Over 40 years of creating PORSCHE driving excitement
All of our tours are unique, each in their own way. Hand-crafted by experienced driving enthusiasts that have been designing these tours from personal experience for over 40 years. We drive each tour ourselves to ensure that our standards of excellence are exceeded by our lodging, dining and tour partners in each country.
Meet the Fast Lane Travel Team
Peter SontagCEO and Founder
Vienna, Austria; Steubenville, Ohio and Tampa Bay, Florida
Peter Sontag, CEO and Founder, Fast Lane Travel, Inc. since 1976
Peter has been creating, implementing and conducting PORSCHE tours for PORSCHE Club of America members, luxury adventure travelers, friends and family since 1976.
In total, there have been well over 6,000 Fast Lane Travel guests who have enjoyed traveling in Europe in a way they could not have done on their own. And as a result of Fast Lane Travel’s tours, close to 1,000 PORSCHES have been sold (worth approximately $100 million).
Peter was born in Austria, but moved to the U.S. as a teenager and is thus fluent in English and German. After completing his MBA in Finance from Columbia University, Peter began his professional career in the travel industry. At the request of his PORSCHE-owning brother in-law, Peter began escorting PORSCHE enthusiasts to Europe in the mid-1970s to show them where their PORSCHE was created in Stuttgart and to drive on the Autobahns of Germany. This was the beginning of Fast Lane Travel, Inc. and for over 40 years, Peter has continued to make dreams come true for PORSCHE lovers.
For many years, Fast Lane Travel was a part-time endeavor for Peter. In his real work life in 1986, Peter started a company called U.S. Travel, Inc., which he grew from scratch into the third largest travel agency in the U.S. with sales of $2.4 billion, 540 offices and 400 franchisees. After selling this company in 1994, Peter became Chairman and part-owner of one of the largest distributors of hotel rooms in the country, which he eventually sold to an internet hotel booking company. He served on the board of World Airways for 14 years and when World Airways selected Leipzig, Germany as their European hub, he also became very familiar with PORSCHE’s second largest factory and race track. Peter currently serves on two corporate boards and is a lecturer at the Entrepreneurial School at the University of South Florida.
Four years ago, Business Travel News Magazine honored Peter and 24 other travel industry leaders who had been elected annually by the magazine as one of the 25 most influential executives in the travel and transportation industry four times or more.
Fast Lane Travel, Inc. is now Peter’s full time job and he continues to develop and escort luxury Porsche driving tours. Peter has owned 33 Porsches over the years and currently owns a ’63 356 B 60 and a 2013 Panamera GTS. This Panamera GTS is one of a kind: Jet Green with Cognac Leather and Yachting Mahogany interior. This color combination emulates Prof. Dr. Ferry Porsche’s favorite color combination: Jagdgrün mit hellbraunem Leder. Peter’s wife, Jingsi, drives a 2013 Carrera S Cabriolet – red, of course, with a tan interior. Peter also owns a 2002 Boss Hoss motorcycle with a 5700cc – 355 cubic inch Chevrolet Corvette Z24 V-8 engine.
Peter currently lives in Clearwater, Florida with his wife, Jingsi, and his Labrador Retriever, Maddie. He is the proud father of two beautiful and accomplished daughters and has two young, adorable grandchildren whom he loves to spoil. He’s an Opa (German for grandfather)!
Thomas HöferlinVice President, a.k.a. “Eagle One”
Mainz, Germany and St. Petersburg, Florida
Thomas was born in Germany and lived there for most of his life. Thomas’ education and background is in the hotel industry where at age 20, he was employed at one of the Top 10 Hotels in Germany; later he continued his career in the hotel industry with Hilton International.
When he joined Lufthansa Airlines Catering, he became responsible for the care of Lufthansa employees from all over the world as the Restaurant Manager at the Lufthansa Training Center in Seeheim, Germany. He also worked for Lufthansa in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and in Dubai, UAE.
