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By fpena944
#170457
A little history here...I DE'd my 996 for about 10 years. It is still a street car so just modest suspension and brake mods.

Well I'm at the track today for the first time in years, using my Cayman and wow, what a difference in terms of driving dynamics!

So here is the track I am at:
image.png
It rained last night so the track is still a little damp but it doesn't feel drenched or anything. I'm using stock tire pressure because temperatures are in the 70s.

I get on the track and figure I'll take it easy but as soon as I go through turns 5-6-7 my traction control kicks in! Then it happens again to me on turn 8 going into 9 and again on 14.

What I discovered is that unlike my 996 I really can't hit the gas until I'm done with the turn. On my rear-engine car I could ease into the gas halfway through the turn and start to accelerate. On this Cayman I need to wait and be very smooth until the wheel is straight again.

I imagine I'm doing something really wrong here as I know these things eat up tracks and many people prefer them to 911s. But right now it feels really sensitive to my inputs compared to what I used to do with my other car.

I'll take videos from now on so I can share what I'm doing. But I was in for a humbling shock as I felt extremely slow out there. I'll post updates!
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By fpena944
#170464
Just went out again and only hit the traction control once.

I felt a lot more comfortable and have learned that I have to drive it differently than my 911. With this Cayman it requires a little more finesse and seems to then behave.

I took a video but with the mobile connection it's going to take almost two hours to upload so I'm going to wait until I return home to upload videos.
20220910_082453.jpg
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By fpena944
#170508
Done with all my sessions for Day 1.

The last two I never had the traction control kick in during my drives. So I'm either driving more smoothly or more slowly because everyone passed me and I passed no one! Glad my ego can handle being the slowest one in my run group but I was trying to learn, not win.

As I mentioned previously I'll upload videos when I return home and then you all could laugh and roast my lack of driving skills! :kickbutt:
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By Gator_86_951
#170563
Comparison is the thief of joy. Who cares. Did you have fun? There is your answer.
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By Cuda911
#170573
Fernando, you are correct. You need to learn to drive the Cayman differently than your 911.

I track a Cayman, a 986 Boxster, and a 911. All handle completely differently. You will learn over time how to change your driving, depending on which car you are in.

Hey, I'm headed to Willow Springs International Raceway this weekend. I sure hope the weather cools down. I was in that area Wednesday and it was 114 degrees.
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By fpena944
#170730
Gator_86_951 wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2022 12:09 am Comparison is the thief of joy. Who cares. Did you have fun? There is your answer.
I had a blast and although that little Cayman isn't a speed demon, it did impress me with how solid it felt and how the PDK did a pretty good job figuring out what gear I had to be in.

Yes for the entire weekend I chose not to shift my own car. I figured this was the best opportunity for me to figure out the handling of the car in both wet and dry conditions. So instead of worrying about shifting I just let the computer handle it.
Cuda911 wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2022 3:15 am Fernando, you are correct. You need to learn to drive the Cayman differently than your 911.

I track a Cayman, a 986 Boxster, and a 911. All handle completely differently. You will learn over time how to change your driving, depending on which car you are in.

Hey, I'm headed to Willow Springs International Raceway this weekend. I sure hope the weather cools down. I was in that area Wednesday and it was 114 degrees.
Looking back, my potential spins might have been not only because of the different dynamics but also the fact that it had been years since I had done any track events and the ground was wet from the previous night's rain.

Later sessions I feel like I greatly improved although I know I could still maintain a lot more speed in the corners. I noticed my cornering G-force measurements topped up at 0.95G so there's still a lot left there that the car can handle if I have the confidence to do so.

I'll post videos and pictures as soon as I can. Unfortunately HD videos take forever to download, trim, and edit so it might be a couple of days.
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By David993S
#171007
Nice video Fernando. I don't know CMP so my observations may not be spot on. It looks like a fast, fun track.

First, I thought you looked pretty smooth. Obviously not pushing the car to its limits, but speed comes with being smooth and driving the right line(s). Speed comes with seat time. And you didn't let the Red Mist take control. I can't tell you how many DE participants let that happen - they think DE's are racing........and they're not. I was impressed with your discipline.

