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    My First GTS Track Day

    As I expected, the GTS performed very admirably at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California on April 15.  The weather was cool in the morning with a few sprinkles but the clouds soon gave way to partly cloudy skies in the afternoon, with temps in the low to mid 70's (F), making track conditions perfect for the afernoon runs.

    Thunderhill is a 3 mile track with one straightaway, 15 turns and is 36' wide.  It is a fun track with lots of dirt and grassy run off areas for those who are inclined to push their egos and cars too hard and often end up having an "off track experiences". 

    Although I was cautious (running on the Michelin PS 2's that came on the car) and not about to push the new GTS too hard, the car felt right at home on the track and it was a very exhilarating experieince! Smiley 

    I have driven this track many times in the past (my previous car was an '03 Boxster S) so I'm very familiar with the track. 

    The track has one main straightaway between Turn 15 and Turn 1 where I was able to upshift into fourth and reach 125 mph, before having to brake heavily and downshift to third before the entrance to Turn #1. The braking was always smooth and perfectly balanced. I also tried a bit of trail braking into a couple of turns with no problem.

    I ran mostly engaged in Sport Mode with PSM, and the handling and response was fantastic!  The exit speeds from the turns is where I really really noticed the high performance and outstanding low end torque. Smiley  I easily pulled away from the other cars out of the corners (except for one GT3 and a couple of other race prepped cars). The stock BMW's and other 911's, etc... were no match for the GTS coming out of the turns and down the straights. 

    The car had just 2400 miles on the odometer when I arrived at the track...and I put on about 100 miles of track time on the car.  The GTS seemed to just continue to run better and better throughout the day!  At least three guys in the paddock told me the car sounded fantastic going down the main straight from 60 mph to 120 mph in the afternoon.  Smiley

    All in all it was a VERY fun experience and I had no mechanical or engine problems at all!  I barely even used much oil.  The oil gage now shows "down one bar".  Of course I hit the rev limiter a couple of times two in third gear (just for fun).  Smiley   It did kicked in about 7600 rpm. 

    My only problems came from trying to operate the sport chrono lap timer while driving...a bit nerve racking and quite inconvenient when traveling between 70 and 100 mph most of the time and trying to hit the lever at the correct moment on each lap.  Next time I  think I would use my old in-car lap timer that is automatically triggered by a transponder every time the car passes the start-finish line.  

    I loved the GTS at the track!  ...and cruising the 120 miles home with the top down and a big grin on my face wasn't too bad either!  Smiley   

    A few pics from the day...

    GTS Track Day 1 01.jpg

    1303056124989GTS Track Day 1 02.jpg

    GTS Track Day 1 03.JPG

     

    GTS Track Day 1 04.jpg

     

    GTS Track Day 1 05.jpg

     

    GTS Track Day 1 06.jpg

     

    GTS Track Day 1 07.jpg

     

    GTS Track Day 1 08.jpg

     

    GTS Track Day 1 10.jpg


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    Great write up

    Did you try PASM in Normal and Sport mode? If yes please describe the difference, please.


    --

    "Form follows function"


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     

    I bet some people were having internal kniptions that a cabriolet was stomping their XYZ coupe lap times. 

    It just shows you how a end of model life cycle 911 is a formidable piece of machinery on track or off. The GTS really is a frkkn rocketship.

    Good job, keep it up


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    What a day Smiley great looking pics too, I love to see action pics like these. PDK or stick? If PDK, did you use the full auto mode or you put it in manual?

    J.Seven


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    Great pics & write up Doug. Glad to see you enjoying your GTS as much as John


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    reginos:

    Great write up

    Did you try PASM in Normal and Sport mode? If yes please describe the difference, please.


    Yes, I did drive a few practice/warm-up laps without the PSM or PASM (except I kept the exhaust in sport mode...absolutely love the note of the GTS at around 6500 + RPM!  Smiley). 

    Driving in "normal" mode on the track is much the same as the street.  The throttle response is slower, there is more body roll in corners and the clutch does not engage as quickly and sharply when shifting as in sport mode.  

    What was interesting is that the PASM shocks were not as "stiff" feeling on the track as on the street.  This was probably due to the very smooth nature of the Thunderhill track (resurfaced a couple of years ago) and the fact that the PASM shocks sense the proper amount of daming pressures necessary for the specific driving conditions...so although the car felt very stable and had great grip, I did not feel that the shocks were requiring the stffer damping...like I ALWAYS feel during normal street driving conditions.  It was noticably a smoother transition between normal and PASM on the race track.

