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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had the opportunity yesterday to take my new-to-me 2012 Cayman to the track for the first time. Ran 4 sessions in the advanced/instructor group at Eagles Canyon Raceway in quite warmish temps. It's a 2012 Cayman, with PDK and 19" wheels with Pirelli rubber. No PASM. My thoughts:

1. Putting the Cayman on the track reveals its underlying brilliance. You can tell that a lot of engineering brainpower went into the development of the chassis, the design, and ergonomics of the car.
2. It's still a car built for the masses. Hello, understeer!!! Driven at 6/10ths, it's still a peach, but once you begin to push it a bit (no pun intended), the front end tries hard to ensure that the back end doesn't come around. My 135i plowed more, but I was expecting a slightly more neutral feel from the Cayman. I was struggling a bit to come up with proper tire pressure settings, so perhaps I could have mitigated it somewhat.
Current alignment specs are -.24 deg camber in front, -1.20 deg camber in the rear. I'm not sure there is enough additional front camber available on the stock setup to dial out most of the push. Maybe a larger rear sway bar is the next upgrade?
3. Sport setting in Auto mode was quite impressive.
4. Stock brakes held up OK at 8/10ths. I think adding better fluids and pads would suffice to get through a track day. Pedal feel was just so-so, however.
5. I HATE the TPMS. All day long I was getting warning lights and the big red exclamation mark on the dash, telling me I was 4 psi off here and 7 psi off there. And this was before I even got to the track. Thank goodness for an accurate air pressure gauge that allowed me to ignore the nonsense warnings.
 

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You definitely need way more front camber. What are your toe settings? And yes, tire pressure can mitigate some of the understeer issue you encountered. Sorry, but running in the advanced/instructor group implies enough knowledge to mitigate those issues. Who were you running with with? EC is probably not the best track to take a stock 987 to without adjustments to the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You definitely need way more front camber. What are your toe settings? And yes, tire pressure can mitigate some of the understeer issue you encountered. Sorry, but running in the advanced/instructor group implies enough knowledge to mitigate those issues. Who were you running with with? EC is probably not the best track to take a stock 987 to without adjustments to the car.
Not sure what you were trying to imply with your helpful comment. I did say that I was adjusting the tire pressures; 4 sessions weren't enough for a final conclusion, especially since online recommendations for cold and hot tire temps were all over the map.
 

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if you are plowing a bunch you should be able to overcome most of with with some adjustments to your line and with some slight throttle lift where you might otherwise be on maintenance throttle, to get some rotation from the slip angle in your tires. The car CAN push a lot but it can also be amazingly neutral. Watching what top race drivers can do with it completely stock is inspiring. I'm betting there is a lot more the car has to give before you need to start swapping parts.

The only thing I've done with mine is dial in as much negative camber as the stock parts will give, and swap in better break fluid and pads. I will need LCAs at some point just to preserve tires a bit longer, but so far I've been able to make the car quite neutral, and I have way more to learn before putting in more parts.



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
if you are plowing a bunch you should be able to overcome most of with with some adjustments to your line and with some slight throttle lift where you might otherwise be on maintenance throttle, to get some rotation from the slip angle in your tires. The car CAN push a lot but it can also be amazingly neutral. Watching what top race drivers can do with it completely stock is inspiring. I'm betting there is a lot more the car has to give before you need to start swapping parts.

The only thing I've done with mine is dial in as much negative camber as the stock parts will give, and swap in better break fluid and pads. I will need LCAs at some point just to preserve tires a bit longer, but so far I've been able to make the car quite neutral, and I have way more to learn before putting in more parts.



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Good to know. Alignment, fluid and pads are the obvious next steps. Can you share what tires and sizes you are running, and what your cold/hot tire temp targets are?
 

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I have only completed 1 "green" run group DE with my cayman on 19" inch wheels and Bstone R07's. I think I need a stickier setup but not R compound, better pads, and suspension mod or two. Got Pss9's already. Thinking sways, 18" wheels & nitto's or PS2's, and pagids. May have to also go with new LCA's for better negative camber. But my cayman is a weekend/daily driver. Any suggestions?
 

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I have only completed 1 "green" run group DE with my cayman on 19" inch wheels and Bstone R07's. I think I need a stickier setup but not R compound, better pads, and suspension mod or two. Got Pss9's already. Thinking sways, 18" wheels & nitto's or PS2's, and pagids. May have to also go with new LCA's for better negative camber. But my cayman is a weekend/daily driver. Any suggestions?
Don't bother with trying to go to stickier tires. As has been posted on here numerous times in various threads you will need to learn how to drive first before you get tires that will mask "to be improved" driving behavior. Go to several more events, get instruction and then go from there. But there is nothing wrong with trying to upgrade your pads and fluid.
 