What tires were you running? No need to use sticky track tires (like Nitto NT01's) at this point, but pressures are important as your tires build heat. (I'm sure you know this already). Did you check and/or adjust pressures? Did you find an optimum hot pressure?

Your Cayman is a bit of a momentum car (like a Miata :eek: or a 996 ) so keeping up speed is critical to good lap times. But I wouldn't worry about lap times........it's about having fun, learning your car, and developing your skills. Frankly lap times are completely irrelevant at a DE.

As you build speed, you want to use all the track i.e. use the rumble strips at the apex and exiting the corner (it won't hurt your car). Don't leave unused track on the outside as you enter and exit a corner. That's something that takes some experience and confidence. It will come in time. I saw it some but not consistently.

Without knowing the track, it looked as if you may have been early apexing occasionally. A good technique is to try to latch on to a "known" fast person (who drives the line properly) and follow them for a few corners...until they leave you. Early apexing, on a corner that requires a late apex, is a momentum killer. And when you're going really fast, an early apex will send you off track at the exit.

Looks like you had fun and started progressing up the Cayman learning curve.
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By fpena944
#171100
David993S wrote: Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:50 pm Nice video Fernando. I don't know CMP so my observations may not be spot on. It looks like a fast, fun track.

First, I thought you looked pretty smooth. Obviously not pushing the car to its limits, but speed comes with being smooth and driving the right line(s). Speed comes with seat time. And you didn't let the Red Mist take control. I can't tell you how many DE participants let that happen - they think DE's are racing........and they're not. I was impressed with your discipline.

What tires were you running? No need to use sticky track tires (like Nitto NT01's) at this point, but pressures are important as your tires build heat. (I'm sure you know this already). Did you check and/or adjust pressures? Did you find an optimum hot pressure?

Your Cayman is a bit of a momentum car (like a Miata :eek: or a 996 ) so keeping up speed is critical to good lap times. But I wouldn't worry about lap times........it's about having fun, learning your car, and developing your skills. Frankly lap times are completely irrelevant at a DE.

As you build speed, you want to use all the track i.e. use the rumble strips at the apex and exiting the corner (it won't hurt your car). Don't leave unused track on the outside as you enter and exit a corner. That's something that takes some experience and confidence. It will come in time. I saw it some but not consistently.

Without knowing the track, it looked as if you may have been early apexing occasionally. A good technique is to try to latch on to a "known" fast person (who drives the line properly) and follow them for a few corners...until they leave you. Early apexing, on a corner that requires a late apex, is a momentum killer. And when you're going really fast, an early apex will send you off track at the exit.

Looks like you had fun and started progressing up the Cayman learning curve.
Thanks @David993S , I appreciate the assessment!

You are right that I really was more concerned about becoming more comfortable behind the wheel instead of trying to set any record lap times. You'll notice I was very conservative in terms of pointing people by to allow them to pass even when I knew I could hold on for a few more turns before they really got close behind me. I did that so I don't lose focus on what I'm trying to do and also to keep them from getting frustrated behind me.

I'm using Goodyear Eagle F1s and started them at 28 PSI cold. I did notice on the 2nd run that by the end of the session they were feeling a little bloated and I observed a reading of 33 PSI when I exited the track. Going forward I probably would start at 25 PSI and go from there.

Agreed that the Cayman is a momentum car, especially when relying on the PDK. I think I could have kept the revs up more if manually shifting or if I would have selected Sport Plus mode. But I really wanted to focus on handling and keep all other distractions out of mind. I know it led to coming out of some corners in the wrong gear but the PDK did pick up on it pretty quickly and downshifted a couple of seconds later.

You are right that I was turning a little too early on some of the apexes. I realized that when late in the day I started seeing the "racing line" that the more skilled run groups left behind with rubber on the road. I noticed my line was a bit different at times and tried to follow whenever I could remember. I have other sessions that I recorded from the previous day where I tried the "follow the leader" approach but I still wasn't as comfortable handling the car as I was the 2nd day so figured it would be best to share where I was when all was said and done. Also I think I might have been over-braking in some instances as I would get close to someone ahead of me but then slow down too much in the corner and get left behind. I guess those almost-spins the previous day got me a bit gun shy.

I did have a great time and am looking to see if I could fit the next event at VIR into my schedule. That will be quite a learning experience because not only am I familiarizing myself with this car but also I've never been to that track and hear it's pretty technical.

