Poised for the Track, Ready For the Road
“Driving events are a great way for people to feel the capability of their Porsche, no matter what they drive, you’ll see your daily commute isn’t as rough as you’d think.”
The prestige of the Porsche marque is legendary. Power performance and iconic body styles make these sports cars standout- on Dallas’ Interstate 35 and on the race track. Professional race car driver Patrick Long is no stranger to the Marque, he began making a name for himself in 2003 as a Porsche Factory Driver. Since then his list of wins and accomplishments lends him to being somewhat of an expert on Porsche handling.
So whether you’re a true ‘track rat’ or simply someone who takes to cruising local highways, we thought imparting some of Patrick Long’s professional wisdom on the Porsche 911 could enhance your drive and help you (safely and responsibly) get the most of your Porsche experience.
Q1: Many driving tips we hear repeated like, ‘adjust your seat and mirrors’ or ‘look ahead’ that as adults we often consider as just for new drivers. Why is it actually important for anyone interested in performance driving?
Positioning in motorsport and in a daily routine, you know driving to work, are in a complete parallel
On the Track
“Positioning in motorsport and in a daily routine, you know driving to work, are in a complete parallel. Naturally, safety is number one, your protection and visibility out of the car are crucial.”
“Posture and stability in a racing seat is so key for us in surviving long hot days in a very stiff and harsh racecar. Hitting speeds close to 200mph force racing drivers to constantly be looking far ahead, as things happen fast on the track.”
On the Road
“Change that out for driving down the freeway or through a neighborhood and you’re rewarded by the same technique of awareness and visual scanning and seat position. My own preferences include sitting low so that I’m near the chassis, making sure my steering wheel hits at my wrist at the top of the wheel and I’ll have a slight bend in my leg in relation to my proximity to the pedals.”
Q2: Let’s assume most people don’t take their 911 to a track day. They’re kind of missing out on seeing just how far they can push their car. For those using the 911 as a daily driver, what would you tell them about trusting the capability of the vehicle?
On the Track
“When we are fortunate enough to give customers rides on a racetrack with their street cars, it blows my mind how agile and efficient these cars are, they perform really well.”
“One thing I tell people about any Porsche is not only are they high performing, but the performance is on tap over and over. When we are fortunate enough to give customers rides on a racetrack with their street cars, it blows my mind how agile and efficient these cars are, they perform really well. I am not only referring to the 911. A Porsche Panamera or Macan are staggeringly good.”
On the Road
“Porsche prides itself on the DNA of its racing heritage – light, low and well-ventilated means we can hustle Porsche product on the tracks, lap after lap, with consistency. Driving events are a great way for people to feel the capability of their Porsche, no matter what they drive, you’ll see your daily commute isn’t as rough as you’d think.”
Q3: Tires are always important. Why do tires correlate so closely to your car’s performance?
You are only as good as the four contact pads connecting to the car
“Tires are so key. You are only as good as the four contact pads connecting to the car. Imagine you have all the right clothes on, but your feet are frozen, burning or hurting as you walk through extreme weather. Everything matters a lot less than your feet at that point. It’s the same with cars; don’t think that a tire is black and round and the inexpensive or old and worn is as good as the fresh and proper tire for your car and weather conditions. ”
On the Track
In motorsport, we focus on compound and construction of hundreds of models of tires. It’s shed a ton of light on the temperature of the road and how your tire’s rubber responds and either works or really struggles. I will take the proper compound of a tire over fancy tread design any day.
On the Road
“The age of your tires has a massive effect on how they perform as well, don’t think of it only in tread depth. There is a lot of reading on this subject, but I suggest consulting your dealer for input on whether you are on an ideal type of design and compound for where you live and what type of driving you do. Most important, seek info on the age of the tires; they will be able to tell you right away based on the markings of the sidewalls. This is especially important for seasonal usage or collector cars where mileage might have little factor into the need to replace your tires.”
Learn more about how to handle your Porsche from track to road:
Follow @parkplaceracing and @parkplacetexas for more race updates and driving tips from the Park Place Motorsports Drivers. Have a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll ask our professional race team for their input!