First off, the change of pads and brake fluid was entirely successful. Not a hint of brake fade all day with the added bonus that the Pagid blues provided great initial stopping power and felt a lot more progressive than the previous standard road pads did.
The day started with a wet track which made things a little interesting! Knowing it was wet and since I was there very early (about half an hour before anyone else arrived biggrin.gif ) I had the set of tyres I'd ordered (Conti Sport Contact 2 for £474) put straight on. The suppliers (Protyre Motorsports) warned me they would be like glass until scrubbed in, and on a wet track they were right!
Thankfully, the track dried rapidly and stayed dry for the rest of the day. It is THE most technically demanding and enjoyable track I have driven so far. On my own I may have struggled to enjoy the day and would have been constantly moving off the racing line to let others past (GT3s and turbos were common as muck!) but luckily I'd blagged Marcus 'the Goose' Carniel to instruct for the day. With his help I got faster, and faster, and faster throughout the day. Being a club racer (in a 911) and a local, he knew exactly how to get through each section of the track and by being with me for session after session he got me to work on particular parts of the track each time we went out. Once I'd got one part right, we would move onto the next. It was simple as that.
The 964 doesn't have the power, agility or the electronic stability programs of modern Porsches but when in the right hands or being instructed by the right hands, boy can it haul ass! All this was achieved by showing me the right lines and getting me to develop a smooth steering input technique, with a little bit of trail braking to flick the tail round for good measure. Getting him to drive the car and demonstrate to me what it could do (he never looked like he was taking libertys with it) was a revelation. Cars with 100+ HP more pulled away from us on the straights but were reeled in again on the bends. There were lines through bends where I would turn in, let the car drift and then try to turn in again (my reading of what needed to be done). This meant I was fighting with the steering wheel, adjusting the throttle and unsettling the car. On the same bends he got me to turn in at the right point, set the steering wheel with the right amount of lock and the result was that the car would follow an arc that brought me to exactly the right point I needed to be for the next section of the track. Genious!
Similary to take all the first kerb of the chicane while under braking and then to change down to second in the middle to get maximum exit speed, was something I wouldn't have worked out in a month of Sundays!
At the end of a brilliant day both I and the Goose (and a few passengers) had really enjoyed the car which, simply, did not miss a beat all day. His summary was that the car was currently set up very well, didn't have any great under or oversteer issues and that the biggest benefit I would get from modifications in the short term was to get another set of wheels with sticky tyres which would allow a little bit more corner speed.
This gives an idea of why some refer to Oulton as a mini 'ring
My instructor showing me the way round Shell oils hairpin
Going into Lodge
Keeping the younger generation of Pork in their place!