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Porsche Driver Development

June 7, 2017 | Calabogie Motorsports, Wilson Farm Road, Calabogie, ON, Canada

Porsche and Mark Motors – Driver Development

The first sunny day in weeks, and the challenging course at Calabogie Motorsports Park made for a wonderful expose of Porsche’s latest 718 Cayman S, 911 Carrera S and 911 Carrera 4S.

We had at our disposal the 718 Cayman S with the 2.5 turbo flat 4 (350hp / 0-100 in 4.2s) and the 911 S/4S with the 3.0 bi-turbo flat 6 (420 hp / 0-100 in 3.9/3.8s). All three with the glorious PDK transmission and Sport Chrono.

Our instructions were clear – these are not our cars, our fuel, our tires or our brakes … so go for it!

Starting with the tight Autocross course, the 911 4S proved its metal in slalom, tight turning, full acceleration and maximum braking maneuvers. Virtually impossible to mess up with the sophisticated traction and stability systems.

On the track we rotated through the 3 different Porsche models. At speeds of up to 205 km/h over Calabogie’s 20 turns, blind corners and changing elevation, it was an ideal setting to evaluate the differences of these cars.

I came biased towards the Cayman S considering its lighter weight and perfectly balanced mid-engine chassis. It felt surprising light on its feet, agile and toss-able. Always secure but at times struggling to transfer all its power accelerating through and out of some of the corners. Stability controls came into play when accelerating hard in unweighted situations and I managed to drift it through some corners as the day wore on and tire pressures climbed. (perhaps I needed find a better line)

The 911 Carrera S and 4S on the other hand were decidedly more planted and transferred power to the track in a more determined and controlled fashion. The 4S was remarkably easy to drive very fast and never seemed to get unsettled or unable to full power out of an apex. Both 911s felt convincingly quicker than the Cayman S and the aural sensations of the 911 won hands down.

Braking was remarkable in all three Porsches and its truly amazing how they take the relative abuse of extended track exposure in stride!

A big fan of the Boxster/Cayman mid engine chassis .. I now have a far greater appreciation for the evolved 911 and the attributes of it’s new twin turbo 3.0 engine.

What fantastic sorts cars and what a great opportunity to experience them!