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Manthey Racing Cayman 718 GTS Hounds GT3 RS at the Nurburgring

Though no slouch from the factory, the Cayman 718 GTS’ blade can use a bit of sharpening if it’s to keep in touch with the venerable 991 GT3 RS. One owner and skilled shoe, a certain sebastian vittel, sent his off to Manthey Racing to fulfill the potential of the 718 chassis. Agile, easily controlled, and reassuring, it’s enough to run with a well-driven GT3 RS at the Nurburgring.

A Few Important Tweaks

Though the list of modifications supplied by Manthey is short, each item is very effective. They contribute to feel, feedback, and confidence—qualities that go very far on as treacherous a track as the Nurburgring. Controlling the body are Manthey racing Special KW competition suspension with a setup tailored to the crests and crowns of the ‘Ring. Special Endless brake pads and stainless brake lines sit underneath the BBS Cayman GT4 forged wheels wrapped in Pirelli Trofeo R rubber. For a little more reassurance in the quick stuff, a TWL carbon rear ducktail spoiler helps, and a half cage provides a little stiffness and security, as do the Schroth harnesses.

The engine is untouched and produces the same 367 horsepower as it did when it rolled off the dealer’s lot. It’s not an exceptional amount of thrust, but the PDK gearbox makes the most of the punch available. In fact, the Cayman seems slightly underpowered for the amount of grip it has. Even in slow corners, it never snaps or overwhelms the rears. This, in some sense, eases the driver’s mind and allows them to focus on cornering speed.

The planted rear only once snaps: in the middle of the quick Wehrseifen (3:03), where a mid-corner adjustment helps point it in the right direction.

Agility Its Best Asset

The way the Cayman points into corners is perhaps the reason why it’s so capable around the 12.9-mile track. When he makes his way past Ex-Muhle (3:37), vittel can keep his foot flat to the floor and carry wonderful speed through the fastest corners as he doesn’t have to consider making a speed change (through lifting or braking) at the corner entry. The tighter the course gets, the more the incisive front end helps him, and he can constantly close whatever small gap with a few additional mph into and through the corner.

It’s obvious that the well-balanced chassis, moderate amount of torque from down low, and pointy front end make this Cayman extremely capable. Those assets, combined with vittel’s tidier lines and the benefit of traffic, allow him to keep in touch with the GT3 RS ahead until the front straightaway, where the blue car fires off into the distance. It’s easy to say who the more satisfied driver was at that point.

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Watch This Club Racer Pass 41 Cars In One Race

Racer Cory Friedman has put his hands to the steering wheel of a number of Porsche’s greatest race cars over the years, but he may have had the best drive of his life at Daytona during last month’s season-ender PCA Club Racing event. He normally races a 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and in fact had already qualified quite high for this GTA3 class event, but when Shannon Herford offered Friedman the chance to race the ex-Ben Barker and Andrew Baker Gulf Racing UK GT3 R used in the Road To Le Mans series of events, he jumped at the chance. Even if that meant throwing away his qualifying time and starting from dead last on the 43 car grid.

Now, in order to retain his lead in the points championship, Friedman needed to finish in second place. Luckily the GT3 R has significantly more power, aero, and grip than the Cayman GT4s and GT3 Cups found throughout the GTA3 class, which allowed him to make some pretty slick maneuvers. When you have more grip and a higher top speed than the competition, Daytona is exactly the place you want to be. The first few laps are like playing Forza on easy, as he patiently tiptoes through the scrum. Once the pack starts to spread out, however, you can see his focus change to more long-range racing. Setting up passes strategically to cause the least damage to his lap times.

The 16 lap sprint has Friedman passing an average of 2.5 cars per lap. And that doesn’t include lapped traffic!

Settle in, because this 10,000 RPM 170 MPH romp is a classic for the ages. Check it out.

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Is The New 992 Even Closer To Porsche Perfect?

Whenever there is a new generation of 911, we like to compile opinions from as many different sources as possible before making a full judgement. To that end, we were excited to see Yuri and Jakub of The Straight Pipes throw their opinion into the ring. Every generation of 911 has gotten better [Yes, even the 996] and it’s difficult to believe that the 992 can improve on the near-perfection delivered by the 991. These two get behind the wheel of a brand new C4S and get into the serious details with this nearly-twenty-minute review. It’s comprehensive, to say the least.

It’s important to start with the fact that the new 992 still feels like a 911. It takes everything that was great about the 991 and exaggerates it just a bit.