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The amazing thing about these cars is how capable they are, just as they are. It is insanely rewarding to keep finding more and more improvements in yourself, with the same car. Changing parts out before you have had even 10 hours of track time can actually hurt your performance. You don't really need anything.

My first year and a half, I drive a stock base cayman, starting with the "n" stock summer Bridgestone rubber that came with the car. For the first 6-7 events I used (up) stock pads and ran the stock alignment. The only changes were my brake fluid and some numbers on the car. Sure I had a few sessions or days that I came away wanting new parts, or even a new car! But let me tell you, the days where I knocked 2-4 seconds off my lap time I just took the car home and basically hugged it. I had a few of those days!

After a year, and about 10 events, I was starting to optimize, and finding a second improvement in a whole day or two was a big deal. This fall a bunch of my standing internet searches all popped, and I traded my DBM/Beige Cayman for a DBM/Natural Brown Cayman S. The "new" car has PASM (old had the base suspension), a LSD (old had none), and 50+ more HP and torque. I've done two events in the CS. After two days at NHMS I knocked one measly second off my best time in my old C (1:21.8 vs 1:22.9) and after two days at LRP I managed 2.4 seconds better than my precious best (1:05.3 vs 1:07.7). Yeah, I'm still learning the new car and I think I opened up a bit more opportunity, but the point is this:

If you are in a green/yellow run group and being lapped by a GT3, then that car's driver is probably learning to drive faster than you, and it's probably little to do with the awesome car they are in. If you want to keep up, and you can, then really listen to the instructor in your car, and pay attention to yourself. There is no reason you should not be able to keep up with or even LAP a turbo or GT3 yourself, and trust me, it is really fun to do just that in a stock base Cayman :). Enjoy it while you can as that becomes harder to do in the more advanced run groups. Nailing even a single apex just right will give you more time than $3,000 in new parts, and more bragging rights!

Regarding rubber, I'd say go with what you got and then upgrade a little bit each time you use up a set. I started with OEM Bridgestone, then went to MPSS, then to AD08R. Tire temps: that's sort of an art and a religion, and part of the fun. Ask and debate with you track mates. I was running high 38-39 hot on the MPSSs and try to run 33-34 front and 34-35 rear on the AD08Rs. But search the Internet and you will see people saying you need to run 40-42 on the same tires. Keep a log book, spend a few $ on a good gauge, and find our what works for you.

If you LOVE modding, then by all means follow that passion. If you want to go faster around a track, then keep an open mind and a pinch of patience and learn; it's all you need.




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I have only completed 1 "green" run group DE with my cayman on 19" inch wheels and Bstone R07's. I think I need a stickier setup but not R compound, better pads, and suspension mod or two. Got Pss9's already. Thinking sways, 18" wheels & nitto's or PS2's, and pagids. May have to also go with new LCA's for better negative camber. But my cayman is a weekend/daily driver. Any suggestions?
What would be wrong with spending the money on you getting more experience?
 

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You need more camber. Stock suspension will get you up to -1.5 up front. Most only get -1.0
If you are driving at a good pace, though, -1.5 still wont be enough and you'll need adjustable LCA
 

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You need more camber. Stock suspension will get you up to -1.5 up front. Most only get -1.0
If you are driving at a good pace, though, -1.5 still wont be enough and you'll need adjustable LCA
Need is relative. It certainly won't kill your performance, but you will wear out the outside edges of your fronts. If you have symmetric tires then you can simply remount them L<->R half way through their life. If you are in it for the long run then it's a good mod and you will probably do it eventually. If you are doing a few events a year it's probably more of a judgement call.
 

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If you LOVE modding, then by all means follow that passion. If you want to go faster around a track, then keep an open mind and a pinch of patience and learn; it's all you need.
Sound advice. (But is sounded to me as if you already know that,) I have done three events in my Cayman. (after 30+ in an Audi) I modded the Audi because it needed it. The Cayman is as fast as the Audi with no mods. I'm just going to enjoy it. Pads and fluid will be all it gets. Yes, it needs more front camber, but the cost of LCAs will buy lots of tires. I settled on 38-40 psi hot for my MPSS but I am wearing the outside corners pretty fast and plan to up the front a couple of psi next time. (VIR Nov 9-10) Oddly I have not had a peep from my TPMS. I start at 30-31 cold and bleed from there to keep the hot pressures below 40 psi. It is helpful to be able to see the tire pressures climb during the session and note that the tires start to feel greasy about the time that they cross 40 psi.
Enjoy your car. I expect we both may end up elongating the camber adjustment slots in the strut towers. ( minor mod I guess :) )
 

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Oh wow, I missed that you had so much experience on the track. Now I feel a bit silly. Maybe the other poster can benefit from my "wisdom".

