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Plug Whisperer
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Discussion Starter #1
So this past weekend was the PCA event out at Heartland Park. There were about 80 cars there ranging from Mustangs to GT3s...

Like many Club DE's, you get some quality instructor time and plenty of solo time. I always look forward to my instructor time as I get broken of some bad habbits. The field was broken into groups 1-4, with group 4 advanced and instructors running together part of the time.

I signed up for Group 3 Intermediate (I usually run advanced), as I hadn't driven with the PCA guys before and didn't want to hold up the big horsepower race prepped 944s and GT3s. As it turns out, I either over estimated them or underestimated my car, as they bumped me to group/instructor for Sunday since I was lapping traffic fairly quickly in group 3. So that was all fine and dandy, but the fun came in Group 4 on Sunday. There was a lot talk about what I must have had done to my elise to keep pace with the others in "superior" cars in group 4. My instructor (a great guy and excellent driver) from Saturday, was driving both a C6 Z06 and a 997 GT3. He just _had_ to take my car for a spin and figure out what the deal was...

He drove my car at maybe 6-7 10ths (he didn't want to wreck it, which was fine with me:D...my last instructor did put it in a ditch:wallbang:). Even at 6-7 10ths, he just couldn't believe the ride. He thought the power and crispness of the car were awesome and the connection to the road was flawless. After his drive, he was grinning ear-to-ear. He said the GT3 doesn't hold a candle to the car and that the GT3 is simply a big boat by comparison. He further said that driving the little Elise was the highlight to the weekend and he was going to seriously reconsider the GT3 for an Elise. As ramped up as he was, I even believe that he might just do that and become a Lotus owner in the near future. I mean he was really down on the GT3 after the drive!:cool:

I just thought I would share the story... It's aways nice to have someone so excited about the car and then dog the mighty GT3 in comparison:evil:...

In total, Darksol and I did a pretty good job of showing the mighty Porsche just what the little Lotus can do, and we surprised a lot of people for sure:shift:

Best,

Phil

PS- For quick reference, my most significant mods are the blower & EFI along with aero dynamics. The shocks are stock LSS (Lowered, which helps aero and handling, I feel), the stock swaybar is drilled for stiffer mounting points, and the traction was provided with RA1 with "heavy" TD wheels... not exactly a Lotus GT3 clone, just good engineering that's largely from the factory:cool:...
 

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Drove a GT3 RS the other day... I love my Elise, but even blown, I can't imagine how it could keep up with the RS in the hands of a skilled driver.

Still wouldn't trade though! :)
 

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Hmmm,

I know of a member on this forum who I believe recently sold a GT3 RS. He is a great driver and a big lotus supporter. Would love to hear his input on the two cars. Ive found (with limited experience) at tracks, the driver makes more of a difference than the car. Its kinda upsetting to see a miata start hunting you down in the Lotus.

Phil, you got have put your hard top on!! Several people said they see higher speed with their data loger just by putting the top on. Ive noticed the car getting pushed around a lot with the top off...dont have numbers to prove it....more of a butt dyno reading...but the consensus was you could get about 2 seconds off Spring Mountain Ranch with top on vs no top.
 

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I hear you guys. The GT3 with a good driver should be able to better us but I'm not seeing it at the track either. I know there are a lot of timid Porsche owners everywhere but the post by Turbophil re-enforces my experiences. I had a great cat and mouse session last August with one at Road Atlanta and that was before my Katana. Lot's of fun. Since then all I have done is close and pass everyone that runs in my group. I run in 4 also by the way.
 

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Yeah, a guy that comes out to the dinner groups in LA let me sit in his GT3RS. I felt fast just sitting in there! Different cars and Im sure they could scare you a good bit and make you a more timid driver.
 

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Plug Whisperer
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Discussion Starter #9
Drove a GT3 RS the other day... I love my Elise, but even blown, I can't imagine how it could keep up with the RS in the hands of a skilled driver.

