Posts Tagged: track

Driving Circuit of the Americas in a Cadillac CTS-V

Two weeks ago I had the chance to drive on Circuit of the Americas in a 556-horsepower Cadillac CTS-V. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience. The track is light years beyond any track I’ve ever driven. Here are a few notes: Continue reading…

No dramatic title needed: Driving impressions of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Last fall at a track event I got the chance to drive a Porsche 996 GT3. It left an impression on me. 

It wasn’t the fastest or the sexiest car I’ve driven, but, simply, the best car I’ve driven. The GT3, any GT3, is just that good. Tight, connected, visceral – it’s everything you want in a car. It’s the most honed-in version of the most evolved car on the planet. So after writing some words about the 996 GT3, David, a Drivers Edge instructor and commenter on this very blog offered to let me try out his newer 997 GT3 RS for comparison. In the name of science, I agreed.  Continue reading…

99 Problems

Since I frequently track a heavy, heavy street car, it’s common to hear me say “I got 99 problems and brakes are all of them.” The Brembos have been very, very good, but brakes still take the most abuse of anything, and are the most likely part of the package to have issues. So when I heard a metal scraping sound from the rear (once per wheel revolution), I really thought it was a rotor/deposit issue or something with the caliper. My first go-to solution, crossing my fingers and hope it fixes itself, didn’t work unfortunately. Continue reading…

Guest Post: Dave Russell on why turbocharging isn’t always a great idea

I can remember being a kid and thinking, “why doesn’t every car have a turbo?” Now, as an adult with a few years of HPDE experience under my belt, my motto has changed to “NA all the way” – let me clarify.

This discussion pertains specifically to road courses and track driving in general. Also, there’s a big difference between cars that come forced-inducted from the factory, and the world of aftermarket turbos and superchargers — I’m only talking about aftermarket applications. Continue reading…

MSR Houston track weekend & Porsche GT3

Driving the Porsche 911 GT3 (996)

Thanks to a very generous owner, I got to drive a 996 Porsche 911 GT3 for a few non-hot laps. Everything about the car seems very special. The most noticeable thing for me that I liked was how the pedals feel so tactile and have so much resistance. It’s hard to explain but instead of the throttle pedal being just a spring, it feels like you have to press through a range of 20 very tiny ‘clicks.’ If that makes any sense. It doesn’t? Okay. There’s a lot of feedback and you can deliver tiny changes in throttle pressure very precisely.

The idle is loud and coarse, and you feel the engine vibration shaking the car at any RPM. The last 911 I drove was a 1986 Carrera, and the directness you feel to the motor in the newer 911 is remarkably undiluted from the ’86. But enough parking lot impressions. The steering feels excellent, and then less so when you’re under power. You can almost watch the steering sensitivity and control melt away as you give it power — it feels very light up front and the rear digs in. I was told the 997 GT3 doesn’t feel this way.

Overall: incredible. Very firm, and flat. It would take a lot of driving adjustment to get up to speed with the weight distribution.

This is an instructor’s car, unfortunately it only went out in 1 session

 

Harness bar/brace in a Cayman R. Is this factory?

Yes, this was the green group. Not pictured: Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2

It’s not everyday that you see an AMG CLK Black Series. Let alone two, at the track no less!

Ferrari 512TR. I rode in this car at Texas World Speedway in 2003

Late on Saturday, a member came with two Ferraris hoping to get some track time.

F40 on Track

A track member came after we were done on Saturday with two Ferraris, including an astonishing F40. I know he’s a brilliant driver because I rode with him 2003.