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ettenw

987 Prep for Track days

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I recently bought a 2005 Boxster, non-S but with the S's 18" wheels and tires, and am planning to attend a few DE track days this summer. I've done quite a few of these in other cars, so I'm not looking for general advice, but rather advice specific to the 987, preferably from folks who have done this with 987s or 986s. The car's a daily driver, so I intend on sticking (no pun intended) with street rubber (currently Michelin PS) and streetable brake pads.

What's a good air pressure setting to start with?

Any other high performance street tire recommendations?

What kind of brake pads work well?

Anyone come up with a camera mount for the 987 yet?

Anything else specific for the Boxster for the track?

Thanks,

Walt

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Hi.

Having done a driver airfield training day on stock michelins , I would advise getting some track tyres rather than scrubbing those expensive road tyres. A full set of track tyres for 18" wheels are going to cost about the same as replacing just the rear tyres on your car. I found that the edges of the tyres get the most wear , the road tyres are just not designed to take that kind of hammering as they get too hot and cannot cope with the excessive shoulder wear. The only way i found to reduce the shoulder wear was to take the tyre pressures up to close to 40 psi. There are plenty on the forum that will tell you to keep the stock road tyre pressure, but I would disagree , as I even found the levels of grip went up rather than down with more pressure. I was advised to get part worn michelin cup tyres from a supplier of the race series , these are still more than capable for a track session and the best cost option.

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Advice I received from several instructors before my first track day:

1) Oil change before and after

2) Full tank of fuel - you will go through it incredibly fast

3) Use stock pads - brake pads are a wear item. Expect them to be significantly worn. You might think about buying a second set of pads and having them available to change for the drive home if you toast your originals.

4) Tires are also a wear item. It is possible to destroy a set of tires in one track day but you have to work hard at it. Since you don't have room for a second set of tires (unless you are towing), make sure that you do not toast yours so you can get home. Do the following:

a) if possible, use tires with less than 1/2 tread. This will reduce tread chunking.

B) Make sure you use hign inflation pressures ( 40psi??? ) make sure you have a real good tire gauge (not digital - tey one from a racing supply place like OGRacing or SafeRacer

c) Feel the squeal - listen to the tires. If they are protesting a lot SLOW DOWN

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I've tracked my 987S quite a bit. It is track-ready as-is, with afew caveats. The PS2's will wear out their shoulders very quickly. Designed by Michellin to have soft sidewalls and the edges roll over easy, not good for the track. Playing with tire pressures really can't do much without significant compromise in performance. Unfortunately, not many track capable tires in 987 stock sizes. Try Cup tires, with a little compromise on height for the rear tires.

I've played with pressures all over the place. It's a personal thing on what is best. My preference based on my driving style for street tires are the factory pressures, but set HOT, rather than cold. For R.componds, such as the cups, together with more negative camber, I use 32F/36R HOT.

I use stock pads, both on my 987S and C4S for the track. I just use better fluid, the blue or the equivalent gold. Even with R-compounds and threshold braking at all corners, the stock pads hold up very well. I personally think all this hoopla on Pagids, Hawk, etc are just that. Hoopla. That is, of course, IMHO.

I've seen camera mounts at the windstop bar, and on top of the roll bar. My C4s is the camera car, so I don't have any personal experience with mounting a camera on my 987S.

Anything else specific? You say you already have track experience in other cars. The 987 is a very forgiving car, will let you drive yourself out of hairy situations that other cars, like the 911, will spank you for. Get comfortable with the car, then try throwing it around. This car is a joy to throw around!! Rotates around your butt in response to throttle inputs intuitively. A little short on the HP side, but tons of fun in the twisties!!!!

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I've tracked my 987S quite a bit. It is track-ready as-is, with afew caveats. The PS2's will wear out their shoulders very quickly. Designed by Michellin to have soft sidewalls and the edges roll over easy, not good for the track. Playing with tire pressures really can't do much without significant compromise in performance. Unfortunately, not many track capable tires in 987 stock sizes. Try Cup tires, with a little compromise on height for the rear tires.