Later, Thomas worked for the PORSCHE Travel Club as a Senior Tour Guide, leading customers from all over the world to the most beautiful destinations in Europe. On multiple occasions, he was the lead guide for Peter’s Fast Lane Travel groups and over the years, he and Peter became friends.
In the spring of 2009 at Peter’s invitation, Thomas made his first trip to the United States. While visiting, Peter arranged for him to meet a lovely woman, his beloved Paula, to whom he is now happily married. They share a home in Florida with a Dackel (Dachshund) named Hänsel. Between them, they have two sons, a daughter and two beautiful grandchildren.
After settling in Florida, Thomas joined Peter as the Vice President and Tour Operations Manager of Fast Lane Travel, Inc. His unmitigated passion is in ensuring that his customers enjoy the whole PORSCHE travel experience. Thomas is fluent in three languages, German, English and French, which is extremely helpful when dealing with hotels, restaurants, car rental companies and other venues on behalf of his customers. He and Peter, plus Fast Lane’s staff of retired PORSCHE executives, know Europe like no one else in the business.
Thomas looks forward to every one of Fast Lane’s memorable driving trips, touring beautiful, scenic roads, sharing excellent meals and wine, while staying at some of the finest hotels in Europe. Peter awarded him with the presidency of the 300 km/h Club at the 2009 PORSCHE Fest, acknowledging his skill and experience as a PORSCHE driver. His knowledge and experience are at your service, to provide you with a “once in a lifetime trip” in the beautiful part of the world where he and Peter grew up!
Tasha GallegosDirector of Customer Engagement
Palm Harbor, Florida
Tasha joined the Fast Lane Travel team in April of 2014. She moved to Tampa from Denver, CO. In Denver, Tasha worked in the international business legal field as an Executive Legal Assistant at a prestigious law firm in downtown. Her work there focused on international business law, environmental law, international mining contracts and technology. She was asked to be a part of very unique projects there, including the 3-billion-dollar copper mining deal between China and Afghanistan, Colorado environmental proposals with then Mayor (now Governor) John Hickenlooper, and was asked to be a founding member of a one of kind “real time” language translating social blogging network, Mojofiti. With Mojofiti, she was asked to join the marketing team to go to Vancouver, Canada for the 2010 Olympics. The technology of Mojofiti was later sold in 2010 to Lady Gaga’s manager.
Florida is the 8th state where Tasha has claimed residence. She enjoys the year round beautiful weather of Tampa Bay and is often outside playing tennis, kayaking, pool volleyball, running or just enjoying the beautiful Florida beaches. She is also an avid reader and a HUGE Denver Broncos and Florida State Seminoles football fan!
Tasha lives in Palm Harbor with her adorable Multi-Poo (a cross between a poodle and Maltese) named Noley Denver after her two favorite teams. She is proud to be a part of the Fast Lane Travel team and is looking forward to new adventures.
Tyler MarettDirector of Advertising
Tyler is originally from New London, Ohio. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Technology from Bowling Green State University, he and his fiancé moved to Tampa to get away from the frigid cold and snow.
Before Fast Lane Travel, Tyler was the general manager of TampaPrinter.com. That’s when he found his love for design and advertising. He has always been a huge fan of superman so it’s rare to see Tyler without some sort of blue, yellow, or red on. He also enjoys golf, video games, going to the beach, and watching sports.
Tyler currently lives in Town n Country with his fiancé Amanda, their dog Mia, an American Eskimo, and their cat Clark, after Clark Kent (of course).
Volker and Nobuko GemptRetired PORSCHE Executive and TREFFEN Executive Drive Guides
I have been in the automotive field as long as I can think. My grandfather, a riding and driving teacher founded his automobile business in 1911, my father worked for General Motors and later took over the family business which I subsequently ran before joining the automotive industry.
After graduating from an American High School in Pennsylvania and finishing German High School I took an apprenticeship with SHELL OIL. I graduated from Hamburg University with a Master’s Degree in Business Economics.
