Contrary to what the laymen might think, there’s so much more to going quickly than gusto, bravery, and a double-dosage of manhood. It’s an unfortunate assumption made by too many, as reaching the edge of adhesion depends much more on finesse, an understanding of weight transfer, and—crucially—some mechanical sympathy.
So much of this is due to finite resources present—tires, brakes, and fuel—and the need to conserve them as best as possible. Understanding the tire characteristics pushes a driver to exercise a little patience, discretion, and consideration in their driving, and in doing so, they learn how to best utilize their resources without overtaxing them. In other words, once the tire is pushed past its prime, it begins to hamper speed; not increase it. Even a high-end sports car like a Porsche can only take so much abuse, and discovering just how much abuse the tires (and brakes to a similar extent) can take will make a driver world-class. Patrick Long sums it up in the video below.
In addition to understanding your Porsche’s limitations, real speed comes down to balancing the platform accordingly with the right cornering phase—the traction circle explains this in greater depth. Learning how to smoothly transfer weight from the front axle, to the outside tires, to the rear tires, all while carrying some serious speed and enduring some real g-force, is what every professional driver does well.
For instance, trailing the brake slightly to load the nose of your Porsche upon corner entry helps the front tires bite and turn in. This is critical in a 911, which, due to its peculiar weight distribution, will always be subject to more understeer when compared to another car with more static weight over the front axle.
However, the beauty of a 911’s rear-engined layout lies in its inherent traction advantage. If the driver has made it through the challenging entry and mid-corner phases without upsetting the car, they can exploit all that traction, transfer the weight abruptly to the rear end, and fire out of the corner with ferocity few machines can match.