Driving in the rain, especially in a rear-engined Porsche that would, at times, like to go down the road backwards, takes a special touch. Here are some wet weather tips engineered to keep you fast and safe:
1. Click Up A Gear:
Torque is a heck of a lot of fun. When driving on the road, it’s the part of horsepower you can really enjoy. But spinning wheels on a slippery surface creates a loss of control. To combat this, drive in a gear higher. This will curb some of the initial power going to the wheels and keep the rear in check.
2. Take a Different Line:
Just like on the track, the section of tarmac that has tires running over it all day develops a polish-like surface. On the road, same thing goes. Shift your position in the lane a bit to drive on the tarmac less traveled. Note when doing so, the center of the lane usually has some oil build up, which will be more slippery in the early portion of a rain storm and will generate more grip as the oils are washed away.
3. Treat The Pedals Like Eggshells:
Stomping on the gas and brake pedal is never a good idea. A smooth driver is rewarded with speed and control. But in the rain, stomping is the fastest way to go spinning down the road. When driving in the rain, commit to braking much, much earlier than you would have in the dry and squeeze slowly, carefully. Same goes for the gas – apply it gingerly and feel for traction. Try to bring a sense of balance to the car.
4. Traction Control On, Cruise Control Off:
In the rain, hydroplaning happens. If your cruise control is switched on, the computers can actually cause the car to accelerate. Keep it off so this doesn’t happen and you stay more vigilant.
5. Don't White Knuckle It:
Your fingers have a heck of a lot of nerves ending in them, so put them to work. If you have a death grip, or even a firm handshake-like grip on the wheel, you're constricting those nerves and they can't tell you what the car feels like. Drive with your finger tips. Be gentle and the car will communicate from the tires, to the steering wheel, right to your hands and let you know the second the rear of the car starts to step out or if the front tires are clawing for grip but not receiving any…. your car wants to talk to you, you just have to listen.
Michael Prichinello is CCC's PR wizard, and resident 911 nut (MikeP@classiccarclub.com)