Oh I do have one question too - what to do about traction control? Some of the other guys who are in higher groups said the Cayman needs to have traction control turned off. But I know it saved my a$$ a few times when the roads were wet. So I kept it on thinking if I'm smooth it shouldn't engage. What are your recommendations? Thanks!
User avatar
By David993S
#171166
fpena944 wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:25 pm
David993S wrote: Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:50 pm Nice video Fernando. I don't know CMP so my observations may not be spot on. It looks like a fast, fun track.

First, I thought you looked pretty smooth. Obviously not pushing the car to its limits, but speed comes with being smooth and driving the right line(s). Speed comes with seat time. And you didn't let the Red Mist take control. I can't tell you how many DE participants let that happen - they think DE's are racing........and they're not. I was impressed with your discipline.

What tires were you running? No need to use sticky track tires (like Nitto NT01's) at this point, but pressures are important as your tires build heat. (I'm sure you know this already). Did you check and/or adjust pressures? Did you find an optimum hot pressure?

Your Cayman is a bit of a momentum car (like a Miata :eek: or a 996 ) so keeping up speed is critical to good lap times. But I wouldn't worry about lap times........it's about having fun, learning your car, and developing your skills. Frankly lap times are completely irrelevant at a DE.

As you build speed, you want to use all the track i.e. use the rumble strips at the apex and exiting the corner (it won't hurt your car). Don't leave unused track on the outside as you enter and exit a corner. That's something that takes some experience and confidence. It will come in time. I saw it some but not consistently.

Without knowing the track, it looked as if you may have been early apexing occasionally. A good technique is to try to latch on to a "known" fast person (who drives the line properly) and follow them for a few corners...until they leave you. Early apexing, on a corner that requires a late apex, is a momentum killer. And when you're going really fast, an early apex will send you off track at the exit.

Looks like you had fun and started progressing up the Cayman learning curve.
Thanks @David993S , I appreciate the assessment!

You are right that I really was more concerned about becoming more comfortable behind the wheel instead of trying to set any record lap times. You'll notice I was very conservative in terms of pointing people by to allow them to pass even when I knew I could hold on for a few more turns before they really got close behind me. I did that so I don't lose focus on what I'm trying to do and also to keep them from getting frustrated behind me.

Being conservative is the smart thing to do when learning a new car.

I'm using Goodyear Eagle F1s and started them at 28 PSI cold. I did notice on the 2nd run that by the end of the session they were feeling a little bloated and I observed a reading of 33 PSI when I exited the track. Going forward I probably would start at 25 PSI and go from there.

I think you did well. Nobody turns a perfect lap. If you did the Scuderia would be calling you to replace LeClerc.

Not sure what the optimum temp would be for a Goodyear F1 (each brand is a little different), so you'll have to play around with it a little. But it sounds like you're in the ball part, pressure-wise. You'll know if you're running too much psi if they start to overheat and feel "greasy" and slide more than expected - usually after you've done 5 or 6 laps. that's tells yu your PSI is a little too high. And even one or two lbs. can make a difference. It's a seat-of-the-pants thing.

Agreed that the Cayman is a momentum car, especially when relying on the PDK. I think I could have kept the revs up more if manually shifting or if I would have selected Sport Plus mode. But I really wanted to focus on handling and keep all other distractions out of mind. I know it led to coming out of some corners in the wrong gear but the PDK did pick up on it pretty quickly and downshifted a couple of seconds later.

You did the right thing - focusing on handling and figuring out the lines. Not owning a PDK I can't comment on whether you should rely on it or manually shift. But from what I've seen with other track-driven PDK's once you get fast it will work quite well.

You are right that I was turning a little too early on some of the apexes. I realized that when late in the day I started seeing the "racing line" that the more skilled run groups left behind with rubber on the road. I noticed my line was a bit different at times and tried to follow whenever I could remember. I have other sessions that I recorded from the previous day where I tried the "follow the leader" approach but I still wasn't as comfortable handling the car as I was the 2nd day so figured it would be best to share where I was when all was said and done. Also I think I might have been over-braking in some instances as I would get close to someone ahead of me but then slow down too much in the corner and get left behind. I guess those almost-spins the previous day got me a bit gun shy.

