Slow Car Fast

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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Gary Burch on Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:10 am

I agree Tom, any car can be driven to it's limit
it just takes commitment and skill.
it also takes confidence, and that comes from experience,
and that sometimes comes at a high cost.
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby mrondeau on Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:32 pm

ttweed wrote:I agree that it is easier to get an early 911 to that ragged edge and stay on it longer during a lap, but I don't agree that you can't reach the car's limits in a modern GT car and enjoy the same feeling, perhaps even more intensely because the limit is higher and the risk even greater. The rush is still there for me. The "edge" is the limit of grip, of course, where the tires have reached optimal slip angles and threaten to exceed them at one end of the car or the other at any moment, with the level of grip dropping precipitously. The tremendous grip of a modern GT car with wide, sticky tires is just so high that they must be pushed even harder to achieve those moments, and the opportunities to get to that point are more limited as a result, especially on a slower course, but they are still there. Even with PSM on, the GT cars still allow enough slip angle and yaw to get the most out of the tires, and the driver's inputs to keep it on that edge are just as critical, it just happens at a higher level and the car must be pushed harder to get there and keep it there. It's the same challenge, just at a different level.

TT


Tom, That is the heart of this thread. That it’s easier to learn to drive at a cars limits in a slow car without nannies than it is in a new car with them. It’s not impossible for some to reach the car’s limits without exceeding them, but it is much more difficult in the newer cars for all of the reasons that continue to be repeated.

You have to admit that you and Dan A are not the typical GT drivers that this is intended to educate. You both have many years of driving experience in early 911’s and other performance cars. You’ve been driving Porsches since the year I was born and your early 911 experience of 17 years is almost twice as long as I’ve been driving competitively in this club. Dan A was faster in his “slower” GT car at SOW than both of the GT3RS’.

Most, if not all, of your track experience in your GT3 has been at the AX level. Although harder to reach the car’s limits, it is easier to handle those limits at the reduced speeds of an AX. If it’s a really fast track, you might reach 3rd gear. That’s not same as 150+ at the track. The downside to a blown corner at an AX is a collection of cones and the collective “ohhhh” of the onlookers. The downside to a blown corner at the track can be truly disastrous.

Your viewpoint as to the driveability and fun factor of the new cars is dead on and they are a blast. I still smile every time I think of my hot lap in Gildersleeve’s car. It is unbelievable what those cars are capable of. I’ve been fortunate to drive almost every type of street legal Porsche at events and the GT3RS is the best one yet. Would I have had as much fun in that car if I didn’t know how to push the limits of an early 911 or 944? Yes! Would I be as fast? No.

Nobody is putting down anyone with a modern car. The fun factor is huge, the convenience is great and the cars are amazing. What we’re trying to educate people on has to do with improving their driving ability. If you want to learn to get the most out of your car, learn to drive in a lower horsepower momentum car.

Physics don’t change. Driving techniques are roughly the same for all vehicles. Driving the line, weight transfer, braking, accelerating and looking ahead are all important no matter what you’re driving. We still teach those at PDS because they’re important and they make a difference in every type of vehicle. Electronic aids make some of these easier. That’s technology. An SC is easier to drive that a SWB 911. A 993 is easier to drive that an SC. A 997 is easier to drive than a 993. That’s progress. Are they all fun? YES!!!

Tom, thanks for bringing this thread back to the level headed type of debate that used to be so prevalent on this forum. :rockon:
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby mrondeau on Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:35 pm

Gary Burch wrote:I agree Tom, any car can be driven to it's limit
it just takes commitment and skill.
it also takes confidence, and that comes from experience,
and that sometimes comes at a high cost.


+1.

PS. Where do people get those really cool 911 art avatars? They’re awesome!
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Andrew Raines on Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:39 pm

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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby ttweed on Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:55 pm

mrondeau wrote: What we’re trying to educate people on has to do with improving their driving ability. If you want to learn to get the most out of your car, learn to drive in a lower horsepower momentum car.

I agree completely, Mark. That makes the most sense and is a proven formula. A lot of the best drivers around began racing in karts--look at Formula 1, or heck, look no further afield than Erik K. or Isabella B. I'm sure I could put Erik in my car on any day and with a short period of acclimatization he would beat me by a second or two!

