(Darren Dugan) #1
58 march 2015

to his (Baird); you’re getting fairly brave
and then starting to run out of road. If I
was sitting beside you I’d be starting to
s**t myself about there.” As you might
have guessed, McElrea pulls no punches.
If you’ve done well, he’ll tell you, but
he’s not here to massage your ego.
The news is less rosy later in the lap.
Heading into turn five my data shows
0.2g of acceleration whereas Bairdo’s
shows 0.2g of deceleration – ie, I’m
doing exactly the opposite of what I
should be. My approach to turn six is also
completely wrong, with Bairdo braking
35m later on a completely different line.
Following lunch, it’s back in the
passenger seat, this time in the GT3s. A
third car is found and I’m installed next
to Mezera. The headmaster might be
more concerned with his golf handicap
than his lap times these days (it’s a
measly two, if you’re curious) but, man,
can he still drive. What’s interesting,
though, are the subtle differences

compared to Baird. Mezera carries more
brake into a corner and accelerates harder
out, yet never upsets the car.
The third session doesn’t go so well. In
trying to go even faster I’m bumping up
against my talent wall, and occasionally
putting one leg over it. Even in something
as fast as a GT3, circuit driving in road
cars quickly switches from ‘how fast
can I go?’ to ‘how can I extract the most
out of the tyres?’ More than once the
electronics save me from embarrassment
as the rear steps out sharply at 130-
140km/h. Worse still, the VBOX chucks
a wobbly, recording no data. So did the
extra commitment pay dividends, or were
the mistakes costing me time?
Ten more laps to find out. A quirk of the
schedule switches me to Luffy’s group, so
with the golden-haired one’s dulcet tones
in my ears it’s time to put into practice
everything that’s been learned today.
Look up, stay relaxed, brake late, carry
more speed to the apex than seems wise,

1 LOOK UP – the further you look
ahead, the better prepared you are

2 BE SMOOTH – every input should
be measured, don’t fi ght the car

3 PATIE NCE – don’t try too hard,
tyres can only do so much


(^) START SLOW – build speed
gradually to eliminate mistakes
(^) PRACTICE – it makes perfect, as
long you know what to practice
patience with the throttle, don’t fight the
car. Even after almost 130 laps, the car
just soaks up the punishment. The laps
feel good, but were they faster?
Thankfully, McElrea doesn’t keep me
in suspense – “59.7”. I’m over the moon.
It might still be 1.5 seconds slower than
Bairdo’s benchmark, but the combination
of the right tuition and a pretty epic car
has allowed me to drive faster than I ever
thought possible. It’s just a shame this
school doesn’t assign any homework.M
MOTOR’s own Luffy
(below) was on
hand to dispense the
5 Tips For
Erasing Tenths
Each car completes
over 120 laps in
scorching QLD heat,
yet tyres aside didn’t
break a sweat –
What’s the
Precision – $1397 (Full range)
Precision Plus – $1397 (Full range)
Performance – $1694 (Full range)
Master – $3500 (911 GT3)
GT3 Cup – $6500 (911 Cup)
Each course must be completed before
qualifying for the next course.

Free download pdf