Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn…TPC Racing
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn…
I know there’s a wide array of feelings in regard to naming one’s car and/or applying a gender to it. Personally I’ve never been able to find a suitable name for mine. It just seems weird to me, to personify a machine with a name. But I do imagine my Cayman S is female. Considering the amazing curves and sexy hips that Porsche has provided, it’s hard for me to imagine it any other way. A feminine identity also matches the personality of the car. The Cayman is strong, but not brutal. It’s flexible and capable of carving turns the way a skilled ballerina works a dance floor. It’s light on its feet with agility, stamina and endurance. It’s undeniable to me. The Cayman is definitely female. My Cayman S has always been a docile and easy going female. This weekend I met one that was bipolar. I rode in a Cayman S that was equipped with a TPC Turbo kit, and believe me when I tell you, that car was seriously pissed off.
At the controls was none other than Mike Levitas, owner of TPC Racing and winning Grand Am race team owner/driver. At first he showed me how normal and docile the TPC Cayman S could be. We proceeded up a small incline as though we were driving to work or running an errand. He showed me how quiet the exhaust note was, how normal the car felt when driven easily. From the passenger seat it didn’t feel any different than any other Cayman except for the fact that it sounded a little different. The tone was deep and muted. As the car’s creator, Mike knew just how to push her buttons. He dropped the go pedal and the car instantly bursts into a rage and lost its temper. It screamed out loud and protested by lighting up the rear wheels. Mike held on as the powertrain tried to rip its way through the rest of the car. The tail hung out 5 degrees or so and I could feel the back tires delivering a perfectly smooth power slide. The pavement was screaming for mercy as the tires abused it into submission, but Mike didn’t back off. He taunted her for a few seconds longer, which results in some rather stunning acelleration.
I’ve been in a few very powerful cars, and I expected the Turbo charged CS to be strong. I didn’t expect 5 psi of boost to do that….! The car was as fast as some late model 996/997 Turbos I’d been in, but far more raw and visceral. Where a modern day 911 Turbo delivers a smooth rush of torque without drama, the TPC Turbo Cayman S reminded me more of a mid 80’s 911 Turbo, only with a lot more power. At some point the car crosses a line that would make most drivers suddenly doubt their abilities. It delivers brute force acceleration that forces you to pay real close attention to gear selection and steering angle.
I asked Mike if the car had an LSD inside, and he told me that he did in fact install a custom Guard Transmission LSD. He began telling me all about clutch packs, acceleration/deceleration ratios, foot pounds, and so on. He went super geek on me, which I love, and which also confirmed to me that Mike knows the Cayman platform like few people I’ve met.
We also had a chance to speak about suspension. That’s when Mike’s Race experience becomes really clear. I haven’t met anyone who’s displayed more knowledge about the Cayman’s suspension and how it should be setup. In a few short minutes he spit out all sorts of knowledge about alignment, differentials, spring rates, roll bars, and so on. This guy instantly earned my respect. I wish I lived closer to TPC because I’d love to pick his brain more. If you live close by, consider yourself lucky and do yourself a favor; stop by and meet Mike for yourself. I think you’ll come to a similar conclusion.
You guys know I’m a skeptic. I put a lot of thought into every mod I try, and I’d be the first to tell you that every mod brings drawbacks. In regard to Turbo kits, I’ve always worried about reliability and longevity. There’s a lot of added heat and mechanical stress to deal with when you boost an engine’s torque output by 50%. Mike told me they’ve delivered more than a few Turbo kits (I was actually stunned by the number). Many of these cars are used extensively on the track, which is the ultimate proving ground because of the frequent long durations of full throttle. That suggests to me that the Cayman engine is stronger than I had previously thought. Perhaps more time is needed to convince guys like me. But let me tell you this. If you’d like to have one bad *** Cayman, if you’d like a Cayman that’s bipolar and has a short temper, if you appreciate being scared when the pedal meets the carpet, then you might like a TPC Turbo Cayman S. But proceed with caution and bring a permission slip from your wife. My visit to TPC ended up costing me a $1,000.