Aside from the unusual task of right-hand drive, he also had to heel-and-toe the V8-powered Ford, although he could at least draw on his Carrera Cup experience a decade ago.
Reflecting on his 2023 racing season, the the 2018 Le Mans (GTE Pro class) winner remarked, “With these cars, you have to brake with your right foot and I also had to get used again to declutching and heel-and-toe downshifting.
“This hadn't happened to me since the days of the Porsche 997 Cup.
“The gearbox is sequential, but with a lever located on the left because you are seated on the right.
“And there's significantly less aero compared to the cars I usually drive.
“It was a great experience and probably my biggest challenge in a long time.”
Payne and Estre finished sixth at Sandown, first of the Fords, before they got home 11th at Mount Panorama after the latter's off at Hell Corner.
“An old dream as I've been interested in this championship for a long time,” he recalled.
“Through, a combination of circumstances I found myself at Penrite Racing where I know the managers Steve and Benton Grove well because they race as amateurs with a Porsche.
“As a Porsche driver, you enjoy a good reputation there, you feel very welcome and the respect is mutual.
“The championship is very tough; the drivers are excellent and the teams are of high quality.
“It's a small world, a little apart – it reminds me of the Super GT in Japan – very different to what's done in Europe.”
Estre is in the frame for a return to the Grove squad for next year's enduros although his predecessor as its hired gun from the Porsche ranks, Matt Campbell, has become available after he was switched from the Weissach marque's IMSA programme to the World Endurance Championship.