    So, a good question Reginos!   ..and thanks for the Smiley  


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    J.Seven:

    What a day Smiley great looking pics too, I love to see action pics like these. PDK or stick? If PDK, did you use the full auto mode or you put it in manual?

    J.Seven


    Thanks J. Seven. 

    I have a manual 6 speed transmission with the Sport Shifter.  It's just a blast driving this car in sport mode with the manual transmission too!  The clutch and shifting times are extremely quick in Sport Mode (though not as fast as a PDK of course!).  I only really drove in third and fouth gears because going down to second gear in the 2 tight, slower turns was not really necessary.  The car still had great exit speed in third...and no need to waste time shifting down and back up during cornering.

    I have actually seen much better quality pics from this photographer in the past...not sure why the pics were not as crisp or sharp as usual...but I was happy he still got some good shots!  Smiley


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     

    Jim Flat 6 and Gilmour:

    Thanks for the compliments!  it was a blast out there!

    ...and I KNOW the GTS had much more to give on track (with more driver experience and if I had R compound tires like the Pilot Sport Cup Tires) ...but I am taking the "learning curve" gradually...and am very happy doing it that way! 


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    doug1950:

     It was noticably a smoother transition between normal and PASM on the race track.


     

    That's how it should be on a very smooth track, as it's an adaptive system Smiley

    Excellent report, doug1950 - keep racing Smiley


    --

    public roads: Porsche 987 S Seal/Cocoa, toll road Smiley : Porsche 997 GT3 Arctic/Black


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    Just the way to do it Doug. Leave the dirt & grassy areas for those with the ego's. The car looks so planted in the pics - fantasticSmiley


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    Well Doug - that was worth waiting for...fantastic pics and great write-up...many thanks..

    So glad the GTS did well on-track... I was never in any doubt really..

     What was the grip like in the early wet conditions?  Any over-steer? 

     

     


    --

    "Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    John H:

    Well Doug - that was worth waiting for...fantastic pics and great write-up...many thanks..

    So glad the GTS did well on-track... I was never in any doubt really..

     What was the grip like in the early wet conditions?  Any over-steer? 

     

     


    Thanks John!  The pleasure was all mine...both driving the track and posting the info and pics.  Smiley

    As you well know, I could go on and on and on about how special I think the GTS looks and drives!  This was proven for me at the track.  Many of my track friends (after drooling all over the car) feel that it is truly a unique 911...and perhaps the GTS just may be kind of a "limited edition"...but we shall see!  Smiley

    Regarding rain, the sprinkles were over by 8:00am and barely wet the track...so by the time my run group got on track (third group out) the track was just about dry...so didn't really have any issues with moisture on track.  However, I took it easy for the first few laps anyway...but felt connected, planted and "hooked up" with the GTS and the track in no time!  ...and I never really felt there was any oversteer or understeer.   However, my tire temps and pressures went WAY up (about 7 lbs.) so I had to gradually let some pressure out of the tires as the day went on and the track and weather got warmer.   This car would be REALLY awsome on track with the R compound "Cups".   

    As a side note, with the very quick throttle response in Sport Mode, the challenge was to NOT go to hard on the throttle coming out of the turns...and the rear end did get a little twitchy (with limited slip diff doing it's job!) on a few occassions...so easing or "rolling"  onto the throttle coming out of the turns still makes for much smoother and consistant driving lines...and better lap times too no doubt.  

    Smiley

     

     

     


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    Great post Doug, thanks.

    The GTS is the real deal. It has all the goodies and at a reasonable price. Porsche did enthusiasts a favour.


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    FFaust:

    Great post Doug, thanks.

    The GTS is the real deal. It has all the goodies and at a reasonable price. Porsche did enthusiasts a favour.


    Thanks FFaust,  ...and my sentiments exactly!  Smiley


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    Mine too ... and many thanks to Spyderidol who started this thread last September...

    http://www.rennteam.com/forum/thread/20179486/Carrera_GTS_Porsche_911_Now_Even_Sportier/page1.html

    Thanks also to RC for quantifying the advantages of this great car..Smiley

    I ordered mine within a few days of reading this thread and it was the best thing I ever did Porsche-wise..

