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Some noob questions for a first time DE:

I plan to participate in my first DE at the Pocono raceway with Riesentöter Region, Porsche Club of America in May. Sign up is later this month. I have several noobish questions and couldn’t find most of the answers by searching the web site.

1. I need a helmet and was thinking of this one: GPX S-300 http://www.pepboys.com/product/details/9350292/00496 (except in black) I know, cheap head, cheap helmet but I don’t want to spend $500 bucks on a helmet that I may only wear once. Does this meet the Snell requirements for a DE? I think it is a motorcycle helmet.

2. Is the PCA instructor going to allow me to put a GoPro camera mounted between the seats (on the angled plastic surface) in my 981 BS?

3. If he lets me do #2 above, I also want to route an external mic through the trunk (all inside) but then outside the rear middle of the trunk and have it taped just above my exhaust. I’ve done this on multiple videos I have made. Is the PCA instructor going to let me do this?

4. Can I drive top down?

5. I need long pants and shirt. I plan on wearing jeans and a long sleeve work out top. Reading their web site, this seems to work as long as nothing is synthetic fiber. I don’t want to buy a set of shoes for this so I was going to wear some sneakers. Is that ok?

6. How much wear on my brakes and tires can I expect from 60 to 80 minutes of total track time for the day? In other words, what percentage lifetime loss from each would I expect to occur?

Thanks for the help in advance. :)
 

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This seems like a great place to repost something that was posted on the UCR PCA forum about choosing a helmet. Your region may have similar requirements for certification so that helmet you posted may not qualify. Note that this is a Canadian region so your prices should be lower.

You are right to ask the question. Here’s why.


UCR’s DE program requires a helmet certified by the Snell Foundation and we will inspect the helmet to find the Snell sticker (on the inside). For DE, we require Snell M or SA = Motorcycle or Special Applications. SA helmets are (only) mandated for racers, not DE.


Here’s YOUR problem. The new Snell certification stickers come out only once every FIVE years. I would guess that no helmet currently on the shelf at any local shop has a sticker newer that 2010 because they haven’t received any helmets with the 2015 sticker. That means that your helmet is INSTANTLY five years old when you walk out of the store. We allow 10 (sticker) years and so all the 2005 helmets will need to be replaced this year. That can’t happen until inventory becomes available.


Here is the Snell testing standard:

Snell Foundation - M2015 helmet standard


Here is the link to Snell M2015 approved helmets.

Snell Foundation - M2015 certified helmets


I would expect to pay about $200 for a Snell M2015 helmet. I would not pay more than half for a Snell M2010 helmet.

Your best bet is to phone local shops to ask if they have or can get a helmet in your size with a Snell M2015 sticker. Wait until they can. You can go to any shop and check to find the size that suits you best and then wait for the 2015 sticker.

If you need a large size, Stephen Goodbody has a loaner.
 

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Some noob questions for a first time DE:

I plan to participate in my first DE at the Pocono raceway with Riesentöter Region, Porsche Club of America in May. Sign up is later this month. I have several noobish questions and couldn’t find most of the answers by searching the web site.

1. I need a helmet and was thinking of this one: GPX S-300 http://www.pepboys.com/product/details/9350292/00496 (except in black) I know, cheap head, cheap helmet but I don’t want to spend $500 bucks on a helmet that I may only wear once. Does this meet the Snell requirements for a DE? I think it is a motorcycle helmet.

Does your region have a few loaner helmets for people doing their first DE? I'd send an email the to head of DE (or registrar) for your region.

2. Is the PCA instructor going to allow me to put a GoPro camera mounted between the seats (on the angled plastic surface) in my 981 BS?

It depends on the region and sometimes the instructor. Some instructors don't want a video of them showing up on the internet, others don't care. Again, I'd ask the head of DE in advance to see what the policy is.

3. If he lets me do #2 above, I also want to route an external mic through the trunk (all inside) but then outside the rear middle of the trunk and have it taped just above my exhaust. I’ve done this on multiple videos I have made. Is the PCA instructor going to let me do this?

If they let you have the GoPro I can't see this being an issue.

4. Can I drive top down?

I'm in CVR and all Boxsters have to run with the top up. Check the DE rules for your region, should be on the region's website.

5. I need long pants and shirt. I plan on wearing jeans and a long sleeve work out top. Reading their web site, this seems to work as long as nothing is synthetic fiber. I don’t want to buy a set of shoes for this so I was going to wear some sneakers. Is that ok?

