Porsche’s Cayman set for Thai racing debut

img_0153When Porsche introduced its first generation Cayman sportscar in 2006 the company promised that it would never hit the racetrack with factory support. That all changed a little over a year ago when the covers were yanked off the ‘Cayman GT4 Clubsport’ a track day special which has now spawned the Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR, a pukka racing version designed to win in the FIA GT4 category.

Now the Cayman becomes another ‘first’ for Thai motorsport as when it hits the streets of Bangsaen next week it will be the first ever representative of this popular model line to competitively take to a racetrack in Thailand. It will also be one of just three FIA GT4 machine on the GTC grid in Bangsaen as Vattana Motorsport will enter its brace of KTM X-Bow cars for Jack Lemvard and Narasak Ittritpong as usual.

The GT4 Clubsport is a serious trackday weapon that kicks out 385 hp from its 3.8-litre dry-sump flat-six engine which chucks away the standard model’s 6-speed manual transmission in favour of Porsche’s PKD unit, operated via paddles. The suspension struts are lifted from the 911 GT3 meaning it’s a handling charm on the race track and the capability is reinforced by the addition of 15-inch vented brake discs at the front and rear with hefty 6-pot calipers up front, all of which are squeezed inside thumping big 18-inch forged alloy wheels.

Before heading for Thailand this car was shipped to Manthey Racing in Germany to be upgraded to full race safety specification, which included fitting an FIA homologated fuel cell, automatic plumbed in fire extinguisher system and a Recaro racing seat.

The driver, Charvanin Bunditkitsada, meanwhile, will be making a welcome return to the TSS programme having previously raced an Elise in the Lotus Cup Thailand from 2011-2013. So why did he choose the Cayman and to make the step up to Super Car GTC? He says that it was a logical choice. “Because it is the mid-engine car and easier to control than 911,” Charvanin explains. “The GTC class is more for the non-professional drivers and I would like to race as a hobby [while] GT3 and GTM are too fast for busy man like me.”

Last week he enjoyed a shakedown test in the car at Bira Circuit as he starts to get back into the racing groove and acclimatise himself with the brand new machine and he believes that picking this option is right for him.

He’s was especially pleased with how the Cayman GT4 handled around Bira, which should translate well to the Bangsaen Street Circuit. “The suspension was superb, [it] feels like you are driving a go kart,” he notes. “Predictable and very accurate.”

Source. Edd Ellison

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