Later I studied Japanese in Bonn and Tokyo under an academic government scholarship program. Professional Automotive experience in the industry included positions as Export Manager for English speaking regions for VDO Instruments, Managing Director for VDO South East Asia in Singapore and Director Sales for VDO Aircraft Instruments in Frankfurt.
PORSCHE AG, being one of my chief customers, invited me to join and I spent almost 20 years with PORSCHE AG, first as Regional Manager Asia, later as Head of Customer retention, i.e. founder of the Porsche Travel Club, Manager of Porsche National and International Sport Driving School and Head of the combined PORSCHE Driving Experience Program. This is where Peter Sontag and I first met; he was one of my biggest and most successful customers with his Fast Lane Travel Co. We have worked together for almost 20 years now.
I am married to Nobuko, née Ito, a lovely Japanese lady I happened to meet during my High School days in the US where she happened to be the same year under the same American Field Service scholarship but from Japan. We have written letters for many years until we finally met again when I attended a University in Tokyo. She is a lawyer by training and works as certified interpreter German-Japanese-English at High Court. She has worked for George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton during G7 conferences. We have one grown up daughter, a business economist like myself, who is a Regional Director of one of the major German banks.
My hobbies include desert driving (I am a certified Desert Driving Instructor from Dubai), photography and hiking with my long legged Labrador lady dog. My pet is a 1927 Opel Convertible in running condition. I hold lectures in International management and I am a member of the Advisory Board of Frankfurt J.W. Goethe University. As a (almost more than) part time job I am President of the German Japanese Society in Frankfurt, Germany.
It is my pleasure to put my knowledge and experience in the field of travel and customer retention to work for Peter, his friends and guests from the United States.
Volker SpannagelRetired PORSCHE Executive and TREFFEN Executive Drive Guide
My wife Ingrid and I are living in a charming small town north of busy Stuttgart, yet not too far away from the PORSCHE Company – where I worked from 1969 through 2006 when I retired. But as you can imagine, such an exciting company really never lets you go! This is why occasionally I still work as a Factory tour guide which gives me enormous pleasure and enables me to stay in contact with worldwide friends of the PORSCHE marque.
The last few years at PORSCHE I worked in the PORSCHE Club Coordination Department. My main task were dealing the various PORSCHE Clubs around the world helping to organize and develop Clubs; welcome and host the Clubs when they came to visit the Factory and solve a myriad of problems for them. I was also a an instructor in the PORSCHE Drivers Safety Training program and frequently introduced new PORSCHE models to the various importers/dealers and promoted the brand in newly established markets like Russia and China.
Peter and I met in the late 70’s when he brought PCA members and friends to the Factory to pick up their brand new European Delivery vehicles. In fact I remember in October 1983 Peter arrived with 139 participants who picked up 87 PORSCHES. We had them lined up in Ludwigsburg for delivery and had to hire a crane so that a photographer could take an aerial picture of the whole group. In May of 1984 Peter repeated his performance with 109 customers picking up 78 PORSCHES. Since my retirement, it is my pleasure to take care of Peter’s Fast Lane Travel customers when they visit the PORSCHE Factory and the Stuttgart area.
Since Ingrid and I have more time for ourselves we very much enjoy travelling, visiting museums and galleries, catching up on a lifetime of reading books and tending to our garden. I am also an avid philatelist.
Ilse NÄDELEEuropean Tour Guide
Ilse studied languages in Paris, London and Milano, spent time in the US, returned to Germany, got married and had two children.
Ilse is a retired PORSCHE Executive. She began her career at PORSCHE AG as an executive assistant to Huschke von Hanstein, the PR and Racing Director of PORSCHE at the time. After he retired, she was appointed as the liaison with the then fledgling PORSCHE Clubs.