Still wouldn't trade though! :)
Ya, he wasn't in a RS, and I was a bit short on power in the straights by comparison (not a lot though, my car seems to stay with C5 Z06s on the straights)... He may have been faster in the GT3, but not by much. He was quite faster in the C6 Z06 (which blows me a way in the straights....those things are simply insane in the straights-eek-), but he had a lot more fun in the Lotus with only a slight time penalty. Out of all those cars, their were only 5 or so that were faster on the track which consisted of 2 Z06's (with great drivers- both instructors), a 996 GT3 (driven by an X Le Mans Driver), and a couple gutted 944s brought in on trailers (I have a whole new respect for 944s-eek-).

I must admit that I also drive like a granny down the straights but tend to carry a lot of speed through the corners and make up for my granny habbits on the straights, so I should be giving those C6 Z06s a better run for their money... Perhaps next month:D

Best,

Phil
 

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Quinn (Blondie) at Buttonwillow 6/5/08

Apologies, Quinn. Her '05 Stock Elise.

Nothing inferred here, btw. Just for fun...

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Plug Whisperer
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Discussion Starter #11
Here's the big question, did you bust out the trailer for the DE?
Oh, heck yes! We (darksol and I) had the happen'in spot to hang out. Several other drivers made their way over to our shady oasis to get out of the sun, which was cool (pun intended;)) as we made some new friends that we wouldn't have met otherwise. I trailered in my 10x10 foot ez-up shelter, tires and wheels, three chairs, floor jack, and a big bag of tools (although not the right tools to bleed Dark's brake fluid after it boiled. He had the nerve to come to the track with some recycled brake fluid from a '67 Yenko or something similar. You should have seem the maple syrup we bled from his system. It was almost clumpy it was so old-poke-:D). In the boot, I had helmet, lap top, and torque wrench... I'll post some pics of our pit area when I get home...

I'm seriously thinking about welding a mount for a small grill to put on the back of the trailer. Can you imagine? Freshly grilled brats and burgers off the back of a Lotus:D? The would be the cat's meow and be a heck of a lot better than the boiled hamburgers at the consession stand!:nanner2:

Cheers,

Phil
 

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I'm seriously thinking about welding a mount for a small grill to put on the back of the trailer. Can you imagine? Freshly grilled brats and burgers off the back of a Lotus:D? The would be the cat's meow and be a heck of a lot better than the boiled hamburgers at the consession stand!:nanner2:

Cheers,

Phil
Here is the mac-daddy mod to my trailer. I bolted 2(on each side) bottle openers on the tongue of my trailer. Of course there is one inside to for inclement weather.... :)
 

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Plug Whisperer
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Discussion Starter #14
Burgers on the back of a Lotus?

You are my hero. :coolnana:
Well, kicking porsche tail (especially those GT3s) makes for one hungry Lotus driver:D
 

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I hear you guys. The GT3 with a good driver should be able to better us but I'm not seeing it at the track either. I know there are a lot of timid Porsche owners everywhere but the post by Turbophil re-enforces my experiences. I had a great cat and mouse session last August with one at Road Atlanta and that was before my Katana. Lot's of fun. Since then all I have done is close and pass everyone that runs in my group. I run in 4 also by the way.
Maybe I'm missing something (which is highly possible since I don't run DE events). If the DE events are not races (rather, they're schools that teach high speed driving skills), then how does passing everyone in your run group prove the superiority of either the car or the driver that's doing the passing? And how would you know whether your success in passing is the result of driver skills or of vehicle dynamics?

Not trying to provoke anything or anyone with this question, but just pondering whether the conclusions are justified. Thanks.
 

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Plug Whisperer
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Discussion Starter #16
That's a fair question...

The fact is you don't know for certian and the reality is that vehicle's handling is subjective to begin with.

In the DE's there is no clock, passing must be indicated, and you know for darn sure that you cannot touch another car! Sheet metal is sacred! (or fiberglass in our case)

That said, in the higher classes in particular (3 or 4 and 4 in particular) everyone is out their driving as fast as they are comfortable. Comfort on the track is dictated by the vehicle's dynamics and the skill of the driver. The better the vehicle the greater the comfort, the better the driver, the more comfortable they're taking the car to the limits of adhesion. One great driver of a vehicle may not be that great of a driver in an euqally capable vehicle that has different charecterisitcs even if not worse charecterisitcs...

