Porsche Caymans – both the new-for-GS GT4 Clubsport and the ST-spec Cayman – dominated the headlines and the timesheets during this weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 test for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
Daniel Burkett, in his first weekend with CJ Wilson Racing, posted the fastest time of the weekend in GS in the No. 33 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport at 1:57.430 during Sunday morning’s session.
Burkett will share the car with Marc Miller for the season, while the bigger story that emerged even beyond those two was team principal CJ Wilson testing at various points throughout the weekend.
Three other session leaders in GS dipped into the 1:57 bracket.
Rick DeMan ran a 1:57.706 in the No. 72 DeMan Motorsport Porsche Cayman GT4 in Sunday afternoon’s practice, while Scott Maxwell ran a 1:57.765 and 1:57.823 on Friday and Saturday afternoon, respectively, in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-C.
Fords led each of the first four sessions in GS, while the new Cayman GT4 was on pace immediately, within a few tenths at the outset and then ahead by Sunday.
Compass360 Racing led Sunday morning practice with Pierre Kleinubing at a 1:58.129 in the team’s No. 76 Ford Shelby GT350R-C.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Caymans topped all six sessions in ST. Seth Thomas led four of the six in the No. 38 Next Level European Porsche Cayman he shares with Dan Rogers. Thomas’ best time of the weekend was a 2:05.842 in Sunday morning practice.
Eric Foss, meanwhile, turned in the fastest lap of the weekend in ST in the No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman, during Sunday afternoon’s final session at 2:05.688.
Foss and co-driver Jeff Mosing enjoyed a busy weekend, split between that car and the No. 93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Ethan Low was the other driver who topped a session, at 2:05.850 in Friday afternoon practice in the No. 11 DeMan Motorsport Porsche Cayman.
Beyond the Caymans, the Compass360 Racing Audi S3s posted a couple sessions in the top five, while other ST cars that tested included the Honda Civic Si, Mazda MX-5, BMW 328i and MINI JCWs.
There were no major incidents during the weekend. Rum Bum Racing ran only sporadically with its No. 13 Porsche 997, but figures to be back for the race itself to defend its win from 2015.
Both the GS and ST fields should grow significantly from eight and 18 cars respectively for the BMW Performance 200 itself later this month, although it remains to be seen whether it will hit or eclipse the mark of 56 cars that raced here last year.