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    Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Hi guys - just want to share some impressions from the Ring with you
    It has been a great weekend with wonderful sunny wheather and a lot of driving fun Saturday we had a midnight event at a Porsche Center with 170 P-car drivers getting together to celebrate the start of the driving season (very nice event and really cool to see - and hear - that much P-cars arriving in the middle of the night at the Porsche center (lot of them arriving in groups of 10-20 cars) to talk gasoline
    Today part of the crowd reconvened at the Nordschleife in order to add to the gasoline talk some smell of actual gasoline
    It was a pleasure to meet up with a Rennteam fellow - Harryo2b - at the Ring, obviously another true victim of the P-bug just like myself
    The nearer we came to the Ring the more P-cars and other fine sportscars you could spot on the roads (actually I saw a CGT for the first time driving on a public road).
    I decided not to drive on the Ring with my own car today, because first these first sunny weekends are notorious for crazy "tourist" drivers who don't know their stuff and second I'll do some DEs this Spring first and only then will do the Ring with an experienced guide on a not so crowded weekday (20 km of - admittedly utmost - fun is not worth to total a nice car).
    So we had a good time sitting on the terrace of the Ring Cafe (right at the NS-entry) enjoying the sound of all the wonderful toys waiting for their hot lap (2 CGTs, several 997 GT3, 2 997 GT3 RS, F430, F348, Gallardo Spyder, Mosler....the list is endless). I would estimate that almost 50% of the cars have been P-cars (all MYs, all variants)
    A buddy of mine (a true NS-addicted) showed up with his track-toy (Lotus Elise) and invited me to join him as a passenger in his car for a hot lap.
    The guy has done a number of laps in the high 3-digits or low 4-digits, so he knows his stuff
    We had the luck, that the track has been pretty much empty, so he could demonstrate the capabilities of the car and the driver
    His toy is completely stock and equipped with a rather tiny 120 hp engine
    It was incredible fun and I seriously started to think about my own driving skills (or lack thereof ) - no doubt he would have humiliated me if I'd have tried to follow him in my P-car.
    After about 15 km a 996 GT3 passed us on a straight, but he never ever managed to really get away from the underpowered Elise up to the finish line (and the P-driver definitely
    didn't drive like a soccer mom) He just gained maybe 50 meters or so.
    It's really fascinating to enjoy a hot lap as a passenger with such a skilled driver behind the wheel (even more so in a cab). Great emotions if you approach the hot corners at crazy speed with a big audience sitting on the hills close to the track
    However there is dark side of the fascination - just after we finished our lap the Ring has been closed for more than 1 hr. The ambulance car and a completely destroyed bike tugged away made me shudder
    Also during our lap we spotted (after a yellow flag warning) a crashed white 993
    So basically I returned home with a strange mix of feelings:
    1.) Nice to have met a Rennteamer at the Ring
    2.) To have seen (and heard) the agglomeration of fine sportscar is a joy per se
    3.) The Ring still is fascinating me just like 25 years ago when I went there quite often
    4.) Today's HP war seems even more ridicilous if you experience first hand what a skilled driver is able to do with an underpowered lightweight toy
    5.) The "dark side" seems to be an inevitable price for the unique Ring business formula
    6.) I have to work on my driving skills
    7.) If the NS-bug will really bite me I need to get a dedicated Ring-tool (would be crazy to sacrifice the P-car).
    8.) A Lotus Elise could be the right tool

    I'll add only few pics (Harryo2b will chime in later posting the great pics he took with a real camera - I had a toy with me only)

    First: the toy - we're waiting for our lap (driver got distracted by a blonde girl)

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Some snapshots of more expensive toys

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Another one - Mike S should be familiar with the interior colour

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    The Alzen "mission 400" 997 has been displayed at the midnight party of P-maniacs

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Never saw such crazy specs before in a P-car showroom

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Interesting report. I enjoyed reading it. Having never been to the Ring, it gives me an added insight as to the race environment around the Ring.

