“Just bought a new-to-me 991 GT3. Abutting time you’re in ATL, you’re acceptable to drive it.” That argument popped up on my buzz from a acceptable acquaintance of mine, David, abreast the end of June. I anticipate he meant that I could drive his new Teutonic babyish low and apathetic about the streets of Dekalb County. I had a absolutely altered idea.
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I had accomplished the SCCA’s Clue Night in America affairs at NCM Motorsports Esplanade aback in June in my own Ford Fiesta ST, and begin the affairs to be an outstanding way to get affection clue time in a low-stress, safety-conscious environment. The minute I got that argument from David, I went anon to the SCCA’s website to acquisition out aback the abutting Clue Night at Atlanta Motorsports Esplanade would be. I offered up some chargeless disciplinarian apprenticeship to David, who had absolute little clue active experience, in barter for actuality able to pilot the car myself for a few laps.
It was on like Donkey Kong. I registered in the Advanced Group, and David registered in the Amateur Group. The abstraction was that I would let David ride in the commuter bench with me as I collection first, and again I would accommodate some right-seat apprenticeship as David took his turn.
David had done some array laps in his old 993 at Atlanta Motorsports Park, and I had never apparent the clue at all. Luckily, Clue Night provides some low-speed array laps to all drivers to bang off anniversary event.
We agreed that I would booty the array laps and allocution David through anniversary area of the clue as we anesthetized through it — as all acceptable Jalops know, talking, active a new car, and abyssal a new clue all at the above time can be hazardous, so I didn’t appetite to do it at speed. David was an accomplished student, allurement questions about anniversary about-face and internalizing it for his own laps.
Atlanta Motorsports Esplanade has had its allotment of issues. There is still absolutely a bit of architecture activity on, alike admitting the esplanade has been “open” for several years.
Nevertheless, the clue is absolutely good. My aboriginal impressions were that it reminded me a bit of New Jersey Motorsports Park—-nothing awfully arduous about best of the corners except for Turns 14 and 15. If we had been there to chase rather than abandoned drive, that is area the chase would accept been won or lost. Immense adventuresomeness was adapted to steadily access your dispatch and still advance able anchor for the access toTurn 16 (where we would afterwards be active so fast that we’d be affected to about-face to fifth).
The calm accumulation of cars included aggregate from a Toyota Cressida(!!!) to a Boss 302 to a Cayman GTS, but there was no agnosticism that David’s GT3 was the belle of this Southern ball. I accustomed so abounding “nice car” comments as I entered and exited the 911 that I got annoyed of acknowledgment that it wasn’t my car, and I abandoned said “Thanks.”
The array laps were over. Time to drive this mother.
Track access is adapted afterwards About-face 1, branch into the esses of Turns 2 and 3. The GT3 roared to life, carrying about burning torque to the rear auto forth with massive, gut-punching acceleration. It bit adamantine into the transitions, demonstrating aberrant antithesis from the get-go as I put the central auto on the annoyance of the acme Two and Three.
Turn 6 was my aboriginal “Oh, Shit” moment. Since you’re branch decline out of five, the braking was abundant harder than I anticipated. Luckily, the GT3’s brakes were added than up to the task, so that wasn’t the botheration — it was the avenue area I approved to administer the ability too quickly. The GT3 reminded me that it’s still a 911 by accomplishing its damnedest to bang the aback end about as I approved to clue out against About-face 7. I calm the car by acclimation the council and shouted out to David.
“I PUT THE POWER DOWN TOO EARLY,” I explained over the bankrupt agenda as the GT3 screamed up and over the acme of About-face 8 and bottomward the adapted ancillary of the clue into About-face 9.
Later on, we’d access Turns 14 and 15. Aback active through those, one charge ask himself, “How adventurous and/or advantageous do I feel here?” It’s one affair to drive a columnist car on course. It’s absolutely addition to drive a friend’s car. If I had taken 14 and 15 as bound as possible, I would accept entered 16 abundantly quickly. Thus, the avenue of About-face 16 would accept adapted me to get waaaaaaay alfresco bottomward the advanced straightaway, and the amends for putting two auto off was acceptable a cruise to the emergency room, because I would accept concluded up advancing aback beyond the clue anon into the wall.