But on the other hand, I think the club (and the instructor corps) has to recognize that such an ideal situation is not always going to be followed or adhered to these days or in the coming years. Already, and even more so in the future, we are going to have people coming into the club and starting to learn performance driving in highly powered, thoroughly modern cars with complex electronic aids. It is not going to be possible or even reasonable to simply tell them to go learn in another car and come back later. Yes, Diane C. made that decision herself, but others may not see things in the same way, for various reasons. When the student doesn't agree that they should park their car for a year or two and buy a 944 or old Boxster to properly learn car control, we are still going to have to deal with them in a safe and helpful manner.

I think Craig F.'s comments earlier in this thread are germane--we need to make sure our instructors become more familiar with the changing technology. Many of the things I have read in this thread regarding the actions of the "nannies" do not correlate with my experience of them, and I wonder if everyone really understands exactly what they do, how they work, and when they engage, etc. If instructing in such a car, are you making sure the student understands these systems and is aware of when they engage and why they shouldn't be driving in a manner that invokes their intrusion? I don't see how you could help them progress without discussing their intervention, although I do get Dave M.'s comment from Jackie about being a "cheerleader" and not discouraging people. But I don't think you are doing them a favor by not discussing how they almost crashed 6 times in a lap and the PSM saved them (yes, Dave, I realize that was hyperbole). Some aspects of the modern electronics are indeed "invisible," such as PASM, PDCC, PADM, auto brake pre-charging, etc., but they do not really enter into this discussion as they are not intermittent and the driver's inputs have no control over them, they just enhance the grip and stability of the car full-time. The important parts of the PSM system are those that react to the driver's inputs when the vehicle is put into an unstable condition, which are mainly ABD, ASR, PTV, and MSR, which all fall under the umbrella of the ESC and TC buttons.

I haven't been instructing since this latest generation of PSM arrived on the scene, but the first thing I would do with such a student is to tell them to drive a lap without any PSM intervention, and start pointing out the cause of each intervention that they were unable to avoid, then insist that they try to remedy that problem. I don't agree with the assertion that these nannies are totally "transparent" or "invisible" to the driver, and they shouldn't be from the right seat either, although I haven't been sitting there myself lately. They are quite obvious when the major intrusions happen, and you will be faster by avoiding them, as they slow you down in every case. That is the justification I would offer to the student. The ESC, or stability management, operates by braking individual wheels in unstable situations. Braking = slower. You can sometimes hear odd "hydraulic noises" and feel the car slow down even though you are not lifting or applying the brakes (this may be a little harder to perceive from the right seat, as you are not operating the pedals, but every instructor can recognize when a car is out of shape and recovers miraculously, seemingly "defying the laws of physics" as Russell put it). This may come from entering a corner too hot, turning in too early or too late, missing an apex and running out of track, over-controlling the car, etc., but it is up to the instructor to point out the mistake and the solution.

The traction control (TC) prevents too abrupt or excessive application of the throttle from spinning the rear wheels, causing a loss of traction. It cuts fuel/ignition (sounding like hitting the rev limiter at a lower RPM) and is SLOWER, since acceleration is inhibited. The student needs to be instructed about modulating the throttle properly, or changing the timing of throttle application relative to the car's position on track and attitude, etc. It is absolutely possible and necessary for them to learn to turn quick laps with no intervention by the PSM. That should be a goal for a newbie, not swept under the rug and ignored.

I can honestly say I have never seen the lights on the dash come on in these situations because I am never looking at the dash at such times, but I feel them in the seat of my pants every time. The old "buttometer" registers them and sends them to my brain unfailingly. Every student in these cars must be taught to recognize and correct these intervention incidents if they ever hope to be faster, or to drive the car with the nannies off (or drive any other non-nanny car quickly). Isn't this the proper goal of instructing? If the student doesn't understand or isn't receptive to these suggestions, as Pete Tremper said in the National DE Instructor certification training, "Other sports beckon." :)

TT
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby ttweed on Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:04 am

kleggo wrote:
GT3 wrote:Dan, as we discussed quickly at the AX the other day, the 997 is a whole different beast when it comes to TC and ESC.

It is like comparing an old Intel Pentium II to an Intel I9 processor, in laymen’s terms the computers of 2016 run circles around the ones of 14 years prior.

Well since we seem to like the Road&Track articles here is another good one to read: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cultur ... our-nanny/


I laughed at this part................"WHEN I WENT ON MY FIRST (and last) skydive, I didn't see anybody ostentatiously throwing their reserve chutes in the garbage.".

but must question this;
"When you see the stability control light flash, ask yourself what you did to upset the car's balance and fix it the next time."
It's a good sentiment, but how easy is it to see a nanny light flash (briefly) when you're looking up and down the track???

