Slow Car Fast

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Slow Car Fast

Postby sf.in.sd on Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:33 pm

I currently track drive a slow car (924S/944 Spec) sans ABS, & power anything. I agree with all the reasons on the virtues of driving a slow car touted by Diane (and Robert and Jack afterward) in the Witness, Mark Rondeau in the post-CVR thread I am continuing here (but as a new thread taking Craig’s advice), and essentially the rest of the world (see link below to nice R&T article).

In another nice Windblown witness article (actually a series of articles) a year or so ago, Steve Grosskemper wrote while building what is now Cathy Young’'s Boxter that you can pick two things from the list of Fast, Reliable or Cheap [original quote?]. The 944, which is even slower than Diane's slow car, is just cheap.

I was told by my first big track instructor that the 1M that was driving (which is ~60% as fast as a GT3 RS, and nowhere near as track ready) was waaaaay too much car for me. I am sure he was right, but I was having fun and just wanted him to do his best to show me how to be safe and learn how to go faster and smoother in the car I had. I eventually got the slow car, making a different choice than Alain (who represents the most outspoken [as measured by number of PCA SDR forum posts] member of the elite enthusiasts sporting GT3 RS’s or other fabulous track toys seen at a track near you).

Here is where I will stir up controversy and say that I also agree with Alain’s reason’s for driving the car he is driving and in response to his somewhat rhetorical question- "at the end of the day I am still having a blast, making awesome friends, and isn't that what this is all about?”
I say- Yes. Keep having fun.

Even though I do believe that one can learn more and get to be as good of a driver as they can be faster in a slow car than a fast car, it doesn’t mean it’s the path for everyone, and I doubt it is the most enjoyable. Who can honestly say that they would choose to pay their dues and spend five years learning to eke out every last hint of speed from a 944 (or other not quite as slow car before making the natural progression to something a bit faster), if they could afford to learn the same amount over 25 years in an unending string of awesome new sport cars? Not me.

One caveat... I just saw Jad's post on the prior thread and safety is an important concern. I am personally thankful that as a new track instructor that my students to date have all had fairly slow cars.

Road and track article...
http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture ... -fast-car/

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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Cajundaddy on Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:50 pm

Surely we all have different motivations when we take our car to the race track. Everyone agrees that going fast is fun and certainly in a very powerful car, modern PSM does an outstanding job of making that possible with drivers of very limited skill. If just getting kicks and grins is your end goal, a GT car with PSM (necessarily on) can make that happen pretty quickly. I'll suggest that it is every bit as fun campaigning a Boxster or 944 with 5 other identical cars of equal performance potential. You won't be at the top of the overall time sheet but if you drive well you will be at the top of your very competitive class. This to me is motorsport and why Spec racing has become so popular.

If you have further goals than just kicks and grins but would really like to hone your skills to a high level, capable of driving any car of any HP without the need for PSM intervention, the path is clear. Every highly experienced motorsport instructor agrees that modern cars with sophisticated PSM absolutely stunt your development in performance driving. PSM eliminates the feedback that tells you when you got a corner all wrong so you never gain those necessary skills and instincts. Fritz the amazing PSM wizard corrects your line without your knowledge or understanding in most cases, and we rarely give Fritz the credit he deserves. If you want to get good at this game, get out of the modern powerful PSM car and learn to drive a slow car fast. Learn to carry every ounce of momentum through the corners and WANT to get on the gas very early because you need every ounce of thrust to get you down the next straight. A few years of seat time doing this will transform you from an *also ran* to one of the *best of the best*.

Diane is right. If you are a student of performance driving and want to be the best of the best, you need to first learn to drive a slow car fast. Several instructors suggested this to her, Dwain Dement suggested this, Tony Callas ( Porsche factory Le Mans crew chief) suggested this, and now she is on a well-proven path as a serious student of performance driving. She wants to be the best of the best.

This path is not for everyone. Some simply do not take this sport as seriously and are satisfied with easy *kicks and grins*. No judgement here, we all have different motivations and ultimately it is your car and your $$$. Like most things in life, we get out of it what we put into it and deep personal satisfaction rarely comes easily. Developing high level driving skills requires a lot of work, determination and sacrifice over time.

