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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, I survived my first track day in the 09 Cayman S. Here are my impressions and a comparison to my C5Z06 on the track.

First off, let me say that since my Cayman is brand new, I babied it. It had just cleared break-in. I kept my top speed to around 100 mph and didn't worry about how many folks passed me (and practically everyone did). Also, I short- shifted my green motor at about 6500 rpm. Of course, none of this is a poor reflection on the car.

Okay. Well, the CS rolled over big time in turns. I do not have PASM, so I guess I have learned my lesson. The stock suspension's sways seem really soft. In turn 12 at Road Atlanta I felt like I was falling off the world to the left. There was some understeer, but that was okay. I was learning a new ride.

The steering is very smooth and responsive. Feel is good, precise.

Because I kept my speed down, the brakes were solid. They were bled this week but with the stock fluid. They have always been a bit spongy, but they were fine and the pedal didn't sink.

Heel-and-toeing was fine. Although for me the brake is too high for HT on the street, at the track where you really use the brakes, the depressed brake pedal and the accel were in good position. I couldn't use my driving shoes, however, but had to use a wider set of running shoes. To use my driving shoes, I will need a pedal extension on the accelerator.

The stock shifter was fine. Reasonably precise. Stock sport seats were pretty supportive. I have the sport chrono without the PCM and it is about worthless. You cannot store the data for later reference. I understand with the PCM you can do a lot more with the timer and the data. No wonder my car was sitting unloved on the lot a few weeks' ago.

I ran five sessions--no problems. Car held up well. The water temp gauge stayed steady--does it do anything? Burned no oil. RE050A tires held up well, too. I had a more aggressive track alignment--no unusual wear.

My C5Z06--both stock and after I modified it--had a stiffer suspension than the stock 09 CS suspension. The shocks and sways were stiffer. It rolled less. The brakes on the Z were firmer, but I never ran it with anything but Motul. Stock pads on the Z were about the same as the CS pads for dust. I never held the Z to such a low speed limit, so I had some fade. Of course, I hit 145 or so once on the back straight at Road Atl, so slowing from that speed burns up brakes much more than a stop from a mere 100 mph going into turn 10A.

Of course, the 405HP/400 lb-ft LS6 motor moved the Z much quicker than the 320 horse 3.4 liter unit, but that is to be expected.

In feel, the Cayman steering is better, but I never had any real issues with the Z's steering.

I still miss the Z's complete gauges, but the large center tach on the CS was fine at the track. Not quite as good as the Z's HUD, but fine.

It is also great to be able to open the Z06's hood and see everything. On the CS, the first time I'll know a belt is about to go, or a pulley bearing is getting wobbly, is when it all goes, "poof".

Summary? Well, in my opinion the Z is a better track car. It is faster--much faster--accelerating and does everything pretty well. The CS, which feels so great on the street, gets its skirt raised a little at the track. It seems, for lack of a better word, wimpy. I think the CS is great in that it inspires confidence, and really does so at 7/10s. As you get closer to the edge, the Z seems to be able to do more. And, that incredibly flexible, monster motor is always right under foot. I think, in stock form, as a hi-po street car, the CS is probably better car. As a track car, the Z wins. As one guy at a Corvette board said, the Cayman is handicapped by Porsche because they cannot allow it to outdo the venerable (if somewhat outdated rear engine design) 911, whereas the Z-06 represents Chevy's best effort. Maybe that is accurate.

That said, at my next track day the CS's engine won't be so green and we'll give the CS a better workout. And I'll have better brake fluid and pads. Until next time....
 

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Next time give the CS a decent chance by adding LSD, GT3 LCA's + race alignment, and Hawk HP Plus pads (much better than pagids). Even with all that the hp advantage will still tell.
 

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Yup--the stock alignment, motul fluid and some better pads should help. In my Boxster I noticed a big change going from -.4 front camber to -1.0--with PASM.
Similarly, going with Carbotech XP8's compared to stock pads.

What type of rubber on the Z--Hoosiers?
 

