Porsche 944 S – a cross roads

Porsche 944 EMC motorsport

This is the second part of my series on myself and Adrian getting into the world of motorsport. What a funny world it is as well – much, much smaller than I expected it to be. The episode is all about two conversations I’ve had in the past to weeks – one with Sarah Hutchison and one with Kev at EMC Motorsport. In both conversations I learnt a lot, and learnt quickly – there’s a lot to take in.

Sarah Hutchison – Prestige track club

Sarah has been in motor racing for, well, ages. From organising race series to racing herself she’s got great experience to help us. She also just so happened to be sitting next to Adrian at a networking lunch the day after Adrian and myself decided to go racing!

Sarah’s advice was to put together a programme of track days or us both on a few different circuits – Donnington, Oulton Park, Anglesey and Silverstone. A good selection of circuits to learn on and start to get know – and not too far away from us either. This also comes with instruction from Sarah herself and one session each from the chief instructor at the circuit. All sounds good – I think it’s essential for us both to get good tuition as right now, we are the limiting factor to going fast around the circuit – no matter what car we’re driving! We’ve all seen Sabine Schmitz throw a Transit van round the Nurburgring faster than most people could take a Porsche round. So that all sounds good.

Car wise, our plan was to gradually build up the 944 S into a race car over the next year or so, with us doing most of the work and so only paying for parts and specialist labour. What Sarah suggested though is that a properly prepared race car has a number of advantages:

  • Normally prepared by a race specialist
  • Is normally much more expensive to prepare than to buy complete
  • Will probably have a known race history so you know it’s reliable and well built

All which again makes really good sense. What she did say though is that having the 944 S could act as a good track day car with only a little tinkering, and so would be a good car to learn in and tinker with a bit – just not go the whole hog really. Still road legal, two seats for an instructor and so on.

A good conversation then overall.

Kev at EMC Motorsport

View EMC Motorsport in a larger map

Yesterday I jumped in the Porsche for a jaunt down the M6 to see EMC Motorsport in Birmingham. It’s very much tucked away and a surprising place when you get in. A compact place stuffed full of Porsches and parts. It’s a proper working garage – no dealer showroom here.

Kev chucked the 944 S up on the ramp (a massive ramp that can hold a full size Mercedes Sprinter van no less) to have a check underneath. There’s a couple of minor issues going on underneath. A slowly corroding front brake line, drive shafts that are bone dry and need regreasing/packing, poorly fitted rear brake lines (done for previous MOT) and the lower engine hose far too close to the power steering belt (looks like an S2 hose which is slightly longer that’s been fitted). Overall though nothing major to be worried about – just a little bit of work.

His feelings on our plan though were a bit different. I have massive respect for Kev as a man who has been in motorsport for many decades now and who doesn’t just prepare the cars but they race their own cars and are very active within the community – they know an incredible amount about these cars. They even race their own 944 S which is good to know.

In terms of our plans though his views were clear. Even with loads of money, you’ll never get a good ‘race car’ out of our 944 S. It will never match a properly race prepped car, and for a race car you wouldn’t want a 944 S (even though they race one) you would want an S2 for the 3 litre engine and much more torque. The 944 S only has a very narrow power band and so is harder to learn from in his opinion. Better off just buying a race car and using that.


All of this leaves us at a bit of a cross roads with the car we’ve bought. We’ve got a number of options:

  • Sell the 944 S after a bit of tweaking – probably for a touch more than we bought it for. Then hire cars for our tuition
  • Still use it for track days, but keep it standard so it can be sold
  • Continue to use as a track car to learn in and do a bit of fettling but keep all the parts so it can be returned to standard
  • Go a bit nuts on it and then sell it as a track car next year

Whatever we do I believe we’ll be getting a proper race car next year that’s ready to go. They seem to be about £10,000 though to buy, so we’ll see how that works out with the finances.

Question is what do you think?

About Rob

I'm an average petrolhead - I love cars and get as much driving experiences as I can out in the world from test drives to track days.