Fun weekend to start off the TT Series at CVR

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Fun weekend to start off the TT Series at CVR

Postby Cajundaddy on Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:35 am

Wow! Great weather, capacity crowd, and a good time for all! Congrats to Rick Levenson for TTOD in his hot-rodded turbo and Jad Duncan for another Top BRI. I managed to find some personal best times as well after 7 years coming to this track. Always keep learning!

On that note Jad gave a good talk on the importance of fundamentals in performance driving. Wise words that are worth hearing regularly to keep us from getting complacent out there. Get all over those apexes and get on the gas early! :beerchug:

Thank you also to Diane Cafferata for your excellent Windblown Witness article about getting out of a modern 991 with nannies, and going back to a simple car in order to become a true student of performance driving. We can learn so much more and really develop our driving skill in a manual car when ever decision is the responsibility of the driver and not *Fritz* the electronic PSM wizard.

944, 968, 964, early 986 Boxster... If you really want to develop your driving skill, just do it!
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Re: Fun weekend to start off the TT Series at CVR

Postby GT3 on Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:09 pm

Great weekend for sure and was able to reach my weekend goal of hitting below 2 mins which made the drive home even better.

I would like to chime in on the Diane Cafferata story especially since I am one of those people who drive a GT car with full nanny's on all the time.

I have heard from many people before this story even printed that I should drive my car without the nanny's or get a real race car with no nanny's to really "LEARN" how to drive.

For me it is really simple, I wanted to go fast, wanted my car to be reliable without worrying about paying $$$ for repairs, and most important I wanted to be SAFE.

My car provides all of this for me and puts a smile on my face before I even get in it.

The car has a full warranty until 2022 and as long I don't do anything like make major changes to the car or ECU all and any issue with the car is covered for free.

And the nanny's well they are there when they need to be in the event something bad happens like oil on the track or tires just getting to hot for your turning speed.

I really think some times that people think these nanny's prevent us from doing what the car was made to do which is be able to rotate the car around a turn without TC kicking in like crazy.

The nanny's are not as sensitive as some would think especially on a GT car because Porsche already knows you are going to take the car out to track.

It can also be used as a gauge to help you become smoother with your inputs because if you just jam on the gas coming out of a turn the TC can kick in, so the key is to then practice on being smoother so your throttle input don't make the TC kick in.

A few times on the track this weekend and on other events dirt/dust/rocks/oil gets thrown on to the track and I love having those nanny's there as an extra measure to make sure I come home safely to my family and they have helped me a few times under those same conditions.

Anyhow, just wanted to give my 2 cents and see where some of us are coming from that drive these cars with the nanny's on.

Thanks and look forward to seeing everyone at Streets!
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Re: Fun weekend to start off the TT Series at CVR

Postby mrondeau on Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:17 pm

Alain, I believe you missed the point of the article. It's not about getting a real race car or driving your very powerful street car with the nanny's off. It's about learning to drive. Driving a GT3, GT3RS, GT4, 997 Turbo, etc., will not teach you the fundamentals of good driving and will not allow you to find the limits of the car. Working up to that point is a crucial part of the learning process.

Most of the top drivers in this club started off in underpowered momentum cars. 944's for most of us, but also 914's and Boxsters have been great teaching tools to learn about car dynamics, reaching the limits of what a car can do and how to manage it. Until you drive a car with 135 hp to the rear wheels, you have no idea how important the line is. You fail to understand the importance of braking correctly. You can't comprehend how important it is to carry one extra mile per hour through a corner. If you brake too hard, you can't make up for it with hp. If you come into a corner too hot and off line, you'll never get that time or speed back. There's no horsepower crutch to rely on.

The point of Diane's article is that she wanted to learn to drive. To really drive without technology and horsepower and huge tires giving her a false sense of accomplishment. I applaud her for doing so and even more so for her article. I recommend you read it again.

Should you choose to really learn to drive, you can get a 944, Boxster or Cayman to play with. A 944 wouldn't be much more than your annual tire and wheel budget. You'll learn more in one of those cars in a year than you can in a new, high powered car.

Speaking of the nanny's: They do way more than you think. They are subtle at first and kick in more and more as needed. I applaud you for using them. They will keep you safe and on or near the track. They are completely necessary on a car with the performance capabilities of almost any new Porsche.