Yeah, rubber that is laid down on track is a good indication of the proper line. My instructor at my very first SCCA Driver's School eons ago told me that. It was an epiphany. :roflmao:

I did have a great time and am looking to see if I could fit the next event at VIR into my schedule. That will be quite a learning experience because not only am I familiarizing myself with this car but also I've never been to that track and hear it's pretty technical.

Oh I do have one question too - what to do about traction control? Some of the other guys who are in higher groups said the Cayman needs to have traction control turned off. But I know it saved my a$$ a few times when the roads were wet. So I kept it on thinking if I'm smooth it shouldn't engage. What are your recommendations? Thanks!
Traction control is often good for keeping one out of trouble, which is a good thing when climbing the learning curve. Once you get fast and comfortable, you could turn it off. But the car is pretty smart........I'd probably leave it on for now. You did notice guys in the faster run groups turn theirs off - that's because they're faster without it on.

Regarding driving in the wet, there are two methods you can try. One is keeping traction control on - a safe thing to do in the wet, especially when learning a new car.
The other is an old racers trick I learned long ago driving cars with no traction control.......which was every race car I've ever owned. Shift the car manually, i.e. don't let the car do it for you. Select a gear one higher than the one you would normally use. For example: if you take a particular corner in 2nd in the dry, use 3rd in the wet. Sounds counterintuitive, right? Note I didn't say try to go faster. In fact, you will take the turn slower (it's wet, Duh). But by using one higher gear, you're turning lower RPM's and you mitigate the torque that could otherwise make the tires break loose. Do the same on the wet straights......slower but one gear higher. It works, it just takes some discipline and practice.


Last bit of advice: see if you can get a pro coach for a weekend. It'll make the climb up the learning curve much less steep. I'd offer but I don't think you can afford me. :wink: :roflmao:
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By fpena944
#171855
David993S wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 5:52 pm
fpena944 wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:25 pm
David993S wrote: Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:50 pm Nice video Fernando. I don't know CMP so my observations may not be spot on. It looks like a fast, fun track.

First, I thought you looked pretty smooth. Obviously not pushing the car to its limits, but speed comes with being smooth and driving the right line(s). Speed comes with seat time. And you didn't let the Red Mist take control. I can't tell you how many DE participants let that happen - they think DE's are racing........and they're not. I was impressed with your discipline.

What tires were you running? No need to use sticky track tires (like Nitto NT01's) at this point, but pressures are important as your tires build heat. (I'm sure you know this already). Did you check and/or adjust pressures? Did you find an optimum hot pressure?

Your Cayman is a bit of a momentum car (like a Miata :eek: or a 996 ) so keeping up speed is critical to good lap times. But I wouldn't worry about lap times........it's about having fun, learning your car, and developing your skills. Frankly lap times are completely irrelevant at a DE.

As you build speed, you want to use all the track i.e. use the rumble strips at the apex and exiting the corner (it won't hurt your car). Don't leave unused track on the outside as you enter and exit a corner. That's something that takes some experience and confidence. It will come in time. I saw it some but not consistently.

Without knowing the track, it looked as if you may have been early apexing occasionally. A good technique is to try to latch on to a "known" fast person (who drives the line properly) and follow them for a few corners...until they leave you. Early apexing, on a corner that requires a late apex, is a momentum killer. And when you're going really fast, an early apex will send you off track at the exit.

Looks like you had fun and started progressing up the Cayman learning curve.
Thanks @David993S , I appreciate the assessment!

You are right that I really was more concerned about becoming more comfortable behind the wheel instead of trying to set any record lap times. You'll notice I was very conservative in terms of pointing people by to allow them to pass even when I knew I could hold on for a few more turns before they really got close behind me. I did that so I don't lose focus on what I'm trying to do and also to keep them from getting frustrated behind me.

Being conservative is the smart thing to do when learning a new car.

I'm using Goodyear Eagle F1s and started them at 28 PSI cold. I did notice on the 2nd run that by the end of the session they were feeling a little bloated and I observed a reading of 33 PSI when I exited the track. Going forward I probably would start at 25 PSI and go from there.

I think you did well. Nobody turns a perfect lap. If you did the Scuderia would be calling you to replace LeClerc.