Craig

Going back over this thread, I finally read this article linked above by Jack Baruth and I agree with it whole-heartedly. It may not be true of all stability control systems in all cars, but in the latest systems devised by Porsche for the GT cars (which is the only one with which I am familiar), there is enough latitude allowed to turn a fast lap at the limit without them intervening. They are there just to save your butt when a serious mistake is made or an unexpected track condition occurs (oil/water/dirt on the surface, etc.) He seems to focus on the element of "seeing the ESC light flashing," but as I said in my last post, I have never noticed that, and it is not necessary to depend on watching the dash for an instructor to notice these systems intervening, you should be able to feel/hear it instantly, and the student needs to be trained to notice it as well if they are unaware. They cannot be allowed to ignore those signals that they are not driving in a smooth and controlled manner, IMHO. The PSM system is supposed to be a safety net, not a hammock, in which an aggressive student can lounge in a state of sloppy overdriving for the sake of excitement with their powerful new toy. Each such incident should be a teaching moment for the instructor, and it should be made clear to the student that they are due to mistakes and should be avoided, not an electronic aid to be exploited on a regular basis. Contrary to what has been expressed here, the nannies are not "excellent drivers," they slow you down.

TT
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby sf.in.sd on Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:04 am

I agree with just about everything Tom said in his last several posts, but offer a counter to this quote.
ttweed wrote:Contrary to what has been expressed here, the nannies are not "excellent drivers," they slow you down.


The obvious counter argument is that when the nannies keep someone from sliding off track or worse, then they are turning better times with them on, relative to what a big mistake would cost them with it off. Obviously a perfect lap would be faster without intervention. That said, no one is perfect and our F1 or local (Erik and Isabella) heros still make mistakes, but they are small and quickly correctly.

Now I am going to invite controversy by saying that I think that even a great driver can sometimes benefit from the electronic driving assists and end up being faster. This probably applies more to AX than big track as the penalties for going off track are rarely more than a cone scuff and the "best line" is sometimes still a work in progress by timed runs. It also depends on the course and how many opportunities there are to upset the car or how much time can be gained by feathering the throttle a bit more than the computer would allow at the beginning of a big straight, but the 981/991 era assists in Sport Plus (or whatever the GT car equivalent is) provide minimum intervention and will intervene just enough to allow you to drive much closer to 10/10ths around the entire track versus leaving time on the table by only going 8 or 9/10ths at times. For lesser drivers, having the nanny helping to avoid spins and/or sliding off course is much faster, but for a great driver- on a new or unfamiliar course especially- they would have to work really hard to beat the computer.

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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby ttweed on Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:53 pm

With all due respect, I think you are only half right here, Shawn.
sf.in.sd wrote:The obvious counter argument is that when the nannies keep someone from sliding off track or worse, then they are turning better times with them on, relative to what a big mistake would cost them with it off.

This is true. To the extent that they keep someone from spinning or going off track and not completing a lap, or taking out a whole line of cones and piling up a huge penalty at an autox, the electronics are helping them turn a faster lap than they would have without them. But this is not a bad thing. Think of the possible damages (or even injuries) and lost time at the track from such an incident (including to possible "innocent" third parties), or the downtime at an autocross from corner workers having to rebuild the track. However, there is no way that a lap driven like that is going to be a winner in any competitive class. Some "false glory" for not having crashed but placing higher than deserved is not a "win," but should perhaps be "educated out" of newbie drivers before it takes root (thus my argument for such an approach to instructing made earlier).
Obviously a perfect lap would be faster without intervention.
You are making my point here.

That said, no one is perfect and our F1 or local (Erik and Isabella) heros still make mistakes, but they are small and quickly correctly.

Here is where we differ. In my experience, the PSM does not intervene or correct "small errors." That is still up to the driver.

Now I am going to invite controversy by saying that I think that even a great driver can sometimes benefit from the electronic driving assists and end up being faster.
To the extent that it can show the driver where they are making mistakes in practice, allow them to be more aggressive right away to find the edge of intervention and then correct their approach to just under that level, this may be true. But in timed runs (TT or AX), where tenths of a second make the difference, the net effect of ESC braking the car unintentionally and TC reducing motor speed and power for any length of time means you go slower overall. You can use it as a learning tool, perhaps, but it won't help you be faster on a "money" lap (not that any of us are making any money with this hobby :D ).