I've played with pressures all over the place. It's a personal thing on what is best. My preference based on my driving style for street tires are the factory pressures, but set HOT, rather than cold. For R.componds, such as the cups, together with more negative camber, I use 32F/36R HOT.

I use stock pads, both on my 987S and C4S for the track. I just use better fluid, the blue or the equivalent gold. Even with R-compounds and threshold braking at all corners, the stock pads hold up very well. I personally think all this hoopla on Pagids, Hawk, etc are just that. Hoopla. That is, of course, IMHO.

I've seen camera mounts at the windstop bar, and on top of the roll bar. My C4s is the camera car, so I don't have any personal experience with mounting a camera on my 987S.

Anything else specific? You say you already have track experience in other cars. The 987 is a very forgiving car, will let you drive yourself out of hairy situations that other cars, like the 911, will spank you for. Get comfortable with the car, then try throwing it around. This car is a joy to throw around!! Rotates around your butt in response to throttle inputs intuitively. A little short on the HP side, but tons of fun in the twisties!!!!

Thanks for input. These are the kind of specifics I was interested in. I decided on a 987 over a 911 based on the reputation the Boxster has for stability. I've only done street driving with it so far, and the grip level is high, but when I pushed it really hard a couple of times, I thought it understeered too much. I tried the same corner with PSM off and it felt better. One item I forgot to ask about is alignment settings.

The power is probably about right for me, since I'm coming from a second gen Miata (stock motor but lowered and stiffened with fairly aggressive alignment) so I'm gaining 100hp. Before that I had a second gen Toyota MR-2 (mid-engined, 200hp in 2800 lbs), before that a second gen. RX7, and way back, a BMW Bavaria.

I was a little surprised by your tire pressures. I've usually gone quite a bit higher, realizing I'm trading away some grip to preserve the tires. Most recently I have a set of Toyo T1Rs that have 9 track days with very even wear.

I've also has pretty good luck with stock pads on some of those cars, so I'll definitely try that. I did some extra wear out of Porterfields on the Miata, but I'm not sure it was worth the price premium.

Thanks,

Walt

post-24370-1201558320_thumb.jpg

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Walt,

If you are familiar with the handling characteristics of a mid engined car , particularly the boxster , then driving with the psm off on track will make for a lively drive. If you are new to boxster handling , i'd advise against turning off the psm as the car will lose the back end very quickly with lift off oversteer , or if you take a turn at too high speed. I found that putting the rear tyre pressures up to near on 45 psi , the michelins actually perform better and its much more difficult to lose the rear. The fronts and the understeer are however another issue , and agree the michelin PS2 road tyres wear the shoulders at an alarming rate. Personally I found reducing the steering lock in understeer situations rather than backing off the throttle allowed the car to remain balanced without going into oversteer with psm off. Guess everyone has their own style of driving , and I'd assume fitting adjustable linkages from a gt3 may be the best way to alter the heavy understeer thats built into the boxster design , though I've read that the slick tyres make a dramatic difference. Try the slicks first , then look for the thread on rennteam for the cayman with GT3 adjustable linkages.

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I've found the tires too greasy for me with higher pressures, even with the factory settings set cold. I prefer the tires sticky, and work to correct the inherent understeer with throttle and brake. I agree with leaving PSM on until you become more familiar with the Boxster's character. I actually like the back end coming out as a correction for the understeer, since you can easily correct again with the Boxster by stepping back on the gas. The Boxster is very forgiving. Give it enough time, and the PSM will intrude less as it figures out you like to drive aggressively. Its either that, or you actually are driving smoother. Then later, try it without PSM. Get comfortable with it first, though. I certainly would not advise lift/brake oversteer for the novice, or for someone without significant seat time in a Boxster.

"Track ready" can mean so many things depending on what degree we are talking about. I suggest you take the car out as is, challenge the car and yourself more a bit at a time. I believe the 987 will surpise you as to how high its level of performance is in stock form compared to your previous cars.

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