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Knockhill

718 Cayman GT4 Put Through Its Paces at Knockhill

More power, more aerodynamic grip, more performance, and more usability—we’ve heard all of the new Cayman GT4’s strengths already. However, few automotive journalists can test those claims like Steve Sutcliffe. Though he might not look like a superlative athlete, the man is arguably the best driver among his peers. Ten years ago, he was given the chance to test a Honda F1 car, and was only several tenths off James Rossiter, the Honda test driver roughly half his age.

Here, Sutcliffe uses all his strengths to illuminate the incremental changes that make this car 12 seconds a lap faster around the Nurburging than the 981 GT4. Despite the car weighing 80 pounds more and retaining the same frustratingly long gear ratios, the 718 is still quicker in a straight line.

Watch how urgently the car fires off the corner at 4:38. There’s an easily accessible engine at work here.

Based upon the motor found in the rear of the latest Carrera S, the 718’s new 4.0-liter motor makes 414 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. Though that latter figure is the same as with the outgoing 3.8-liter engine, the added displacement provides a broader powerband, which helps camouflage the car’s long gearing. With the driver more often in the optimal rev range, the new chassis is more easily exploited. 

The steering, brakes, and suspension are closely related to those found in the GT3, and Sutcliffe immediately recognizes the changes. That sharpened steering is a real asset through Knockhill’s blind entries, which Sutcliffe attacks with the commitment you’d expect from him. 

A big rear wing, an underbody diffuser, and a bigger splitter creates 269 pounds of downforce at 188 miles per hour—nothing to sniff at. Not only is this car more incisive, but added stability—a little extra composure is always nice over the crests—is another feature which goads a driver to push that much harder. 

The improved powertrain, better composed chassis, and better exhaust note make it even more thrilling to drive than its predecessor, which was a firecracker itself. Incremental changes in every department make the new 718 Cayman GT4 a dependable, confidence-inspiring car which can soak up bumps, stay on the pipe, and encourage the driver to attack. That combination of qualities—not just the bump in power—is what is responsible for its incredible 7:28 lap around the ‘Ring.

Incidentally, that’s the same as the lap set by the 997 GT3 RS 4.0. Though tire technology has come a long way in ten years, having the least expensive member of the GT family set the same lap as the former heavyweight is a testament to Porsche’s unyielding search for incremental improvements in every department.

Composure, mid-engine balance, and great engine response—what’s not to like?

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2016 Porsche Carrera Cup GB: Knockhill race report

Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion, Dan Cammish took a big step towards retaining his title with a perfect points haul north of the border at the demanding Knockhill circuit, near Edinburgh.

Cammish, looking to become one of just three drivers to win two consecutive Carrera Cup GB titles, secured pole position for rounds 11 and 12 at the Scottish circuit before converting his grid slot into his eighth and ninth victories of the season.

Race one saw the Redline Racing driver get away cleanly in the lead from the rolling start, closely pursued by teammate (and 2016/17 Porsche Scholar) Charlie Eastwood.

Cammish Eastwood Knockhill

The 21-year-old Irish racer kept his more experienced teammate honest throughout the 31-lap encounter but could never get much within a second of the rear wing of Cammish’s 991 GT3 Cup car, eventually settling for P2, two seconds behind the reigning champion.

Behind, Tom Sharp rounded off the podium having jumped passed Alessandro Latif at the start. The IDL Racing driver had to fend off the attention of Lewis Plato in the early stages before pulling away and securing fourth podium of 2016.

As Plato’s challenge faded, Stephen Jelley (having started eighth on the grid) was able to find a way through to take fourth as Cammish’s closest title rival, Dino Zamparelli could only finish sixth for the GT Marques squad.

Tom Sharp Knockhill

At the front, race two followed a similar pattern as Cammish immediately worked out a small but comfortable lead over Eastwood before the Porsche Scholar was able to peg the gap back but never get truly on terms with his teammate.

As Cammish and Eastwood gave Redline Racing their fourth consecutive one-two of the season, Sharp was made to work for his second podium of the meeting by Tom Oliphant. The duo swapped positions incessantly, including twice on the final lap.

Zamparelli’s disappointing weekend concluded with another sixth place, giving Cammish a 44-point advantage in the title battle with four races left to run. The penultimate meeting of the year takes place at Silverstone on 17-18 September.

For all the latest Porsche 911 race news and reports, make sure you check out our dedicated motorsport section.

PCCGB Knockhill podium

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911 in Motorsport: Carrera Cup GB & Supercup report

Michael Meadows Kerb Knockhill

Porsche Carrera Cup GB
After a below par weekend at Snetterton, Michael Meadows set down a clear marker to his rivals at Knockhill that he would not roll over softly in the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup GB title race.

The reigning champion completed a clean sweep in both races, taking a double victory alongside two pole positions and a pair of fastest laps.

Meadows dominated proceedings at the Scottish circuit, leading from the front in both Carrera Cup encounters.

In race one, a mid-race safety car provided the championship leader with a moment of respite from fellow 997 GT3 Cup racer, Rory Butcher. As racing resumed, Meadows was able to edge away from the local star, with Dan Lloyd following the pair home in third.

The second race was once again another Porsche masterclass from Meadows, as he managed to escape the first corner shenanigans behind. Lap after lap, Meadows extended his lead, eventually taking the flag 5.2 seconds ahead of his rivals.

Dean Stoneman Porsche Carrera Cup GB Knockhill

Dan Lloyd improved on his race one position with second place, as Total 911 ‘one to watch’ Dean Stoneman overcame a clash with Butcher to take the final step on the podium.

Stoneman, the 2010 FIA Formula 2 champion, had looked set for another strong finish in the first encounter until a puncture during the safety car period dropped him down to the back of the field.

Fourth place in the opening race was the best that Jonas Gelzinis could manage. The Lithuanian had a torrid second race, coming home in ninth place and dropping 23 points away from Meadows in the title battle.

 

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup
Porsche Junior Klaus Bachler benefited from erstwhile leader Kuba Gierzmaziak’s final lap gearbox problems to take his inaugural Supercup win at Spa Francorchamps.

Klaus Bachler Porsche Supercup Spa

The Austrian withstood firm pressure from Sean Edwards to take victory, as Michael Christensen bounced back from a disappointing Budapest race to take third in Belgium.

Total 911’s ‘one to watch’ in the Supercup, Ben Barker, pulled off some brave overtaking manoeuvres to finish in ninth place at the Ardennes venue. