Sharks Assistant Coach Jay WoodcroftSAN JOSE, California
-- The Porsche brand name connotes high performance and first class in automobile design. That is why when the sport car and sport utility vehicle manufacturer converted the parking lot at HP Pavilion into a short test track for some of its local clients, certain Sharks team members and personalities could not resist the temptation.
“It was pretty amazing,” said Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle
after testing a few of the five performance cars that Porsche brought out. “It was an unexpected thing. I didn’t come here thinking that was going to happen. But, that was probably the fastest I’ve ever driven around. You can’t do that in the normal world.”
Freed from the typical driving restrictions of the road, Boyle may have found his next car to purchase. But the true selling point might have been when he sat passenger as a professional driver showed the skills of his respective sport.
“He let it rip. It was pretty amazing to hit that speed in such tight quarters.”
Thankfully for the Sharks upcoming 2011-12 season, the veteran blueliner took a cautious approach when testing the vehicles. In addition to Boyle, Sharks players Jason Demers
and Frazer McLaren and assistant coach Jay Woodcroft also took their turns behind the wheel.
However, one Sharks personality opened it up a bit more, perhaps due to added familiarity with high-performance cars. That was radio play-by-play man Dan Rusanowsky.
“It really was a great experience,” said Rusanowsky, who also lends his ‘voice of winter’ to calling car races for Comcast Sportsnet during the offseason. “You get a sense of real respect for the professional drivers who are escorting you and eventually take you on a hot lap, but also for the sheer ability of these vehicles to negotiate a course like that. “
Rusanowsky was able to test each of the Porsche vehicles in a group that included the Boxter, Cayman, 911, Panamera, and Cayenne. The broadcaster has been calling Sharks games for over 20 years and quickly made some comparisons between the two sports.
“It’s very similar to hockey in the sense that people consider it a power sport,” said Rusanowsky. “But it’s also a finesse sport. You really have to have a soft touch handling the puck and the stick. You have to do the same thing with the break and the gas pedal. There are a lot of things that you have to put together at the same time in order to make it work and that’s not any different than playing hockey with everything happening so fast for these players.”
Rusanowsky too may have found a new care on his wish list.
“I had a lot of fun doing this,” said Rusanowsky. “Porsche with their reputation for performance and quality really showcases that with something like this. All of the machines that I drove were terrific. I think the Panamera was probably my favorite and I heard that Dan Boyle
liked that one.”