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The Club Track Day at Oulton Park in October, where I was giving passenger rides to sponsors and guests, also enabled me to meet up with Stuart, the Club's 968 Register Secretary. These events are ideal to demonstrate the great handling of the 968 and to raise a few eyebrows from the 911 regulars!
Stuart, being the keen 968 enthusiast and not one to miss an opportunity, introduced himself and asked if he too could come along for the ride. So a few laps were spent mutually atoning the virtues of this great car.
I've been racing Porsches for 6 years now, starting in the 924 Championship, 4 years in the Porsche Classics in a 911RS, and this year in the Porsche Club Championship in the Club Sport. But it's only this year that I've enjoyed racing a car with a sense of 'advantage' in the handling department.
So why does a 968 handle so competently? Well I believe it's the combination of several factors that all up to a driving experience unlike most other sports cars I've driven. Balance, weight distribution, track, wheelbase, grip, huge brakes and ABS all combine to give the driver (even the most inexperienced on a race track) the ability to push the car further and further without sensing impending disaster! Further testimony also comes from the number of 911 drivers who, after following me, have commented on the 968's tremendous ability to change direction without unsettling the car's balance. Oh, and just how frustrating that is as they loose ground and can do little about it!
But that's not all, I have never driven a car before where I could accelerate hard before the apex without it feeling unsettled or fighting the over-steer on exit - and by 'hard' I mean 'flat' (on Michelin Pilots too, not slicks). Couple that with the 968's phenomenal braking ability, and you start to understand how you can gain so much ground on a 911 going into and out of a corner - and why I have been able this year to overtake so many times in these situations.
A great season then in a great car which recorded
many Poles, Wins, Lap Records and finishing on the same number of points
as Colin Broster in his 911. The Class 1 Title therefore being decided
upon the driver with the most wins - 5 each, the most 2nd places - 2
the most 3rd places? Colin's 4 against my 2 meant the
title went the way of the 911. That's what you call close racing I guess!
Well, there's always next year, but with a baby due in April the 968CS
is up for sale (see Race Cars in the classifieds) and I'll be more than
happy to pass on my experience and assistance to the new owner to ensure
the 968 remains a front-runner in 2004.
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