Porsche debuted its new GT4-spec machine, the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, on January 3 at the Roar Before the Rolex 24. The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series test session provided valuable data for Porsche Motorsport North America and the customer teams involved. The newest Porsche race car led the GS class time charts for the weekend. Now, the mid-engine racer – in its top tier MR package trim – returns to the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. Eight of the new road car-based machines are entered in the four-hour season and series’ debut on Friday, January 25 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Leading the GS class teams is defending race winner RS1. The No. 28 Porsche will be shared by veteran Jan Heylen (Clearwater, Florida), Charlie Luck (Richmond, Virginia) and Fred Poordad (San Antonio, Texas). Park Place Motorsports, a past race winner and current contender in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTD class with Porsche, makes its Michelin Pilot Challenge debut teaming with Alan Brynjolfsson (Tampa, Florida) and Trent Hindman (Ocean Township, New Jersey) in the neon yellow No. 7. BGB Motorsports brings its new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport adorned with the No. 11 to Daytona for drivers Thomas Collingwood (Canada), John Tecce of Daytona Beach and Stefan Rzadzinski (Canada). Bodymotion Racing, the first team to win a GS class race with a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport – the previous version of the car – has entered the No. 31 for Pete McIntosh with the Old Bridge, New Jersey-resident’s co-driver yet to be announced. Mike Vess (Wichita, Kansas) Matt Travis (The Woodlands, Texas) and Jason Hart (Flower Mound, Texas) will take turns at the wheel of the No. 44 nolasport Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. TRG – The Racers Group – returns to the professional Porsche ranks with its traditional Nos. 66 and 67 now on the natural fiber bodywork of the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Dillon Machavern (Charlotte, Vermont) and Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia) will pair in the No. 66. The duo ran to the race victory at Daytona together in 2018 – then with RS1. Chris Bellomo (Portola Valley, California) and Robert Orcuff (Santa Cruz, California) share the second TRG machine.
The new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the most advanced development of the successful model from the German-marque. The near-standard mid-engine racer now is available in two versions: the “Trackday” model for ambitious amateur racing drivers and the “Competition” variant for national and international motor racing, including the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GT4-class.
In developing the new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, the focus was put not only on improved drivability and faster lap times but also on the sustainable use of raw materials. The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the first production race car to feature body parts made of natural-fiber composite material. The driver and co-driver doors and the rear wing are made of an organic fiber mix, sourced primarily from agricultural by-products such as flax or hemp fibers and feature similar properties to carbon fiber in terms of weight and stiffness.
Powering the 718 GT4 Clubsport is a 3.8-liter flat-six engine producing 425 hp (313 kW), a 40 horsepower increase when compared to its successful predecessor.. The power is transferred to the rear wheels via the Porsche PDK dual-clutch gearbox with six gears and mechanical rear axle differential lock. The lightweight spring-strut front suspension is taken from the 911 GT3 Cup car. The racing brake system features steel brake discs all-around, measuring 14.96-inches (380-millimetres) in diameter.