     


    --

    "Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     I was not aware California tracks permitted cabs without roll bars or equivalents. 


    --

     


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    nberry:

     I was not aware California tracks permitted cabs without roll bars or equivalents. 


    The GTS (as with all recent 997 cabs) has auto deploying anti-roll bars, so no problem running on tracks in Calif. on HPDE days.  Smiley

    Each Track Club that rents the track and sponsors "High Performance Driver's Education" (HPDE) events can set their own rules for roll protection.  These clubs promote what we call "recreational racing" usually with very strict rules regarding on track behavior, depending upon what "run group" you are driving in (novice, intermediate or advanced).

    For example, the Porsche Club of America allows any car with some sort of roll protection (either a hard top, hoops, or pop-up roll protection) to run in HPDE events on "recreational track days" sponsored by PCA.

    All tracks and HPDE clubs also require signed waivers before you are allowed on track.

    No full competition RACING is allowed (by NASA, NASCAR, Porsche Club Racing, etc.) at any race tracks without full roll bar or roll cage protection.   Perhaps that is what you were refering to?  Smiley

    Hope that helps clear up your question!  Smiley

      


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     It was my understanding that the pop up roll bars were considered insufficient for racing on most tracks. However, if restrictions are in place regarding the manner of racing (HPDE) then I assume the track found this acceptable.

    FWIW, I would not place too much value in the signed waivers.


    --

     


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     

    It has been my experience up here in Norhtern CA that the club or group that rents the track takes responsibility for establishing their own track rules regarding acceptable condition of cars on track, roll protection, driving behaviors, etc., as long as the track agrees. 

    The "advanced" run groups (which I normally would run with) have open passing...which is indeed VERY spirited HPDE   However, since my car is new and I wanted a less streessful track day   I ran with the intermediate run group this time...which has mandatory point-by rules for passing.

    Porsches with the hoops (Boxsters) and recent cabs with pop-ups have been acceptable at Thunderhill, Infineon (Sears Point) and Laguna Seca for the past few years, as long as you are running with one of the Track Clubs that has their "agreements" in place with that track. 

    However, I agree with you that if a lawsuit were filed, even with signed waivers, negligence would still be considered an issue with the courts.

     


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     Don't misunderstand the emotive I used. Having some experience with these "driver education" events at tracks, I know they can be spirited. Using the title HPDE as cover, the track owners and the drivers turn a blind eye to really what is going on especially in some of the advance groups. It struck me as funny.

    I love the color of your car!


    --

     


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     

    Thanks, I like other colors too, however, I think the GTS was sort of "made to be a white car" ...especially with the black RS Spider wheels and other black exterior and interior details, black cab top, etc.   It is a very striking look I think!  

    ...and I understand and agree, HPDE is a good "cover phrase" for what actually goes on in the advanced run groups!  The only rule is "no stealing apexes" in the advanced groups, however,  we all know that "boys will be boys" out there!  

    ...and HPDE also used to be a good way to disguise "racing" so that insurance companies would still cover you and your HPDE day, however, most insurance co's have caught on to that game...so most no longer cover any sort of Race Track driving without a special "rider" coverage. 

    My personel rule has always been "stay off the testosterone"  before getting in the car and while on the track!  ... and "keep the shiny side up" is always a good thought too! 

    ...and when I just remember to drive by those rules it's usually a total blast out there most of the time!     


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     Great write up , ! Glad to see you are able tanned have decided 

    to enjoy your car on a track . I can't wait to get on one this year, but for the moment every opportunity has been canceled by my too busy schedule at the moment 


    --

     997.2 C2S, PDK, -20mm


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     Great write up Doug, can't wait to take mine to the track. Would be fun to go with other GTS owners from Toronto. Don't know whether to wait for the break in period or not, and what what is the break in time for GTS.


