Learning car control in a 911 GT3 at the Porsche Experience Centre - Learning car control in a Porsche 911 GT3 - page 3
evo spends a day at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone
Given that the National Circuit we’re about to accelerate onto will be the first time today that the GT3 has ventured out of its first three ratios and well into triple figures, this isn’t a warning to take lightly.
The National Circuit might only be 1.64 miles long – and I’d be lying if I said I’m not a tad disappointed that we won’t experience the GT3 hammering flat-chat down Hangar Straight – but it boasts a trio of challenging bends.
The first is the famous right-hander, Copse corner, which is an exercise in balancing the car as you brake from around 135mph and delicately turn in at a reasonable lick. Get it just right and you can feel the GT3’s four-wheel steering working as the chassis crabs towards the exit kerb. It’s a slightly artificial sensation, not to dissimilar to that of steering purely on the throttle, but satisfying nonetheless.
The point here is that no matter how hard you try, if your entry speed is too high or you’re greedy with the throttle past the apex, the car is going to slip out of shape and you’ll lose time.
It’s a similar story braking as the tracks kinks right through Maggotts before the tight right-hander at Becketts and, later on, the endlessly satisfying/frustrating sequence through Brooklands (turn in as late as you possibly can) and Luffield (patience of a saint required).
On a damp day like this our rear-engined Porsche is the perfect teaching tool. Get the balance right and the GT3’s natural weight distribution repays you with strong traction and stability. If you’re too eager on entry, meanwhile, it’s understeer all day long. Too hasty on exit and, well, you know how that goes. Most important, however, is that everything Colin is teaching me about weight distribution and balance is applicable to fast road driving.