Happenings

Race Ready Goodness

BY Philip Ng

With the road-going Cayman GT4 released to wild acclaim, Porsche has taken the opportunity to develop a new track-only racer based off of it. Enter the GT4 Clubsport.

Racing has always been the cornerstone of Porsche’s DNA, from sprint races with sports cars to circuit endurance races fought in purpose built prototypes, few marques have more experience than the Stuttgart giant. This experience has even filtered into their road cars where their motorsport department has given us gems like the 911 GT3 and more recently, the Cayman GT4. Fitting then, that that Porsche has chosen the Cayman GT4 on which to base its latest entry level racer, the GT4 Clubsport.

The GT4 Clubsport is blessed with many of the same traits that make its street-going sibling a riot to drive, such as bodywork that helps to produce genuine downforce on both axles, a lower, wider track and a mid-mounted 3.8 liter flat six engine that produces 385hp. However alterations have been made to beef up the base car, such as front suspension that has been lifted wholesale from a GT3 cup car while the rear has a revised strut design with GT3 cup car control arms. The 6-piston front and 4-piston rear brake calipers are also a one piece design now for added strength.

Meanwhile the standard manual transmission has been eschewed for a 6-speed PDK double clutch setup and the ESP system has been retuned to make the most of the available power. The modern racecar essentials are also accounted for with a structure-stiffening roll cage, six point harness and a fire suppression system to keep you safe, while extended range fuel cells available in 70- or 100-litre form keep you on track and out of the pits. A stripped out interior ensures that the 1300kg GT4 Clubsport is lighter than the road car despite the added equipment.

The GT4 Clubsport’s wheel and brake setup might surprise a few however, with the size of the rims and steel front brake rotors down to 18 inches and 380mm respectively compared to the 20 inch wheels and 400mm front carbon ceramic brake rotors available on the road going GT4. Though this may seem like a step back, consider that slick racing tires typically have thicker sidewalls and that carbon ceramic brakes are only reserved for the upper classes of motorsport, then it makes sense that these changes are necessary to homologate the car.

With regards to homologation, Porsche hopes that the car will see use in everything from club level sprint races to full out endurance events such as the Pirelli World Challenge. With an illustrious history of creating race winning machines, strong factory support that Porsche teams typically enjoy and a relatively affordable entry price that costs less than most luxury sedans (S$232,000, without taxes and COE of course), it will be no surprise to see many gentleman racers and professional teams snap them up in short order.