- After an increase in accidents in recent weeks: sports cars belong on the road?
- In the professional’s slipstream: Richard Lietz (at the front at the wheel) guides the customers safely around the course. Image: Frank Ratening
- Learn the basics with an experienced pilot
- Flawless technique
After an increase in accidents in recent weeks: sports cars belong on the road?
Accidents involving high-horsepower cars raise the question of whether sports cars should be banned from the streets. A trip to the racetrack with the Porsche 911 GT2 RS shows that there is a need for action.
In the professional’s slipstream: Richard Lietz (at the front at the wheel) guides the customers safely around the course. Image: Frank Ratening
“I pushed on the gas, then the rear just broke out,” such sentences could be read again and again in recent weeks. Accidents involving high-performance vehicles on our roads have really increased.
Almost all of them suggest that the drivers couldn’t cope with the enormous power, overestimated themselves and also had the stability control switched off. Should we now set age limits for high-performance cars? Or even ban them entirely, as many comment writers under the online articles are demanding?
It would probably make more sense not to deal with the machine but with the person behind the wheel. After all, anyone who moves a car with hundreds of horsepower bears a responsibility – and should be able to cope with it. This also includes learning to control the car.
There is a wide range of driver safety training courses. Porsche, for example, offers almost everything from a simple anti-skid course to complete racing driver training. The aim is to give customers the opportunity to experience driving pleasure on the racetrack – and at the same time to improve their own driving skills.
This also includes the annual Porsche Sports Cup Suisse, where newcomers and experienced amateur drivers can compete on the racetrack. The “Introduction to Racetrack” is a good place to start, where customers with their own car can learn the basics of driving on a racetrack with the help of professional instructors.
Learn the basics with an experienced pilot
More experienced drivers can compete in regularity tests in the “Drivers Challenge” – or finally compete for victory in various categories with racing or street cars in the “Sports Cup”. The season is held on racetracks in neighboring countries.
At the season finale in Misano, Porsche not only provides an insight into everyday racing, but also provides professional racing driver Richard Lietz with an experienced instructor. And that is also necessary: In order to experience the racing atmosphere up close, it’s off to the track – at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT2 RS with 700 hp.
“We’re going to take it slow. First, we familiarize ourselves with the car and the correct line,” says Lietz over the radio from the car in front. “Only then do we increase the speed, accelerate earlier and brake later, but harder.”
Said and done. And anything but easy. Because there are numerous pilots with more experience on the route. It takes a lot of care not to get in the way of those overtaking and at the same time stay on the right line yourself. The rubber abrasion on the track, which is often used for motorcycle races, makes things even more difficult.
The sports tires of the GT2 RS are really sticky when they have warmed up and literally pull on these pieces of rubber
, explains the racer. This dirt gives the tires much less grip, and the car drives much more restlessly. But even under these circumstances, the 700 hp rear-wheel drive remains easily manageable. The stability control supports the driver unobtrusively but effectively. Even on fast laps, the system never intervenes prematurely or overly cautiously – and doesn’t even have to be deactivated there.
The laps with the GT2 RS together with the instructor on the race track show that a modern sports car does not have to be more dangerous than a “normal car”. The 911 with race track tuning, sports tires and 700 hp is one of the fastest things you can legally drive on public roads.
And yet, thanks to the ingenious set-up and perfect control electronics, it can also be mastered by a layman without any snags. Added to this are the tireless and immensely powerful brakes, which save time on the race track and bring safety on the road.
A day on the race track is the ideal opportunity to get to know a sports car and experience the fascination of it safely. You can also develop as a driver. Learn correct viewing technique, refine steering and achieve maximum braking performance. In this way, you not only get to know the limits of the car, but also better assess your own limits, which ultimately helps to drive the car more responsibly on the road.
Because: The rear does not “simply” break out. Modern cars and especially sports cars are much too reliable for that. Accidents on the road are often due to carelessness, a lack of understanding of the technology and too little experience in the game. Instead of bans or restrictions, drivers need more training; especially if you want to move a horsepower car.
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