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      04-13-2011, 10:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Dave07997S View Post
As far as GrandAm yes they are converted street cars, in fact Turners buys the cars from a used car lot, and they rip the interiors out and race prep them but there is still a lot of the original car still in tact. Engines are pretty much OEM right from BMW except for a DME change to a Bosch race unit. You should really start watching it..great series.
Grand Am bores the shit out of me. Nothing to do with Porsche not doing well. It's amateur hour comparatively to other road racing series across the globe. No car has any grip for one. I find WTCC far more exciting, and those cars are very underpowered comparatively. DTM all the more (watch a DTM pitstop). FIA GT3 even more so in terms of competition and the cars we want to see out there. But ultimately Le Mans is the supreme race, with many others across Europe and Southwest Asia. Grand Am prototypes are the ugliest race cars in the world. Ultimately, that series is meant to be affordable. As I said, boring.

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      04-14-2011, 09:54 AM   #24
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To me, handling is in two categories :

1) Slalom and skidpad (numbers)
2) How easy the car is to manage while overdriven



For #1, tires are make or break. You can give some pretty crap cars awesome numbers with a set of R comps, stiff dampers, and a proper alignment.

For #2, this contributes neigh zilch to racing, but speaks a lot to the car's character.
Eg. 1 fingered perfect power slides in an evo, while playing with the radio dial and talking with your friend - vs - focused and occupied to maintain a tail heavy porsche.





As far as racing series go, I prefer the ones that are closest to stock.
The more different the cars on the field, the more people play advantages/disadvantages of the machinery against each other.
When you get closer to purpose built racers, the more every car becomes the same - which is better at putting focus on the drivers, but still less interesting to me.

-scheherazade

Last edited by scheherazade; 04-14-2011 at 10:01 AM.
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      04-14-2011, 10:03 AM   #25
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this argument just keeps going in circles. we've got a couple guys stroking off Porsche while the rest of us take a more practical approach. if you'll indulge me, here is my opinion:

the reality is that these cars shouldn't really be compared, because the Porsche cars (Cayman / Boxster / 911 variants) are true sports cars, whereas the M3 is a very sporty luxury car (call it a "grand tourer" if you like, I'm just so sick of how people use that word these days). the M3 sacrifices certain things to be more livable on a daily basis, whereas the Porsche sacrifices certain practical things to be a more performance-oriented car (i.e. a sports car). I once heard someone say that a 911 is a practical sports car, whereas an M3 is practically a sports car.

there are some things about the 911 that you can't get in an M3: steering feel, a lighter weight chassis, etc.. however, the Porsche cars can't come close to the M3 in terms of space, and their interior quality and amenities are not nearly as good (please don't try to argue with me here, I've owned both and there's no comparison - although I loved the look of the 997's interior, there are far too many hard plastics and it rattled much more than my M3 does). furthermore, the ride comfort of the M3 makes it much more suitable for daily driving or extended road trips.

like Dave, I traded in my 997 for my M3, and having owned both I come out right where he does. I have zero regret about making the switch - in fact, I couldn't be happier. I find the M3 to be even more entertaining to drive because its performance is much more approachable than the 911's. the M3 gives you a chance to correct your mistakes in the corners, whereas the 911 just tries to punish you for them. I'll admit that a highly experienced driver will probably be faster in a 911, but I would bet money that 95% of 911 owners would actually be faster in an M3 than a 997 Carrera(S) or Cayman S. the people on this forum that are always rooting for Porsche never give credit to how easy and forgiving the M3 is to drive, but I find it to be its greatest virtue. and I don't think I'm alone in that regard - take a look at the countless comparison tests of the M3 from automotive journalists. the M3 has won more comparisons and received more universal praise than any car I've ever read about.

with respect to the N'ring times you quote, I agree that 8 seconds is a big difference. however, I don't know enough about how those laps are done to put too much stock in them. is there traffic on those laps? were the conditions (ambient temp, track temp, humidity, etc.) the same? were the drivers of similar (if not equal) talent? I read a C&D comparison a while back where an M3 actually beat a 997.2S on a track. doesn't really mean much to me though - I'm willing to accept the fact that in the hands of a skilled driver, the 997 is faster. unfortunately, I'm not that skilled yet, apparently, as I am faster on a track with my M3 than I was with my 997.