What do you want from your performance driving experience? :?:
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Jad on Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:45 pm

Well put. There is no right car, just different cars. I do not think it is a coincidence than almost all of the GT3's seem to run about 2:00 at Chuckwalla. Doesn't matter how much experience the driver has. On paper, a 991 GT3 should be pushing high 1:49's, but I think Fritz is much happier right around the 2:00 mark and that is where the cars run. I would estimate a Patrick Long could do a 1:49 if the nannies were completely removed, but I doubt he could do much better than a 1:55 with them on. That said, Patrick has wrecked many a car learning were the limit is (was) and PSM etc etc does an amazing job of keeping the car on the track heading in the right direction.

None of us are Patrick, but I just want everyone with a nanny equipped car to know, the car is helping and often a lot. Be extremely careful if you are ever in a car without the nannies, it is an entirely different world.
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Jad on Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:57 pm

I just looked in Google Play and couldn't find anything, but it would be really useful if there was an app that read the OBD info and recorded PSM events. Anyone have the skill to create that?
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby sf.in.sd on Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:03 pm

Almost a new topic now, but I am not sure if there is that much difference between Nanny on and off (* or as off as it can get) unless driver makes close to zero mistakes, as the computers (esp. in the 991) are really good.

The engineering itself is eliminating a lot of the usual differences in skill that would show up between drivers of various levels. 2nd hand info from Peter Busalacchi (Peter please correct)- is that older GT3's had a bigger difference between average and advanced drivers in terms of lap times. Something like several seconds at a track like Fontana. His assessment was it was down to <a few seconds between drivers with the 991, due to how well the car performs more or less by itself.

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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby SDGT3 on Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:34 pm

sf.in.sd wrote:Almost a new topic now, but I am not sure if there is that much difference between Nanny on and off (* or as off as it can get) unless driver makes close to zero mistakes, as the computers (esp. in the 991) are really good.

The engineering itself is eliminating a lot of the usual differences in skill that would show up between drivers of various levels. 2nd hand info from Peter Busalacchi (Peter please correct)- is that older GT3's had a bigger difference between average and advanced drivers in terms of lap times. Something like several seconds at a track like Fontana. His assessment was it was down to <a few seconds between drivers with the 991, due to how well the car performs more or less by itself.

Shawn


Having raced 125cc 2 stroke karts, an M3, GT3 and a 944 spec race car, I really don't want to get into the debate of what car someone "should" be driving because it's their choice and I don't think many, if any in a 991 GT3 owners would argue that the electronics are doing a lot of the track work.

My only observations are from going way back to when the original GT3 was introduced to North America (2004) until now. The 996 GT3 with 380 hp has 1 driver's aid (ABS) and the gap between novice drivers in that particular car and advanced drivers was several seconds. It took a lot of seat time to shave the time down in the 996 GT3 because the car was unforgiving in the hands of an amateur.

When the 997 GT3 was introduced with traction control, corner braking etc. the gap between novice and experienced drivers narrowed from what it used to be with the 996 GT3. With the 991 GT3, despite the fact the horse power has risen to 475 and more with the RS, the electronics are so sophisticated and intrusive that the time gap is very small between a novice and advanced driver in the same car -- leading to only one conclusion.
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby sf.in.sd on Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:03 am

Thanks for adding the details Peter!
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby GT3 on Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:06 pm

Noticed this thread just did not want to be a bit redundant with my responses since I was replying on the other thread already, but I will add a couple more things.

Rick Levenson started on a car with full stability management, followed by a GT3 that he drove with full nanny's on, to now a full blown race car with no nanny's at all and did an amazing job this weekend taking TTOD.

So... There is now an argument that these GT cars or other cars with nanny's might actually be a good car to start with because they are more forgiving and will make the transition to a car without nanny's a little easier.

One thing i think we can all agree on is we all have different path and different goals when it comes to tracking our cars.

