911 Porsche World - - 924 Track Car -

glad that I'm go­ing to be at the wheel of some­thing that is clearly go­ing to be user friendly and not bite back if clum­sily pro­voked.

Com­fort counts and I fit just fine, the deep dished wheel doesn't trap my knees and the mod­i­fied shift lever is now where Porsche should have put it. It sounds racy in that typ­i­cally stripped out sort of way, as var­i­ous pan­els buzz and zizz. Trundling down the pit­lane and blend­ing onto the live track, I tuck in to the right and let a gag­gle of hard-driven hot hatches slice past and then take my line, with track clear in front and be­hind.

First im­pres­sions? The en­gine does not feel like an 8-valve, four-cylin­der 924/944 unit that I've ever ex­pe­ri­enced. The lack of ro­tat­ing mass is keenly felt in the su­per sharp throt­tle re­sponse, helped along by a light­weight flywheel, too. The en­gine pulls and pulls, with power across the board, and revs cleanly to 6000rpm. Roger's care­fully cu­rated pick 'n’ mix of parts and col­lected wis­dom from both sides of the pond has cre­ated some­thing quite spe­cial. I won­der what it would achieve with throt­tle bod­ies? As it stands with 205bhp and weigh­ing just 1010kg the power-to-weight ra­tio is pretty good as it is, and that's be­fore you get to its brak­ing, corner­ing and gen­eral han­dling abil­i­ties.

Of course, bal­ance is a given in any 924, with the famed transaxle lay­out, but with such weight loss and much of it low down in the car, Roger's 924 takes on a dif­fer­ent kind of agility. With the Toyos up to temp it re­sponds to mea­sured driv­ing in­puts, rather than just by sling­ing it around. It's not a side­ways ma­chine as such, the weight dis­tri­bu­tion is too even for that. Like any transaxle car thrown into a cor­ner too fast, it just gets scruffy, un­less you're de­lib­er­ately pro­vok­ing it to slide, in which case the weight of the transaxle will oblige. Bet­ter to take ad­van­tage of the low weight and brake late, turn in smoothly and use the transaxle grip to get out of the cor­ner ef­fi­ciently. Oh, and talk­ing of turn­ing, the steer­ing is fan­tas­tic, with a dab of neg­a­tive cam­ber to ease what can be a slow man­ual rack.

I could hap­pily drive Roger's 924 around Oul­ton Park all af­ter­noon, but I hand it back for the fi­nal few ses­sions of the day. Roger is pon­der­ing sus­pen­sion set­tings and, given the mas­sive range of ad­justa­bil­ity, there's much to pon­der. Out on track he makes short work of

” much more ex­otic ma­chin­ery, in a car that he's fas­tid­i­ously built and cre­ated him­self, de­void of any sort of com­pro­mise. Yes, things may have got a lit­tle out of hand and he prob­a­bly wouldn't want to add it all up in terms of ex­pen­di­ture (who does?), and he might not want to go through it all again, but credit where credit is due, it's an in­spi­ra­tional build. PW

I could hap­pily drive Roger’s 924 around Oul­ton Park all day

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Be­low right: Tak­ing light weight to the max­i­mum. Roger ma­chined the face off a cou­ple of sets of Cup wheels, sav­ing 25kg in the process

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