(Darren Dugan) #1
d motorofficial f motor_mag^57

  • after each stint students sit down with
    a race engineer to dissect the telemetry
    and compare it to benchmark laps set by
    messrs Baird and Luffy.
    I’m assigned Andy McElrea, who runs
    four cars in the Australian Carrera Cup
    championship, including Luffy’s. My
    best lap is a 68.1, almost 10 seconds off
    Bairdo’s benchmark. The slow time is not
    a surprise given the leisurely beginning.
    What is concerning is that mistakes are
    creeping in even at this speed.
    All the instructors are big on taking it
    slow and building speed gradually. As
    McElrea succinctly puts it, “we don’t
    want you being fast in the middle of the
    day and crap at the end. Each time we
    do a run, I want your last lap to be your
    best.” With those words ringing in my
    ears, and encouragement from Bairdo
    (instructors communicate with students
    via radio; they’re not brave enough to sit
    next to you) it’s time to up the pace.
    While today’s 911s are much friendlier
    to drive than those of old, their rear
    weight-bias requires a unique approach.

Brake hard in a straight line, gently carry
the brake into the corner to keep weight
on the front tyres then slowly pick up
the throttle just prior to the apex. Too
much brake on corner entry and the rear
steps out sharply, too little and you’ll get
understeer. Likewise, too much throttle
too early and the nose will lift and you’ll
understeer. It’s a delicate balancing act.
The second session nets a 61.5, a big
improvement but still more than three
seconds off Baird. It’s here that telemetry
is worth its weight in gold. In front of
me is Craig Baird’s entire art of driving,
ready for analysis. Left to my own
devices the temptation would be to try
and go faster everywhere but, thanks to
the data, McElrea is able to point out
where things are good and where there is
more time to be made.
For example: “Turn one, we’re losing a
little bit on the way into the corner [but]
there’s really no more time to be gained
from the apex of turn one to the apex
of turn two – that’s textbook. Minimum
corner speed in turn two is bloody similar

Championship and raced at Le Mans in a
Porsche 962.
At this school, Mezera is
unquestionably the headmaster and he
expects respect and obedience from his
pupils. Misbehave and it’s the naughty
corner for you. Today his teaching roster
features Craig Baird and MOTOR’s own
Warren Luff – “ah-Bairdo and ah-Fluffy”
in Mezera’s thick Czech accent – with
Baird my assigned instructor.
Our first session is not behind the wheel
of the new GT3 but five-up in a Cayenne
as Baird demonstrates the correct lines
and braking points of Queensland
Raceway’s club circuit. It’s a short track
with a mere six corners, but it’s quickly
apparent that there are plenty of places to
lose time around its technical layout.
Once in the driver’s seat, both groups
are encouraged to start slowly to
familiarise themselves with car and
circuit – there’ll be plenty of time for
hot laps later, though some students take
more notice than others. Immediately
following the session the real fun begins

GT3’s new PDK ’box
might be desecration
to some, but helps
you focus on braking
markers and apexes
Free download pdf