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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have registered for my first track day on June 16th with my Boxster. It is driving instruction and lapping only.

I have done a couple of these in my Miata years ago, and my goal is to explore the limits with my Boxster.

My car is a base PDK with 20" stock Pirellis. My tires are good and my brake fluid was changed last year.

Any tips for tire pressure or anything else?

I plan on driving the PDK in Sport+ and concentrate on my driving.
 

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Suggest check with the event organizer on tech inspection requirements. In my area brake pads must be minimum of 50% thickness remaining (more for COTA) and brake fluid flushed within last 6 months. Most tires I've used, hot pressures below about 36psi have worked well. Usually 32 to 34 hot. Depending on track conditions I start at 28-29 psi cold and adjust from there to get to target hot pressure. Is sport plus the mode that holds all gears to redline? I'd probably be manually short shifting at times to keep the car settled. Have fun!
 

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PDK requires no manual shifting, even in sport. I'd recommend swapping a real track pad like Pagid Yellow RS29. If you can run Michelin Cup2 tires, that is ideal. They can handle higher pressures and heat better. Change the brake fluid before the event for sure, and use RBF660 or equivalent.


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Get your car tech inspected, or do it yourself if you are capable and the event sponsor allows it. I use high quality oil (motul or torco) have it changed at 6-12 months or after a few thousand miles and few HPDE events. I also use high quality brake fluid and have that flushed every 12 months. Brake fluid should not be more than 12 months old, particularly if you will be at the track and driving hard. You don't want to get brake fade and miss a session on the track, or miss a hot turn.

Make sure your brake pads and rotors are in good shape. Some recommend a pair of high quality race pads for back-up, or just swap out for your race days.
 

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Don't get too hung up on tire pressures till you get some indication you need to be. Your regular pressures will likely be fine for at least a few sessions. If your tires feel slick near the end of a session, back off the pressure a little at the beginning. My experience is that you can totally overthink a lot of things when the main thing is getting to know your car and the track.


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First track event in years?

keep it simple

get the track inspection done asap, if not already done.

get brake fluid flush done, etc. I wouldn't worry about r comp tires or high temp brake fluid or track brake pads, on your first track day.

start off with tire pressure cold around 32 psi. follow what others have said.

listen to your instructor, if it's been years make sure you run in an instructed run group.

stay hydrated stay safe have fun.
 

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My suggestions:
Good tires and brake pads, fresh brake fluid.
I recommend running in Sport mode/PSM on, at least at first while you learn the track. Then if you wish to try Sport+ later in the day you can. It just seems to stay too wound up in Sport+ and temps rise quickly.

Have fun/stay safe!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My suggestions:
Good tires and brake pads, fresh brake fluid.
I recommend running in Sport mode/PSM on, at least at first while you learn the track. Then if you wish to try Sport+ later in the day you can. It just seems to stay too wound up in Sport+ and temps rise quickly.

Have fun/stay safe!
Thanks for the advice.

For clarity, do you mean run in sport in automatic mode or shift it yourself?
 

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Sport/auto but I prefer to choose my downshift points entering a corner and let the car upshift at redline down the straight. There are several ways to use a PDK car effectively, this is my personal preference for maximum control and minimum wear and tear.
 

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Don't worry about swapping pads, or tires, you will be fine as long you aren't driving at 10/10ths. Brake fluid flush would be great (sometimes required by certain organizations).

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I recommend running the PDK in full auto. If you are smooth with your footwork, it will read your mind or even jump ahead of it. The brake pedal initiates downshifts when pressed more than 50%. Sometimes I let the downshift moment determine my turn in point.

The PDK is impossible to wear out. Just halve the service interval and change fluid at 60k miles instead of 120k. It's built for engines up to the 3.8L. The 2.7L isn't capable of producing enough torque to bust it. Same part number.


