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    GT Track Evening - Open Evening
    The Drive-My summer track evening at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent proved a great success, drawing in a fine mix of Porsche cars. Story by Simon Jackson Photography: Rachel Johnston, Simon Jackson

    Soon after the pandemonium of #Le-Mans , another thrilling track-based event took place back in June, and it too featured a brace of hard-charging Porsches. Brands Hatch in Kent was the venue for the Drive-My track evening, a gathering of like-minded Porsche enthusiasts (both participating and spectating) on a sunny Monday evening. A favourite amongst professional, club and amateur track drivers, the Brands Hatch Indy circuit was opened up for a field of Porsche cars at our exclusive event. With an open pit lane and a realistic decibel limit, the evening was an affordable one and proved popular with Porsche fans from all walks of life.

    Taking to the track were both older and newer Porsche models, from track-biased #Porsche-944 s to fire-breathing GT3s, Boxsters, Caymans, 968s, air-cooled 911 SCs and water-cooled Carreras, which created a truly colourful and diverse sight on the Kent circuit’s glistening asphalt. After a briefing by the Brands Hatch team and a couple of sighting laps behind a safety car, the throng of Porsche cars present were free to take to the track, coming and going as they pleased throughout the evening.

    At first the circuit was packed with the sound of naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines, with every driver getting to grips with the famous venue’s layout. But as time passed the numbers on circuit dwindled, and those experienced hands wishing to push on were able to do so, with some impressive lines and committed treatment of the loud pedal. For the novices, of which there were several, this also provided breathing space with which to learn the circuit and how best to extract their car’s potential, pushing beyond that which would be possible on the road. Steadily growing in confidence, those new to circuit driving put in commendable performances gradually building pace and exploring different lines into the various corners.

    As cars darted in and out of the pit lane, the garage complexes were abuzz with driver swaps and setup tweaks, those who had come merely to spectate were able to grab a cup of coffee from the track’s pit facilities and to sit and watch from wherever they pleased – even the pit wall itself. Cameras and smart phones were wielded by most in attendance, and it was great to see so many people enjoying their evening!

    One thing that is wholly apparent from an evening such as this is the camaraderie and friendly nature of Porsche owners, with many swapping stories about their experiences on track, or simply chatting ‘Porsche’. This atmosphere prevailed on track too, with all drivers displaying admirable patience with one another and allowing room for fellow participants. We were glad to not witness any intimidating driving as can so often be the case, almost definitely the result of our evening being a ‘Porsche only’ event – no sign of pesky Caterhams or rude Radicals here! As the evening drew on, a hardcore mix of participants pounded around the track getting the most from their attendance. We saw everything from #Porsche-991 s to #Porsche-911SC s being driven as they were intended, but there were also some quick Caymans and Boxsters being put through their paces – these cars make such fantastic track day machines and are that bit cheaper to purchase and run than a #Porsche-911 . The sight of a few 968s went down well too, the model is known for its ability on track and the owners of these particular cars showed they knew exactly what they were doing displaying some nicely executed lines.

    From the feedback we received everyone involved seemed to enjoy the experience, which means we hope to bring you similar events in the future, though bigger and better than anything we’ve tackled before. Keep a watchful eye on this space…

    Below: Those in attendance received a free copy of #Drive-My and some just couldn’t wait until they got home to read their copy…

    From 991s to #Porsche-968 s, there was a great variety of metal on track, and a good mix of #Porsche cars off track too…

    We were glad to see a diverse mix of road (above) and track-orientated (below) machinery in attendance.
    ‏ — at Brands Hatch Road, Longfield, Kent DA3, UK
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    BIGBILLS FOR #1994 #Porsche-968-Club-Sport

    Ken Coad’s 968 is 20-years-old no wand has covered 160,000+miles. Perhaps not surprisingly it requires some biggish bills every no wand again. Still, with a new clutch, it’s fighting fit.

