The Porsche File Porsche-o-phile

Driving Nemo

A new four wheeled pet arrived at the Humphries lean-to this week. An Arctic Silver 1999 Porsche 911 GT3 Clubsport. As everything that moves around here gets a name, let me welcome 'Nemo'. Something to do with the tail (or spoiler) I think....... For the full photo gallery, please click here.

With only 150 kms under my Oakley driving shoes so far, let me share some first impressions.

As for acceleration, let me say 'sh*t it's quick!'. It feels like the fastest accelerating car I have ever driven. Having previously tested a 996 Turbo Tip, 'Nemo' almost feels faster. It could be just possible with the engine / exhaust tweaks and lower weight of my car compared to the 'heavy' auto TT. My MY03 911 Carrera 4S now feels a little whimpy.............

The ride is surprisingly compliant. Firm to be sure, but not harsh or crashy. I haven't had to dive for the brakes yet, but what I have tried has filled me with plenty of confidence for future use. A firm pedal, and straight stop with not much 'dive' with the track pads squealing just a little when cold. Livability is a hair questionable with the 'Starr' exhaust. An outrageous note, variable pressure with a special 'pop' under deceleration / change down but does not promote deep and whispered sweet-nothings in the cabin.

The only downside so far is the steering on bumpy back-roads. The front-end seems to have a mind of it's own and wanders around at will. When you just about get it back on the straight and narrow you hit another bump and start all over again. And all this at or about the legal limit! It may be the track-oriented Michelin tyres or it is possible that the suspension is not that well suited to Peninsula back-roads. Sad if true! Of course, it may well be my driving skill...........

Fortunately, 'Nemo' has a strong WAF and a nice blast, sorry, leisurely drive, to the Flinders Hotel for dinner tonight was well received with a couple of slowpokes in the outside lane getting the verbal treatment from my copilot. Excellent!

For such a hard-core device, I am getting more comfortable in daily driving. The standard cloth covered Porsche Recaros are comfortable and (obviously) position you very securely to 'drive' the car. With a smooth but slightly mechanical gear change and a firm but not overly heavy clutch it is not too difficult to drive in traffic as long as you give it some revs to get it off the line.

The next challenge will be the upcoming Porsche Club of Victoria track day at Winton. I am sure that most of my outings for the rest of this year (at least) will be spent slowly finding my limits which I know are far lower than that of this magnificent machine.