No synthetic materials (i.e. cotton is good) for shirt and pants. Sneakers are ok, just make sure they don't have really thich soles or the soles extend past the sides of the shoe which would impede you getting on the brake, throttle, etc.

6. How much wear on my brakes and tires can I expect from 60 to 80 minutes of total track time for the day? In other words, what percentage lifetime loss from each would I expect to occur?

If this is your first time on track, negligible. You will think you're flying, but you will actually be going pretty slow.

Thanks for the help in advance. :)
Listen to your instructor, be safe and have fun!
 

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All of your questions should be directed to your PCA Region's DE chair or Chief Driving Instructor ("CDI"). Simply, those are the folks whose opinions matter - not others on this forum.
That said:

1. Generally, PCA requires a Snell M (motorcycle) or SA (special applications - racing) certification that is not more than 10 years old. At present, M2005, M2010, SA2005, or SA2010 should be good until Snell 2015 certified helmets are available. The helmet MUST have the Snell sticker inside it.
2. Varies by Region.
3. See #2.
4. PCA National requires top UP unless you have arm restraints - covered in detail in several threads - search "arm restraint."
5. See #2.
6. Your oem brakes (with 50%+ pad material and fresh fluid) will be fine. Your use depends on how hard and how you drive. Worry more about tire wear. But then, if you're concerned about using up brake pads and/or tires, stay off the track.

Relax, don't obsess and just have fun driving ... the way your car was designed to be driven. :cheers:
 

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Some noob questions for a first time DE:


1. I need a helmet and was thinking of this one: GPX S-300 http://www.pepboys.com/product/details/9350292/00496 (except in black) I know, cheap head, cheap helmet but I don’t want to spend $500 bucks on a helmet that I may only wear once. Does this meet the Snell requirements for a DE? I think it is a motorcycle helmet.

Don't buy a cheap helmet. You should purchase a Race approved full face helmet. An inexpensive model I currently have and recommend is the Bell Sport Auto Racing Helmet. It should be found online from $250 -$300. HANS capable. However this model will expire in 2020. Try to find a similar helmet with a 2015 rating or shop for a much better price on a 2010 approved model

2. Is the PCA instructor going to allow me to put a GoPro camera mounted between the seats (on the angled plastic surface) in my 981 BS?

All items in the car must be mounted securely. All loose items should be removed. Leave your Mats at home.

3. If he lets me do #2 above, I also want to route an external mic through the trunk (all inside) but then outside the rear middle of the trunk and have it taped just above my exhaust. I’ve done this on multiple videos I have made. Is the PCA instructor going to let me do this?

Concentrate on driving and paying attention to the instructor. Nevermind the exhaust note.

4. Can I drive top down? You should keep the top up. Check the rules of your club, Your height is a basis for restrictions, as well as wrist ties.

5. I need long pants and shirt. I plan on wearing jeans and a long sleeve work out top. Reading their web site, this seems to work as long as nothing is synthetic fiber. I don’t want to buy a set of shoes for this so I was going to wear some sneakers. Is that ok? Sneakers are ok for DE. Try not to use bulky ones.

6. How much wear on my brakes and tires can I expect from 60 to 80 minutes of total track time for the day? In other words, what percentage lifetime loss from each would I expect to occur?
This will be determined by your driving style and it should not be an issue for the green group. Make sure your pads have plenty of life now and flush your brake fluid if it has not been done.

Thanks for the help in advance. :)
I underlined my responses above to each question. Have fun and don't try to impress the instructor with your driving skills. Look in your mirror to give pass buys. No one remembers the guy who gave a passing signal, they just remember the guys that held them up. Search here more and learn to do most maintenance your self. Good luck
 

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Hey Subman,

WARNING WARNING WARNING. PCA HPDE is highly addictive. Enter at your own risk of having too much fun! :hilarious:

Stock tires, brakes, and fluid are fine for any Green Level starting DE, however, the brake fluid tends to absorb moisture over time so if it has been in your car 6 months are longer, I recommend you change it to avoid any boiling tendencies. It perfectly fine to stick with the OEM. You will need to have your car TECH inspected in advance - they usually give you some authorized indy shops as well as any Porsche dealer to look over the car.