Wow, this turned out to be a longer post than I had hoped. but to conclude, I’d say that Porsche’s cars do handle better because they’re true sports cars that don’t have to be practical DD cars like the M3, and furthermore that’s not to say that everyone would prefer its performance to an M3. different cars for different purposes – God bless variety.
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      04-14-2011, 10:15 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brosef View Post
this argument just keeps going in circles. we've got a couple guys stroking off Porsche while the rest of us take a more practical approach. if you'll indulge me, here is my opinion:

the reality is that these cars shouldn't really be compared, because the Porsche cars (Cayman / Boxster / 911 variants) are true sports cars, whereas the M3 is a very sporty luxury car (call it a "grand tourer" if you like, I'm just so sick of how people use that word these days). the M3 sacrifices certain things to be more livable on a daily basis, whereas the Porsche sacrifices certain practical things to be a more performance-oriented car (i.e. a sports car). I once heard someone say that a 911 is a practical sports car, whereas an M3 is practically a sports car.

there are some things about the 911 that you can't get in an M3: steering feel, a lighter weight chassis, etc.. however, the Porsche cars can't come close to the M3 in terms of space, and their interior quality and amenities are not nearly as good (please don't try to argue with me here, I've owned both and there's no comparison - although I loved the look of the 997's interior, there are far too many hard plastics and it rattled much more than my M3 does). furthermore, the ride comfort of the M3 makes it much more suitable for daily driving or extended road trips.

like Dave, I traded in my 997 for my M3, and having owned both I come out right where he does. I have zero regret about making the switch - in fact, I couldn't be happier. I find the M3 to be even more entertaining to drive because its performance is much more approachable than the 911's. the M3 gives you a chance to correct your mistakes in the corners, whereas the 911 just tries to punish you for them. I'll admit that a highly experienced driver will probably be faster in a 911, but I would bet money that 95% of 911 owners would actually be faster in an M3 than a 997 Carrera(S) or Cayman S. the people on this forum that are always rooting for Porsche never give credit to how easy and forgiving the M3 is to drive, but I find it to be its greatest virtue. and I don't think I'm alone in that regard - take a look at the countless comparison tests of the M3 from automotive journalists. the M3 has won more comparisons and received more universal praise than any car I've ever read about.

with respect to the N'ring times you quote, I agree that 8 seconds is a big difference. however, I don't know enough about how those laps are done to put too much stock in them. is there traffic on those laps? were the conditions (ambient temp, track temp, humidity, etc.) the same? were the drivers of similar (if not equal) talent? I read a C&D comparison a while back where an M3 actually beat a 997.2S on a track. doesn't really mean much to me though - I'm willing to accept the fact that in the hands of a skilled driver, the 997 is faster. unfortunately, I'm not that skilled yet, apparently, as I am faster on a track with my M3 than I was with my 997.

Wow, this turned out to be a longer post than I had hoped. but to conclude, I’d say that Porsche’s cars do handle better because they’re true sports cars that don’t have to be practical DD cars like the M3, and furthermore that’s not to say that everyone would prefer its performance to an M3. different cars for different purposes – God bless variety.
I agree with your assessment. I, too, owned both an E90 M3 and a 997.2 Carrera S.

I'm an average driver without much track experience and I found the M3 actually easier to push on the street than the Porsche. The 911 does have better steering feel, but the handling characteristics are completely different from any other car I have driven and take some time to get used to. I'm sure with practice I could have hustled the 911 around a little faster than the BMW, but the difference in performance between the two is not as great as some want to believe. Even the acceleration of the 6 speed 997.2 C2S didn't seem much stronger than my DCT equipped M3.
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      04-14-2011, 11:34 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by MVF4Rrider View Post
Grand Am bores the shit out of me. Nothing to do with Porsche not doing well. It's amateur hour comparatively to other road racing series across the globe. No car has any grip for one. I find WTCC far more exciting, and those cars are very underpowered comparatively. DTM all the more (watch a DTM pitstop). FIA GT3 even more so in terms of competition and the cars we want to see out there. But ultimately Le Mans is the supreme race, with many others across Europe and Southwest Asia. Grand Am prototypes are the ugliest race cars in the world. Ultimately, that series is meant to be affordable. As I said, boring.

No worries though...
Thats your opinion and you are entitled to it, however, I wouldn't call Bill Auberlen and Boris Said amateurs. Just shows your ignorance when it comes to GrandAM.

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      04-14-2011, 11:36 AM   #28
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I can agree with most of what you said, except about quality (but wont get into that) and more importantly a cayman S is even more forgiving than the M3 is. Im willing to bet 99% of people would be faster in the Cayman S than the would in either an M3 or 997S. I certainly suprised many people in many modded and high end cars with my cayman S on the track when I had it.
As I said Greg, the Cayman is the only competitive Porsche right now in the GS class for GrandAm. What they don't have in the way of hp they are more than making it up in handling prowess.

Dave
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      04-14-2011, 11:38 AM   #29
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I wouldnt say its 99% but that same argument can be made for a Mustang 5.0 too
Agreed, but then you have to deal with the rest of the car.

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      04-14-2011, 12:44 PM   #30
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IMO, its the little intangible things that make the Porsche better and worth the extra money. The way the clutch and gearbox work in perfect synergy, that no other car let alone the one in the M3 or any car for that matter can compare. Its how the steering is so organic, full of feel, and responsive youd think it was connected to the synapses of your brain. I could go on as youre well aware, but these types of things are priceless. Again, for me, Ill take a car that may not be the fastest in a straight like the cayman S but is so abundant in all other areas of being a great driver's car that make it likely the best car in the world at any price.
while none of what you described are "intangible," I totally agree regarding the gearbox. the 6MT in the 911 is near-perfect (only fault was its occasional reluctance to engage 1st, but that's the case with most manual trannies I've driven). steering was also perfect.

