How good a sports car is the Porsche 968 ?
Well everyone, I am now totally convinced that we have made the right
decision in our choice of Porsche.
I recently had the opportunity to be involved in a photo-shoot for a Porsche
968 Club Sport for the GT Purely Porsche magazine at Croft in North Yorkshire.
The lucky chap to have the photo-shoot done on his car had a free track
day as a reward.
The track day itself was organised by Specialist
Cars of Malton and they brought along some of their own cars for use/testing
by their customers. They also had some instructors on hand for those who
wished to improve their skills.
where 5 968s, the subject of the magazine article, a Riviera Blue Club
Sport, one of Specialist Cars own, a Guards Red Club Sport, a Yellow Club
Sport (which apparently was the one which Porsche used to market the Club
Sport, mine, a Guards Red Sport and also a race prepared yellow 968 Club
The 968s all acquitted themselves well when compared to the other cars
on the track including some very powerful machines that should have had
a great advantage over the less powerful 968s.
The real advantage the 968s have is in their handling, while the more
powerful machines could pull away in the straights, the 968 can carry
it's speed into a corner and then power through and carry it's speed through
the corner and out the other side.
The real problem is that when this happens you usually found that you
have caught up to a 911 that would have to drastically reduce it's speed
before the corner and that would then slow you down, it was rare that
a 911 would give up the racing line and let you pass so that at the next
corner you could power through. This could have consequences if you are
close behind a 911 when the tail decides it wants to make a bid for freedom.
I had the opportunity to take a shot gun ride in the race prepared 968,
the car had been stripped out for racing, lowered and a roll cage added,
the engine had been chipped but apart from that it was a standard 968
engine, this car had been used in one of the Porsche racing series.
This car was consistently catching 911s of much higher power, even the
Specialist Cars own RUF Flatnose (A911 RUF) was dispatched after a close
chase between corners.
I have a clear memory of this car in particular. We had caught it up and
where on it's tail trying to overtake, no doubt in the mind of the RUF
driver pride was at stake, the strongest memory I have is the RUf's offside
rear wheel being extremely light on the ground as it tries to hold it's
racing line while coming out of a right hand corner on the way to a chicane,
it was obvious that it had taken the corner too quickly and was right
on the limit of it's speed and road holding coming out of that particular
corner, (well done that driver). Whereas although it was working very
hard the 968 was having to hold back until we had an opportunity to pass.
Of course once on a long straight the RUF would pull away. After a couple
of laps of this sort of intense cornering action the driver of the RUF
gave way, probably the safest thing to do.
The figures on the RUF are 3.4 engine, 0-60 in 4.1 and a top speed of
213mph, and worth around £80,000, in effect a dream car. But on
a close track the handling characteristics of the 968 show through as
superior. I will be doing a full write up about the day on my website
www.porsche968uk.co.uk but it would be too long for this article. This
was my first track day with the 968 and I enjoyed it immensely, I generally
don't drive the car above 3000 rpm, well I do sometimes take it up to
5000 if pride is at stake. But having the room and legality to drive the
car constantly between 4000 and 6000 rpm without acquiring points on your
licence is a real experience to be had at least once with the 968. And
to then be able to drive that car home with no extra noises or problems
from the engine makes you aware of the real quality and toughness of these
true sports cars.
Just recently thanks to the help of my friend Roy
(immaculate Guards Red 993) I was able to lay my hands on some back issues
of Performance Car.
In 2 of the issues, there are write-ups on the 968 CS, September '93 and
December '93. The September issue is an article comparing the supposedly
incomparable BMW M3 with the Audi S2 and the 968 CS, guess which wins.
In the December issue the article is a test for the Performance Car of
the year 1993, the contestants are Honda Prelude VTEC, Toyota Supra, Lotus
Esprit S4, Lancia Delta Integrale Evo3, TVR Griffith 500, RUF BTR 3.8,
Ferrari 348 Spider and the Porsche 968 Club Sport, again guess which wins.
In this particular article the 968 involved had the number plate "THE
968S". From what the owner had said about the yellow 968 CS on the
Croft track day, I believe that this was the very same car albeit with
a different number plate these days.
Oulton Park Gold Cup For Historic Cars
My local region (North West) was recently able to take part in the Gold
Cup event held at Oulton Park as the hosts for the PCGB marquee. There
was a 12,000 strong crowd and the weather was near perfect. The event
will possibly be held there again next year as the 50 anniversary celebrations
for Oulton Park.
On the Sunday before the racing started there was a parade lap for any
sports cars wishing to partake, there was a speed limit of 30mph but that
didn't stop some enthusiastic drivers from dropping back and then gunning
for the corners.
There was a strong contingent of Porsches at the front and more importantly
it was my humble 968 leading the parade. Channel 4 where apparently filming
so hopefully this will be on the box at some point, if anybody knows when
it will be on please let me know before-hand or if you happen to tape
it, please let me know. I am hoping to get some still images as well to
go on the website.
Talking about Zymol, I have now had chance to use some of this much vaunted
car wax, and I have to say that I am very pleased with the results. It
does take a full days preparation, so I had to wait for a time when I
had fine weather and a minimum of interruptions, so the wife and children
where packed off to visit relatives and the answer phone went on.
gave the car a good washing and leathering, then used the Zymol clay,
then the HD Cleanse (or as they call it chocolate sauce) then applied
the Zymol wax which has the Carnauba wax. The biggest difference came
when I applied the HD Cleanse, this really brought out the deep red of
the Guards Red paintwork and gave it a deep bright gloss. The wax is then
applied and I feel that this is merely the protection of what you have
already done with the HD Cleanse. Having said that the car is now only
washed with a clean water spray and a chamois, the dirt seems to lift
off fairly easily so the wax is doing a very good job of protecting the
paint, a quick once over with the Field Glaze gives it a little added
protection and a replenished shine.
Can I recommend it ? Yes.
What I liked, the very good results.
What I didn't like, the time involved and the price.
I am also going to be testing another range of paint preparation products
soon, which are a bit cheaper than Zymol but are said to give the same
results and are used in the motor industry. Watch
this space !
On the domestic front we have recently found out
that my wife is going to have a baby boy, after 2 girls I am looking forward
to involving the new family member in cars in general and Porsche in particular.
Remember, if you have any anecdotes or stories about
track days or any other subject in relation to the 968 please email them
Safe motoring and keep it on the black stuff.