993 Faq Frequently Asked Questions about the Porsche 1994-1997 993

12/23/2002

Differences between AutoCross and Driver Education events

Filed under: Driving Technique — Jeff 993TT @ 10:24 am

Autocross
Autocross the the term Porsche Club of America (PCA) uses for an event where you drive as fast as you can trough a course constructed from orange traffic cones. SCCA calls this “solo2” competition. Regardless of what it’s called, it’s a great way to learn car control in an environment where it’s nearly impossible to damage your car. PCA has more information here

DE
DE (Driver’s Education) is a common way to refer to events held at a race track where you are not actively racing against other cars and your laps are not timed. As these events are at a track, speeds are higher and the chance of damaging your car are significantly increased. PCA has more information here

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How can I become a better driver?

Filed under: Driving Technique — Jeff 993TT @ 10:23 am

Practice. Seriously, the only way to get better is to learn what the car is capable of doing (you’ll be amazed) and what you have the guts and skill to do with it.

The cheapest way to get started is to autocross. DE (driver’s ed) sessions are of benefit, and attending a driving school like Skip Barber or Jim Russell is not going to hurt. In fact, dollar for dollar, they will provide you the best way to improve over modifications to your car.

Driving skill is something you will carry with you forever. Carrying a supercharger with you thorughout your life is a bit harder. 🙂

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Why should I never lift the acellerator during a turn?

Filed under: Driving Technique — Jeff 993TT @ 10:23 am

Driving at the limit is all about smooth weight transfer.

This is a hard concept for many becuase 99% of our driving we are well within the limits of our car, so whatever incorrect driving technique we do does not have any bad effects.

But when you are driving at the limit of your car, you can easily spin your car causing harm to yourself and your car.

If you are in a turn and you lift off the throttle abruptly you will transfer the weight to the front wheels and off the rear wheels. Since most the weight is in the back in our 993s, this is going to allow the heavy rear end to keep going in the direction it was before you lifted (remember that high school physics about an object in motion tending to stay in motion?).

The result is you spinnig. The rear end can keep moving becuase there is not enough weight on the tires to provide the friction to keep it in place, becuase you transferred the weight to the front tires.

Only do an abrupt lift (and only do heavy braking) when you are going straight. Yes, slamming on the brakes in the middle of a turn is another way to spin.

Staying on the gas during a turn is one of the hardest things to learn. It goes against every ounce of common sense. When you are going too fast into a turn, the last thing you want to do is go faster. But you have to fight that urge becuase you will spin otherwise.

What is heel/toe’ing?

Filed under: Driving Technique — Jeff 993TT @ 10:23 am

The “heel and toe” technique is used when downshifting during performance driving. The driver places the toe of his right foot on the brake pedal while leaving the heel on the gas. An alternative is to use the left side of your right foot for the brake and the right side of your right foot for the gas.

This allows the driver to then brake, downshift, and “blip” the throttle in a very smooth and coordinated motion without lurching the car when the car reengages in the lower gear.

This motion allows the driver to match the engine speed to the actual wheel speed upon downshifting.

To practice this, you should start with just mentally matching revs on a deserted street. Drive about 30-40 mph and run through 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears. All the time matching the engine revs with your speed and gear selection so that the engine engages smoothly.

After you are comfortable with that, try to add the braking element. You will try to follow these steps in this order:

a) Drive along in 3rd gear
b) Brake slightly
c) Clutch in
d) downshift to 2nd
e) blip the throttle

Note, steps b, c, d, e are all done at the same time

f) Clutch out
g) get foot back on gas ( just keep an even throttle for practice though.. )

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