    BTW, your right. There is no substitute for driving skills.

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Great report, P-J,

    The Elise is also a good lesson for Porsche and other top-end sports car manufacturers: It's not power that matters, but power-to-weight. The Elise weighs in at a mere 1984 pounds or just 901.8 kg's.

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Way cool- thanks for sharing , P-J.

    Regarding your driving skills, you're much too humble, IMO.


    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Interesting report. I enjoyed reading it. Having never been to the Ring, it gives me an added insight as to the race environment around the Ring.





    You're welcome
    Maybe it's time for a Holiday in Germany including a spin on the Ring - it's a blast

    @ Turbo Al: As much as I agree with you, I'm sure Porsche won't go the really light weight way - these toys are incredible fun at a track, but not the right tool for a long Autobahn trip (especially if your wife joins you as a passenger - unless she's happy to take only a beautycase with her)
    As a track tool it's just the other way round. The owner of the Elise also said, that maintenance is relatively inexpensive for his toy (even with heavy Ring-duty) as the leightweight helps to avoid stressing the parts (mind you PAG claims 20 km Ring-duty equals the stress of 260 km public road duty)

    @ Richard: I know you sensed that I'm not driving like a Grandma on public roads BUT: squeezing 100% out of a car on a track is a completely different story

    Addendum: The Ring-photographers took some nice pics of our lap - enjoy

    Nice 964 coming parallel

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    "Hunting" a biker

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Elise tries to keep up with the big dogs

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Finally I add some pics from the night event
    Porsche Center nicely illuminated

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    My baby in good companion...

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    An endless seeming string of P-cars, both the newer watercooled....

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    .....and the old aircooled babies

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    great pictures..
    you don't know how lucky you are to have so many P-cars around...
    If you get to see a P-car over here it's like seeing a veyron in Germany or UK..

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    great report it sure made me feel as if I was there with you

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    nice, thanks...just wondering ...what sort of times did some of this iron post with drivers of obviously differing skill levels

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Nice shot of a 964. I saw a 1993 964 Turbo S "Package Car" in polar silver advertised on the website of Freisinger Motorsport in Karlsruhe. Only 17 of these package cars were made and this apparently is the only one in that color:

    http://www.m-freisinger.de/
    Al

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Quote:
    roadtrip said:
    just wondering ...what sort of times did some of this iron post with drivers of obviously differing skill levels



    Of course there is no such thing as an official lap-timing when the Ring is open to the public (if the Marshalls detect that you've got a stopwatch with you, you're in trouble - same applies to those who try to take a full-lap video record). Not sure how they check whether the stopwatch of your Sport Chrono is de-activated

    But as Ring-times from Sportauto's Supertest are frequently discussed on Rennteam, here are some numbers to put things into perspective:

    During the recent VLN race last weekend the 997 GT3 armada (mind you: equipped with race tires and driven by pros ) achieved times for the fastest lap during the race of 8:50 min up to 9:10 min - these figures compare to a 7:48 Supertest laptime for the GT3

    Cars with a low HP number, but still sporty in relative terms (no big sedans or trucks) such as a 133 HP Golf GTI MK III or a 100 HP Lupo clocked times of 9:52 and 10:14 respectively (without traffic - á la Sportauto).

    The Lotus Elise never has done the Supertest, so there is no official/comparable time. An MKI 179 HP Lotus Exige clocked a 8:42 in the Supertest, hence a MKI Lotus Elise with 120 HP only might achieve a 9:15 (wild guess)

    Then you have to consider, that you don't do a full lap during the "Tourist drives", hence you would have to add 20-30 sec (depending on the car) to make the time comparable to the official laptimes. I didn't stop the time accurately during the lap in the Elise, but I think it has been around the 11 min mark (not too bad considering a yellow flag leg and some traffic). If you think this is slow, you may try yourself Of course on the long straights the tiny engine sucks but in the corners you feel like in a roller coaster with the right driver behind the wheel

