DSC Sport/Tractive Suspension once again proved its revolutionary - and winning - technology June 26-27 at Watkins Glen International by sweeping every on-track session at Rounds 5 and 6 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.
The No. 36 Porsche, driven by Michael Levitas, boasting the latest DSC Sport/Tractive suspension engineering, posted the top Gold Cup class times in two practices, captured pole and earned two wins. The car sailed through the historic circuit, setting a qualifying lap record and race lap record for a Porsche 997, with the only addition this year being the DSC Sport computer and Tractive dynamic dampers.
"The difference from a year ago without DSC is uncanny," DSC Sport CEO and driver Levitas said. "You can lean so much harder into the turn, and laterally and longitudinally everything is just a dream. It was almost too easy to drive. My times improved by over a second from last year and all we did was change to the DSC Sport suspension package. We customized the mapping and boom we were there."
Watkins Glen International is an 11-turn, 3.4-mile circuit that is known to sports car fans as a mecca of North American road courses. The fast, flowing track demands respect from the driver, especially in the challenging "The Boot," one of the most famous turn sequences in North America.
While other cars were sliding through turns and enduring rough rides over the curbing, the No. 36, driven by seasoned veteran Levitas, had minimal drama.
"You couldn't lean hard enough into the corner," Levitas said. "I could do no wrong. It may have been the best car I've ever been in. I couldn't even feel the curbing on the way into the Bus Stop (chicane). I was going 97 mph through there, faster than the Platinum (Type 991) cars. And that's all thanks to DSC Sport and Tractive and the work of our incredible engineering of Doug, Eric and Rob, and the TPC Racing team doing setup at the track. This team seems unstoppable."
DSC Sport is the leading developer and manufacturer of active control modules for electronic suspension. By controlling the individual damping value of each shock in virtually real time, DSC Sport provides more grip to the tire, greater stability and ride control.
By accessing the CAN data system, DSC Sport anticipates and acts upon the rate of change of various inputs including lateral, longitudinal, and vertical g-force, vehicle speed, steering angle, brake pressure and damper velocity to optimize the damping value of each individual shock, providing a huge advantage on the track.
"My fast lap was set on old tires," Levitas said. "The tire wear was amazing and the level of grip was unmatched. When the chassis is unloaded, the computer treats is completely different than the loaded condition, so the driver becomes the load, not the car. Turn 10 was incredible. You could go flat up to the corner and slide the car up into the curbing while standing flat on the accelerator, but it was natural because the rear grip was remarkable; almost alive."
The No. 36 DSC Sport Porsche is the only car in sports car racing that is outfitted with the entire DSC Sport and Tractive Suspension system.
It helped lead to not only two class wins, but a ninth- and fifth-place overall finish in Round 5 and 6 of the championship, respectively, outperforming over half the field of newer, wider and more powerful Porsche 991 GT3 Cup cars.
The fifth-place overall finish came in Round 6, which took place in the wet.
"The car was equally as good in the rain," Levitas said. "It was no different, because the car is always self-calibrating with the DSC computer."
The DSC Sport computer and Tractive Suspension shocks used on the No. 36 Porsche are off the shelf and identical to the products available for street and track day customers.
Mapping and base maps from testing and track use are used to continually improve and add features to the product line. DSC Sport will add the DSC Sport Software Suite this summer. The software will allow users to create, share and swap custom maps tuned to their unique driving style, vehicle setup or track conditions on a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
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