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Lee’s 996 Carrera 4S diary: the first big spend

It’s been a busy period for my C4S as after five months of ownership, I’ve finally needed to spend out on something other than fuel for it. I’ve previously mentioned the car needed new brakes and tyres all round, and they’ve now been replenished after a trip to Porsche Centre Bournemouth. For the brakes I was happy to stick with an OEM-spec setup as in my view if those Big Reds are good enough for a 996 Turbo they’re good enough for a 996 C4S. I bought the brake discs and pads separately from Heritage Parts Centre last month, which arrived promptly and had been sitting at my house waiting for a gap in my diary to take the car to Porsche.

That day arrived in early September and I whisked the car over to OPC Bournemouth where it’d be under the stewardship of one Scott Gardner, whom you’ll recognize in the pictures as our very own ‘ask the expert’ from the front of the magazine. Scott had the discs, pads, wear sensors and anti squeal shims (I had to buy the latter separately) swapped over in three hours without a hitch – you do always assume with a 996 that there is going to be a hitch, be it something as simple as a sheared bolt or ripped thread, which can delay even the most simplest of tasks.

Heritage Parts Centre are new to the Porsche industry but I was very pleased with the quality of the brakes, which all married up absolutely fine into my calipers and onto my hubs. Again it sounds obvious but I’ve had wrong parts turn up from other suppliers in the past and this only leads to a frustrating scenario when work has to be stopped because the part doesn’t quite match up. This wasn’t the case here though, and Heritage Parts Centre come highly recommended from me. The brakes will take a bit of time to bed in but already I’m noticing much sharper response to brake pedal applications, which has already inspired me to push the car a little harder.

I also addressed the worn rear Continental tyres by replacing them with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport tyres all round. N4 rated (a higher ‘N’ rating means more recent tyre technology has been used), I was recommended them by a Michelin representative when I told him the car is used for shopping runs, plenty of fast road driving and the occasional track day. I’ve never actually ran Michelin tyres on any of my own cars before but have always enjoyed them on other 911s (Pilot Sport Cup 2s are surely the best road tyre ever to grace a 911) and am really looking forward to exploring their limits in the coming weeks. More on their performance will be found in a coming update.

It’s standard procedure for Porsche to health check your car while it’s on the ramps, so Scott and I had a good look around underneath the C4S once all the work was done. I was very happy with Scott’s exemplary comments as regards to its overall health and condition – he was shocked when he found out I’m the 11th owner – and his remarks has only further endorsed my decision to purchase this cracking 911 in the first place. Thanks to the guys at Porsche Centre Bournemouth for stellar service as always – now, I can’t wait to wrack up some miles with my new toys courtesy of Heritage Parts and Michelin!


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Porsche announces new N-rated tyres for classic 911s

With summer fast approaching, Porsche has announced a raft of new N-rated tyres specifically for its range of classic sports cars, from short-wheelbase 911s right through to the early water-cooled 996s.

As one of the only rear-engined cars still on the market, the Porsche 911 places a unique load on its tyres. That is why Zuffenhausen insists that all Neunelfers are fitted with N-rated rubber at all times.

More than just a marketing ploy to extract more money from your wallet though, the N-rating process ensures that each approved tyre features a construction tough enough to withstand the Porsche 911’s unique forces, with each specific 911 model coming with its own list of N-rated boots.

993 N rated tyre

Therefore, N-rated tyres do not just improve your Porsche 911’s safety, they also allow you to enjoy your Neunelfer’s handling as Stuttgart intended (after all, the tyres are your car’s only connection to the road).

Approved tyres are not just for the latest line of Zuffenhausen sports car however. Every year, after extensive testing, Porsche announces new N-rated rubber for its multitude of classic sports cars too, with 32 new tyre recommendations making the recently released 2016 summer list.

These new tyres are more than simple reissues of historic models though. Porsche has worked closely with the tyre manufacturers – especially Pirelli – to create tyres that combine the look of original OEM rubber with the improved properties of modern offerings.

Walter Röhrl tyre testing

This has resulted in a new range of approved tyres with classic tread patterns, contact patch widths and cross-section ratios that can perform better than the originals, meeting all of the EU’s stringent tyre regulations.

Among the standout additions to the list is a new series of Pirelli P Zero Rosso tyres, originally fitted as standard to Porsche 993s and a track-specific version of the P Zero Trofeo R, designed for classic Porsches with 16 to 18-inch wheel diameters.

All the tyres have undergone extensive wet and dry testing on their respective Porsche 911 variants at the Weissach proving grounds, with Walter Röhrl on hand to provide his historical knowledge. All the new N-rated tyres can be order through Porsche Classic Centres now.

To read more about Porsche’s 911 tyre technology, download your copy of Total 911 issue 115 now.

N rated tyres


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Michelin tyres for Porsche’s latest GT3 RS


Porsche’s latest hardcore 911 once again uses Michelin’s hottest road and track tyre

Few cars launched this year are likely to represent the thrill of driving as vividly as the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

We’re driving the car right now, ready to bring you a full review and a video soon. The existing GT3 is already impressive, but with even less compromise, a manual gearbox and more aggressive styling, we’re intrigued to see whether it matches the visceral thrills of its predecessors.

What no supercar can be without these days though is a set of sticky tyres, suitable whether owners choose to drive on the road or take things to the track. In the GT3 RS’s case, those tyres are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s – the same type as those used on the regular GT3, the Cayman GT4 and the 918 Spyder.


On the RS, the Cup 2s measure in at 265/35 ZR20 at the front and 325/30 ZR21 at the rear. That means a contact patch 20 per cent larger at the front and 18 per cent at the back compared to the GT3, suitable for the RS’s more track-focused nature.

Michelin uses two different compounds on the inner and outer sections of the tyre, and a technology called Track Variable Contact Patch 3.0 – optimising pressure in the tyre’s contact patch to ensure as much rubber is in contact with the road as possible. It should also last 50 per cent longer than Pilot Sport Cup+ tyres on track.

Antony Ingram

20 May 2015

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