“This 911 GT3 R isn’t that different from the street version,” insists Andrew McNamara, gesturing at a race car that, with its roll cage, massive hood scoop, enigmatic dash switches and bare-bones interior, looks nothing like a showroom model at all.
“It’s got air conditioning,” he adds with a helpful laugh.
As Car Chief for Park Place Motorsports, Andrew oversees a 15-member team responsible for several high-performance cars that compete in numerous racing series, including the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship organized by IMSA (International Motor Sports Association).
His team keeps these vehicles at the ready, starting with pre-race shop preparation, track support, maintenance and, when it’s show time, lightning-fast pit stops. Afterwards, they tear down each car and start all over again.
As a result, he’s well acquainted with every screw, nut, bolt, fastener, headlight, pedal and tank on all the cars under his care. Believe him when he says there are more service similarities between a race car and a daily driver than one might think.
In particular, he’s referring to “consumables,” or things that are subject to wear and tear and need replacing, as well as general maintenance.
“We go through things in 60 minutes that you might not go through in 60 months, but the care principles are quite similar,” he says. “It’s a matter of degree. Tires on your 911 daily driver will go 10, 20 thousand miles, maybe more, and last several years, whereas we go through three or four sets in a weekend. You might flush your brake fluid every two or three years. We do it almost daily. Same with brake pads. And you’ll probably never need, or want, to look into your gas tank. For us, it’s a must.”
“Race car tolerances are much higher than for a daily driver,” says Jenny Drummond, Service Director for Park Place Porsche Dallas. “But the essentials are the same. It’s common sense to keep up with regular maintenance, because it’ll extend a vehicle’s life and keep performance levels where they need to be.”
In her 18-year career at Park Place, Jenny recognizes Porsche’s absolute commitment to precision, build quality and excellence. But she also acknowledges that things break now and then.
“They’re machines and machines break,” she explains. “Perhaps an owner lowered the convertible top in higher-than-recommended wind one too many times. The important thing is that when something goes wrong, we’ve got the correct tools and technical expertise to make it right again.”
“Jenny and her team are experts,” Andrew adds. “I see the same cars over and over, but they see thousands of different Porsches a year. Very little surprises them. They know, better than anyone, the ins-and-outs of how to keep their client’s cars in tip-top shape.”
Jenny and Andrew’s Top Ten List for Daily Driving Porsche Perfection
- Porsche gave you an operating manual, so read it. Not as entertaining as a Harry Potter novel but when it comes to caring for your car, the info is magical.
- Oil is your vehicle’s lifeblood. Change it every 3,500 miles (for conventional), and 7,500 – 10,000 miles (for synthetic). Don’t drive that much? Change it every year.
- Bringing a 911 to a whoa is super-important – check brake pads and rotors at every oil change. And change your brake fluid every two years (or sooner if you’re assertive with the pedal).
- Check your coolant and use Porsche-brand, as it’s synthetic and only needs replacement every ten years.
- Check tire pressure and tread depth monthly. Even if your tires are low mileage, check the date code – if they’re six years old (or more), replace them. Old tires lose their grip and detract from the exceptional driving experience you deserve.
- Your 911 is fuel-injected but it still needs new air filters every 40,000 miles or so, depending on how clean they are. Be wary of aftermarket filters that claim to increase horsepower.
- Speaking of filters, don’t forget to change your cabin air filter annually to keep that sweaty sock smell at bay.
- Batteries are just like people – they don’t do well when idle. Give them some exercise every week, if not daily, with a nice drive. And a Porsche battery maintainer is a savior if you don’t drive daily.
- Keep your spark plugs sparkling with regular changes every 30,000 miles (for turbos) and 40,000 miles (for non-turbos) or every four years. And check that owner’s manual for the best type of plugs for your vehicle.
- Keep your interior neat and tidy. Won’t help your mechanicals but a clean Porsche is a happy Porsche and makes for happy drivers and passengers, too.
Interested in following Park Place Motorsports? Check their upcoming schedule of events.