She and her staff organized Factory visits for the PORSCHE Clubs and took care of them during their stay in Stuttgart. This is how Ilse got to know Peter Sontag – as the organizer of PORSCHE trips for PCA members and friends. By the time she retired from PORSCHE after 22 years, the worldwide Club membership had increased five-fold.
After retirement, the German PORSCHE Club membership elected her President of the PORSCHE Club Deutschland, an office she held for 8 years. She is still very active as PORSCHE Club Deutschland’s International Ambassador. Loosely translated, that means that she organizes well over a dozen European PORSCHE events and is instrumental in the bi-annual European PORSCHE Parade organization. Over the years, she and Peter have become very dear friends and Ilse loves to help him and his customers.
Hans PfistererDrive Guide
Hans and his wife Brigitte live in Vienna and have 2 daughters and one son. As a former member of the Vienna Boys Choir, Hans had the chance to travel throughout the world as a child. Traveling and realizing new ideas is his passion and how he met Peter, who is his mentor from the United States. In 1995, they founded Hans’ first Internet venture “NetHotels,” a global online hotel booking site. Currently, Hans is involved in a new Internet venture, MYFLY, a “live services marketplace.”
After Hans sold most of his shares of NetHotels, he was asked to help reorganize the operation of the Vienna Boys Choir as head of administration. As a father, he is also very proud that his son Lukas is now a member of the Choir and tours throughout Europe, the US and beyond.
Hans was bit by the PORSCHE bug as a child. This passion for PORSCHE really expanded when Peter invited him on one of his PORSCHE tours in 2004. Visiting the PORSCHE Factory was the highlight of the tour, making Hans an absolute PORSCHE fanatic. Besides driving a PORSCHE, Hans’ other passion is music. He sings Tenor in Vienna´s professional men’s choir and tries to participate in as many musical performances as possible.
Sebastian and Ashley RisseDrive Guide
Ashley thinks of herself as a Florida girl, yet a citizen of the world. Most of her adolescence was spent traveling the world with her military family. They finally settled in Florida where they joined other family members in the powerboat industry. Marine Max quickly integrated them into the Florida lifestyle. She lived in Italy during her studies at the University of Florida and determined Europe would become a longer adventure.
Growing up in Germany in a BMW dealership family set the stage for Sebastian’s love of cars and the freedom of Autobahn speed. He spent seven years in his early adult life in Florida and got to know the US during lots of business travel. He and Ashley met in Tampa and after a few years together at the beach, they wanted to try out the Swiss mountains for a year or so. Now it has been 10 years, getting the best of both worlds traveling between Tampa Bay and Switzerland. When he is not sitting in a great car exploring Europe, Sebastian is responsible for Operational Excellence at SwissRe, based in Zürich, Switzerland. Currently, Ashley’s days are filled with raising their 8-year-old daughter, Geneva, and exploring every Swiss mountain by foot, ski or sled.
Marc Hildebrand and Ruta MorkeliunaitéDrive Guide
Marc is a German national who lives in the Bavarian mountains between Munich and Salzburg. For 20 years, he has been running some of the world’s largest companies in the travel and hospitality industry. For the last 5 years, he has been building a new company in the senior citizen / nursing care industry employing close to 10.000 people. He has just bought his third Porsche, a 2017 Carrera model which he is very excited about. He has supported Fast Lane Travel and Peter on several tours for more than ten years and is very comfortable at high speeds (300 km/h) on German motorways.
Ruta was born in Lithuania and has been living in Germany for 10 years. She works in Investment banking services and is the Executive Director of a very successful company specializing in mergers & acquisitions. Ruta loves her 911 and has participated in Fast Lane Travel events in the past. Ruta and Marc just got engaged earlier this year and will get married next year in Venice, Italy.
Johny VarsamiEuropean Tour Administrator
Johny is a university student in Stuttgart and provides logistical support to our drive guides and maintains our inventory of supplies in Germany. He helps organize all the equipment, luggage and is available to assist our customers as needed.