Performance Driving 101




INTRO TO PERFORMANCE DRIVING

A FEW TIPS ON BASIC Porsche driving should make the experience a little less stressful. Please realize that you have four patches not much bigger than the flat surface of your palm and fingers holding 3,000 pounds to the road's surface. Your tire contact patches are all that separate you from disaster. Maybe now tires are a little higher priority for you.

Loading and unloading the tires determine the amount of pressure pushing the contact area to the pavement. You now see that the amount of stick that the tires have plus the force pushing them down plus the amount of stick the pavement permits equals your ability to maintain control. Bad tires that are not being pushed to the pavement on a slippery surface spell disaster.

When you accelerate, your Porsche puts more down force at the rear.

Conversely, braking or lifting off the accelerator, transfer weight and energy forward. Driving the roads in the Ozarks, one quickly learns that driving uphill in turns is much easier than driving downhill in turns. The difference is your right foot.�

Going uphill your foot is on the accelerator which puts down force on the rear wheels. What you are doing is giving the rear a stronger grip. This is especially necessary in a 911. Think of this car as a pendulum. Better yet, think of throwing a hammer- which end wants to lead? By keeping your foot on the accelerator, you're keeping that heavy end planted where it belongs.

Don't be shy, you need to increase engine speed (RPM) to finesse your Porsche through the turns. This will not harm your baby. In fact, both you and your Porsche will enjoy the heightened state of awareness. Drive in a gear or even two lower than what you normally do. This will make the whole exercise feel much better.

Unfortunately, when you sense that you're going a little too fast in a turn, you natural reaction is to lift off the accelerator or even brake. These are both sure fire methods of bringing that heavy end around to lead instead of follow. This is called over-steer. The hills of the Ozarks would not be the place to learn about this.

The safest way to negotiate a turn is in slow, out fast. It's much easier and safer to add speed in a turn than to get rid of speed in a turn. By braking before a turn, even just a light tap of the brake will transfer traction to the front tires to giving you a little better turn in. Then by gently going to the accelerator, you are planting the rear of your Porsche and will create a much more confident feel going through the turn.

The slower (smoother) you are with the brake, the steering wheel, and the accelerator, the faster the car can go. Jerking the car around gets it unbalanced and much harder to control. You should practice being slow and smooth. The same principles apply elsewhere and can be equally as successful.

Keep your head up. Look at where you want to end up, not at the pavement directly in front of you or at the tail of the Porsche in front of you. By looking further down the road, you can plan your next move and be smoother with the car. Instead of several slight adjustments to the steering wheel, you can turn the wheel the proper amount to end up precisely where you want to be.

Speed will increase your radius. Turning your wheel in (aiming at point inside where you want to be) and squeezing the accelerator will push your Porsche into a wider arch. This is getting a little more advanced; maybe you'd be better served practicing this at a track.

To sum up: tap the brake before the turn, look at where you want end up (if you can't see that far, prepare for the worst- a decreasing radius) and lightly accelerate through the turn. You should feel more confident and in control. Let the driving come to you; never feel like you have to keep up or that you?re being pushed.

You'll feel a lot better and so will your passenger. Bruised egos are much easier and cheaper to fix. You can always blame me for slowing you down.

Finally, the other drivers in your group are just as nervous and concerned about keeping up as you are. Get on your two-way radios to determine who wants to go faster or slower. By communicating and accommodating, everyone will be safer and happier. The speed-freak goes last not first. Playing catch and release is the safest and easiest way to travel.


Read more from the "Just Jack" article base

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

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