RSR Rendez-vous September 1999
Cheese Whiz or crunchy peanut butter?
You may recall two months ago I was (as usual) whining about not (as
usual) winning the tires at the June DEW. Al Carbone won them and
he was sitting right across from me. I complained about how Al
ungraciously gloated. He read the column and wrote the following
email. Normally I don’t publish correspondence . In this case I’m
making an exception because the spelling is good and, it was not
written in crayon. Besides, Al has a fine sense of humor.
From: Al C <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Cheese, hard
I put finger to keyboard at this late hour as a matter of pride and
I respond to your churlishly churlish comments (published comments, I
might add – you churl) regarding my predisposition to serendipity and
your woeful lack thereof.
I never, in my lily-white and pure life, have been accused of lack
of grace. For the record, I was merely trying to let you vicariously
experience the thrill of winning (and your jealous peers LOOSING)
$400, count ’em f-o-u-r-h-u-n-d-r-e-d, dollars worth of tires. You
should have seen the gesture for what it was, a kind soul taking pity
on your weepy, puppy-dog-eyed face once you realized, yet again, the
harsh truth that you DIDN’T WIN THE TIRES.
As far as your veiled innuendo about “poor guys hammering the gas and
brake pedals …”; I know a pointed barb when it stings me in the
butt! I vow to be smoother this weekend! Peanut butter will be able
to take lessons from me! So there!
See you this weekend, my friend.
p.s. Is it okay if I win the tires again?
As it all turned out, Al didn’t win the tires at the July event but
then again neither did I. Did you really expect anything different?
Tired of Storm Warnings!
Louise and I really enjoyed the July DE. It got us off the boat. Our
holiday was a write off. First we got sick, really sick. Then we had
a week of horrible weather. Thunderstorms almost every day and night.
Not just ordinary ones, rather, the kind which provoke NOAA to
broadcast insistent warnings like:
“Severe thunderstorms with heavy rain, frequent deadly lightning and
large hail. Strong wind gusts may uproot trees and knock down
powerlines and buildings. Mariners, seek safe harbour immediately.”
Haven’t we all read about the people killed by lightning on golf
courses? Usually the victim was carrying a golf club. The metal acted
like a lightning rod and ZA-ZAAP! Imagine how we feel sitting
inside a boat with a 62 feet mast!
What with gale force winds and gusts to 60 MPH we didn’t get a whole
lot of sleep. A couple of nights at the Marriott was a very nice
change. I’ve revised my opinion on the merits of global warming,
by the way.
We had a great event with an unfortunate but spectacular finish. On
Sunday afternoon a gorgeous 911 turbo showed us what its motor
looked like, on-the-inside. Going down the Back Straight it
violently self-destructed. That spread about 12 litres of oil
on the line from before the Hump all the way to Turn Ten. Worse yet,
the car caught fire. Not a little fire mind you this was a turbo
fire, with 10 foot flames. The driver showed exceptional aplomb
using his momentum to get the car to the flag station at Ten knowing
the corner worker had a BIG fire extinguisher.
Compliments to the flagger! He spotted the flaming car coming down
the hill and was ready to deploy his big bottle. The fire was out in
seconds. Well done! After that episode, I’ll never again question
the reason for having a fire extinguisher in my car.
The oil spill made for dangerous conditions and Track Chair
Mike Delaney shut things down early. The toasted car was trailered
back to the paddock. A sorry site. The engine was no longer a flat
six. One bank of cylinders was drooping down about 30 degrees
exposing the innards of the 3.3 liter case.
Thanks to Ron Green and Terry Williams:
With all the excitement of the exploding turbo, I didn’t notice the
guy working on his white 911, looking very determined. It turned
out that his steering wheel had locked up… while he was on the
track! No damage done, probably a testimony to how good he and our
teaching program really is. Fortunately Terry Williams was nearby.
Terry brings lots of tools with him to DE. How he stuffs all that
stuff in his 911 is a mystery. Perhaps he found a Snap-On Pandora’s
Terry had the tools, but neither he nor the owner knew a lot about
Porsche steering wheel locks. Enter Ron Green, noted Porsche expert
at his Campbell Garage. Ron had come out to give us a hand
instructing since we were short staffed. I explained what was going
on, and next thing we knew, Ron had the car jacked up and was busy
dropping the steering column. Getting the car fixed and safe to
drive kept him there for hours after the event was over. I think
this deserves mention and also underlines the spirit and camaraderie
of Rennsport PCA.
Hank Watts Live!
We had a special guest at July DEW. Ellen Beck brought along Henry
Watts. If you don’t know the name, you are probably not a trackie.
Hank wrote “Secrets of Solo Racing “, which is a definitive textbook
on Autocrossing and Solo One time trials. It was a pleasure to meet
him and he proved that can drive a car as well as he can write.
Ellen Beck also proved to be an outstanding and she’s our newest
In previous columns I speculated on the fact that the Audi TT looked
like a Boxster competitor. Well, Porsche AG isn’t dumb (SUV aside) .
They’ve put the Boxster back where it belongs on the family
performance tree by enlarging the base engine to 2.7 liters and
boosting power to 215 HP with a serious increase in torque to go
along with it.
The ‘S’ goes even farther. It has a 3.2 liter engine with 252
horsepower and a 25 percent increase in torque compared to the
present model. Zero to sixty times are reduced by over a second and
zero to one hundred by almost five seconds. Top speed per Porsche is
161 MPH. Weight is up by 45 kilos to 1295. The red line is upped to
7,200 RPM for even nicer motor music. The brakes are right off the
996 which means super stopping power on the lighter Boxster.
Visually the car is very similar to the present model. The only
exterior differences are:
o an additional air intake on the nose
o dual round exhausts and an ‘S’ badge on the rear
o seventeen inch wheels (standard, 18 inch optional)
o red calipers on the larger (996 ) brakes.
Inside we’ll get a six speed tranny from the 996, a nicer
instrument cluster and upgraded material. Porsche has responded to
complaints about a cheapish interior in a not so inexpensive car.
Some of these changes (except the six speed gearbox) may apply to
the regular Boxster as well. All Boxsters get a lined soft top
which halves wind noise at highway speeds. What is still unknown
is the price adder for the ‘S’ version. Rumors have it as $10,000
more than the base model but nobody knows if that’s in US or
Canadian dollars! John Raymond of Auto Strasse is still in the dark
For SUV fans (cough) the Porsche SUV will arrive in 2002 as a 2003
model. For those of you who have Boxsters on order, I am told that
if your build date is July or later, you’ll be getting the bigger
standard engine and other refinements made for the 2000 model year.
GT3 in Canada?
John has heard a rumor that Porsche will import 10 GT3 models into
Canada. Timing is still uncertain and the price is unconfirmed but
expected to be around $170,000 (yipes).