Sure, there are some gripes. The PDK shifter in the center console is a little wimpy looking. The gauge cluster still has the traditional five rings, but the outer two are near impossible to see through the steering wheel opening. The Apple Car Play buttons are a bit on the small side. Obviously the rear seats are still useless for adults. And it’s expensive. These are things you get used to when you buy a new 911, however, and maybe not that big of a deal if you really want one.

It’s a really important time for Porsche right now, with a new 911 just hitting customers, plus the launch of the Taycan. They’re really busy over in Stuttgart right now. Which would you rather have? Let us know in the comments below.

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Here Is How You Can Watch Porsche’s First Formula E Race This Weekend

The 2019/2020 FIA Formula E season begins this weekend with a double-header weekend in the Saudi Arabian city of Diriyah. This will mark Porsche’s first foray into open-wheel racing since it left Formula 1 as an engine supplier in 1991. This time the team is 100% Porsche and staffed by many of the world championship winning geniuses behind the 919 Hybrid LMP1 effort. Porsche has decided that its future will be electrified, and with the recent launch of the Taycan, Porsche’s new Formula E car—the 99x Electric—further cements that.

Here in the U.S. you’ll be able to watch both of the weekend’s two « E-Prix » races on various Fox Sports properties. In other countries Formula E does broadcast the full races live on its YouTube channel. I’m not suggesting that you try some kind of digital method of tricking YouTube into thinking you are in another country, that would be unethical. *wink wink*

Of course, if you aren’t already, you should definitely be following TAG Porsche’s Formula E team on Twitter. It’s important that we support our favorite Porsche drivers Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer on Twitter with our votes for #Fanboost! Fanboost in Formula E allows the driver with the most votes a short power boost that they can use during the E-Prix. It’s a little like Porsche’s overboost button you might find on the steering wheel of your street going Porsche. If they get enough of our votes, they’ll have that small advantage to use during the race. Check it out!

 

This is how Porsche says goodbye to its comfort zone.

 

 
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Porsche Nets A Double Podium In An Uncharacteristically Docile Macau Grand Prix Weekend

The Macau Grand Prix weekend is always on my list of must-watch racing action every year when it rolls around. The tight street circuit usually produces some extremely close and tight action, particularly among the GT3 class. This race draws teams and manufacturer support from all over the world, with some of the greatest drivers duking it out in a pair of short sprint races over the course of two days. Porsche sent a trio of factory drivers to run the race.

Kevin Estre suffered a poor weekend with a bad finish in the qualifying race, and a huge shunt in Sunday’s main which saw his GT3R’s left rear wheel separated from the chassis.

Up at the front, however, it was Porsche’s Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor all over the bumper of the leading Mercedes. In both Saturday’s qualifying race and Sunday’s main it was like this, the two ROWE racing Porsches with two of Porsche’s best racers running in lock step right behind the lead. The tight circuit, combined with a couple of poorly timed full course yellow flags meant that neither could mount a serious effort to make a pass stick.

Saturday’s short 9-lap qualifying race ran like this for the entirety of the event, with Marciello’s Mercedes leading over Vanthoor and Bamber. Never more than a few feet separating the three cars.

Sunday’s 18-lap race had slightly more drama, but not enough to really write home about. Following the safety car period, the BMW M6 of Augusto Farfus got an excellent restart and made an excellent pass on Bamber for 3rd, pulling out of a slipstream to make a drag along the main straight to stick a nose under. It didn’t last long, however, as a tight corner caught out the leading Mercedes, which caused both Vanthoor and Farfus to check up. With exquisite foresight Bamber was able to get third back from Farfus with a great down-the-inside move.

 

It was not shown during the broadcast, but a handful of laps later Bamber passed Vanthoor up into second. I don’t know for certain, but it looked very much to me like the team asked Vanthoor to cede the position to allow a slightly quicker Bamber to fight at the front with the Mercedes. Bamber was pushing his car very hard, as you can see by this very light brush with the wall which cost him the driver’s side mirror on the car. Somehow he managed to escape without clipping his rear wing off.

On the final lap Bamber got very close to the leader, close enough in fact to give him a big shove with his front bumper at the hairpin corner. It was a close fight, but Bamber knew that he could not get the win. In a completely gentlemanly move, he then slowed on the final straight to give Vanthoor his earned second-position finish back to him.

Porsche put up a good fight, but ultimately didn’t have quite enough to make any proper efforts to pass. It was a slightly staid procession this year, but still worth watching for some great racers making some great moves. If you want to see the whole GT3 class weekend play out, you can watch it all on Motorsport.TV. Here’s the qualifying race, and here’s Sunday’s final. Check it out!

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