I didn't love the MPSSs on the track, and the edges were giving up way too fast. I did love them a lot on the road, and now that set is on the original wheels for the off season, and road trips and the like.

If you get a chance try out the AD08Rs. They have a stiff sidewall, so they can be run at lower pressure, and are symmetrical, so you can remount them to get some more life with your stock camber. I never liked them at 38-39 lbs, but mistakenly went the wrong way up to 41-43. In the hot weather they still performed pretty well (better than 39), but as the weather cooled I started to plow into corners a lot more. I found an article that quoted a Yoko rep who said the tires were formulated for 32-34. I tried it out (cold down to as low as 26!) and really liked the results. I can't wait to run a fresh set to try that out a bit more next year.

Cheers!




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What would be wrong with spending the money on you getting more experience?
Good point. I probably should double up on track time in the year instead. I'll be the first to admit that I'm still searching for the double apex at keyhole @ M-OHIO.
 

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My 2008 has a difference of 6 pounds from front to rear based on the stock settings. I have found make the fronts and back equal makes neutral.
 

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Good point. I probably should double up on track time in the year instead. I'll be the first to admit that I'm still searching for the double apex at keyhole @ M-OHIO.
I've taken the Mid Ohio High Performance Driving Course three times - the std, advanced, then std again with my son. If you want to learn Mid-O, and advanced/track driving in general, this is a terrific course. Tommy Byrne (former F1 driver, used to beat Ayrton Senna in karting etc.) is one of the best, but all instructors are absolutely top-notch. Quickest way to improve your driving skills IMO. If you really want to get serious, and check out how the pro's get their training, then take a Skippy (Skip Barber) course in a Formula Ford.
 

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I've taken the Mid Ohio High Performance Driving Course three times - the std, advanced, then std again with my son. If you want to learn Mid-O, and advanced/track driving in general, this is a terrific course. Tommy Byrne (former F1 driver, used to beat Ayrton Senna in karting etc.) is one of the best, but all instructors are absolutely top-notch. Quickest way to improve your driving skills IMO. If you really want to get serious, and check out how the pro's get their training, then take a Skippy (Skip Barber) course in a Formula Ford.
Having I don't know how many DE's under my belt, and being an active competitor in arrive & drive formula fords I couldn't agree more with the above. The best thing you can do is get instruction from those who have done it professionally. DE instruction is fine for familiarizing yourself on the track and some instructors are very talented, but in my experience its very hit or miss. I run in the instructor/advanced group with every organization I run with (4 of them) and don't really have a relationship with any of them (need to change this as I pay far too much for track time throughout the year) and the instruction I’ve had / heard / seen varies phenomenally.

The long and short of it is when you are new to track driving just listen and do what you're told. Whether you have raw talent or not, you don't have the experience to start experimenting and driving truly hard. Driving at the limit when you are inexperienced is what causes issues, hence DE instructors are so important when new…but so many people put them on a pedestal. Honestly its really a mixed bag, and the DE instructors are great for safe track driving (priority #1,) but they don't necessarily know the fastest way around the track despite their aura. Hence as you build experience (10+ days) start to consider what one instructor tells you vs. the previous ones and adjust accordingly.
Finally - when you want to go fast.....as stated above go to a school. There you'll learn how to truly hone your driving abilities with data, read tracks, how to safely experiment, safely pass without point bys etc etc etc. Basically you'll learn race craft....you’ll look at DE’s through a totally different lens.
 

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I took Skippy at Sebring, and the instructors were amazing. You would run the track, and they have an instructor at every corner evaluating your driving. They will stop you at the start/finish if necessary and relay the radioed comments on each lap. 'Coming out of turn 14, see if you can rotate the back end around earlier to get the car pointed correctly'... 'get on the gas a bit sooner in turn 1 to prevent the rear end from coming around as much'... ' These were just some of the comments I got, and I was amazed at how well they could analyze what I was doing without being in the car. No traction control, no ABS, no power steering or brakes. My lower back was severely bruised after three days of hammering the brake pedal...
 

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I took Skippy at Sebring, and the instructors were amazing. You would run the track, and they have an instructor at every corner evaluating your driving. They will stop you at the start/finish if necessary and relay the radioed comments on each lap. 'Coming out of turn 14, see if you can rotate the back end around earlier to get the car pointed correctly'... 'get on the gas a bit sooner in turn 1 to prevent the rear end from coming around as much'... ' These were just some of the comments I got, and I was amazed at how well they could analyze what I was doing without being in the car. No traction control, no ABS, no power steering or brakes. My lower back was severely bruised after three days of hammering the brake pedal...
My takeaway was some softball bruising on my shins. Worth every bit of pain.
 
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