Dr. Preston Calvert made a name for himself in the medical field and is working to do the same in the motorsports realm. The Potomac, Maryland driver owns several Porsche 911 road and racecars including two he campaigned at the Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC) on August 12 – 13. He ran a Porsche 911 GT3 R under the Calvert Dynamics banner in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) SprintX races and a 911 GT3 Cup car in the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA series on the Tooele, Utah-area track.
Calvert made his Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA debut, finishing in second-place in the Diamond Masters class in the first race and then following that up with another runner-up result in the second. He completed his double duty weekend with back-to-back fifth-place finishes in the PWC SprintX races where he shares the No. 77 entry prepared by GMG with Alec Udell of The Woodlands, Texas.
While both cars are based on the iconic Porsche 911 road car and use the same Pirelli P Zero racing tire, they are very different beasts in race trim. The 911 GT3 Cup car is designed to race in “one-make” series around the globe, of which there are four major series in North America alone – Porsche counts over 20 international one-make series using the current or previous generation “Cup car”. In its role in the one-make Porsche Supercup, Carrera Cup and Cup Challenge series, the 911 GT3 Cup car has limited aerodynamic enhancements, tire size, horsepower and electronic driver aides as compared with the more experienced driver-focused 911 GT3 R.
The 911 GT3 R is fielded in North America’s two premier sports car series, the Pirelli World Challenge (GT and GTA classes) and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GTD class). It is Porsche’s entry into the customer-focused international GT3-specifications. Because of its factory-designed upgrades, it is a very different machine to drive and master than the 911 GT3 Cup car. Both require a shared but unique driving style, one that Calvert is mastering. The time jumping between the two cars at UMC gave him one of the greatest driving challenges of the weekend.
Preston Calvert, Driver, Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R and 911 GT3 Cup.
“It felt really good to switch back and forth between the cars. The cars are very different but the R, it accepts lots and lots of inputs, so you can drive the heck out of it! The brake markers are remarkably similar between the two cars, because the R has more downforce and more power so it ends up being very similar except for in Turn One. There is a whole brake marker difference in the R, you can go a lot deeper into Turn One there with the R.
ABS and the downforce let you really hammer the brakes in the R, while in the Cup car, you can give it a really hard hit [onto the brake pedal], but you have to feather off [the pedal] so you can’t keep the same pressure all the way in.
They are similar enough that it is not that hard of a transition. It is probably easier to drive the 911 GT3 R. The Cup car can be a little bit more picky to drive. I love driving it because it is challenging.”
“There are some very fast guys in the GT3 Cup series. The young guys at the pointy end here in the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA that are plenty quick. Their times are better than some of the guys in the (Pirelli World Challenge) SprintX Cup class by a second or so. It is very impressive how good they are. And the Masters Class drivers that I am up against— two of them are faster than I am right now so I have my work cut out for me!”