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Sport Plus is the setting designed for specifically for driving on the track. It locks out 7th, shifts are faster with track optimized map, PSM is more sporty PADM stiffens up, and a few other things. This is the setting you want to have on the track whether you are a novice or an expert. (You may like it so much that you do most of street driving in Sport Plus, except for cruising on the interstate).
Auto or manual shifting? The PDK only reacts to things that have already happened. The driver can see ahead and control what will happen, and in some circumstances this is better. Also, many find that manual shifting makes the driving experience more engaging and fun. (You may like it so much that you do your street driving in M).

-eland
 

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Lots of advises, here are my:

Driving
Don't worry too much about driving fast because it will make you slow and unsafe. The car does three things:
1) Turns - it's lousy in turning so you want to minimize turnings by learn how to driving the racing line. Focus on the line and hit those apexes
2) Brakes - the brakes are the most powerful of all, use it affectively. Don't ride the brakes, only use it to slow down to the right speed for the turns. When you use it use it hard to slow down the the speed you want fast. Just keep in mind that it's not an on and off switch so don't use it as such
3) Accelerate - You want to spend as much time accelerating as possible.
If you just do the above three things right you have no choice but to drive fast (and safe)

Car prep and misc...=
1) Have the car tech
2) OEM Pirelli are fine, they are very good and sticky if you have enough thread. Your warmed tires pressure should be about +3 or +4 lbs above OEM cold setting. Watch for tires rolled over signs and adjust accordingly.
3) Stock brake pads are fine at the start, worry about it later. Just pay attention to signs of brake fade.
4) Let the PDK shifts for you, after a session or two then you can try to downshift yourself, if you must, but let it upshifts for you
5) PSM on
6) Start with PDK in sport, sport+ is distractive if you're not used to it and you don't need the distraction. After a session or two you can try sport+
 

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Sport Plus is the setting designed for specifically for driving on the track. It locks out 7th, shifts are faster with track optimized map, PSM is more sporty PADM stiffens up, and a few other things. This is the setting you want to have on the track whether you are a novice or an expert. (You may like it so much that you do most of street driving in Sport Plus, except for cruising on the interstate).
Auto or manual shifting? The PDK only reacts to things that have already happened. The driver can see ahead and control what will happen, and in some circumstances this is better. Also, many find that manual shifting makes the driving experience more engaging and fun. (You may like it so much that you do your street driving in M).

-eland
This has not been my experience, and I never recommend Sport+ for a 1st time novice student at a new track. In Sport+ Auto mode the car spends way too much time banging redline and this causes engine temps to rise very quickly. I prefer Sport mode/Auto for most sessions to use more of the RPM range in the corners. I will experiment with Sport vs Sport+ on day 2 of a track weekend and compare data back to back to see which is faster. Once I have learned the track well, Sport+ can be a few tenths faster for the first 3 laps but not always. As the car gets heat soaked more quickly in Sport+, lap times will fall off.

My laps at the end of a Time Trial weekend are often towards to pointy end of the time sheet so this method of using PDK seems to be effective.

On the street Sport+ in Auto mode is just awful. It is tolerable in manual shift mode because you can keep the car off redline.
 

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Sport Plus is the setting designed for specifically for driving on the track. It locks out 7th, shifts are faster with track optimized map, PSM is more sporty PADM stiffens up, and a few other things. This is the setting you want to have on the track whether you are a novice or an expert. (You may like it so much that you do most of street driving in Sport Plus, except for cruising on the interstate).
Auto or manual shifting? The PDK only reacts to things that have already happened. The driver can see ahead and control what will happen, and in some circumstances this is better. Also, many find that manual shifting makes the driving experience more engaging and fun. (You may like it so much that you do your street driving in M).

-eland
I don't agree. You'd be better off spending the $2000 on cup tires. There is no way to prove a better lap time with sport+ over sport. I was skeptical sport PDK would shift perfectly but it did. You're not going to hit 7th gear on a US track. My car never left 4th (128 MPH). The difference in shift speed is measured in milliseconds, where the weekend driver variance in lap times has a standard deviation of seconds. Any decent aftermarket coilover is stiffer dampening than sport+.