I hope that every driver thinks about what they want to learn or do and makes the right decision for them. I learned to drive in this club with a Boxster S. Awesome street car and great for AX. When I decided to go to the track, I got a 944. I had it aligned, got seats and harnesses and just drove it as it was for a year. Then I made slow changes to it so that I could feel the changes. After 4 years with that car, I felt I had wrung every bit of performance out of it and moved to the 911SC that I drive now. I've had it 5 years and I still feel that it has more to teach me and more to give. If I get to the point where I feel I've truly gotten every bit of time out of it, I might move to something else. Maybe not. It's an awful lot of fun to drive knowing that it's me and my car against the track and the clock. No computers. No nanny's. No excuses. Well, there's always tire excuses... and the weather... and the sun could be in your eyes... and maybe the track was dirty...and so on.

Hope to see you all at the track again soon.
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Re: Fun weekend to start off the TT Series at CVR

Postby GT3 on Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:03 am

Mark, I understood the point of the article very well, but as I stated I have different reasons why I drive the car(s) I do.

I am not concerned about the cost of these cars, I am more concerned about there overall reliability under track conditions.

I see Boxster's and 944's going home all the time at the track because the car breaks down and unless you have a full time mechanic with you at the track it can make for a not so fun and expensive weekend, not to mention very frustrating.

I recently purchased a 6 Speed Camaro that I will be bringing to the track soon once i get it track ready, and on that car you can actually dial in the nanny's as it has 6 levels of traction control, and it has a full manufactures warranty that I can rely on if something does break.

You been doing this a long time now and have a lot of experience but again I enjoy the safety and reliability my cars provide under extreme situations and at the end of the day I am still having a blast, making awesome friends, and isn't that what this is all about?
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Re: Fun weekend to start off the TT Series at CVR

Postby kleggo on Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:41 am

Mark R,
Excellent response to this thread.
I hope all readers that happen across this discussion take what you are saying to heart, despite our differing motivations.

That's as politically correct as I can be.

ps. this discussion deserves it's own unique thread.
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Re: Fun weekend to start off the TT Series at CVR

Postby Jad on Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:47 pm

The fact that a 'mostly' stock 180 hp 40 year old SC got a better time than any of the new GT3 RS's leads me to believe one person has learned to drive and the others are using the computer to remain on the track. You can get better and have a lot of fun in the new cars and this is all about having fun as the prize money sucks, but with the new cars you can't actually know what you don't know, and that is the problem. The nannies are constantly on, not just when you hit dirt and oil. Talk to Ricardo and Diane and see what they have learned about driving with and without the nannies.

If you are having a great time and getting better, keep it up if it works for you, but it is not how to really drive. Just remember, there are a lot of slow cars (maybe not Ricks), ahead of all of the GT3's, some a lot slower.

The most important consideration is SAFETY. It is much safer in a caged 944 going 100 mph than a 3 point 991 or faster going 140 mph if something bad happens. Even a slow track like Chuckwalla has about a 40 mph variation in the front straight and it is bigger at other tracks. Nothing wrong with 140 mph, but things happen fast and the nannies can't fix them all. Also, not all cars have the great nannies of a modern Porsche. Thinking you know how to drive fast could really bite back if you try pushing a car without the nannies and not realizing when and how often they were 'helping'. Again, talk to people who have switched from nannies to raw cars and see how many times they have spun and ended in the dirt post nannies.

Reliability is very important, but it isn't fair to compare the reliability of a shoe stringed together car with a new car. A highly maintained and setup 944 is pretty bullet proof. Also, Porsche has been hit or miss about warranty for a car that has been tracked. Don't assume you will have no huge fixes just because of a warranty. Read the small print carefully.

The current Witness has a great article on page 30. Read it if you haven't: ... 018-01.pdf
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Re: Fun weekend to start off the TT Series at CVR

Postby Batman on Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:41 pm

I like where this thread is going.

I was at Chuckwalla clockwise this weekend and drove my 34 year old Porsche tub pretty hard.
It has taken me four years with a slow no nanny car to get any where near a sub 2 min lap.

During my four years of driving the same car with the same horse power and handling I was able to became more confident and push the car a little harder each time. I eventually did find the limits of the car. At that moment and only then could I have known that something needs corrected. Either my driving skill or car mechanical issues. What I discovered with the help of Jae Lee at Mirage Int. Is that with the correct mechanical adjustments and repairs, the older cars can turn a sub 2 min AND become easier to drive. Maybe not as easy as new 991 but.

It would be good information to the drivers of these more advanced cars to be able to look back at their cars data and see when the nanny had to reach in. It would be similar to the time I tried to go around riverside at Buttonwillow with two wheels off. I did learn that if I would have added a little trail brake the car may have corrected and stayed on track.

To compare one drivers path to another would be impossible. Ask a group of racers “Why do they race that car?” I’m sure we would have a multitude of reasons.

