You couldn’t get away with it now….
Back in the 70’s Porsche advertised their 930 Turbo as ‘a car to challenge the most experienced driver’. I don’t think that would be PC nowadays. Our 930, which doffs a cap to the 70’s IROC Porsche racing cars is definitely not PC either.
What I love about Porsche is that the engineering has been tried and tested, developed through Motorsport. For me that’s a thrill. It’s an intrinsic part of the appeal, and it’s why we drive, supply, service and restore a brand with history, with pedigree and with race heritage. This was further confirmed when we took our 487hp lightweight 930 (the Jager Bomb) to an Octane Magazine trackday at Goodwood .
To give you perspective, the original 930 from the eighties (ours is an 85) pushed out 300 hp and back then, they were considered seriously fast with a 0-60 time under 5 seconds and a top speed over 160 mph. Today the modern 996 turbo gives 420 hp with a 0-60 of 4.2 and a top speed of 189 mph.
Our Porsche 930 turbo in its attention getting Continental Orange (the Jagermeister Porsche team colour) is a challenge. With 487 hp and weighing a little less than standard at around 1200 kg is without question exciting. I am guessing this 930 would pull a good 185mph or more but we can’t prove that at Goodwood. More room would be required..
So, to Goodwood.
This is a well built Porsche so we don’t need to put it on a trailer. We hop in it and drive the 200 miles from Plymouth to Goodwood. Its a pleasant place to be…it cruises along off boost with innocence. We specifically tried to build it with a certain amount of comfort in mind, eliminating squeaks and rattles, wind noise and putting in good sound proofing. There is no sound system other than the flat six out back. The 200+ miles sped past.
The real fun began on the track. Goodwood is notoriously fast and open, but what might look like a flat track from a spectator viewpoint is different on the circuit. There are lips, rises and falls in the middle of corners to catch you out. Its a challenge.
Easing out of the pitlane, just as you would have done 50 years ago, we head off for a warm up and build up our feel for the car. Once we get some confidence its off….
From the start straight you run up to Madgwick hard in fourth gear, brake into the corner just a little, shift back to third, come off the brake gently, coax the car in and pass the first apex about a cars width. Get on the power right away allowing this Porsche to Turbo to start boosting for when you need it. You need to anticipate when the power will build as it’s not the same as in a normally aspirated 911. By the time you arrive at the second apex, clipping the kerb the power is coming on strong and you shoot off down towards the Fordwater kink.
In the Yager Bomb Fordwater becomes a real corner, get your turn in wrong here and and you will wish you were not flat, you will head for the grass doing over 120mph, you need your turn in perfect and all the track…. that grass gets mighty close on the left. Now this 930 still is building speed, heading towards an indicated 130 into the right of ‘no name’ corner.
Head towards the turn in point for no name, brushing the brakes and using every bit of tarmac, you turn the wheel right with care, brush the kerb on the right (there is a bump) and avoid the tendency to let it drift more than a cars width or so on exit.
Some speed has been scrubbed off and now it’s important to have the car settled for a very quick dab of the brakes downshift to third and off the brakes to turn left positively, over the crest of St mary’s getting on a little throttle to move the weight back and settle the rear which has a tendency to want to come around, get hard on the throttle, keep it turning left and left and drop into the hollow, by now it’s boosting hard, on to the exit where the road keeps turning, The grass gets ever closer and you feel like its heading for the infield but is accelerating hard.
Now you have a brief respite, for the first time the steering is kept straight and it’s accelerating on full boost, bringing you to the braking of the tight Lavant right. Its a double right, but only need to worry about the entry as the second part opens onto the straight.
Heading into Lavant, the car squats down on the big Brembo brakes, leaving it in third gear, you turn quickly to the right, with a little drift from the rear helping it turn in and get back way early hard on the throttle, whilst the turbo takes a while to boost, it’s enough to settle the rear and soon, as you head for the outside kerb of the first part of the corner, the power starts to build….. there is no time for part throttle here. The outside kerb rushes up on your left and the corner keeps turning. Now the 930 is firing around the corner, the strain is in your hands and arms, on full boost it launches on to the Lavant straight and aiming for the right to take the flat left kink.
Using all the road, heading once more towards 130+ you have no time to check the terminal speed for you arrive accelerating still at the right of the right corner of Woodcote. Get it wrong here and the tyre wall waits just meters from the track. Brake at the 150 board, increase your braking, shifting back to third, cut the first part of the corner rather than running round the outside, turn right with confidence toward the second part of the corner, the tail drifts very slightly clip the low lying kerb and hard on the power. Very quickly back on the brakes shift to second, brake right into the middle of the chicane and hard on the gas very early encouraging the turbo to spool up and shoot you down the straight for the start of your second lap. All the time spitting meter long flames on the downshifts! This thing is outrageous.
You work really hard in this car, my arms and hands ached by the end of it all. What surprised me is the sheer pace of it. Believe me, this is properly fast. Another thing, it was very well mannered. The chassis was not unruly, it will always be a challenge with this much power and you must treat it with respect. However once mastered you’ll will find yourself hugely rewarded.
The other legendary thing – It’s one we all know but rarely really get to test – a well built Porsche will get you there, let you hand it to people all day and then get you safely home… so…we drove her home without so much as a squeak.