Your fast track to a factory racing Porsche
Factory-built customer race cars have been core to Porsche’s business from the very start. Many dream about competing in something 911-based, but the realities of doing so can be prohibitive.
Buying your way into the fiercely competitive Carrera Cup will cost about £180,000, including car and entry, while a new 911 GT3 R will cost close to half a million before it turns a wheel in anger. Making the most of a racing 911 isn’t necessarily something for the rookie driver, either, race-winning speed demanding skill and experience wherever you’re competing.
GT4 represents a less intimidating route into the sport, the category attracting more and more manufacturers and a tempting array of factory machinery in which to compete. McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Aston Martin and BMW are among many with new products ready to race, the likes of Ginetta offering a more pure-bred and cost-effective option. Porsche needed to be involved and its choice of the Cayman as its entry-level GT4 car makes total sense, not least given a critically acclaimed road car of the same name on which to base it.
Like the street version of the Cayman GT4, the Clubsport benefits greatly from 911 hardware. At its heart is a naturally-aspirated 3.8-litre flat six from the pre-turbo Carrera S while suspension parts are a direct carry-over from the 911 GT3 Cup car. Unlike the manual-only road car, the Clubsport uses a six-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, smooth shifts and protection from over-revving being among the benefits over the more expensive race sequentials used by equivalent 911s.
From a starting point of less than £100,000, you can pick from a range of options to set the car up for your championship of choice, up to and including the £30,000 GT4-ready MR package from Nürburgring specialist Manthey. As such this €120,000 GT4 Clubsport represents a useful saving, the car having five races in the French Porsche club championship and instruction duties already under its belt. The price includes a race seat, 100-litre tank, additional bolt-in passenger seat and a spare set of wheels.
Price new: £81,000 Price now: £80,000-£120,000 Rivals: McLaren 570, BMW M4, Aston Martin Vantage, Ginetta G55 Heritage: A widely raced model; this one has been used in France
SPEAKING TO MARTIN BRAYBROOK
Why the Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the perfect introduction to racing a Porsche
“I would recommend some kind of fully adjustable suspension and the MR anti-roll bars to take it from an excellent track-day car to a race car,” says Martin Braybrook of Porsche race specialist Brookspeed. “To be competitive within all GT4 European series you need to have the MR kit.” Ease of use, parts support to match any Porsche factory race car and relatively low running costs all count in the Cayman’s favour, too. “The substantially higher engine and gearbox life of the Cayman GT4 are the biggest factors. The PDK works well under race conditions – we have had drivers leave it in the auto setting when they do their first stint in the cars.” www.brookspeed.com