In general, my advice is to focus on driving quick, but not fast. Fast eats brakes and tires. Find the best Running Line and duplicate it over and over consistently. Your instructor is going to look for how well you can duplicate all your brake points, turn ins, apex's, and unwinding. Not all instructors are perfect, but they are all volunteers. Try changing up from one day to the next to get a different point of view.

You will be amazed at how well your 981 does on a circuit - it such a well engineered and balanced car.

Please report back how you did! Good luck.
 
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All of your questions should be directed to your PCA Region's DE chair or Chief Driving Instructor ("CDI"). Simply, those are the folks whose opinions matter - not others on this forum.
That said:

1. Generally, PCA requires a Snell M (motorcycle) or SA (special applications - racing) certification that is not more than 10 years old. At present, M2005, M2010, SA2005, or SA2010 should be good until Snell 2015 certified helmets are available. The helmet MUST have the Snell sticker inside it.
2. Varies by Region.
3. See #2.
4. PCA National requires top UP unless you have arm restraints - covered in detail in several threads - search "arm restraint."
5. See #2.
6. Your oem brakes (with 50%+ pad material and fresh fluid) will be fine. Your use depends on how hard and how you drive. Worry more about tire wear. But then, if you're concerned about using up brake pads and/or tires, stay off the track.

Relax, don't obsess and just have fun driving ... the way your car was designed to be driven. :cheers:
Agreed

Forum searches are a good starting point, but you need to talk to the organization to get the low down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Subman,

WARNING WARNING WARNING. PCA HPDE is highly addictive. Enter at your own risk of having too much fun! :hilarious:

Stock tires, brakes, and fluid are fine for any Green Level starting DE, however, the brake fluid tends to absorb moisture over time so if it has been in your car 6 months are longer, I recommend you change it to avoid any boiling tendencies. It perfectly fine to stick with the OEM. You will need to have your car TECH inspected in advance - they usually give you some authorized indy shops as well as any Porsche dealer to look over the car.

In general, my advice is to focus on driving quick, but not fast. Fast eats brakes and tires. Find the best Running Line and duplicate it over and over consistently. Your instructor is going to look for how well you can duplicate all your brake points, turn ins, apex's, and unwinding. Not all instructors are perfect, but they are all volunteers. Try changing up from one day to the next to get a different point of view.

You will be amazed at how well your 981 does on a circuit - it such a well engineered and balanced car.

Please report back how you did! Good luck.
I will. ...hopefully with a video!

Thanks everyone for the input.
 

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6. How much wear on my brakes and tires can I expect from 60 to 80 minutes of total track time for the day? In other words, what percentage lifetime loss from each would I expect to occur?
That depends entirely on how hard you drive. For the first day, I'd expect close to nothing. We do DEs with two of us driving, so you might expect double wear, but the wife wears almost nothing, I'm the problem.

It was several years (before the Cayman) before we got measurable brake wear, then the brake wear got quite drastic. (Like race pads not lasting a day, now we're on endurance pads.) Now I reckon on 1mm of PCCB pad a track day (out of 7mm or so spare). I reckon on about 1mm of rubber a track day as well (out of 6mm or so spare). If you got anywhere close to that I'd be surprised.
 

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Also get a SA2010 helmet, it'll be a good investment. You can get them quite cheap. It'll last at least 5 years and some organizations don't allow M helmets. We got SA2005 helmets in 2006 and I'm just thinking about replacing them now when SA2015 comes out. They've lasted innumerable track days and autocross.
 

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Listen to your instructor, drive under your limit for a little while, no need to go balls deep the first time out. Just go out there and enjoy yourself.

the helmet, maybe try and get an open face helmet, I don't like the closed face helmets, makes me feel unaware because the loss of sight.

you should be fine with the go-pro

Don't worry about tire wear and brake wear too much, because honestly if you're tearing through your brakes and tires the first first time on a race track, you need to tone it down. (dont wanna get ahead of yourself and put your beautiful car into a fence)


Get out there and have some fun.
 

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Helmets: Open face helmets are generally more comfortable to drive with. I would just go ahead and spend the money on an SA approved helmet if you are iffy about your helmet. It's gonna last you 1. Dont' need to go silly on those with carbon fiber etc. However, if you plan to use it for go-kart and/or other types of race cars down the road, then full face would make more sense as you could just use the same helmet.

