Eventbrite - PCA DIABLO NAME BADGES (Jul- Dec 2018)

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Driver Education, May 2013

Mike Roberts“90% of cars I see with bolt-on aftermarket performance parts have their power reduced below factory specs!”...that was the opinion of Kevin at MCE Racing in Thunderhill. He knows, he has the dynamometer readings to prove it!

I mention it because, as we grow our DE program, drivers are asking how they can enhance the capabilities of their cars. It’s not easy. After all, the engineers at Porsche worked to produce a balanced machine. Changing one of the ingredients can upset the whole recipe. If it was really easy to increase power by 20% from a simple bolt-on air intake, then would Porsche not have done it by now?

 

If you really want to spend on your car consult a reputable tuning shop that has done these things many times and ask advice.

The best thing you can do to go faster at HPDE events is do more of them. Practice and enhancing driver skill is the most effective investment you can make – but it’s not instant! As our good friend David Ray always asks, “are you driving your car at 100% of its capabilities? If not, it isn’t the car you should invest in...”

Get to know it. After 24,000 miles I feel I’m getting to know my Carrera S, but it’s only in the last 5000 miles that I have felt like that. Pure fun!

Looking back over the last seven years of DE events, here is a quick list of things that sound straightforward, but can trap the unwary:

  1. Buying new, bigger/wider rims and tires....
    Be careful of wheel offsets and tire profiles which deviate from stock. There are many shops which don’t know Porsche sizes for individual models and you can end up with an odd look, or even worse, a car in ‘limp mode’ because it detects a different rotation ratio from front to rear.
  2. Putting on a cold air intake...
    Beware even some popular makes can reduce your bhp, not add to it.
  3. Getting the car chipped...
    If it’s not a Turbo, why? If it is a Turbo, can the drivetrain cope with the extra power and the cooling system with the extra heat?
  4. Getting the car lowered...
    Reducing suspension travel can be a big headache, and some mods may rob you of camber, so no performance improvement results.
  5. Putting in racing seats/harnesses...
    This is not so simple...regulations require a roll bar as well as harnesses be six point to be legal for PCA. You can’t do one, you have to do the lot together – for the passenger/instructor side too and that’s expensive. PCA doesn’t allow modified standard seats with harnesses added. (BTW, you do not need these things to have fun at the track).
  6. Buying track tires...
    We recommend that you don’t do this until you have experience. ‘R Compound’ tires may allow you to go faster but they can also be unforgiving and not give warning when approaching their limit. To get the best out of them, they usually need other mods too.
  7. Having a full body kit and rear wing...
    Just be careful that you are not simply adding weight.
  8. Got a great deal on some new, cheap tires...
    Tires are not created equal. As the contact point between you and the asphalt, they are critical. There’s no point having a high performance car with low performance tires.
  9. Putting on an extra oil cooler...
    If your car is running hot there may be another explanation. Just bear in mind that one of the most common causes of failures on track are aftermarket water or oil cooling parts which are substandard or badly fitted.
  10. Getting a new exhaust system...
    Remember, noisier does not mean faster. In fact, with today’s track sound restrictions on track, making more noise can prevent your fun!

I’m not advocating you should never modify your car. But there are no shortcuts or cheap mods which give dramatically higher performance...just be careful out there!

In the meantime, spring is here, let’s get out and drive what we have. Porsche created some wonderful machines...

   
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