October 26, 2006
This guy has painted his 996 in camoflage colors. Mad.
October 24, 2006
Tips and experience driving tiptronic at the race track
I've started a wiki page documenting my experience driving my Porsche tiptronic transmission at race tracks. Tips on maintenance and replacement costs are also included.
06 997 GT3 as an everyday car?
October 19, 2006
Tracks with telemetry at Trackpedia
We're building the list nicely now. Here is the current list of tracks with telemetry:
- Autobahn Country Club
- Blackhawk farms
- Brainerd International Raceway
- Buttonwillow Raceway Park
- California Speedway
- Carolina Motorsports Park
- Circuit Mont-Tremblant (LCMT)
- Daytona International Speedway
- Mazda Laguna Seca
- Mid America Motorplex (MAM)
- Mid Ohio
- Mosport International Raceway
- New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS)
- Road America (Elkhart Lake)
- Road Atlanta
- Roebling Road Raceway
- Virginia International Raceway (VIR)
- Willow Springs International Motorsports Park
The data is from a variety of cars and drivers of different skill levels. Several tracks have multiple telemetry runs available for them. Everything from an 80s MR2 up to modern race cars.
October 18, 2006
Daytona telemetry in a Porsche 911
Check it out.
Zero cost Sound upgrade for a 996
Just remove the cushion between the rear struts. I took mine out to put my 4pt cage in, it lets the engine sounds in to the cabin and I'm in love with it. It stays out now. Who needs an air box or sports muffler? Just take out the bench/cushion and enjoy.
October 17, 2006
Update on GT3 seats in a Porsche 996
Even better with age :)
It's awesome. The clearance between my legs and the wheel is fine and the stock 3pt belt works like normal. Great to driving on the track and on the road. It holds you pretty well especially with a 6pt harness on.
On longer trips, it's not as comfortable as the stock seats but it's still fine. I've done 200 miles trips and for me, I think they are fine.
Good explanation of why PSM is good
Found this article on the web at http://www.deter.com/porsche/
Porsche Stability Management System: A racer’s perspective By Jack Miller
April 29, 2001 marked the official return to Formula One of electronic driver aids, including traction control. In racing as elsewhere, technology that enhances (or interferes with, depending on your perspective) human performance is controversial. Potential Porsche buyers face a similar controversy in deciding whether or not to purchase Porsche Stability Management System (PSM) in the new Carrera 2, Boxster, or Boxster S. PSM is standard in the Carrera 4 and Turbo and unavailable in the new GT2.
If you never intend to race your new Porsche, the decision to purchase PSM is simple. If you can afford it, buy it. It provides a level of safety impossible to achieve by driver skill alone. Here’s why. PSM monitors the ABS sensors (which measure the speed of each wheel), engine speed (RPM), throttle position (via E-Gas), gear selection, lateral acceleration (side to side), yaw (the car spinning in a circle), and steering wheel position. This enables the PSM to detect oversteer and understeer. It basically determines the slip angle of the front and rear tires, or more simply, when the car is not going where the steering wheel is pointed. Oversteer is minimized by automatically applying the brake on the outer front wheel in a bend, slowing the rotation of the car; understeer is minimized by applying the brake on the inner rear wheel, speeding the car’s rotation. No driver will be able to do that until Porsche develops a car with four brake pedals. However, PSM is not only a braking system. If you lift off the throttle in a low traction situation (wet, snow, etc.) and the back of the car gets loose, PSM will increase the engine speed (blip the throttle) to keep the car in line. Also, if traction is low, PSM can use engine braking (EDC – engine drag torque control) to slow the car. PSM can calculate the amount of available traction by comparing wheel speeds at all four corners of the car.
Recognizing that even street drivers expect excitement from their Porsches, PSM allows approximately seven percent slip angle before intervening. Five to seven percent is generally agreed to be the limit for modern, high performance tires. The biggest difference between PSM and the other systems on the market today (Mercedes Benz, BMW, Jaguar, etc.) is that PSM is programmed to allow a good deal of slip, as you can see. All of these other systems clamp down the moment any slip (i.e., fun driving) is detected.
