Porsche question


#1

Why is the Porsche Paul Walker died in so dangerous? The driver was said to be a professional race car driver.


#2

This may help:


#3

As I understand it, the combination of huge power with light weight, a mid engine design, and the choices made by Porsche with the suspension design resulted in a VERY difficult-to-drive car (at high speed). Driving around town at the speed limit would be no problem, though.

Here’s another discussion that focuses on how difficult race car drivers (including Porsche’s own test driver) found the car:


#4

Watch 100 different utube videos of racetrack crashes. Some 10min videos of same spot on curvy track shows 25 different PRO cars losing control on curve and smacking wall. WHY do 25 different PRO drivers in $100k cars wipeout in exact same spot? ANYONE can loose control.


#5

"ANYONE can loose control. "

On a racetrack, sure. Shouldn’t be pushing it that hard on the street.


#6

I use to build and drive V8 Vegas. They were mean little vehicles when driven properly on the streets. If you really got on them hard…they could go in any direction and the steering wheel was useless. I went into a ditch a couple of times and plowed up a little dirt. If I had hit an oak tree…I probably would not be here to write this comment today. Light and powerful is a very dangerous combination in a vehicle.


#7

Thanks for the replies. I know pretty much jack about cars, but I knew people here would have the info.


#8

I only hope the kids racing around the streets see from Paul Walker’s death that anyone, even a trained and highly skilled driver, can lose control even in a world-class racecar. Street racing is dangerous. I hope some of the kids think twice now before doing so.


#9

I don’t think the streetracing kids will slow down because one of their heroes died

If anything, all Porsche Carrera GTs will forever be associated with Paul Walker and his friend from now on

Everybody associates the Porsche Spyder with James Dean. Anybody seeing a picture of a Spyder knows that James Dean died in one

Call me cynical, if you want to

But I think I’m being realistic


#10

This happened relatively close to where we live.
The questions remaining are about a possible fluid leak (Power steering) and lack of much tire tracks. So I am wondering if by the steering giving away at a relatively high speed with no control the car slammed in the poles and then fire.
The police are saying that by reviewing the videos, there was no racing involved.
Also, there is 60 seconds between the crash and fire.

I guess, all in all, we should have more respect for what we drive and how we drive it.
Nowadays, even a basic commuter car can go pretty fast.


#11

They’re saying speed might have been a factor, but I haven’t read if they’ve determined how fast they were going yet.

Here’s a controlled crash test at what would happen to a normal, everyday, car if it wrecked at 120mph

Keep in mind that that video is a head on collision. If the accident occurred from them losing control in a turn, the crash protection would be worse on the doors than the hood


#12

This is not the first fatality accident involving a Porsche Carrera GT, one that happened on a racetrack ended up in a lawsuit and settlement. It might handle great up to a certain limit but even expert drivers can loose control and crash. The Carrera GT isn’t as forgiving as some other cars like a Boxster or the newer 911’s


#13

It’s being reported that they were doing 90 in a 45. The car is not the problem.


#14

We don’t know for sure yet if something failed on the car, like a tire or a power steering line as have been brought up in various reports. Doing 90 in a 45 in any car is not a good idea but even more so in a car that other owners say you cannot make any sudden moves or hit the gas to quickly or a loss of control is possible.

There is some debate about if having Electronic Stability Control would have prevented this and other crashes or mishaps in the Carrera GT. Along with the Viper and other high performance cars you do sometimes have to use good judgement about how and where you open it up. Driven responsibly these cars can perform very well, but a wide open parking lot would be a better place than the street.

Much debate about this on Rennlist and probably other forums as well.


#15

In my local paper, it has been reported that there was NO massive power steering fluid leak, and that the steering was not the accident

While there may have been a leak, it apparently wasn’t bad enough to have caused the crash

While the exact cause hasn’t been determined yet, it has been reported that speed was a definite factor


#16

“…even a trained and highly skilled driver, can lose control even in a world-class racecar.”

Professional drivers called the GT one of the least stable cars they had ever driven. One even said stability control is a must for road driving. Also note that racing is often done at the edge of control anyway. F1 drivers have said that NASCAR racers scare them because there is much less control than their F1 racers have.


#17

The Carrera GT has a reputation for being very unforgiving to drive, much like the early air cooled 911 Turbos. The Carrera GT is not a 911 though. Even Walter Röhrl a pro Group B rally driver said that the Carrera GT scared him


#18

Where is the fuel tank on the Carrera GT?


#19

When the skill level of the driver is exceeded by the power of the car, bad things will happen. Throw in aggressiveness with stupidity and death will be imminent. The GT-1 is a powerful, mid-engined car. The mid-engine, as opposed to a front engine, rear drive car with the transmission rearward (like a Corvette) keeps the mass close to the center of the car so the steered tires can change the car’s direction very easily and quickly. Spread the mass around by pushing the engine forward and the transmission rearward and, like a barbell, it gets a little harder to rotate quickly. It makes the car respond just a little slower so that the driver can control it easier.


#20

The last car I lost control in was a 66 Plymouth Satelite when I was about 16. It was snowy and I was 16 and punched it too much. Went sideways over the center line but recovered no problem and learned a lesson. Time spent on my go cart paid off.

We got our first snow here yesterday and a 16 year old girl lost control on the way to school and was broad sided. Just a shame but outside of bad weather training, I don’t know what else can be done about it.