I have not only been tracking my RS, but also tracking a Go-Kart for the last year and also do quite a bit of online simulation racing which I also believe helps me in being a better and smoother driver.

Also if I look at my videos when I first started the club, i can see I am not smooth at all with my inputs, steering was jerky, and I had a lead foot when it came to the gas.

Over the last year I can watch my videos now and see a total transformation in the way I drive, being much smoother with all my inputs, much more relaxed, and working hard to hit those apex's.

My biggest grief with all this talk now about Slow Car Fast or cars with nanny's is not a true drivers car basically discredits all the work I have put in the last year to be a better driver and I guess that might be why I am taking this more personal then I probably should be.

Thank you Shawn for your comments, I appreciate it and for the record... You were the first guy at my first track event to come tell me how cool my car looked & sounded when I was flying by you and that put a big smile on my face.
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Mike on Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:10 am

I think the whole drive a slow car fast is no longer relevant.
Are the choices today now limited to a fast or slow car with nannies on?

Since all new cars have nannies maybe it should be “I like to drive fast in slow cars with nannies”

Perhaps the “I like to drive fast cars with paddle shifters and nannies” is the fastest growing segment of the sports car market.

The older I get the better that sounds.
When I’m 70, 10 years from now driving a gt3 to the track and home without a truck or car trailer would be great.
Half the fun would be the drive to and from the track, half the concern on track would be expensive fast car with no roll cage or onboard fire system.
I can’t imagine track prep reduced to packing just a helmet, gloves and air pressure gauge and ready to race.
When I switch to a new car I expect I would be quickly addicted and sadly dependent on the new technology.

It’s a little sad that in my short couple of decades with Porsches that the car control required to track an old 911 has been lost on the computer aided generation.
Learning to shift/heal toe a clunky 915 trans while taming the rear weight bias of an old 911 today is rarely relevant.

Pat Long told me he lost one of his great driving/racing advantages when the new paddle shift cars eliminated the foot work for heal and toe downshifts.
He called it “driving with 2 feet’, just brake and gas.

My mantra would be something like…
I like to race an old fast car without computers while wearing a HANs and fire suit, with a manual shift, manual brake bias adjustment, full roll cage and 3 nozzle foam fire extinguisher system.
https://youtu.be/JcTHKozg244
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Dan Chambers on Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:54 am

"So... There is now an argument that these GT cars or other cars with nanny's might actually be a good car to start with because they are more forgiving and will make the transition to a car without nanny's a little easier."

My opinion:

Simply put ... not a chance in H*ll. :shock:

"Nanny cars" fail to communicate to the driver via hand and butt inputs what's going on with the car-to-surface interface. The nannies so perfectly mask the errant behavior of a car in trouble, the drivers in most cases haven't a clue that they've just been saved...again.

By the time a 911SC or early Carerra "informed" a driver trained in "nanny cars" what's going on, the driver most likely will be kissing cones at an AX or eating dust and sand at a big track event.

I've sat in the right-hand seat enough times to know this as fact. Period.

As to the notion that the future holds nanny cars as the cars to be driven: well, it's the same as surfers who get towed-in to big waves, mountain-bikers who ride chair-lifts up the hills, and and big-game hunters who get driven right up to their prey in an air-conditioned SUV and step out of the vehicle just long enough to take the shot. Sure, you can play that game if that's what you want to do. It's just not the same as the old-school games. Period.

And yes, I AM a grouchy old B*stard.
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby ttweed on Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:53 am

Mike wrote:When I’m 70, 10 years from now driving a gt3 to the track and home without a truck or car trailer would be great.

Hey--I resemble that remark!
...half the concern on track would be expensive fast car with no roll cage or onboard fire system.

Not to mention the cost of consumables, maintenance, and track insurance for a $150K car when something beyond your control goes wrong.
:cry:
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby gulf911 on Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:51 am

""Nanny cars" fail to communicate to the driver via hand and butt inputs what's going on with the car-to-surface interface."

Then you havent 'driven' a GT car. It is easily felt when it starts to slide and the right or left rear is being braked or throttle under PSM.

I also dont believe you lose 5 seconds due to nannies , unless you arent driving well to begin with.

