Can A Fast Driver In A Volkswagen Beat A Slow Driver In A Porsche?

It’s a question for the ages; How much does the car factor in a fast lap time?

byBradley Brownell|
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One debate has been raging since the dawn of automobile competition. It's long been contested that a faster driver in a slower car can beat a slower driver in a much faster car. In many cases a fast car can really make up for ones deficiencies on track, but if someone is truly adept at running on the track, they can often chase you down in vastly inferior equipment. Given the same track on the same day, two drivers testing their mettle against one another attempt to prove once and for all how much time is lost by loose driver skills. 

The test, in this case, involves one person in a Volkswagen Jetta 1.8 Turbo and the other in a 991.1 Porsche 911 Carrera running back to back at the Streets of Willow. The Jetta's four cylinder engine produces just 170 horsepower, while the Carrera is north of 300, nearly double. The 911 has grown into a heavy beast, so it's likely the Jetta weighs about the same, perhaps slightly more. The Porsche almost certainly has the better tires of the two. So it would make sense that the Carrera would be worth more on a lap time basis. For the faster driver of the two, the 911 had a nearly 11-second advantage over the VW. For the slow driver, the difference was even larger, running a lap almost 16 seconds faster in the Porsche than in the Volkswagen. 

So, is the slow driver in a 911 capable of outrunning the quick guy in a turbo Jetta? Well, the short answer is no. Here are the results, as ranked by lap time. Check out the video for more. 

1. Fast Driver/Fast Car - Porsche 911 - 1:16.50

2. Fast Driver/Slow Car - Volkswagen Jetta - 1:27.24

3. Slow Driver/Fast Car -Porsche 911 - 1:31.40

4. Slow Driver/Slow Car - Volkswagen Jetta - 1:47.1

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