I think you're also a bit hyperbolic in describing the Cayman S as "likely the best car in the world at any price."
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      04-14-2011, 04:01 PM   #31
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How do you figure the M3 'keeps up'. 10-15 seconds is NOT keeping up no matter which way you slice it.

BTW- Ring times are used because it is a proving ground for a cars all around performance. A litmus test of a track, if you will.

Its funny, that in one thread you say the M3 is faster or as fast as the 911, yet now, when you dont want it to be, it isnt.
+1.

15 seconds is definitely big on an 8-minute lap. that's also about the difference between the e46M and e92M.
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      04-14-2011, 07:36 PM   #32
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I've only read that pcars handle waaay better than bimmers. Is this really true? And if so, by how much of a margin? And what's the difference really?
not according to car and driver comparison
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      04-14-2011, 08:17 PM   #33
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Thats your opinion and you are entitled to it, however, I wouldn't call Bill Auberlen and Boris Said amateurs. Just shows your ignorance when it comes to GrandAM.

Dave
I'm not ignorant about GrandAM. Am I required to like it? Don't get hung up on every word. It is very amateurish compared to each and every series I mentioned. The tires alone make it suck. Ultimately, the best drivers and cars, and competition, rules, teams, etc., etc., etc., are elsewhere. It's (GrandAM) a low budget series and quite pathetic it's the best road racing we offer. End-o-story. Get your head out of America and recognize we're well behind the world in quality racing series, and not just compared to Europe. We're getting better though. I'm hoping with the new Austin track, we'll eventually see WTCC and FIA GT events here. Why not, they travel to South America every year.
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      04-15-2011, 08:54 AM   #34
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well yes, the switch between an M3 and 911 is huge, but having said that the M3 is a stunning machine, I had so much wicked summer fun with the top down and its a real eye catcher.
When i Jumped to the GT3 996 it was huge but I then went to GT3 996 to 997s with chrono and WOW! incredible!
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      04-15-2011, 01:10 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MVF4Rrider View Post
I'm not ignorant about GrandAM. Am I required to like it? Don't get hung up on every word. It is very amateurish compared to each and every series I mentioned. The tires alone make it suck. Ultimately, the best drivers and cars, and competition, rules, teams, etc., etc., etc., are elsewhere. It's (GrandAM) a low budget series and quite pathetic it's the best road racing we offer. End-o-story. Get your head out of America and recognize we're well behind the world in quality racing series, and not just compared to Europe. We're getting better though. I'm hoping with the new Austin track, we'll eventually see WTCC and FIA GT events here. Why not, they travel to South America every year.
I actually agree with pretty much everything you say...however the fact there isn't that much money involved is why I said in a previous post the cars are closer to what you drive on the street.

As far as getting my head out of america, I have done so quite a bit. I was US Army for 9 years to include deployments to Japan, Thailand, S. Korea as well as the Phillipines. My family is all from Europe, mainly from England and Austria, which I have vistied numerous times. My wife is from Japan and have been there now over 20 times (in fact Yokohama is my second home).

I felt your comment about it being amateurish still doesn't fit the bill due to the fact the race series was designed to keep the cars as close as possible to the original street cars, hence the low cost. However, very good teams as well as drivers participate in this series. For you to call it amateurish when drivers such as Scott Maxwell, Boris Said, Bill Auberlen as well as Joey Hand are involved in this series seems off base, well at least in my eyes.

Dave
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      04-16-2011, 12:52 PM   #36
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When it comes to handling the WRX's are one of my favorites.

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      04-16-2011, 12:55 PM   #37
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BMW can't compete with any Porsche in terms of handling.
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You sound like my buddies who have AMG's - Slam the gas, slam the brakes...
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      04-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #38
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I felt your comment about it being amateurish still doesn't fit the bill due to the fact the race series was designed to keep the cars as close as possible to the original street cars, hence the low cost. However, very good teams as well as drivers participate in this series. For you to call it amateurish when drivers such as Scott Maxwell, Boris Said, Bill Auberlen as well as Joey Hand are involved in this series seems off base, well at least in my eyes.

Dave
Agree. Amateurish is just the word I chose for comparative purposes. I wasn't aiming to paint it completely worthless by any means--as you state there are some very good people involved. I also forgot about ALMS (happens when you spend many years in Europe), which is quite good. It's unfortunate our venues aren't the best. But again, we are getting better. In Europe, you can have tracks in the middle of nowhere and people will come (Spa and Nurburgring as examples). In America, we feel the need to bring the racing to the people, so we have many temporary street circuits or use the road course at an oval track (which I've never liked). In my opinion, proper race courses make for much better racing. The new Austin track will be the best thus far in the US as it will cater to high speed and both quick and less quick corners. Barbers is nice but lacks high speed. Same for Laguna Seca. We also need much wider tracks. All I can say is thank you Red McCombs!
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