I first met Chris at a Porsche dealership, he had booked a test drive with an instructor in a 911 C4S. After the test drive and a long chat Chris decided to
A buy the car and
B that he needed instruction to get the best out of the world`s most iconic sports car, the 911.
We started down the road of track days, using the Porsche experience centre with its handling circuits and one of a kind special surfaces to learn about the idiosyncratic handling characteristics of the 911. We quickly moved on to Millbrook and Bruntingthorpe, Chris was gaining confidence and Chris being Chris, he took on board everything I said 100%, even researching in books, from a list given.
As the speeds went up and up on track the 911 C4S, as fantastic as it is, started to show its weight ( not helped with me sitting in the car)! As more and more tyres went by the wayside followed by brake pads and discs, Chris decided he wanted to go another way with a dedicated track car. He briefly looked at buying a GT3, but decided, in his words he didn’t want a ready-made rocketship!
So after a great deal of discussion and talking to the right people, he decided to go for a Cayman, a lighter weight car and gradually modify it, thereby getting to feel and understand what the modifications would do to the handling and performance of the car.
Chris looked around for a reputable firm to carry out the the work and after looking at the internet and reading articles, again being Chris he would have done his homework very thoroughly! he found RPM Technik and asked their opinion about modifying a car for track days. Funnily enough at the time they were looking to do a project car and agreed to do the work, to produce what RPM call a Cayman CSR.
What RPM did, as you should, was one modification at a time, so Chris could feel the difference and also see if it worked. Most of this development work was done at Bruntingthorpe with me sitting alongside as an instructor. It was a very interesting time and everytime Ollie, the technical director did a modification it worked, including changing the crown wheel and pinion to shorten the gears and a lightweight clutchplate and flywheel, which really made the car come alive and rev very freely. Lots of other mods were made and time was spent testing them at Bruntingthorpe and the car progressed. For me the most impressive and interesting day, was when RPM changed the brakes, Porsche have a well found reputation for having the best brakes.
Porsche cars have to stop in half the time the car accelerates. After a lot of thought about carbon or steel RPM decided to go with APR lightweight steel racing brakes, with enhanced cooling characteristics.
We did a test at Bruntingthorpe, 6 laps around the Sprint circuit doing 130 mph stops, then we moved to the longer straight nearly 2 miles and did a 140 mph stop, then a 150mph stop and then finally a 160 mph stop. We then made our way off the track and checked the heat in the brakes, there was hardly any heat coming off the brakes and Chris said the pedal pressure felt great. For me a great illustration of how RPM work and think. Also a great demonstration, of what time in a car can do for your car and your driving development.
This car has featured in lots of magazines a great advert for RPM and their CSR programme.
Chris has now got a great understanding of how a car works dynamically and he has turned into a quick track day driver with great car control.
This he has achieved with a great attitude and regular instruction.