SLIP­PERY WHEN WET (ORNOT)

The in­ter­net of ev­ery­thing reck­ons that miche­lin Pi­lot Sport Cup 2s will be a bit too ex­treme for Brett’s Boxster, par­tic­u­larly in the wet. Well, not so far, any­way

911 Porsche World - - Tech: Projects -

Acon­se­quence of our pro­longed warm, dry spell is that I’ve had very lit­tle chance to try my new Miche­lin Pi­lot Sport Cup 2s in the wet. That’s not a com­plaint, merely an ob­ser­va­tion. In no way am I hop­ing for rain, it’s just that I’m cu­ri­ous to learn how my track-bi­ased tyres will per­form in con­di­tions less cle­ment than those we’ve en­joyed for many a long month now.

When I first thought of try­ing the Cup 2s I posted a note to that ef­fect on so­cial me­dia. A mis­take, I know, but I’m en­deav­our­ing to em­brace the mod­ern age. Within min­utes of an­nounc­ing my in­ten­tions the doom­mon­gers were in full flow and they were all warn­ing of dire out­comes of us­ing the Cup 2s in any­thing other than per­fect con­di­tions on a track. The com­mon thread that bound their com­ments was that at the first splash of the first rain­drop on a pub­lic road, I would be pay­ing an un­in­ten­tional visit to – or through – what­ever was lin­ing the road­side at the time. Any mois­ture would have the ef­fect of coat­ing the tyres in goose grease.

Be­ing a Cyn­i­cal Old Per­son I tend not to be­lieve ev­ery­thing I read on the in­ter­net, par­tic­u­larly neg­a­tive wis­dom of the kind that pop­u­lates most fo­rums, but some of the com­ments did at least give me pause for thought. And then this morn­ing I cracked open the cur­tains to dis­cover that some­one had cracked open a rain cloud…

Would I even be able to pull out of my drive­way with­out pirou­et­ting onto the road? Well put it this way, I’ve yet to en­dure any awk­ward con­ver­sa­tions with my in­sur­ance com­pany. Ad­mit­tedly the road sur­face wasn’t stream­ing with wa­ter and am­bi­ent tem­per­a­tures dur­ing this par­tic­u­lar balmy Oc­to­ber day were high enough to keep the tyres’ rub­ber com­pound within a sen­si­ble sec­tor of its op­er­a­tional range, but the Cups did noth­ing naughty. Not pulling briskly out of junc­tions. Not when de­lib­er­ately ap­ply­ing a tad too much power ex­it­ing a round­about. The tyres just gripped, no drama.

Things will be dif­fer­ent in the thick of win­ter, I have no doubt. Yet even then I don’t fore­cast much bother, as I’ll just adapt my driv­ing style ac­cord­ingly. It’s not hard to do, and I find that a honed sense of self­p­reser­va­tion is the best form of trac­tion and sta­bil­ity con­trol. I’m lucky enough to have an­other open-top sports car, a Mazda MX-5 mk1, and when I fit­ted it with a set of Yoko­hama AD08S, also a track-bi­ased tyre, the in­ter­net was equally swift to alert me to the per­ils of wet roads and win­ter con­di­tions. And yet the MX-5 and I didn’t al­low even the Beast from the East to chill

us off the roads and out­siders’ pre­dic­tions of an al­most cer­tain road­ster/hedgerow in­ter­face proved un­founded.

To date I’ve not man­aged to ex­ceed the Cup 2’s dry sur­face grip. Not even a cheep or chirrup from the rub­ber. I know: must try harder. Lo­cally, though, there are very few cor­ners with suf­fi­cient clear vi­sion through them to safely carry the lat­eral speeds with which the Cup 2s en­dow the Boxster, and on the one or two that I’ve pushed harder than I nor­mally would, it was clear that my brav­ery had ex­pired way ahead of the Miche­lins’ road­hold­ing.