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    Fantastic writeup and pictures. She looks very much in her element hugging the apexes


    --

    indeed shifting is ancient technology - so is a fuel burning engine..  I happen to like both :) 


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     

    Bitko:  Break in is about 2,000 miles according to Porsche's manual, however, we know the new engines have been thoroughly tested up to 7,500 + rpm prior to the cars ever being shipped.   Trying to keep the GTS below 4,000 rpm for the first 2,000 miles is difficult to say the least! ...and probably not very realistic    .  Having said that, however, I followed the break in "rules" pretty closely, gradually increasing and varying the rpm's, braking, clutch and shifting speeds, with and without PASM and PSM, etc.  The GTS is a (sneaky) bleeding fast car and I wanted to take it easy until I became very familiar and comfortable with the performance and handling characteristics before tracking the car.  Believe me, this car can get away from you if you're not paying careful attention and staying "connected" with it at all times!   

    But when I became connected and fully engaged with the GTS on the track, it was pure Porsche nirvana   ....and NO comparison to my ol' Boxster S! 

    So my advice is to take it easy at first until you and your new GTS become fully connected...then (at around 1,800 miles or so) take her to the track so you can begin to fully (legally) stretch her legs!   

    You can also go back through John H's thread and see more of our break-in comments.  John got his GTS about a month or so before me.

    It would also be great if you could come out to Northern California sometime!  Along with Thunderhill, we have Laguna Seca and Sears Point (Infineon) just an hour or two away from my area.  I was of course the only GTS at Thunderhill Raceway in April and I STILL have not seen another one on the road around my area.   It's a unique Porsche and I am VERY pleased with my decision to buy one!   

    As I am sure John H. would agree, people aound you REALLY take a second look at the GTS...as it is indeed a "special attraction" for gearheads and sports car enthusiasts!   

    Sorry for the long reply...as you can see I'm a true GTS porschephile! 


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    Thanks Atzporsche!     She was a thing of beauty out on the track.   


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

     Great write up ! Enjoy the car !


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    BjoernB:

     Great write up ! Enjoy the car !


    Thanks BjoernB.  Every drive is pure enjoyment! 

    The biggest problem I have now (since our weather is warming up) is staying OUT of the car!   Smiley

     


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    doug1950:

     

    Bitko:  Break in is about 2,000 miles according to Porsche's manual, however, we know the new engines have been thoroughly tested up to 7,500 + rpm prior to the cars ever being shipped.   

    I'm afraid I have to disappoint you. Porsche tests one or maybe two engines per day on the dyno, maybe. All the others get tested dry on a new air pressure device which allows to find the same flaws found by using dyno testing, even at a better precision.

    Usually they assemble around 150-200 engines per day(talking about Boxster, Cayman, 911 engines).

    My run-in period looks like this: first 500 km very careful, gentle on the brake, not more than 5000 rpm and changing speeds/gears, only half throttle, also because of the new tires. Then up to 1000 km, from time to time full throttle but usually half throttle and not more than 5000 rpm, changing speeds, no top speed or full throttle for more than a couple of seconds. From 1000-1500 km full throttle whenever I please, top speed from time to time too but only for a couple of seconds, usually up to 5000 rpm. Over 1500 km...whatever I please, including track racing. I also change the oil after this personal run-in period because I still think that there could be small particles from friction in the oil. It may be stupid but I usually get the feeling that the engine runs more "free" after changing the oil. 


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 997 Turbo, BMW X5 M, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW


    Re: My First GTS Track Day

    RC:

    My run-in period looks like this: first 500 km very careful, gentle on the brake, not more than 5000 rpm and changing speeds/gears, only half throttle, also because of the new tires. Then up to 1000 km, from time to time full throttle but usually half throttle and not more than 5000 rpm, changing speeds, no top speed or full throttle for more than a couple of seconds. From 1000-1500 km full throttle whenever I please, top speed from time to time too but only for a couple of seconds, usually up to 5000 rpm. Over 1500 km...whatever I please, including track racing. I also change the oil after this personal run-in period because I still think that there could be small particles from friction in the oil. It may be stupid but I usually get the feeling that the engine runs more "free" after changing the oil. 

     

    Thanks, RC Smiley 

    I like your run-in desription, very similar to the way I have done it.  My Porsche mechanic buds have always told me that it's best to gradually work up the engine, brakes, gears, tires, etc...and then run the car hard!!  That's one reason I wanted to get to the track during the end of break-in period...and the car is running just supurbly now.  Smiley    

    I also thought about changing the oil soon, rather than waiting another 7,000 miles.  I tend to agree about "the feel" of the engine always being better after oil change, and getting rid of the "break-in oil" cannot hurt, right?      Smiley


     
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