Cornering Skills with your Porsche

One of the greatest things about owning a Porsche has more about how to drive it…rather than it drives you.    Cornering is an age old topic that takes practice but its a good skill to know with any car.

Take it from M. Diaz of Oakland, California regarding his very rare black 1983 Callaway 944 Turbo.  “Cornering with a 944 is a complete breeze, you have both confidence in how the car safely reacts to split second decisions along with the ability to precisely setup your curve before going into it.  Porsche got it completely right to develop this model, and Callaway certainly picked out the perfect machine for a modification that works well with the driver and his reactions.”   Follow for on-going tech conversations regarding these unique and hard-to-find cars.

With any 90 degree turn you have three choices in cornering.

1: The closest to the radius

The simplest version is slowing the car down, turn the wheel and the car will go around the corner.  It is also the shortest distance.   The problem is you lose all the car’s energy and momentum.

2: the farthest from the radius-

Using centrifugal force, the farthest edge is the longest distance, generally in theory you can do this kind of curve with the greatest speed.  The problem here is that you may loose time.

3: a bi-sectional cut that starts from the farther radius and touches the closest radius back out to the farthest radius.-   this combines uses of the cars balance.   The best part of using this format is as long as you are not obstructing on-coming traffic, you can cut the time and distance and keep up the speed.

Another key factor is the amount of braking.    Assuming that in theory and the start of curve, braking needs to be considered, you will want to brake the most without having as much steering input.   During the middle part of the curve, braking and steering is equal in input, while at the end of the curve, the steering oversees braking considerably.

Though this is a skill that takes a little practice.. get a feel how the weight of the car shifts while steering and braking.

In a matter of performance and safety, always consider the condition of your tires, suspension, brakes and steering setups.  The car will have a natural pull one direction and then the other, with a driver firmly strapped in to become one with the car.   The driver will know of key points on where and when to sway a curve based on either walking the course beforehand or taking a few practice laps.  Either way, the information on when and where to take the curve is key in doing so in the shortest possible distance.


One response to “Cornering Skills with your Porsche

  1. Pingback: CFGP 2011 Pre-season testing @ ZIC « The Will to Win

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