As the gradual build up to the inaugural season of the ‘Cayman GT4 Trophy Thailand’ gets underway the car that will underpin the championship – Porsche’s Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR – took to Chang International Circuit during the most recent TSS race weekend and prospective competitors enjoyed their first opportunity to experience the dynamic capabilities of this accomplished racecar first hand.
“We decide to bring in the Cayman GT4 for potential buyers to test out during the event, to have them see the potential of the car and what it has to offer,” explain TSS Vice President Preeda Tantemsapya.
The Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR (the ‘MR’ being an acronym for Manthey Racing, the Nürburgring-based team, 51% owned by Porsche, that prepares these racecars) is powered by a 385 hp 3.8-litre flat-6 engine with dry sump lubrication mated to a 6-speed paddle shift operated transmission and a racing locking diff. Significantly it retains a real plethora of ‘driver aids’ – something you simply don’t get with cars such as the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup – and they include ABS with 12 level options, Traction Control and Electronic Stability Programme.
Meanwhile the chassis construction is an aluminium-steel hybrid. It also comes with air-con. Finally, the suspension is drawn from the ‘big brother’ 991 GT3 Cup and the whole package rides on 18-inch racing wheels. All in all, a potent combination for the driver to unlock.
That will be the package used for the Cayman GT4 Trophy Thailand and Preeda says that the new championship will go hand in hand with strong support from Porsche and Racing Spirit. “It’s heading in a good direction with full support from Porsche’s marketing and technical sides,” he says. “We are making it more approachable and affordable with down payments and a monthly instalment plan.”
An added bonus for competitors is that the Cayman GT4 Trophy Thailand will be run as part of Super Car GTC and that means dual championship points and podiums will be available as the drivers will also count their overall finishing position in GTC towards that championship.
“It has more potential due to the fact that these six Caymans, plus a further one that has been upgraded to Manthey Racing specification, will be racing together with Super Car GTC and the drivers will be eligible to receive the overall trophy from TSS while these seven cars will also be presented with an exclusive trophy from Porsche on an exclusive podium,” says Preeda. “It means drivers have the potential to be on two podiums and bring home double the silverware.”
Preeda notes that Porsche will bring their input as the relationship grows with TSS. “We will receive marketing and media support from Porsche,” he says. “We are only the second country in Asia [the other is China] to have this type of activity supported by Porsche marketing and technical and we already have a very good relationship with them, we have a held a few events now with Porsche, a couple of times they have been in Buriram and once in Bangsaen with PCCA [Porsche Carrera Cup Asia] and they will be in Bangsaen for a few more years to come.”
“The car is FIA GT4 homologated so it will prove a good investment in terms of drivability and low maintenance costs as the engine will run for 50,000 kms before needing a rebuild and the transmission for 20,000 kms,” he says. “Therefore it can provide longevity for the engine and transmission.”
That’s going to be backed up by parts availability. “70% of the car is based on road car parts and these will be provided at cost after [import] taxes. EKS who is our supplier of Manthey and Porsche Motorsport parts will have stock of the parts available therefore you won’t have to worry about spare parts. At the track there will be all the commonly used parts such as front bumpers.
Preeda says that they want to ensure everyone will have the opportunity to shoot for victory. “We will provide coaching for the drivers with a permanent coach and it will be for Bronze drivers only, we won’t accept Silver drivers as we want to keep this as a race series for gentlemen.”
The cars won’t be captive to Cayman GT4 Trophy Thailand either and that will give the drivers the chance to use them in other series – opening up further options as the FIA GT4 category is now growing fast across Asia. “When a series like Blancpain GT or other international series come to Buriram you will be able to race with this car and as it’s a very reliable car and has a long life for the engine and transmission so you can have more seat time without having to worry about wear and tear.”
Last weekend in Buriram several drivers, from categories such as Super Car and TCR Thailand, were invited to try out the car during the programme’s lunch intervals, and first one out on the track was TSS President Sontaya Kunplome. He was quick to point out afterwards that on a hot weekend in Buriram just how impressive the air conditioning system was in terms of keeping the suited up driver cool. That certainly was a reoccurring comment, as were the immediate advantages to the drivers from the car’s driver aids, including ABS and Traction Control.
Source. Edd Elllison