Porsche is expecting to have an influx of Cayman GT4 Clubsports on the grid in Pirelli World Challenge next year, thanks to the German manufacturer’s new upgrade kit that makes the car fully SRO GT4 compliant for GTS competition.
Unveiled last month at Spa, the Manthey Racing-developed GT4 Clubsport MR includes two-way adjustable race suspension, sway bar, carbon fiber doors and hood, a polycarbonate windshield, rear wing, and optional lightweight battery, which reduces the vehicle weight by 40kg.
The upgrade kit will be available later this summer for $47,000, with a turn-key, fully homologated GT4 car priced at $215,350.
According to Porsche Motorsport North America President Jens Walther, up to 20 customer cars are expected across PWC, as well as the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge next year, which also moves to GT4 regulations.
“We thought it’s a good idea to have an entry level race car to allow club racers to have a ready car,” Walther told Sportscar365. “With the GT4 package and the newly announced car, we go into the next step and follow the international trend to GT4 racing.
“In Pirelli World Challenge, we have interest in teams running in that platform. And now recently with IMSA announcing the GT4 platform for the GS class, we also have some interest in customers who want to join, and the existing customers want to modify their cars.
“So we believe between 15 and maybe even 20 cars we’ll see in the U.S. racing in this environment.”
The Cayman GT4 Clubsport made its Continental Tire Challenge debut earlier this year, but with series-specific modifications to comply with current GS regulations, which will transition to full GT4 specifications by 2018.
While five cars are currently on the CTSC GS class grid, Walther believes some of the biggest gains could come in the PWC GTS class, which had previously seen involvement from independently built Caymans.
“We’ve seen Caymans in the past, privately modified Caymans be pretty successful,” he said. “Having a specific homologated platform now will allow teams to buy cars from manufactures without modifying the car themselves, without doing their own test programs.
“That should, we expect, increase the number of cars in both series. And having the same platform, customers and teams can actually go and race in both series, and that again is a benefit.
“If you can utilize the equipment for more races, that’s a more efficient usage of your investment.”
Walther said a total of 90 Cayman GT4 Clubsports have been sold in North America, with more than 400 worldwide, in what’s been a significant success story for Porsche and its entry level GT racing package.
“Many manufacturers are building cars or are considering building cars for GT4,” he said. “We believe it is good timing for us to have this kit as a conversion kit for the GT4. Instead of having a complete new car, we built on the existing platform of the GT4 Clubsport.
“All of these customers who race this car for a year in club racing or entry-level racing can now upgrade the car to a full GT4 kit so they can grow in different platforms. They can develop themselves with the same equipment without having to buy a new car.”
Walther said the upgrade kits will be available to teams by mid-September, with the full GT4 Clubsport MR going on sale later this month, which could enable a potential end-of-season debut in PWC, either at Sonoma or Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.