Dealing with the




DEALING WITH THE ?OH, $#!?? TURN

The best way to drive unfamiliar roads is to approach everything considering the worst case scenario.  I can think of nothing worse than going into an off camber (tilted toward the outside), decreasing radius (the turn gets tighter as you drive in deeper), with something slippery thrown in.

Your first reaction is to lift off the accelerator in an attempt to slow down.  While this seems perfectly logical, it is, in reality, a formula for disaster.  As you accelerate, you load the rear end of the vehicle (weight and energy transfer rearward- the car squats and feels planted).  As you brake, or lift off the accelerator, weight and energy transfer forward.  By taking weight off the rear, you have just lost traction.  This permits the centrifugal force to push the rear toward the outside of the turn.  Over steer is the term assigned to this phenomenon.  Oversteer may permit the driver to see where he?s been without turning around or using the rear view mirror.  You may also have the opportunity to see the horrified looks on faces of those in the cars that are now facing you and witnessing your impending doom.

 Okay, what is the proper action?  Your best bet is to get your Porsche aimed straight ahead and stand on the brakes.  After scrubbing off as much speed as possible, which has now loaded the front tires, turn into the radius as hard as you can while gently accelerating and loading the rear tires.  A word to the wise, too much acceleration will only break the rear end loose again.

Even better, as an approach to all turns: in slow, out fast.  You can always add speed, but you cannot always eliminate it.  You will also find that your Porsche is happier in turns with your foot on the accelerator.  This is best illustrated by driving uphill through a turn.  You will find going uphill through a turn much more comfortable than going downhill through a turn.

 Another solution is to buy a Porsche with Porsche Stability Management.  The macho purists may pooh-pooh this option as training wheels, but the best driver in the world cannot brake one wheel to create a pivot point capable of correcting either over steer or under-steer.  This was brought to my attention on the 03 Porsche Ozark tour more than once.  An experienced driver of both road and track said his PSM kicked in twice on the trip.  Both times, he felt, the system got him out of situations that he may not have otherwise been able to correct.

No matter how good a driver is, PSM can undo situations that would end up with entirely different and not desirable results.  This system is standard on most Porsche's and should never be switched off.  If it successfully extracts you from one bad incident it has more than justified its existence.  The benefits can be in embarrassment, body shop bills, pain, and/or worse.  As with any other system, it cannot defy laws of physics.  Prudent driving is still mandated.


Read more from the "Just Jack" article base

 Braking  Breaking in your new Porsche
 Dealing with the
 Driving Position
 Gasoline  Literal Translation
 Oil type and Weight
 Pavement 
 Performance Driving 101
 Road Rash
 Radar Basics
 Shifting 
 Tires  What separates you from impending doom
 Your worst nightmare has just come true
 Red Mist
 Fatigue Got to go right now!
 Dynamic Cornering Lights
 Literal Translation
 Next Generation 911/991, or Boxster Cayman/981
 

   

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