Ask Ross

Q&A with Ross Bentley

 

Q: When and in what type of car can you upshift in a corner?

Q: When and in what type of car can you upshift in a corner?

Q: “When and in what type of car can you upshift in a corner? In certain slower corners I’m exiting with an RPM that is low in the torque curve, but a lower gear would be past the redline before I get the car straight. Any adjustments in the turn that would generate more exit speed? (Assuming a corner getting onto a straight, that the car is rotated on entry, a later apex and steady throttle input to use the track.)”

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Q: With a PDK-equipped Porsche, am I better to manually shift or let the car do the shifting?

Q: With a PDK-equipped Porsche, am I better to manually shift or let the car do the shifting?

Q: “My first track car was a 2015 (981) Porsche Cayman S with PDK. Now I have a 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 with PDK. I’ve been told that I’d get better results if I’d use the paddle shifters instead of letting the car do the work. Is that true? If so, how do I figure out where I could do a better job than the car?  It seems like it’s always in the right gear to me – but I’ve grown accustomed to what it does. While definitely a slow learner, I have around 100 days on track so I’m comfortable enough with what I’m doing to tackle this.” 

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Q: Can you talk about the differences between slower corners that need me to rotate the car versus faster corners that need very little rotation, and how it differs between low- and high-powered cars?

Q: Can you talk about the differences between slower corners that need me to rotate the car versus faster corners that need very little rotation, and how it differs between low- and high-powered cars?

Q: “I wonder if you would care to dissect: More slowing, shorter time to rotate, and sooner on the throttle, versus less slowing, longer time to rotate, and later on the throttle… and how these trade-offs work for a car with low torque versus high torque.”

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Q: How can I shift gears without damaging the gearbox or engine, but still push really hard to be fast?

Q: How can I shift gears without damaging the gearbox or engine, but still push really hard to be fast?

Q: “When I push hard, I tend to mistreat the gearbox to the extent that I have already damaged it or the engine on two occasions. This always happens when I’m under pressure. When I focus on managing the gearbox and try to preserve it, I’m consistently slower because I can’t reconcile this with driving in “attack” mode. Do you have any tips to help me drive as fast while managing the gearbox properly?”

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