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Last Post 29 Nov 2015 11:08 PM by  sjfehr
Porsche Boxster S
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SBerguetski
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28 Nov 2015 07:42 PM
    Hello and thanks in advance!

    I recently purchased a 2001 Porsche Boxster S. I would really like to find out how the car handles without driving like an a-hole on the street. Autocross was suggested to me, so here I am. First off, I have absolutely no racing experience so I really have no idea where to begin. This is a summer daily driver so I wont be doing many mods at all. Any input is greatly appreciated. Also, the car has Pirelli P-zero tires that need to be replaced. Should I stay with the Pirelli's or is there a better selection of tires out there?

    Thanks again!
    Steve
    sjfehr
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    28 Nov 2015 10:26 PM
    Your friend's suggestion is spot-on, autocross is probably the absolute best way to learn performance driving because it's low-cost, low-risk, and a ton of fun to boot- you'll learn a lot. What part of the country (/world) do you live? Most of the North is in hiatus until the spring, but a lot of the south have year-round autocrossing. Someone here may know offhand, but if you google "autocross" and your local area, it should pop up your local SCCA region, PCA region or other indie clubs. It's amazing how good these cars really are, especially with good tires and a performance alignment. A lot of clubs have autocross schools/cone clinics and/or test & tunes in the spring, either of which will give you a lot of seat time. You can also look for Evolution or Solo Pro driving schools which cost more than club clinics, but have professional instruction. HPDEs and other track events are great, too, though there is higher cost and higher risk on the track than compared to autocross; the plus is that you get a ton of good seat time (with an instructor) during an HPDE.

    I have a 2004 Boxster S I daily drove for 6 years and my wife and I both heavily autocrossed and frequently time-trialed. It's great bone-stock, though you may find you need to renew the bushings and all just from age. The only mod I made to mine was a GT3 front swaybar which helped tune the handling (and counterintuitively- decrease understeer). You'll want to get a performance alignment. But I wouldn't change a thing right now, not until you drive it a few months and a few autocrosses and get a point of reference.

    If you're on OEM 17" wheels, I recommend Bridgestone RE-71R tires in 225/45R17 & 255/40R17 sizes (little wider in the front than OEM). They're the best autocross tires right now, great street tires, and really good on the track, too. The biggest "con" is that they wear quick. You'll need to be careful you don't end up with an alignment that chews tires. Dunlop ZII Star Spec are fantastic tires as well- they were, arguably, the best tire for autocross 8 months ago until RE-71R came out and aren't quite as fast, but they'll last probably 50% longer. Both handle very similarly and you're not likely to notice the difference in speed at this point if your development as a driver, though you may regret the slower tire the first time you lose by a tenth of a second, lol.
    twistedwankel
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    29 Nov 2015 03:07 PM
    All of the above +1.

    A very experienced autocrosser good friend has a factory stock 2003S. He is running SCCA B Street and PCA points in pure stock class which means he has to run the exact same tire size that came on the car new. He recently switched to the mentioned RE-71's and is really pleased. Way faster than the Hankook RS-3's he was running for a year and heat cycled. Another competitive friend drives a 911 awd and runs Michelin Pilot Super Sports happily as he drives to work in that car. He's on his second year with the same tires. I too have them on my 2000 Corvette also starting my 2nd year on them. 300 wear but treadlife guarantee for 15k miles (no track days allowed) with staggered wheels sizes. 30k with all the same wheels. Once I wore those down to 6-7/32" they really hooked up super strong in the dry too. They are also superb in the wet right out of the box a great tire. Most of the guys in the local Porsche club are running them now as they are a bargain compared to the original Pirelli, etc. tires. About 90% as fast as the 200 wear tires which is plenty good enough for someone new to the sport. They are quiet on the highway too and ride well.

    Recently on advice of some pros as a (cheaper Michelin alternative) I put a set of Continental DW's on my 2004 RX-8. They are crazy awesome in heavy rain, wear very well, are quiet on highways up to 79mph on our 3000mi trip from FL to MA. They have a much stiffer sidewall than I'm used to with my stiff koni rear shocks but still ride well. I had two of us take 12 autocross runs on them starting at 30psi on a cool 75F day and they never rolled over or got above 32psi which is very impressive. Very easy tire to drive hard. I think when they get worn down to 6/32" they too will be awesome. A set of 4 from Tirerack in 245/40/18" was only $600 delivered with a Visa rebate of $70. That's a lot cheaper than the other tires and are summer high speed rated in many sizes. They carry a 340 wear rating but are about the same as the Pilot SS. The DW is cast into the tread. When the W disappears they are dry only compound. How cool is that? I was shown a pix and the DW was still visible down to 3/32" which for me is the end of most tires life.

    When I started doing this 25 years ago it took me 2 years to learn just how much speed was in a set of old hard Goodyear Gaterbacks:) The more you do it the better you get quickly. Hope this info saves you a buck.

    You will love this sport in that car.

    Doug



    SBerguetski
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    29 Nov 2015 10:12 PM
    I have 225/40ZR18 in the front and 265/35ZR18 in the rear. I have been looking at the Michelin Pilot Super Sports since it is a daily driver in the summer. I am guessing that the Bridgestone RE-71R is more of a track tire only? I live in MN, so Autox is definitely on hiatus until next spring. I will try to find out who the local chapter of the SCCA is here I know the local PCA chapter is Nordstern. I am looking forward to getting involved in PCA and SCCA, meeting some new people, ad having a ton of fun in the process!
    sjfehr
    Advanced Member
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    Posts:634


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    29 Nov 2015 11:08 PM
    MPSS is popular as a street tire amongst people who drive Porsches for image vice performance and though it's a good tire, you'll likely pretty quickly regret not going with a higher performance tire if the autocross bug bites you. And it should, because autocross is really fun. :) Bridgestone RE-71R is a 200 treadwear street tire with full DOT rating and excellent wet weather performance, so you're not giving up any streetability. We're pushing it because it's dominated autocross this year and is really your only choice if you want to be competitive in autocross or time trial. It's not really a track tire per se as the optimum temperature is lower (which helps make it a good street tire) and can lead to overheating on the track if you drive hard. For reference, I daily drive RE-71R on my 2010 Boxster S and I have no reservations saying it's the best street tire I have ever driven! Very well composed on the street and very confidence-inspiring. The only con is tire life, as 18" tires are expensive.

    I ran two autocrosses this year in my 2004 Boxster S on 255/35R18 front & 275/35R18 rear tires (on 987 OEM-sized wheels), and found the upsized front tire really helped dial out the understeer and made the car a lot more neutral, even loose in places.
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