    It’s been a while since my last update, mainly thanks to a fractured femur, which necessitated five months off driving and learning to walk again! During that time the #Porsche-968 was run up occasionally, but did not turn a wheel. However, when I was able to contort myself into the car I started to put on the miles and have enjoyed using it ever since. I admit to being totally convinced what great Porsches the front-engined machines are, and 20 or more years on, they still perform remarkably well. I have owned a 993 C4 (as regular readers will remember), but personally prefer the 924S and 968. On a circuit they are so predictable, and just as good on the road.

    Driving an older car it is essential the suspension is in good shape and my KW set up ticks all the boxes, as do the Bridgestone SO2 tyres, which are in my opinion better suited to the car than the Continentals I wore out. Another worthwhile improvement are the Mintex 1147 pads I fitted. They even impressed the MOT tester who reckoned they stopped the car to supercar standards.

    Regularly I have been a spectator visiting race circuits, mainly helping a friend prepping his MGB racer. To further my interest I have motored off in the 968 to see a round of the Porsche Cub series, and also keeping abreast of a mate, Andy Duncan, proprietor of Ninex Motorsport, who have been involved in fettling my car. Andy races his own 968, but these days rule changes have allowed later cars into the series. As a result well sorted Boxsters and 996s are up front leading the races.

    During these trips I noticed the alternator was not keeping the battery charged and, after a few push starts, I had it rebuilt by a company in Uxbridge – #DBJ-Auto-Electrics . The Results were immediate and at a fraction of the cost of a new alternator. Then the starter motor was intermittent and Ninex sorted that and, at the same time, reset the suspension and aligned the steering geometry, which improved the handling. A trip to France and some high-speed motoring was enjoyable, then I noticed in hot weather the temperature was higher than usual. A new thermostat partly cured that. An irritating groan, when turning the steering wheel at slow speed, was difficult to pinpoint. Ninex cleaned and replenished the power steering fluid, then my local Porsche specialist, JZM , reckoned the front engine mounts were a possible issue, so they were changed and replaced with genuine Porsche parts, as was the steering linkage near the exhaust manifold, which almost cured the problem, and in so doing made the steering lighter and more responsive.

    Then, after a great day at Goodwood Revival, and some two hours trying to get out of the car park plus crawling in heavy traffic, the clutch became impossible, slipping and getting heavier. I had to stop on a number of occasions, eventually making it home. JZM came to the rescue fitting a new #Sachs clutch, which transformed gear changing. Money well spent.

    As mentioned t he engine temp has often got close to the red so a new replacement radiator was fitted, plus a replacement water pump and timing chain. So much work in one go but I bit the bullet and let #JZM sort it, which has improved the cooling. I have added some 6000miles throug hout this period and, remembering the car was new in 1994, some 20 years ago, it has averaged 8000 miles per year, so some mechanical attention is inevitable. It’s been a bit steep recently, but when the work improves the car, it’s hard to begrudge. Already plans are in hand for a trip to Classic LeMans and other events not yet finalised.

    Last Christmas I treated myself to a standard coupe centre console clock at great expense on eBay, as you do. Meanwhile I’m looking forward to a low expenditure year. Oh, I forgot to mention the 924S track day car I share with my godson. That’s up and running and has been promised a Nürburgring track day outing. Might take the 968 as well!

    Work, work and more work on Ken’s #Porsche 968. A new clutch is always a big job on a 968, while cam timing chain was also replaced.

    KEN COAD 968 CLUB SPORT
    Occupation: Semi retired
    Marketing consultant
    Home town: Kings Langley
    Previous Porsches owned: 2
    Cars: 968 Club Sport, 924
    Year: 1994
    Mileage: 161,000
    Owned for: 2-years
    Mods/options: Club Sport spec with KW suspension
    Contact: coadspeed@ukgateway.net

    THIS MONTH IN BRIEF:
    Putting on the miles now after seemingly endless work to get the 968 just so. Not quite there yet. Amazing what it takes!
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