So it's all gray matter with one universal constant--- and that is typically, even in a DE, the experienced drivers are driving as fast as they know how to. We all tend to assume (on the surface) that if we're in the same class (4 in this case), our driving level is comparable (even though we know it's not deep down inside) and that it's the car that made us slower or faster around the track. It's easier to give credit to the machine rather than the driver in many cases-- a pride thing--- I think most have a fair amount of pride in our cars....particularlly if one paid 120 grand for it.

In otherwords, skill has a tremendous amount to do with how fast we go around the track, it's paramount. In group 3 or 4, the gap in skill is generally accepted as being smaller among the drivers than in 1 or 2 (although, that acceptance is not necassarily sound). So if one guy/gal is faster than another in group 4 for instance, it turns into a little bit of a manufactuerer rivalry... Hence this thread:D

Best,

Phil

Maybe I'm missing something (which is highly possible since I don't run DE events). If the DE events are not races (rather, they're schools that teach high speed driving skills), then how does passing everyone in your run group prove the superiority of either the car or the driver that's doing the passing? And how would you know whether your success in passing is the result of driver skills or of vehicle dynamics?

Not trying to provoke anything or anyone with this question, but just pondering whether the conclusions are justified. Thanks.
 

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Maybe I'm missing something (which is highly possible since I don't run DE events). If the DE events are not races (rather, they're schools that teach high speed driving skills), then how does passing everyone in your run group prove the superiority of either the car or the driver that's doing the passing? And how would you know whether your success in passing is the result of driver skills or of vehicle dynamics?

Not trying to provoke anything or anyone with this question, but just pondering whether the conclusions are justified. Thanks.
Many of us that instruct choose to run in Group 4 rather than race because we do not want to convert our car into a full blown race car yet. DE4 is the place where the alledged most experienced and talented will run if they are not racing or running time trials. Passing is allowed anywhere and point bys are not required but "highly recommended". I have 24 tracks days logged in my Elise which certainly makes me no expert but it is very easy to tell whether someone is attempting to run to there maximum ability. In DE4 you are on your own as there is nobody in the right seat instructing you. I don't know but in my humble opinion, why would anyone choose to run in DE4 if they weren't looking for the environment where they could drive at "their" limits? Just my two cents. Turbophil, I like the way you responded. Makes perfect sense to me.
 

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Maybe I'm missing something (which is highly possible since I don't run DE events). If the DE events are not races (rather, they're schools that teach high speed driving skills), then how does passing everyone in your run group prove the superiority of either the car or the driver that's doing the passing? And how would you know whether your success in passing is the result of driver skills or of vehicle dynamics?

Not trying to provoke anything or anyone with this question, but just pondering whether the conclusions are justified. Thanks.
Warning:
Porsche Owner/interloper in our midst! :panic: ;)

LOL.

Actually - Hey Jerry! :wave:
Great to see you lurking. Hope to see you again soon too, at another one of Bull's runs. Hope all is well!

So, when we gonna make YOU a Lotus "convert" (Like Bull - you been watching his signature line) too?

Cheers,
-Grant
 

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Sorry but equal drivers and equal tires GT3 will kill an Elise, autocross, DE, club racing you name it.
 

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What is being said about DE level 4 is true, but it doesn't mean every single person is running 10/10ths all the time.

I'm level 3 myself. Sometimes I go out there and pass most people. Sometimes I drive 7/10ths; especially in the first couple of sessions for the weekend, especially if it's a track or configuration I haven't run before, especially if I forgot to pee prior to the session, etc. I'm sure during those sessions there are probably some people in Civics that think, "WooooHooooo I smoked that Lotus!" But for the most part, at this moderate experience level, you can tell when the guy in front of you is really pushing it or not.

There is a VERY experienced instructor down here in Texas; he's often asked to talk in front of the level 3 and level 4 classroom sessions. An ex-professional driver I believe. In his GT3RS he appears to pretty much dominate every other person in attendance for the weekend. (Of course I havn't seen turbophill at any of the same events....) Put a lesser driver in that same car and of course it wouldn't be as dominant, but this guy shows what the car is capable of and I always find it impressive.

I've run with a couple 06 Z06 that I can outrun, despite their speed in the straights. Then again I've run with a couple that I cannot keep up with. The car sort of establishes a maximum limit, so to speak, and then it's the driver who determines how closely that ultimate capability is approached.

xtn
 
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