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I don't agree. You'd be better off spending the $2000 on cup tires. There is no way to prove a better lap time with sport+ over sport. I was skeptical sport PDK would shift perfectly but it did. You're not going to hit 7th gear on a US track. My car never left 4th (128 MPH). The difference in shift speed is measured in milliseconds, where the weekend driver variance in lap times has a standard deviation of seconds. Any decent aftermarket coilover is stiffer dampening than sport+.


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That's ok. We can disagree. I would also disagree that you can't prove better lap times, it's usually pretty easy.

It's not clear to me how your comments about buying $2K of tires or dropping $4K-$6K on an Ohlins or JRZ set up are relevant to this discussion. Are you saying that it costs $2K-$8K to add Sport Plus to car that doesn't have it? If so, then the cost/benefits of adding Sport Plus to a car that doesn't have it is questionable.

We want the students to have fun experience at the track and we let them set their goals for each session and the day. We start novices in standard with auto shifting, and typically have them in Sport Plus and manually shifting by the end of the day. Of course, we have some students that don't want to or aren't ready to move to Sport Plus and manually shifting and that's cool.

But most who spend the money and come out for a track day are motivated to become to more skilled drivers. Highly skilled drivers drive in Sport Plus or PSM off and shift manually (You are free to disagree with me on this, but lap times prove this point). For drivers that aspire to be highly skilled and faster driver, this is the mode they will need to train in.

But as mentioned above, we want the students to have a great experience at the track - and we are ok with them driving in any mode they want as long as they having fun.


- eland
 

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That's ok. We can disagree. I would also disagree that you can't prove better lap times, it's usually pretty easy.

It's not clear to me how your comments about buying $2K of tires or dropping $4K-$6K on an Ohlins or JRZ set up are relevant to this discussion. Are you saying that it costs $2K-$8K to add Sport Plus to car that doesn't have it? If so, then the cost/benefits of adding Sport Plus to a car that doesn't have it is questionable.

We want the students to have fun experience at the track and we let them set their goals for each session and the day. We start novices in standard with auto shifting, and typically have them in Sport Plus and manually shifting by the end of the day. Of course, we have some students that don't want to or aren't ready to move to Sport Plus and manually shifting and that's cool.

But most who spend the money and come out for a track day are motivated to become to more skilled drivers. Highly skilled drivers drive in Sport Plus or PSM off and shift manually (You are free to disagree with me on this, but lap times prove this point). For drivers that aspire to be highly skilled and faster driver, this is the mode they will need to train in.

But as mentioned above, we want the students to have a great experience at the track - and we are ok with them driving in any mode they want as long as they having fun.


- eland
I didn't notice Walter Rohrl manually shifting the GT3 or GT3RS, but I could be wrong. Why would you have students add an extra input to the car and increase their cognitive load when they could be learning to "see" new things on the track surface? Are you saying that it is possible to get a better lap time shifting a PDK? And that Porsche has left something on the table? I couldn't find it.

Sports chrono is literally the biggest waste of money on a Porsche, I can confirm. The only benefit would be if you also had PASM, but like I said for $4k you can instead get a much better damper from JRZ.

Regarding the lap times, let's say sport plus is worth 0.1 on a 2:04 minute circuit with a factory driver. Your first day HPDE driver is going to be going 2:45, your intermediate student is going to do 2:23 average (2:20 best), and your advanced student is going to do 2:15 average and 2:14 best. Your local crazy man setting a PR is going to pull a 2:08 out of his *** at great risk to the car for the envelope of his ability. I hope to be that crazy man soon.

I just don't see how sports plus moves the needle for anyone in the above group, when cup2 tires and motorsport suspension can each get you 0.5 to 0.9 seconds.


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Thanks for info, I had not tried auto in Sport+ as I presumed M would be better. I''m the CDI for PNWR, are you coming Parade in July?

- eland
Naw, my business is pretty seasonal and June/July are "all hands on deck general quarters". I don't get much driving time during these months but it fills the bank account for fresh tires and entry fees later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the good advice.

I have booked the track inspection and have all the fluids changed. I come from a turbo Miata back round and want to explore the limits in a safe environment.

Looking forward to it!
 
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