Being a member of a sports car owners’ club is a little bit different compared to most other memberships. Yes, you do have a slightly higher barrier of entry, but in return you get so much more – rather than redeeming loyalty points for titbits or airline seat upgrades, you are granted access to exclusive and lavish events where you get to drive and mingle around with other well-to-do individuals.

Every year, Porsche Club Malaysia hosts its Drive of the Year, an epic no-holds-barred tour around the region where owners can push themselves and their cars to the limit – and take in the sights, of course. For 2019, it’s keeping the entire trip within the country, taking a scenic drive from Kuala Lumpur to Johor, Terengganu, Perak and Penang as it celebrates its 22nd anniversary.

The journey kicks off at Porsche Centre Sungai Besi and makes its first stop down south in Johor Bahru, where PCM members from the state and Porsche Club Singapore join in. From there, it’s a long 500 km trek along the east coast towards Tanjung Jara, before snaking through the interior of the peninsula to Belum. After that, the convoy crosses over to Perlis before making a straight shot to the final destination in Penang – counting the jaunt back to KL, that’s a total distance of 2,069 km.

Amazingly, all this is borne by PCM itself (apart from the fuel, which was sponsored by Shell), with Porsche distributor Sime Darby Auto Performance providing little in the way of support. However, sensing an opportunity to provide a thorough test of its cars, the company has decided to tag along, bringing members of the media and adding a Cayenne and a Panamera 4 Sport Turismo to the mix.

That mix, by the way, is an eclectic mix of Zuffenhausen sports cars from the last few years, including various generations and variants of the Boxster, Cayman and 911. There’s nothing like waking up to a car park full of Porsches that include two of the latest 911 GT2 RSs, more GT3s and GT3 RSs than you can shake a stick at, and even a rare Boxster Spyder with a manual gearbox – one of the few stick shift models in this group. And it’s driven by a woman. Think about that the next time you spec the PDK.

But it was a 911 RSR replica, dressed in the iconic Gulf blue-and-orange livery, that drew all the attention – so much so that it even piqued the interest of Shell Malaysia managing director Shairan Huzani Hussain at one of the fuel stops in Seremban.

Owned by a Dutch enthusiast, Erik, it started life as a 964 before being blessed with carbon fibre bodywork and a selection of the best parts cherrypicked from various 911s over the years – like a Singer restomod but a bit more grungy. Erik, by the way, is no stranger to newer Porsches, as he also has a 997 911 Turbo and a Cayenne Turbo S in his possession.

The journey began last Sunday with unusually heavy traffic as we headed out of Kuala Lumpur towards our first overnight stop at Hotel Jen in Puteri Harbour. Even so, members were able to unleash the prodigious speed of their cars on the North-South Expressway, going well beyond the national speed limit. Being the base models, the Cayenne and Panamera we drove had a little trouble keeping up with the Turbos and GT cars, but we all managed to reach the southern state safely.

Along the way, we made a quick detour to visit a so-called museum dedicated to Japanese Porsche tuner Rauh-Welt Begriff, renown for Akira Nakai’s outlandish widebody creations that adorn air-cooled 911s. The facility acts as a man cave of sorts for serial RWB collector Christian, who splits his time between JB and Seattle; he joined us in his Viper Green 997 GT3 RS.

The following day, we made our way towards the beautiful coastal roads of the eastern seaboard, and as we drove into Pahang and then Terengganu, the roads begin to twist and turn in new and fascinating ways. Here, our cars’ all-wheel drive systems and sophisticated adaptive air suspension made light work of the rough tarmac, while some of the more hardcore, tautly-suspended 911s in the group were having to err on the side of caution. Still, all of us made great progress and managed to reach Tanjung Jara before nightfall.

Tuesday was a little more fraught of an affair, as there was heavier traffic and plenty of small towns along the route heading towards Kelantan. Moving out of the state, however, the roads began to open up, and the mountainous region along the border with Thailand revealed some fantastic vistas of the hills and rivers. The Belum Rainforest Resort, which nestled on an island within the gorgeous Tasik Banding, was our next stop.

By the time you read this, the convoy would have already made its last stop in Penang, where members of the convoy will be able to spend a bit of time on the island before heading back home. Stay tuned as we cap off the rest of the journey, and follow our journey on our Facebook and Instagram (@paultancars) profiles.