Not sure what the optimum temp would be for a Goodyear F1 (each brand is a little different), so you'll have to play around with it a little. But it sounds like you're in the ball part, pressure-wise. You'll know if you're running too much psi if they start to overheat and feel "greasy" and slide more than expected - usually after you've done 5 or 6 laps. that's tells yu your PSI is a little too high. And even one or two lbs. can make a difference. It's a seat-of-the-pants thing.

Agreed that the Cayman is a momentum car, especially when relying on the PDK. I think I could have kept the revs up more if manually shifting or if I would have selected Sport Plus mode. But I really wanted to focus on handling and keep all other distractions out of mind. I know it led to coming out of some corners in the wrong gear but the PDK did pick up on it pretty quickly and downshifted a couple of seconds later.

You did the right thing - focusing on handling and figuring out the lines. Not owning a PDK I can't comment on whether you should rely on it or manually shift. But from what I've seen with other track-driven PDK's once you get fast it will work quite well.

You are right that I was turning a little too early on some of the apexes. I realized that when late in the day I started seeing the "racing line" that the more skilled run groups left behind with rubber on the road. I noticed my line was a bit different at times and tried to follow whenever I could remember. I have other sessions that I recorded from the previous day where I tried the "follow the leader" approach but I still wasn't as comfortable handling the car as I was the 2nd day so figured it would be best to share where I was when all was said and done. Also I think I might have been over-braking in some instances as I would get close to someone ahead of me but then slow down too much in the corner and get left behind. I guess those almost-spins the previous day got me a bit gun shy.

Yeah, rubber that is laid down on track is a good indication of the proper line. My instructor at my very first SCCA Driver's School eons ago told me that. It was an epiphany. :roflmao:

I did have a great time and am looking to see if I could fit the next event at VIR into my schedule. That will be quite a learning experience because not only am I familiarizing myself with this car but also I've never been to that track and hear it's pretty technical.

Oh I do have one question too - what to do about traction control? Some of the other guys who are in higher groups said the Cayman needs to have traction control turned off. But I know it saved my a$$ a few times when the roads were wet. So I kept it on thinking if I'm smooth it shouldn't engage. What are your recommendations? Thanks!
Traction control is often good for keeping one out of trouble, which is a good thing when climbing the learning curve. Once you get fast and comfortable, you could turn it off. But the car is pretty smart........I'd probably leave it on for now. You did notice guys in the faster run groups turn theirs off - that's because they're faster without it on.

Regarding driving in the wet, there are two methods you can try. One is keeping traction control on - a safe thing to do in the wet, especially when learning a new car.
The other is an old racers trick I learned long ago driving cars with no traction control.......which was every race car I've ever owned. Shift the car manually, i.e. don't let the car do it for you. Select a gear one higher than the one you would normally use. For example: if you take a particular corner in 2nd in the dry, use 3rd in the wet. Sounds counterintuitive, right? Note I didn't say try to go faster. In fact, you will take the turn slower (it's wet, Duh). But by using one higher gear, you're turning lower RPM's and you mitigate the torque that could otherwise make the tires break loose. Do the same on the wet straights......slower but one gear higher. It works, it just takes some discipline and practice.


Last bit of advice: see if you can get a pro coach for a weekend. It'll make the climb up the learning curve much less steep. I'd offer but I don't think you can afford me. :wink: :roflmao:
That's what I've done during autocrossing is to disable the traction control. But the outcome of a spin at an autocross is usually just some tire wear and a couple of cones caught beneath your car. At the track, especially in high speed corners, it can be a very different story!

So for now I'll continue to keep it on as I'm not too proud to say I still need practice!

As for the pro. well I know everyone on OR is at the top of their game so yeah, I expected a high price tag! :biggrin:

If I end up going to VIR I'm going to, at the very least, ask for an instructor since I am not familiar with the track. But I might take it one step further as you suggested and seek guidance from a professional. Thanks for your thorough assessment! Glad to know I'm not a complete disaster and just need to work and practice more!
User avatar
By XR4Tim
#172153
In my experience, Caymans lose traction in the wet a lot easier than 911s. Even more so in the snow. Probably has something to do with weight over the drive wheels.

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