“Easy, easy … now, flat on the accelerator … let’s make this one a quick one.”
They’re the phrases of my teacher, Luke Youlden, at one thing north of 200km/h on Queensland Raceway.
Not the form of belongings you’re used to listening to once you’re driving another person’s $400Okay supercar.
But I am deep into the Porsche driver coaching day behind the wheel of one of many fastests Porsche ever unleashed on the highway – or monitor.
It’s all about demonstrating what these vehicles have been designed for – and precisely what they’re able to; getting probably the most out of one of many quickest vehicles you should purchase. Quickly.
Fast vehicles are extra standard and sooner than ever – simply as velocity cameras and regulation enforcement is extra stringent than ever.
The 2 do not combine notably nicely, one thing house owners of mentioned quick vehicles are all too conversant in.
But manufacturers like Porsche realise house owners need to expertise the automotive doing what it was designed for.
Hence the experiential monitor driving days.
Porsche presents 5 ranges of monitor days, from fundamental tuition in vehicles such because the Cayman and Boxster by way of to a flat out blast within the 911 Carrera Cup race vehicles.
The day we’re doing is stage 4, utilizing the quickest of Porsche’s quick highway vehicles earlier than you soar into the race vehicles.
To get right here you should do the primary 3 ranges, at a mixed value of just about $5000.
Then there’s the $3850 for stage 4.
The weapons of alternative are the 911 GT3 RS, the closest factor to a race automotive Porsche does for the highway.
It has a roll cage and race seats in addition to a five-point racing harnesses as seatbelts.
The sticky Michelin tyres, too, are developed for the race monitor however nonetheless authorized on the highway and the rears are monstrously extensive, at 325mm.
A big rear wing and deep entrance spoiler create downforce at excessive speeds, designed to push the automotive more durable into the bitumen, in flip making these tyres grip more durable.
The engine is Porsche’s sole remaining naturally-aspirated (or non turbo) engine.
The 4.0-litre unit makes 368kW and revs as excessive as 9000rpm.
First issues first
The headline act goes quick – then going sooner.
But earlier than that there is numerous tuition to get you to the sooner bit.
The day begins with a chat from chief teacher Thomas Mezera, a person with an illustrious racing profession that features a win within the Bathurst 1000.
With assistance from a monitor map, a mannequin automotive and waving arms he explains all the pieces from automotive stability and engine energy to the significance of various braking ranges relying on the place you’re on the monitor and how briskly you are travelling.
It’s about arming individuals with the information to get probably the most out of what are extraordinarily quick vehicles.
Slowly does it
The first session is about discovering your ft.
With V8 Supercar driver Luke Youlden within the scorching seat the main target is on ensuring you in the proper place on the monitor and utilizing the proper methods; a bit sooner right here, a bit smoother there.
Second time within the automotive, although, issues get critical.
We’re solo now, with solely a one-way radio connection to Youlden so he may give encouragement or recommendations on the place you’ll be able to enhance. Or inform you to decelerate.
Provided you are retaining issues clear – and on the bitumen – you’ll be able to go most assault.
It’s straightforward to get sucked in and push too onerous, making an attempt issues physics merely will not enable.
Despite its excessive limits and tempo the GT3 RS is surprisingly forgiving.
Arrive too quick in one of many tight right-handers, for instance, and a mixture of steering and brakes can gently coax the tail round right into a slide.
But there are fantastically tuned electronics to catch you if you happen to overstep issues.
The pleasure and evaluation does not cease when you get out of the automotive.
Each automotive is fitted with information logging to observe each motion. It tracks your velocity to the closest one-hundredth of a km/h at any level on the monitor.
So, together with a knowledge analyst you’ll be able to evaluate your efficiency with all method of professional drivers; for me it was Craig Baird, a number of Carrera Cup champ.
And there is no hiding.
Any slip, slide, late gearchange or lack of dedication exhibits up as being slower on the detailed graphs.
At the identical time, it means that you can immediately hone in on the place – and the way – you’ll be able to enhance.
Pulling 210km/h approaching flip 1, for instance, could be daunting.
If you brake too onerous you will wash off an excessive amount of velocity, in flip slowing progress by way of the quickest part of the monitor.
You may very well be throwing away essential tenths of seconds.
Allow the automotive to stream a bit sooner and you may make up loads of time.
Two 10-lap stints are forward as soon as we have had a feed.
With an hour or 2 to ponder what’s working and what is not, that is the ultimate probability to cease the clock.
There’s just one drawback: the cloud cowl from the morning has gone and the monitor is heating up.
Combined with tyres which have seen higher days it makes for much less grip.
We’re speaking levels. But once you’re averaging 131km/h round a 2.1km monitor it is levels that make the distinction between a superb time and nice 1.
I do not handle to enhance on the 58.6-second lap I logged within the 2d session.
But I handle a heap of 58.9-second laps, which my information analyst Andy is pleased with.
It’s consistency the consultants need to see now.
Win or lose
There’s no winners or losers out of the day – assuming all of the vehicles are nonetheless in a single piece, which they’re on our day.
There have been loads of slides and the occasional puff of mud as wheels ran off the monitor.
But there is no injury, though the tyres and brakes will want a refresh.
Everyone leaves with a smile and a certificates. And the information they’re higher drivers than once they arrived.
Toby Hagon from executivestyle.com.au