However, if you require more fun, you can turn the PSM off. When you "turn it off," you are taking only the outputs offline. The PSM system is still collecting data from the ABS system, the yaw sensor, the lateral acceleration sensors and the steering wheel position sensor. If you have PSM off, and the levels of slip are exceeded, and you do not touch the brakes, the car will continue to slide. If you have not exceeded the levels of slip allowed, and apply the brakes (no matter how hard), PSM will not active its outputs. However, if you have exceeded the levels, AND apply the brakes (no matter how hard), PSM will activate until the car has regained control or you get off the brakes, at which point PSM stops outputting. PSM assumes that since you hit the brakes that you are not comfortable with the level of sliding and that you want it to help. This answers the question, posed by Mike Furnish on the PCASD forum, that inspired this article, "what happens in a spin when you put both feet in?" Presuming that you put in the correct two pedals, PSM will activate.
So what about PSM and racing? At this point in my career, PSM is an asset to my racing. It has allowed me to more confidently explore the limits of traction on the first few laps at a new track, particularly in scarier corners, e.g., Turn 8 at Willow Springs. I was very happy to have it at Phoenix International Raceway, a track with concrete barriers everywhere. When PSM activates you can feel it, much like you can feel ABS. It will show you where you are losing traction while keeping you on the track if the loss was unintentional. When it engages, it may slow you down where you might not want it to later, i.e., where you really do want more oversteer, but on those first few practice laps, who cares? You can actually throttle steer the car quite well with PSM on as long as you are smooth, the yaw is not excessive, and the corner is fast enough to allow smooth inputs. This in itself is a good training tool. So PSM is good for practice, but what about when it matters, during timed laps?
In a time trial situation, it would depend on the course whether it would matter if PSM were on or off. On a tight road course, you would most likely want it off. On an autocross track, you want it off for sure. If you had sufficient presence of mind on a road course you could turn it on and off depending on the corner. You could make sure it’s off for Turn 2 and 4 at Willow Springs, turns where throttle steering comes into play. You could turn it on for Turn 8, the last place on earth you want to see your tail catching up with you. I've never done this, but it illustrates the point.
So far, so good. Since you can turn PSM off, why wouldn’t you want to buy it, even for a car you intend to race? It seems like the best of both worlds. However, remember above where I said that when PSM is off, it is still collecting data and if you hit the brakes when the levels of slip are exceeded, it will intervene. That could be a negative in one racing technique, trail braking, where you are obviously on the brakes and turning. There are two reasons to trail brake, one in which PSM is neutral or even a positive, and one in which it can interfere with the driver’s intention. The first is when you are trail braking to lengthen the straight or to maintain a higher speed through the first part of a turn. In this case, you want the car to stay on its directed path. If things are going as intended, PSM is very unlikely to engage even though you are on the brakes. If it does, it is probably because you lost rear traction in a pretty big way. By engaging it didn’t cost you time since your intention was to slow down anyway and it may have saved you from spinning. The second use of trail braking serves a different purpose. If you are trail braking to induce some oversteer intentionally to tighten the corner, PSM could interfere in the same way as when it is on and you lift to oversteer. While I have a lot of experience throttle steering the car, with PSM on and off, I don’t brake to loosen the rear of my 996 C2. Lifting is normally sufficient. However, I have seen this technique, in the form of left-foot braking, used in a friend’s 993 C4 in Turn 4 at Willow and Turn 5b at Spring Mountain and presume it would be useful in the newer 996 C4. Since the 993 does not have PSM, I cannot tell you to what extent it would have interfered. If you are smooth, probably very little, if at all. But, this is one possible negative to weigh against the aforementioned positives. I think it’s worth it, but let me give the last word to Porsche.
"We wanted the car to perform like a Porsche not a family saloon, so the system has been designed for minimal intrusion," explained Thomas Herold, the Carrera 4 Project Manager. "Its limits are really high and you can reach the same lateral g-force number with the system in or out on a steady state cornering circle. Thus, if you are a good driver, you can keep the power on in a drift and even adjust the car’s attitude on power in a corner without interference. But if you lift off suddenly or brake, and the car is in danger of destabilizing, the system will reach out and save you."
"The difference is small around the Nurburgring for a skilled test driver," he explained. "Within one second a lap in fact. This is the way the car is made. If you are smooth, there is no interference from the system. But if you are ragged, the system will be cutting in all the time to stabilize the car, so an aggressive driver will be slower with the system on."1
Thank you to Jeff Southall of Porsche Cars of North America for the technical information in this article.
October 10, 2006
Final track days this year
I may do one more HPDE event with NASA at Road America this year. It's on Oct 21/22 and it may even snow there at night :)
Car insurance for HPDE or drivers education
I started a wiki page for compiling information on insuring your car at a HPDE, high performance driving event or driving school. The options are dropping month by month.