...the 981/991 era assists in Sport Plus (or whatever the GT car equivalent is) provide minimum intervention and will intervene just enough to allow you to drive much closer to 10/10ths around the entire track versus leaving time on the table by only going 8 or 9/10ths at times.

I think this is a misconception. The interventions in the GT-car implementation of PSM (which is always in "Sports+" mode, BTW) only happen when you drive 11/10s or more and exceed the car's limits, when the car's sensors detect that it has become (or is about to become) unstable to the point of beginning to spin or go out of control. It cannot "help" you drive 10/10ths, it can only show you when you're at 11. When it does intervene it is very intrusive and instantly slows the car down. It doesn't act in a subtle way or make marginal corrections, although as soon as it detects that the car is stable it stops engaging, which can make some interventions briefer or less intrusive than others. As I said above, this may allow a driver to be more aggressive in finding the limits sooner in a safer way, but it won't make you a "better driver" or improve your times in actual competition by having the PSM engage at all.

...for a great driver- on a new or unfamiliar course especially- they would have to work really hard to beat the computer.
Well, first of all, after 1-1/2 days of practice on a big track for a timed session, or 8-10 laps of practice on an AX course, the track should no longer be "unfamiliar." Secondly, the safety aspects of the PSM systems are obvious, but there is only one performance advantage I can see in driving a car with them vs. without. The only way to "beat the computer" is by using your practice laps to figure out as soon as possible how aggressive you can be while still keeping it from intervening. If it's "saving" you in timed runs, you're losing.

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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby cag4 on Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:54 pm

Here’s a reminder of why we care so much about this topic:

https://www.facebook.com/festivalofspeed/videos/1884509421559382/
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Gary Burch on Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:10 am

that would be hard to do with the nannies on
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby Dan Chambers on Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:50 am

cag4 wrote:Here’s a reminder of why we care so much about this topic:

https://www.facebook.com/festivalofspeed/videos/1884509421559382/


That was awesome. PVDE at it's best. 8)
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby GT3 on Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:47 am

ttweed wrote:One thing you all seem to be forgetting is that in the GT cars, the "nannies" are calibrated in a much more "sporty" manner than the other 911s

TT


That is the thing Tom, they know this and been told this by GT owners in this thread multiple times but don't want to believe it, and can't believe that our cars would ever need any kind of steering correction since the car drives by itself.

The part I find kind of funny though all of this talk is from people that drive older cars, that have massive weight reductions, have better then stock suspension, has the biggest tires they can put on the car and puts on a fresh set for TT, and I am sure the list goes on that help AIDS the performance of the car.

Well, guess what, yes the newer computers in our cars, especially the GT cars help aid in our driving at the track just like the modification they do to there cars, so how is it any different, we all use what we can to go faster down the track.

Here is the million dollar question though... What is the argument when a GT car driver without the years of track experience goes faster than another GT car driver that has many years experience in those older less forgiving cars?

Technically according to this thread that would never happen without 25 years experience in a GT car :banghead:
Last edited by GT3 on Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby GT3 on Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:09 pm

mrondeau wrote:Dan A was faster in his “slower” GT car at SOW than both of the GT3RS’.


I beg to differ sir... First off SOW is not a HP track and you know this, and a GT4 might even have some edge due to the weight and size difference, but that aside.

Dan A best lap was a very nice 1.22:99
Rich G best lap was a 1.22:89
Alain S best lap was a 1.23:06

So to say he was "faster" is a little bit of an exaggeration.
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby mrondeau on Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:36 pm

GT3 wrote:
mrondeau wrote:Dan A was faster in his “slower” GT car at SOW than both of the GT3RS’.


I beg to differ sir... First off SOW is not a HP track and you know this, and a GT4 might even have some edge due to the weight and size difference, but that aside.

Dan A best lap was a very nice 1.22:99
Rich G best lap was a 1.22:89
Alain S best lap was a 1.23:06

So to say he was "faster" is a little bit of an exaggeration.



I stand corrected.
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Re: Slow Car Fast

Postby ScandinavianFlick on Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:47 pm

Here's a simple self-check any driver can perform:

In a safe environment like autocross, do your first two laps in a session with the electronics on. Then do the next 3-4 in the same session with them off. If you can get within one second of your electronics-on time, then you can be confident that you have a working knowledge of how to stay near a car's limits. If not, then there is more to learn. Fortunately, one of the great things about this club is that there are many generous members with slow cars who are usually willing to share for a day in exchange for a beer or two :beerchug:
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