    But once again: never ever try to "achieve" something when the Ring is open to the public - it would be silly and very dangerous at the same time. This applies even more so, if you're not familiar with it (videogames may help to learn the corner sequences by heart, but they don't tell you anything about breaking points and where the bumps are )
    For us mortal drivers it should be just about trying to drive a clean line and enjoying the unique atmosphere - forget the stopwatch.
    Those who are interested in "competitive" driving should look elsewhere.
    Sorry for sounding a bit like a teacher (it's not aimed at you, roadtrip ), but as you mentioned the "hot topic" laptimes I just wanted to explain that a "tourist lap" never should be understood as a competitive race lap

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    thanks, having never been there, but keenly interested, the real world info you provided was very informative.

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    PJ,

    thanks for the great report. Now I know why you remained so silent for the recent days...

    Seemed to be a great event with a lot of insightful experiences for you. Maybe I can join you next year with an own car. Funny enough Ishare your opinion reg. a specific tracktoy for the Ring (and other demanding tracks). The stress on the components is simply dramatically increasing under heavy use, the Elise, although a great car, would be too specific for my taste. At least, unless I can raise enough money for a separate track toy. Apart from the financial aspect, I couldn't justify the time and effort that would be sacrificed on quite a few weekends.

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    What a wonderful thread Porsche-Jeck Many thanks for posting your thoughts and pictures. I am glad you had a great time - I wish I had come over to join you all. What's 600 miles between friends?

    I also think the advice you've given makes emminent sense and serves as a useful reminder to us all of the dangers that an over-exaggerated sense of one's driving skills might just gloss over.

    I hope to make a trip to the 'Ring some day.... you've just whetted my appetite big-time

    Thanks again for the fascinating thread and great pics

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Quote:
    Porsche-Jeck said:
    Quote:
    roadtrip said:
    just wondering ...what sort of times did some of this iron post with drivers of obviously differing skill levels



    During the recent VLN race last weekend the 997 GT3 armada (mind you: equipped with race tires and driven by pros ) achieved times for the fastest lap during the race of 8:50 min up to 9:10 min - these figures compare to a 7:48 Supertest laptime for the GT3

    Cars with a low HP number, but still sporty in relative terms (no big sedans or trucks) such as a 133 HP Golf GTI MK III or a 100 HP Lupo clocked times of 9:52 and 10:14 respectively (without traffic - á la Sportauto).





    In the VLN they also use the GP track.....thats why the times are somewhat different:)

    We were there in the r turbo during the morning till midday, managed 20 laps then



    best,
    adam

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Don't worry P-J, I'm sure you'll improve your skills after Porsche drive training

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Quote:
    Adamt said:
    In the VLN they also use the GP track.....thats why the times are somewhat different:)

    We were there in the r turbo during the morning till midday, managed 20 laps then





    Of course - they combine Nordschleife with the GP-circuit
    20 laps - that's more than a F1 GP-distance
    With this kind of laps you're in the money with your "Jahreskarte" (flat-rate for a complete season á la "all you can drive" ) after two weekends only
    I arrived at 1:30 pm only, so I missed your red devil BTW a red sportscar with a numberplate ending with 360 must have been irritating for the F-boys at Nordschleife

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Yeah i know

    We are going back a week on saturday, hope to see you there?

    best,
    adam

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Quote:
    Adamt said:

    We are going back a week on saturday, hope to see you there?





    Not sure about Saturday in a week, but I'll be there on Friday together with Rennteam's Danish Dynamite

    Re: Ring-fun / lesson about driving skill vs. HP

    Quote:
    Adamt said:
    Yeah i know

    We are going back a week on saturday, hope to see you there?

    best,
    adam



    Wow Adam has graced us with his presence! Adam your RUF's always amaze me. Of course the CTR just a bit more but one can't turn down a RTurbo either

    What date will you be at the 'Ring? If my car isn't in the shop then it would be cool to meet up with you out there.

     
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