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Old 10-24-2014, 05:49 PM   #1
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What would you do?

I'm a former 964 owner, I loved the car, it was in excellent condition and well cared for. I went to a couple of DE days and realized that the way I prefer to experience the car is on the track and I didn't feel like putting the wear and tear on that car. So, here's my current situation/thought process...I've been learning about Boxsters, Spec Boxster racing class, etc. I would buy a car drive it, learn how to drive better with the eventual goal of converting it to a spec boxster in a few years. My question is would you buy a '97-'99 now and perform a few mods (suspension, exhaust, seats) now and drive it for a few years or would you buy a Boxster S now, drive it and then find a 2.5L in a few years to convert to a Spec?

Thanks!

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Old 10-24-2014, 07:32 PM   #2
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I am a former 964 owner too. Wish I never sold that car.

For the street go with a Boxster S. You'll appreciate the extra grunt over the .5 especially coming from the 964.

If you want to do the Boxster spec thing buy someone else's spec car and you'll save a bundle over doing it yourself.
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Old 10-25-2014, 12:30 PM   #3
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What you are thinking of doing is exactly what I did.

I bought a bone stock 986 base and did 15 track days learning to drive before I improved anything (street tires and brakes) on the car.

Then I upgraded the seats with harnesses and changed to sticky street tires and street/race brake pads and did another 10 track days learning to drive better still. (http://986forum.com/forums/performance-technical-chat/30484-street-r-compound-tires.html)

Only when I was finally good/fast enough to post lap times at the top of the stock street class did I modify the car and moved from street class to BSX by adding the full Spec Boxster suspension (PSS9's, GT-3 sways, etc). (http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/35845-suspension-upgrade-week.html)

Then I drove in another 25 track days in BSX to work on getting fast. Eventually, I won 14 time POC trial events and set POC two track records in BSX.

Then I built a Spec Boxster, passed the racing clinics, and went wheel to wheel racing. (http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-racing-forum/46070-spec-boxster-build.html).

It has taken me four years and 95 track days to get to where I can now run in the Top 5 in Spec Boxster racing. Of course, others have done it in less time and less money. This is simply what it took me to get to this level. Your mileage may vary.

Its a long road and a serious commitment to get to the racing level but worth every minute and every penny. Nothing can compare to the experience except maybe getting married or having children.

Very few can say with confidence that they are a legitimate race car driver. It is a major life accomplishment and something that no one can ever take from you. You will learn more about yourself through this process than about high performance driving or racing.

Some people think that driving a car fast on a racetrack is easy - get in, floor the throttle and turn. We all drive everyday, how hard can it really be?

The reality is that racing is life. Its every emotion, every challenge, every battle, every joy, every burden, every fear, and every blessing. Its raw, its passionate, its painful, its humbling, its freeing, its dizzying, and its ecstasy.

Its all of your years of living wrapped into 1 minute and 33 seconds. Its like taking a cup of life, pouring it over your head, and letting it wash through your mind and body.


To answer your question, I would recommend buying a base 2.5L 97-99 to start. You'll need to get used to the (relatively speaking) lack of power and work on maintaining momentum. We have all seen drivers who rely on power to make up for poor driving technique - don't be that guy. Once you can drive a (relatively) low powered car fast, then you can drive a powerful car even faster.

Of course, I am a firm believer that there is usually many paths to reach the same destination so feel free to pursue whatever path you feel is best for you.
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Last edited by thstone; 10-25-2014 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for your input, they sure are fun little cars to drive!
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:15 AM   #5
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+986 to what Tom says above.

I've driven Porsches for over 25 years and have wanted to track them almost as long. I got the Spec Boxster bug a while back, emailed and talked back/forth w/ Tom, Brad and a few others and formulated a plan very similar to what Tom's path (above) was/is.

I started DE and AutoX events this past spring. I started w/ my Boxster S, but like Tom said, came to realize I need to be concentrating on a lower HP, 5-speed as a training car. I switched to my base MY 2000 Boxster (since that's the Boxster in my fleet that I didn't mind sacrificing) as my DE and AutoX car. I've since purchased a '99 that will be my spec car and will soon begin the process of building it as a spec racer.

It IS extremely time/expense consuming to get on the track with an instructor, watch and learn from every event you can, and do the research, reading and studying on how to put a good car together and how to be an effective driver, At times it is almost an obsession.

My professional background is as an Air Force aviator, and I spent many years studying, learning and instructing. Being good at something, becoming better, and understanding the workings and limitations of both yourself and the machine takes time and patience.

Tom said this about racing, and it applies almost word for word with flying military aircraft "The reality is that racing is life. Its every emotion, every challenge, every battle, every joy, every burden, every fear, and every blessing. Its raw, its passionate, its painful, its humbling, its freeing, its dizzying, and its ecstasy.

Its all of your years of living wrapped into 1 minute and 33 seconds. Its like taking a cup of life, pouring it over your head, and letting it wash through your mind and body."

I've already found these emotions in my scant 6 months of my journey to Spec Boxster racing. I had a lady friend ask me just last night, that why at my age (56), do I still feel like I need to be competing against other men. My answer to her is that I was competing against myself and how close I can come to perfection. Plus it's a lot of fun (and a moment or two of fear)!

Follow the path that Tom has laid out and you'll be well on your way to Spec Boxster racing, and along the way, you'll find a whole other dimension to yourself and your life.

Good luck!

Rick

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