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Well, I survived my first track day in the 09 Cayman S. Here are my impressions and a comparison to my C5Z06 on the track.
QUOTE]

Take the drive down to Sebring Dec 3rd weekend to see the Cayman Interseries events all weekend... including a 4 hour mini enduro. You can walk amongst the drivers and cars to see what has been done. This should give you some insight on what you can do with yours to taylor it to your liking.
 

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Having gone from a C6 ZO6 to a Cayman S, I understand your comments. There is much than can be done to a Cayman to make it a very fast track car. Unfortunately, it costs a lot (no, more than that, a lot!). It's a personal decision, but spending the money required held no attraction for me, so I ended up selling it and buying a used '05 GT3; not the same power level of the ZO6, but a very competent track car. On the positive side, the Cayman S was probably the best all around two seater I have owned, and with proper brake prep, it is a lot of fun on track, just at a different level than the ZO6. If you have a real desire to keep the mid-engine balance, and want something a little different, you can build an extremely fast car, just be prepared for the cost, and the potential issues of maintaining a highly modified car.
 

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This is the second luke warm 09 track report I have read.

I am begining to think that they are not as good as the earlier cars.

Several of the comments just don't line up with what I see out at the track. Interesting.
 

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I think it has something to do with perspective. Both myself and the OP effectively took steps backwards in terms of track car performance. For frame of reference, my former car (probably like the OP's) was capable of lap times on the order of 5 seconds faster at Streets of Willow (my local benchmark track). on a 1:2x laptime, that's an eternity. I had to re-calibrate my expectations given that my prior car was highly modified running race rubber and the CS is a bone stock street car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
To address a few of the comments:

I had the CS aligned to a race alignment, based upon Brad's suggestions from this board. Lots of negative camber. You can see this in one of my other posts. I was not relying on whatever the CS came with. I don't consider this a mod, as no new parts are involved. Plus, you never know what your alignment is when you buy a car. I also adjusted tire pressures.

I was trying to compare the cars "stock for stock", meaning stock rubber, shocks, etc. It would not be fair to compare my stock CS with a modded Z. The first time I ran the Z at the track, it was stock but for Motul 600 RBF. It had Goodyear F1 Supercar street rubber (Not run flats) and stock Z06 brake pads. I kept the CS to a lower speed to make sure, among other things, I didn't scald the stock brakes. I did not do that with the Z my first time out, and my brakes were cooked by days' end even with the Motul.

I am sure I could mod the CS and make it a better track car. Any street car can be modded and improved for track work. I was trying to give a "stock" report comparing it to a "stock" 2004 C5 Z06.

As I said, the CS is just plain more fun on the street. Unless you are really hustling, the Vette feels somewhat ponderous on the street. It begs you to break all laws. The CS feels nimble and quick on the street at any speed, slow or fast. But, at the track, the CS reveals the inherent compromises all street cars have a bit more than the Z did, IMHO.

But, one thing you cannot fix very easily--getting to the engine. You can't open it up to let it cool, and you can't eyeball or check anything. For me, this is huge at the track. If Porsche would add a clamshell hood (and I know they won't), that would be a big improvement. Even up on jack stands, I don't see getting much engine work done at the track. Am I missing something here? One fellow track rat had his GT40 there--with its hood open, you can see anything and everything, which is exactly as it should be with a mid-engined car.

Thanks for the comments. And by the way--I am not picking on the CS. Heck, I just sold my last Z06 and bought one and I very much enjoy it. I am just trying to give an objective opinion, as I said I would, for what it is worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yup--the stock alignment, motul fluid and some better pads should help. In my Boxster I noticed a big change going from -.4 front camber to -1.0--with PASM.
Similarly, going with Carbotech XP8's compared to stock pads.

What type of rubber on the Z--Hoosiers?
As I posted above, I was trying to compare the cars "stock to stock". I ran my Z the first time on its Goodyear F1 Supercars (not run flats).

My second time in the Z, I had Victoracer V-700s on 17 inch CCWs, plus a few other mods. And then a few more. And so it goes.
 
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