsche. Since its founding in 1955, this close-knit community of Porsche owners has grown to 145 regions throughout the United States and Canada and is the largest single-marque club in the world. PCA activities include racing, rallies, autocrosses, tours, and shows, as well as driver education, Porsche restoration and technical sessions. The PCA continues to thrive around the unbridled joy provided by Porsche.

PCA Club Racing commemorates over 25 years of camaraderie by featuring around 1,800 licensed racers and 32 sanctioned races per year, more than any other single-make racing organization in the world. PCA Club Racing was established around guiding principles that remain true today. In summary, they provide a class for all Porsche sports cars; fun, safe and clean racing; and uniform organization and operation.

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