I have owned and tracked a 944 , 911E , 911 Track car and now GT4. Jad would say , yeah , but not very well.... :D

Anyone who says driving a GT4 isnt as satisfying or challenging at the limit as driving an old 911 , hasnt driven one at the limit or enough. The limits are 'much' higher.
Mike is 100% right , comfortably driving the car up and back and enjoying it off track while having a potent track car is awesome.... at my age... :beerchug:

Streets was a blast in the GT4 , just as much fun as the 73 911 , and the car placed well next to the hardware out there , nannies on.... :lol:
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby mrondeau on Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:35 pm

gulf911 wrote:I have owned and tracked a 944 , 911E , 911 Track car and now GT4. Jad would say , yeah , but not very well.... :D
:roflmao:
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Jad on Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:22 pm

Dan, I must also add, would you know what the car was doing with all the nannies without your years of experience learning what is going on? I am not saying Patrick Long can't drive a GT3, just you can't learn starting in a GT3 as you have no idea when the nannies are working and when they are not.

A common comment is the nannies are never on except to save you for the occasional big mistake. Would you agree the nannies basically never came on while you were driving, they were only a safety net?

Very curious your thoughts on which car would teach you to be a better driver, gulf car or gt4? Not whether they are both great car or fun cars, just which would help you learn to drive?
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Dan Chambers on Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:41 am

gulf911 wrote:""Nanny cars" fail to communicate to the driver via hand and butt inputs what's going on with the car-to-surface interface."

Then you havent 'driven' a GT car. It is easily felt when it starts to slide and the right or left rear is being braked or throttle under PSM.


Dan, I have driven a GT car, at speed, on the track with nannies on. I've driven a GT3 at Chuckwalla. I've driven a GT3 at Buttonwillow. Both were 997 varients. Once again, your asumptions about my driving experience are... wrong.

I do know that when I tried to demonstrate how to "pitch" a GT3 to rotate the car, the pre-programmed nannies didn't like it. The nannies stopped the rotation and prevented me from driving the car the way I drive a "non-nanny" 911... something that interfered with what I was trying to teach. When I tried to demonstrate how to use throttle-steering out of an apex to track-out at the limits of tire adhesion... the pre-programmed nannies didn't like it. The nannies disengaged the throttle until the slip angle of all 4 tires was reduced and the tires rolled rather than slid. Once again, the nannies interfered with what I was trying to teach. Period.

So, I found in my case, that the nannies interfered with how I would like to drive the car, and most likely reduced my overall speed in and out of apexes. My overall times suffered at the hands of the nannies. I surely don't need any help in increasing the time it takes me to get around one lap! :lol:

As to the communication a driver feels on the track: I felt no "minor" adjustments from the nannies at the little bumps and twitches that I usually feel in my '83 SC. I didn't feel the "bump/twitch" coming out of "Riverside" at Buttonwillow. I didn't feel the "bump/twitch" entering/exiting Sunset at Buttonwillow. I didn't feel the off-camber / decreasing radius "roll" at turn 7 on Chuckwalla that can spin a car. I didn't feel them because computers that read inputs and send out micro adjustments to sway bars, brakes, throttle input, struts, and engine position at 30 to 60 pulses-per-second are not discernable to any human being. Only the "gross" impluses and adjustments that you mention can be felt... because of their somewhat large magnatude.

As you well know, with all your early P-car experience, the difference between nanny and non-nanny cars is not what you feel; it's what you don't feel. Nanny-based cars seem to "smooth out" the driving experience. Non-nanny cars seem to drive "rough and raw." And that's my point; "raw" driving cars are constantly communicating with the drivers. Every nuance of the track / road surface is broadcast back to the driver. Bumps, lumps, texture change. The whole thing. This tells the informed driver what the potential grip of the tires is on any given surface. I don't think the same is true with nanny-equipped cars. The nannies insulate the driver from the surface, with just a "whisper" of what really is going on with the tires, in my experience. And, yes. I do have a little experience sitting in both seats of a GT car. Just a little. 8)

Cheers.
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