So in­stead of try­ing to find their lim­its on the pub­lic road – a prac­tice we’re all guilty of from time to time, but ul­ti­mately is a silly idea – I’m us­ing my trust in the tyres’ grip to take me more swiftly around tighter bends, and con­cen­trat­ing harder on my cor­ner­ing lines now that I’m free of con­cerns about a pos­si­ble slide. A track visit would be il­lu­mi­nat­ing in terms of the tyres’ full po­ten­tial, but that isn’t likely any time soon.

Back in the sum­mer I went to a ‘show ‘n’ shine’ at a lo­cal mi­cro­brew­ery, which to my sur­prise was heav­ily pop­u­lated with mod­ern low-vol­ume Porsches in­clud­ing a Car­rera GT, 911R and 991 GT3 RS. There was also a WW2 Willys Jeep, and chat­ting to the owner, Steven – also part-owner of the brew­ery, Sta­tion 1-1-9 – he ex­plained how well it was run­ning af­ter us­ing some very low fric­tion fuel and engine oil treat­ments from a Ger­man com­pany called Fa­her. The Jeep was qui­eter, smoother and per­formed with ex­tra vigour – well, for a Jeep, at least. You should try some in your Boxster, he rec­om­mended.

So hav­ing spo­ken to Fa­her UK’S ex­tremely help­ful Paolo Gar­cia, that’s what I’m about to do. In fact, I’d hoped to have poured in the ‘anti-fric­tion’ fuel and oil treat­ments al­ready, but Paulo ad­vised that for best re­sults the fuel treat­ment should be added to only about a quar­ter of a tank, and I’d re­cently filled mine. It’ll be fas­ci­nat­ing to find out what dif­fer­ence the Fa­her prod­ucts make, be­cause my Boxster has al­ways been filled with 98 or 99 RON petrol and Mo­bil 1 lu­bri­cant, so ought to be in rude health in­side its in­jec­tors, and mod­er­ately slip­pery be­tween its mov­ing parts.

The engine might be in fine fet­tle, but the cen­tral lock­ing is giv­ing cause for con­cern. When I press the key fob to lock the car the horn gives a dou­ble beep, as if warn­ing that a door is ajar or the cen­tral cubby lid isn’t prop­erly shut. Ex­cept I’ve checked – lots – and noth­ing is open. And when I’m driv­ing the lit­tle red light on the cen­tral lock­ing but­ton comes on, un­bid­den. Press the but­ton on the move and there’s that dou­ble beep again, and the in­te­rior light comes on. Must con­sult the gu­rus of the fo­rums in case all this is a por­tent of some­thing more se­ri­ous.

On the sub­ject of an­noy­ing noises, the Boxster started mak­ing hor­ri­ble screechy grind­ing sounds around right-hand bends. Fear­ing it might be a de­flat­ing rear tyre caus­ing my lovely new Group 4 al­loys to be strik­ing the Tar­mac, I pulled over, only to dis­cover a piece of plas­tic air de­flec­tor had de­serted its post un­der­neath the car and was mak­ing a break for free­dom. It’s not the first piece of un­der­body plas­tic to go AWOL, and I hope it won’t make a dif­fer­ence to the car’s high speed sta­bil­ity.

Fi­nally this month, I bought some tent can­vas cleaner and rid the hood of some of the grot that has ac­cu­mu­lated over the sum­mer. A cou­ple of coats of Ren­ovo re­proofer fol­lowed that, and now wa­ter beads beau­ti­fully on the hood, just in time for the change of sea­sons.

What­ever you might think about the colour combo, you have to say that Brett’s Boxster does look good in a ‘stanced’ sort of way

Be­low left: Ren­ovo hood treat­ment is clearly work­ing. Be­low: Some new oil and fuel fric­tion treat­ments from Fa­her to try

Some key­board war­riors reckon that Brett’s Boxster will fall off the road at the first sniff of rain with its Sport Cup 2 tyres

Be­low: Ran­dom piece of de­flec­tor has bro­ken free from un­der­side. Right: Cen­tral lock­ing is dou­ble beep­ing ran­domly and needs in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.