The page is located here. If someone learns something not on the page then please update it.
October 02, 2006
Performance at last fling HPDE
I'm still bummed about how I did at the event. As I'd said before, I'd managed consistent 04s last September on Michelin PS/2 tires. I've done maybe 6 track days this year and managed a 2:53 at Road America which I thought was fast for me anyway :)
The fastest I managed over the weekend at Brainerd was a 2:08 and I was struggling to stay under 2:10 and this is with Michelin Pilot Cup tires on the car, these should have given me 4-5 seconds a lap. Instead, I'm way slower. I was only doing 110-115mph in to braking at turn 3 when I was doing 135 last September.
Brett Bailey did an instruction session with me on Sunday morning but I felt that the car was sliding around on me through turns. My line looked fine, he was telling me to get on the gas at apex, "acceleration is grip". Put your foot down and it'll hold tight. I tried but a lot of times it felt like it was drifting towards the exit curbs and I went on them a couple of times.
So, basically, maybe the tires are knackered. I got the tires used with my black rims. I put another 6 track days on them, I've no idea how much they got used before I got em. Maybe, it's time for another set of pilot cups.
Shots of car at last fling
The car finally becomes a Porsche
I just finished a 3 day HPDE with the PCA at Brainerd. I have to say, I didn't enjoy it as much as before. This had nothing to do with the event, it's just me on this day. I think since my car exploded in Canada, I'm nervous. You wouldn't believe how many times I needed to pee during the weekend :)
The car looks fixed. Absolutely no issues with it at all. As for the driver, well, I just couldn't go fast all weekend. I was only managing 2:10s, my quickest was an 08. I did a 2:04 last Sept on street tires and I have pilot cups on the car now. Anyway, compared with the luck some of the others had, I'll walk away happy.
Day 1 was a bit of a wipeout. It was raining and I was in the advanced group whose first session was in the afternoon. I had switched to my street tires in the morning but then it dried up and I put the pilot cups back on. I gridded up and then the rain drops started. Holy shit. I couldn't believe my luck. Murphies law at work. We went out under yellow and then it got worse and I needed my wipers on. I'd decided to get off the track when at T10, we got black flagged. I happily drove in to the pit lane. Then I spotted a 996 in the inside wall on the main straight. Backwards and smoking. Not good. It was a friends car, he'd just put suspension, sways, seats, harnesses, about 10k in to the car and this was his first lap with it. He went wide on T10 and drove the dry line when the second lap started. The drag strip on the main straight was now wet and that was that. He spun and hit all 4 corners, twisted the frame (we think), destroyed the rear driver side suspension and looked to have punctured the engine with a suspension arm. I didn't go out again after that but maybe I should have. I just wasn't prepared to risk it. That drag strip is a frigging nightmare and spoils the track.
More black flags on day 2. First session out someone got high on T1 and spun at well over a 100mph, went across the track and demolished a corner worker stand with the lady inside it. She won the lottery that day. Incredible she wasn't killed. The driver went through the stand and landed on its roof. We got one more session in the morning, John got some video of me but I was pretty crappy. Only managed 2:08s which is 4 seconds slower than last year in a car that should be 4 seconds faster (Pilot Cups instead of PS/2s).
I did 2 more sessions in the afternoon. We'd a big crash at turn 8 also when a 993 went off in 8 and hit the tirewall and flipped over in to trees. Car looks a mess but the driver was ok, a little dizzy so they brought him to the hospital but he came back.
I did my first session with Brett Bailey and he said my line looks fine, I was just not driving it fast enough. The car has plenty left, I just wasn't using it. I had a pucker moment with him in T2 when the car wiggled but I corrected it. I haven't seen Brett grab the seat that fast in a long time. Wrong frigging corner to have a problem at. Cars have barrel rolled down the outside.
The next session, Brett was watching and I was managing 2:10s consistently so that was good but I should have been able to do 2:00s if I'd had my head in it but with all that happened and a working car, I was happy to head home as in.
I went to the track with Eric in his ultra cheap Porsche 944. He did the beginner school and had a blast. He broke down on the last day when his fuel line broke so he was lucky it didn't catch fire.
All in all, a good event and we may do NASA Road America in October next. A lot of drivers at the event were nervous seeing the carnage. Two roll overs made a lot of people think. A lot of people will start switching to track only cars with cages or at least doing what I've done as far as 4 pt bolt in cage, seats, harnesses and H&N.