Q: “I’ve recently switched from a BMW M4 to Porsche GT3, and I’m struggling to adapt. Any tips or recommendations? I’m 2-3 seconds slower in the GT3, which makes zero sense. I’m guessing the corner entry (off brake and turn in) phase is killing me, but I could also be slow to get to WOT (different on rear engine?).”
A: Hmmm… there are many things it could be, but I’d start by doing a bit of a reset on sensing the car. Obviously, there are some differences between the cars, and learning the cues that each one gives is what allows you to drive at or near the limit. So, I’d start by doing the Sensory Input Sessions that I’ve written and talked a lot about. If you’re not sure what they are, you can check out https://youtu.be/rfOEKo4nJII for a quick overview.
Also, check out my answer to a similar question (How do I adapt to a new (rear-engined) car?) here.
Next, I’d focus on braking, because one thing the GT3 is brilliant at, it’s braking. Go on track and simply make the initial application of the brake much harder than ever before. Hey, you can’t lock up the brakes, so pound the pedal. As fast as you can. Use the ABS. Don’t worry about being smooth, just hammer the pedal. I wouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself almost stopped before corners, and having to accelerate to get to them! Then, now that you’ve learned what the full potential of the brakes is, you can begin moving the entire brake zone (BoB, or Begin-of-Braking to EoB, or End-of-Braking) in further, until you find yourself carrying a ton of corner entry speed. And that’s the next step….
Overdrive the corner entry for a little while, to the point where your corner entry speed hurts how soon you’re able to get back to power exiting the corner. Be smart about it, but find out what overdriving the entry really means.
Now that you’ve maximized your braking and corner entry, it’s time to focus on exit speed. This may seem backwards from what you’ve been taught in the past, but I’m making an assumption here that you’re fairly experienced, and ready for this approach. Again, be smart and disciplined, and let me know if you’re not. But even if you’re not sure if you’re ready, the first two steps – Sensory Input Sessions and maximizing braking – will not hurt at all.
Keep in mind, your car is talking to you – are you listening? While both your Porsche and BMW are German, they have a slightly different accent. Your job is to make note of the differences, and get used to what your GT3 is saying.
If you’d like more info about BoB and EoB, check out this tip I wrote a few years ago: High Performance Braking Technique.