Therefore, I broke the brakes advancing out of 15 and put myself calmly in the average of the clue out of 16. No, I wasn’t activity to win any contest that way — but there’s annihilation to win at a clue day, and abnormally not in somebody else’s car. Alike so, I was redlining the GT3 in fourth accessory absolute aboriginal in the straightaway. Afterwards in the day, I begin myself upshifting into fifth afore downshifting all the way bottomward to additional aback braking for About-face 1.
My aboriginal impressions of the GT3 afterwards Affair One:
· This car is about alarmingly accessible to drive. You feel like you can do aloof about annihilation in it.
· Crabbed anchor is at dispatch is abundantly confidence-inspiring.
· The car fixes best of your mistakes afterwards you alike alive you fabricated them.
· PSM was absolutely non-invasive, alike aback I got adequately sideways.
· I didn’t abhorrence the PDK shifter about as abundant as I anticipation I would (although I approved to “upshift” from additional to third a brace of times by blame the shifter advanced rather than affairs it back).
In allegory to the 996 and 997 ancestors of the GT3 that I’ve apprenticed — I abhorrence to be that guy, but there absolutely IS no comparison. The 991 is able to be as abundant a car as you are a driver. Area the 997 was a band-aid racer that fabricated your aback feel every bang on the track, the 991 is a kinder, gentler GT3. It’s no slower as a result, though. If anything, it allows you to achieve in and be lighter with your council inputs.
Next up, David and I sat abutting to the car and talked through the laps. I told him that I estimated that I was active at about 80-85 percent of my accessible dispatch in the car, and that he should aim for about the above —not 85 percent of my speed, but 85 percent of his.
My rules for him were simple:
· Do absolutely as I say in the car.
· Use the automated manual only, don’t anguish about alive yet.
· If you feel yourself accepting affronted or “red misty” in the car, apathetic down, and again avenue the advance via pit lane on the abutting lap.
· Try to get all of your braking done in a beeline line.
· Adhere to all of the affair rules (passing abandoned in casual areas with a point-by, etc.)
· If you go into a circuit or lose control, aloof administer the brakes absolutely and accompany the car to a stop. Don’t try to save it.
· Too apathetic is bigger than too fast. It’s like a haircut—-we can consistently access our dispatch as we go, but activity too fast can be dangerous.
Sitting in the adapted bench is never easy, but my fretfulness were somewhat assuaged by the actuality that I knew that David had no admiration whatsoever to crisis his cast new car.
As we entered the clue for the Amateur session, David started announcement the archetypal characteristics of amateur drivers. He was alleviative the anchor and accelerator pedals like On/Off switches, which active the car in and out of anniversary corner. He had a addiction to overcook “easy” corners and to aboriginal acme “difficult” corners. He struggled with application the accomplished clue and tended to drive adapted bottomward the middle.
However, that arresting car adored him every time. It reminded me of a babe who lived in my academy dorm—-she was a absolutely badass banty with annoying beard and tattoos, but she was appreciably affable with me beneath the covers of my applesauce bed. The GT3, admitting its acceptability as a track-focused scalpel, was appropriately affectionate to David. A car with bottom brakes apparently would accept resulted in David activity off in either One or Twelve. Not our supercar. PSM straightened him out in About-face 12 afterwards one decidedly hot dark exit.
Overall, though, he did a arresting job for his aboriginal time active at dispatch on a racetrack. He was aggregate one would appetite as a student: attentive, accessible to coaching, and able to put apprenticeship to use on the absolute abutting session.
I took David out for the Intermediate affair and began to drive at 90-95 percent speed. The astonishing affair about the GT3 is that it rewards you for active harder. The added dispatch you accord it into a corner, the added downforce and anchor you get. The onboard computer registered a extraordinary 1.57 crabbed Gs and over 1 G in dispatch aback we arrested it afterwards the session. Admitting anniversary affair actuality absolutely awash out and abounding with some committed chase cars, the GT3 was never alike abutting to actuality threatened by addition car on track.
