Q: “I’ve recently gotten a Porsche Cayman for the track, and I’m a bit disappointed that I’m not a lot faster than I was in my previous car. Sure, I’m faster on the straights, but that’s just horsepower, and not me. I don’t seem to going any faster through the corners, which I think I should be. Am I wrong? What am I missing?”
A: One area that I’ve seen over and over again where drivers under-drive Porsches is in the brake zones. As you know, they have amazing brakes – so amazing that many drivers don’t use them enough. A simple exercise to do the next time you’re on track is to do some maximum/ABS stops (after checking your mirrors!) to see just how hard you can use them, making sure that your initial application of the pedal is very fast and hard. I’ve seen very experienced drivers shave a lot of time off their lap times by doing this, just because they didn’t realize how good the brakes are. When you get to your usual braking point (BoB), just hammer the pedal and see what happens.
Of course, once you’ve seen just how quickly these brakes slow you down, it’s easy to over-slow for corners. So, that’s when you start moving the entire brake zone – where you begin and end braking – later towards the corner. Hey, you might find that when you really use the brakes, you’ll slow down so much that you’re going to have to get off the brakes and accelerate again to get to the corner!
After doing this for a while, and getting more out of the brakes, focus on corner entry speed. That means either moving the whole brake zone in further, or beginning to release the brakes sooner. Remember the brake release is a “speed fine-tuning tool.” Gradually release them sooner and sooner, increasing your corner entry speed by 1-2 MPH each lap or so, until it’s beginning to hurt your exit speed.
It’s best to pick no more than two corners on the track to work on this, knowing that when you get comfortable with more speed in those corners, you’ll naturally find yourself doing the same in other corners.
Finally, you’re not alone. In fact, I’ve answered questions from other drivers who have switched to a Porsche and wanted some advice about learning to go faster in it. Check out this one: https://speedsecrets.com/q-how-do-i-adapt-to-driving-a-porsche-gt3-from-a-bmw-m4/