What I did discover at Chuckwalla this weekend is that Time Trialling is way different than racing wheel to wheel. Chucky was my first TT for about a year. Racing wheel to wheel changed the way I looked at my driving. Almost all day Saturday I was chasing or being chased. Then it hit me, I’m not in a race, all I need to do is connect the straights as quickly as I can then full gas.

What a fun weekend.

Nannies or not, Warranties or not, Reliability or not we all have boundaries.

It all goes away when I’m behind the wheel with my foot firmly planted on the gas.
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Re: Fun weekend to start off the TT Series at CVR

Postby Dan Chambers on Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:50 am

Mark, Jad, and Bruce all have great points here. Alain is not wrong in his assertion that it's about having fun and getting the most out of what you've brought to the track. However, I think Jad really hits the important key at high speeds.

Experienced drivers will tell you that safe is fast, and not the other way around. The way to be truly safe on the track is to be a really good driver, not necessarily have a really good set of nanny's ready at your disposal. Nanny's can fail and let you down (can you say relay/fuse failure?). Good driving is a constant that never lets you down.

The other observation I have is of a growing discussion about the difference between being a faster driver, and being a better driver. Here are some (very biased) opinions:

Over the years I have had the priviledge of instructing many, many students and "coaching" experienced drivers in a effort to improve their driving. Some of my charges have said "I want to find more speed! I want to sort this car out so I can be faster." Others have said "I know I'm doing something wrong. I seemed to have plateau'ed and can't seem to improve my times. Can you help me?" The answer to both of these requests is "Let's see how you're driving and work on making you a better driver. I want to evaluate your fundementals."

Now, some would argue that working on being a better driver takes too long, the results aren't gratifying enough at that very moment or at that particular event, and "I just want to go faster!!" To them my answer is, better drivers are faster drivers in the end. Along with being a safer driver, better drivers reduce the risk of an on-track incident, reduce the risk of an off-track excursion, and tend to break their cars less from hurried mistakes like miss-shifts, flat-spotted tires, over-revving the engine, and abrupt inputs that lead to spins, off-track damage, and on-track contact with other drivers.

It has been my experience at Time Trials that the beginner / novice/ intermediate "fast-trained" drivers ultimately reach a point where they are no longer fast ... or at least as fast as their competition. They plateau. Sometimes these drivers resort to a "wallet" fix ... change the car, buy another car, bigger engine, stickier tires, more aero, CARBON FIBER EVERYTHING!!! While that may provide a temporary improvement in their times, I don't think it addresses the real "fix" ... their driving skills.

So, while the retailers and the speed shops love your temporary fixes, I think the cheaper, and more reliable... and safest "fix" is to find an experienced instructor who understands the importance of the fundementals of good driving, and work with that instructor to hone your skills to the point where you are driving at the very limit of the car's potential safely, quickly, and consistantly... regardless of the presence of nanny's. I think you should spend your money at good Performance Driving Schools, spend time with top drivers in the club who are also Instructors, concentrate on nailing every fundemental skillset perfectly.I think you'll be faster. I think you'll be better. I know you'll be safer.

Just my opinion... 8)

See you in March!!
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Re: Fun weekend to start off the TT Series at CVR

Postby GT3 on Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:48 pm

I like how everyone in this thread is being gentlemen like with there responses, was not sure how my post would be taken so thank you for that.

I mentioned it originally because these things were mentioned to me by other drivers/instructors long before this article came out, but kind of feel a little targeted more since it has come out.

First of Jad, don't think it is fair to compare Mark and his 180HP car against the 3 guys driving a GT3RS this last weekend because from what I heard Mark has been driving since a little kid and been with the club now for many years, and for the record I did beat him last time at CVR in OCT for TT runs, but that is not my point.

Rich is also fairly new and I have only completed my first year with the club and I personally think we are both progressing very well.

Also my car does have roll bar, harnesses, and a ton of air bags so I do feel pretty safe and secure in there, not running a 3 point harness as you mentioned nor is Rich.

If my times don't progress over the next few years then that is a different story, but I do actually take all this a lot more serious then just a weekend racer.

I watch tons of video, both of me driving and watching my lines to see where I could be faster, and other people on youtube or forums driving the tracks we go to see if there is anything I can learn from it.

I also bought a Go-Kart a year ago (No Nannies) and go to Fontana several time in the year which I believe helps me with being more smooth, and also helps with learning the lines of the track because it does not take much to spin that 125CC Go-Kart out.

This was the path I took for my own reasons because it made sense to me.

What makes sense to one person might not make sense to another but I believe we all have our own path and like Bruce said if you asked 100 guys, you would probably get 100 different answers.

Love you guys and looking forward to SOW!
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