I could anon acquaint that David was advantageous afterpiece absorption to the band I had taken in the additional affair aback he took his additional able at the caster — he basically collection my band at about 70-75 percent of my speed, which was spectacularly impressive. He did get hardly bleary at some Amateur drivers who weren’t giving the adapted passbys, so I shouted at him,“RELAX, DUDE!” However, afterwards the additional session, I was absolutely able to let him go out abandoned for the final session.
Unfortunately, afterwards abandoned one lap in my third session, the oil activity indicator came on, at which point I shut the car bottomward for the day. However, if you anticipate about it, we tracked the car for about 80 account afterwards anchor achromatize or accident of grip. Simply astonishing for a street-legal car.
Also unfortunately, my Sony Action Cam managed to about-face itself on in my helmet bag on the drive from Atlanta to Dawsonville, clarification its absolute array in the process, so we got absolutely no in-car footage. But David’s impressions of his aboriginal SCCA Clue Night in America were abundant like mine: it’s the best way to get bench time for a low price. However, David did say that he would not accept acquainted adequate afterwards an adviser like me in the adapted seat.
Should you booty a No-Holds-Barred, Holy Mother of Jesus supercar to your aboriginal clue day? Afterwards all, everybody knows that the acknowledgment to that catechism is MIATA, but, seriously, is that absolutely the answer? Afterwards all, an NA Miata doesn’t accept absorption control. Lots of them don’t alike accept ABS. A amateur disciplinarian can acquisition himself in hot baptize adequately bound afterwards some cyberbanking nannies to accumulate his advanced auto in advanced of his aback ones. Sure, you’ll apprentice added about absolute chase ability by active a Miata, but how abounding of us are planning to go from clue day disciplinarian to SCCA Runoffs champion?
The acknowledgment is: absolutely you can accompany a supercar to that aboriginal clue day, but be able to accumulate your ego in check. There’s a actively acceptable adventitious that you’ll be giving a point by or two to an MR2, or BRZ, or abnormally the above NA Miata (to David’s credit, he didn’t accept to point anybody by the accomplished session). You can’t get affronted aback that happens, or you’ll exponentially access your affairs of capacity your $200K car into a wall.
Also, you’d be bigger off accomplishing it with a affable adviser in the commuter seat. The GT3, or absolutely any car with added than 400 application at its disposal, can get you in agitation in a hurry. Having a calm, rational articulation in the right-hand bench will accomplish abiding that you don’t get yourself into annihilation that you can’t get out of. But, accomplish abiding that you’re accommodating to accept and absolutely chase his instruction. Whoever your acquaintance is, you’re demography his activity in your hands.
But, all that actuality said, you don’t HAVE to accept a supercar to accept a freaking bang at Clue Night. I can candidly say that I had no added fun in the 991 than I did in my own Fiesta ST (where I absolutely lapped a Cayman) beforehand in the summer. The affairs is advised for anybody and everybody to appear out and drive as fast or as apathetic as they feel adequate going.
So my recommendation? Booty your car, go to the Clue Night in America website and acquisition an accident abreast you. If you’ve got a hot shoe disciplinarian or adviser who’s accommodating to get forth with you, that’s alike better—-but apprehend that he’s putting himself in harm’s way to advice you out and chase anniversary and every administration to the letter, like David did. For $150, you’ll accept a safe, fun, and blood-tingling way to absorb your weeknight.
And if you apperceive somebody who’s got a supercar but abandoned knows how fast the forums say his car goes and what waxes assignment best on the finish, again allure him or her to go with you. You’ll accomplish a acquaintance for life, and you’ll be introducing him to the best accessible way to adore his investment.
Or, you could aloof accept him booty me.
The Sports Car Club of America provided one chargeless access to the Clue Night in America at Atlanta Motorsports Park.
Bark M. has taken the blooming and checky flags in the American Endurance Antagonism and 24 Hours of Lemons antagonism series, has raced and apprenticed on over a dozen altered advance beyond America, and has several SCCA National Solo and Pro Solo trophies to his credit. He is the appreciative buyer of 2013 Boss 302 #0868 and a Fiesta ST. His autograph can be begin at The Truth About Cars and added sites, including this one.
Photos acclaim Jon Krolewicz
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