Cur­rently just a con­cept, could be­come a full-blown com­pe­ti­tion car

911 Porsche World - - News And Views -

The wait con­tin­ues for of­fi­cial news of Porsche’s fol­low up to the smash-hit 981 Cay­man GT4. But the old model isn’t quite dead. Porsche has re­vealed what it is de­scrib­ing as a ‘con­cept study’ rally car based on the orig­i­nal GT4. We give you the Cay­man R-GT Club­sport.

The start­ing point for the new con­cept-cum-racer is the Cay­man GT4 Club­sport cir­cuit car. That vari­ant has been cam­paigned at club­sport level world­wide since the 2016 sea­son and is pow­ered by the same 385hp, 3.8-litre flat-six en­gine as the GT4 road car. How­ever, the GT4 racer dif­fers from the road car cour­tesy of its dual-clutch PDK trans­mis­sion, with shift pad­dles on the steer­ing wheel. The road GT4 was avail­able only with a man­ual gear­box.

For ral­ly­ing, full un­der­body pro­tec­tion has been fit­ted to the GT4 Club­sport. An en­ergy-ab­sorb­ing foam el­e­ment, as used in WRC cars, has been mounted in the doors. As we go to press, the Cay­man RGT is due to run as a course car at the ADAC Ral­lye Deutsch­land with Porsche- re­tained pi­lot Ro­main Du­mas be­hind the wheel. Du­mas, of course, won Le Mans with Porsche in the 919 Hy­brid in 2016 and has an ex­ten­sive CV full of suc­cess­ful drives in 911-de­rived race cars. In­deed, Du­mas’s rally en­gi­neer­ing com­pany RD Lim­ited has re­port­edly han­dled the com­pe­ti­tion makeover, turn­ing a GT4 Club­sport cir­cuit car into a rally weapon.

Group R-GT, of course, is an of­fi­cial FIA class for GT cars in ral­ly­ing. R-GT cars com­pete in the FIA R-GT Cup, which takes place on Tar­mac rounds of the ERC and

WRC, in­clud­ing Ral­lye Monte-carlo, Ypres Rally, Ral­lye Deutsch­land, Ral­lye In­ter­na­tional du Valais and Tour de Corse. The R-GT regs were first in­tro­duced in 2011. How­ever, since 2014 tech­ni­cal pass­ports for in­di­vid­ual ve­hi­cles have been avail­able, mean­ing ho­molo­ga­tion for spe­cific car mod­els is no longer a re­quire­ment.

In 2015, the first year of com­pe­ti­tion, François Dele­cour snatched top hon­ours over­all in a Tuthill-pre­pared Porsche 997 GT3. Ever since, it’s been the roar­ing GT3 that’s de­fined the class and pro­vided a com­pelling alternative to the hatch back based WRC cars. Fiat has since en­tered the class with the Abarth 124 R-GT. Other mod­els to have com­peted in the class in­clude the Lo­tus Ex­ige R-GT.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to see­ing how the rally world re­sponds to our FIA R-GT con­cept study,” says Dr. Frank-st­ef­fen Wal­liser, Vice Pres­i­dent Mo­tor­sport and GT Cars. “I would like to in­vite ev­ery in­ter­ested driver and team prin­ci­pal to visit the ser­vice park and take a close look at our rally con­cept car. Based on the feed­back and the in­ter­est from po­ten­tial cus­tomers, we will then de­cide by the end of the year whether we’ll de­velop in the mid-term a com­pe­ti­tion car for near­stan­dard ral­ly­ing based on a fu­ture Porsche model.”

It’s not there­fore cer­tain whether the Cay­man R-GT will make the tran­si­tion from fully work­ing con­cept to full-blown com­pe­ti­tion car. How­ever, if it does, we’d ex­pect it to be based on the up­com­ing new GT4, based on the newer 718 chas­sis. For now, Porsche hasn’t con­firmed the ex­is­tence of a new GT4 ex­plic­itly. How­ever, Porsche mo­tor­sport reps have dis­cussed the in­tro­duc­tion of a new GT4 racer in some de­tail and in­di­cated that it will have ad­di­tional power thanks to a new spec of road en­gine.

Cur­rently, the smart money is on a new nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 4.0-litre mo­tor that shares its swept ca­pac­ity and per­haps some parts with the lat­est 911 GT3, but falls short of de­liv­er­ing the full 9000rpm and 500hp ex­pe­ri­ence. An out­put in the range of 420 to 430hp is prob­a­ble from the new flat six. Es­sen­tially the same en­gine will also form the ba­sis of a new Boxster Spy­der. How­ever, given all ex­ist­ing 718 mod­els cur­rently run flat-four en­gines and have been pro­moted heav­ily cour­tesy of links to the clas­sic 718 racer of the 1950s and 1960s, also pow­ered by a flat-four en­gine, it’s not clear whether the 718 brand­ing will be re­tained for the GT4 and Spy­der spe­cials.

A Cay­man R-GT rally car? Now that’s some­thing we’d like to see ral­ly­ing com­pet­i­tively. At present it is due to run as course car on the ADAC Ral­lye Deutsch­land, driven by Porsche works driver, Ro­main Du­mas

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