Long term tests

Porsche Carrera GT

With just over 2000 miles covered since his last report, Paul Bailey has been enjoying the Carrera GT to the full

Another few months of Carrera GT ownership, and my enjoyment of this vehicle continues to justify every penny of the purchase price. One reason is that I find myself being invited to events that otherwise I might not have had the opportunity to enjoy. A recent example was the ‘family day’ for the Red Arrows, based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

It was a fantastic opportunity to view a private airshow, which, of course, included the Red Arrows display team, and also to see the aircraft up close and meet the pilots. To cap it all, at the end of the day the base commander allowed the Carrera GT onto the immaculate runway for a few high-speed passes. As always, it was extremely impressive through the gears and demonstrated phenomenal stability at high speed. Chances to enjoy the GT to the full like this never fail to put a smile on my face!

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Another invitation I received recently was to display the Porsche at the Classic Car Show and MPH ‘06 event at the NEC. Along with one or two other exotics, it was on display for a charity called The Sporting Bears Motor Club, and over three days they raised just under £11,000 for the children’s charities that the Bears support. We even made a charge for people to stand next to the cars and have their photo taken, which generated over £400 in itself.

Although the trackday season is now well and truly over, I made sure I grabbed as much time as possible on track in the GT before winter arrived. Interestingly, I have not yet found it necessary to turn off the traction control, which is actually a good thing because it has saved me on more than one occasion – breakaway in this car is sudden and demands respect.

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As you drive the GT more and more and your confidence builds, you find your approach speed for chicanes and the like becomes extraordinarily high, and it’s here that the carbon brakes really come into their own. Incredibly strong and always dependable, they’re one of the GT’s big plus-points. I know there has been considerable controversy regarding ceramic brakes, but if you’re planning to do quite a bit of track work I would definitely recommend specifying them on your next car (whatever it is) if they’re available as an option – they will almost certainly exceed your expectations.

Away from the track and back on public roads, I found I was becoming more and more paranoid about being flashed by the ‘safety’ cameras that continue to sprout everywhere. In order to ensure that I minimise my exposure to three points and a fine, I’ve invested in a RoadPilot Pro GPS camera detector for the GT. I chose this model because of its size and because you can program it not to bleep as long as you’re below the speed limit – other similar devices I have tried constantly bleep irrespective of your speed. To ensure this annoying sound is kept to a minimum, you very quickly learn to adapt to the speed limit, thus avoiding that familiar double-flash.

The RoadPilot is still the only additional cost I’ve had for the Carrera GT. In fact, I’m continually surprised at its total reliability, particularly when compared with some other supercars.

Its fuel consumption isn’t too bad compared with most other supercars, either. Admittedly it has increased by around 10 per cent this month, to exactly 15.0mpg, but this reflects the additional time it has spent on track, where it averages around 11mpg. Although even that figure seems good for 600-plus bhp.

With the good weather having come to an end and chances to enjoy the GT on track or even on dry roads at a minimum, I decided it was time to store it away for the winter. In preparation, it was treated to a three-day clean from Swissol before it was tucked away, along with its battery charger, in a heated and dehumidified garage. I also considered buying some moulded tyre-supports to help prevent flat spots, but in the end I decided to try simply over-inflating the tyres in the hope that this will suffice. The GT won’t be in the garage for any longer than is strictly necessary, anyway – the start of another trackday season can’t come soon enough for me!

Running Costs

Date acquiredFebruary 2006
Total mileage9,007
Costs this month£399 (RoadPilot)
Mileage this month423
MPG this month15.0mpg
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