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