Driving at Pocono: I had the first DE in my life at Pocono actually. The track was pretty simple and easy to drive for beginners I felt. Just listen to the instructors though. I had some pretty good instructors there back then. I wasn't making any progress in the first session when I thought I was the champion and didn't leave my ego at the gate. I would brake too late, go in corners way too hot (I had to take the emergency exit out of the big right banked turn because I couldn't brake in time), or just had lousy control of the car. I had an S2000 there, and they allowed me to leave the top down during DE sessions.

DE: You will realize going slower may actually mean going faster at the end. We were not allowed to time our laps at beginner's level back then, but my instructor did time without telling me. He assured me by the end of the day I made significant progress in my lap times even though I thought I was going slower. He said in the first session he felt I was pretty hopeless as my lap times was horrendous even for a beginner, and my control over the car was just so bad. That's because I wasn't listening.

Prepping your car: Bring the car to the mechanic and tell him to check all the lug bolts and tire pressures. Tell him you need to go for DE, and ask him to see if your tires are too old (old rubber hardens) or have too little treads, and make sure you have enough pads for the day. Usually I prefer 60% of stock pads left. I usually don't burn through the pads, but more of a safety thing as pads end up transferring a lot heat if the pad is too thin. I would consider brake pad + tire conditions most important, along with having all the lug bolts tightened properly. Then run a quick visual inspection. Really just 1 hour of work there.

What to wear & bring: wear comfortable clothes. And have layers. When you are going at it, you won't feel cold. But best to wear a T-shirt, then bring a vest (not as warm, but allow your arms to move more freely) and a sweater (if it's really cold). Wear comfortable shoes with support. Runners would do. Bring some bottled water and maybe some chocolate bars. A few towels to clean the windshield won't hurt either. Tire gauge etc would be nice too, but usually you can borrow them.

Something to keep in mind: Remember your goal is to be able to drive the car back home in one piece after having some fun. So don't crash. Don't push it to 10/10. I have crashed a rental race car on the track before, and it would not be nice if it were my own car (I broke the steering rack when the car hit the tire wall). Seemingly small crash, but that would mean the car wouldn't be drive-able after. Dial down how far you push, and keep in mind that's the car you need to take you home. Otherwise, enjoy your day!
 

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Okay, I have an even noobier question than subshooter's; what does DE mean? I read all the replies to his questions, (very informative and pique's my interest in joining the fun), but I still don't know what DE is. Anyone??
 

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DE means 'Drivers Education'. Sometimes referred to as HPDE (High Performance DE).
 
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Wow, I'm so consumed and excited thinking about next month's delivery of my 981 that I can't even think straight enough to figure that out! Thanks for both definitions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay, I have an even noobier question than subshooter's; what does DE mean? I read all the replies to his questions, (very informative and pique's my interest in joining the fun), but I still don't know what DE is. Anyone??
Two years ago, I was wondering why everyone was talking about going to Delaware to drive their cars - my home state. lol!
 
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This is a recap of my experience. You may find it helpful. http://www.planet-9.com/981-cayman-boxster-competition/99962-first-de-recap.html

Reisentoter is a great group. To answer some of your questions not covered: Top up/down is usually track specific. I had to keep mine up at Watkins Glenn. The reality is, with the instructor chatting, you'll want it up so you can hear. Even with the ear pieces. My instructor was fine with the go pro I had mounted between the seats, but pulled off the one I had mounted on the windshield without even asking! You can get a good quality helmet for under 300... This isn't the exact model I got, but it was up to certification standards: Bell Helmets Sport - RacingPlus.com If I had to do it again, I'd get open face. This is kind of over kill, but the main point of advice is, go to a race shop and try them on in person.
Best of luck... it's a blast.
 

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Two years ago, I was wondering why everyone was talking about going to Delaware to drive their cars - my home state. lol!
That generated a belly laugh, too funny, I'm still laughing. :hilarious:
 
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Subshooter, you will need to have your car tech inspected before the event. I highly recommend that you take advantage of Riesentoters low cost inspection held at Dougherty Automotive in West Chester PA on May 2. Many club officials, instructors, and tech inspectors will be there and can answer all of your questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Subshooter, you will need to have your car tech inspected before the event. I highly recommend that you take advantage of Riesentoters low cost inspection held at Dougherty Automotive in West Chester PA on May 2. Many club officials, instructors, and tech inspectors will be there and can answer all of your questions.
Perfect. I was planning to do that tech inspection and for a first time DE guy, its included in the $100 cost for the whole DE. What a deal!
 
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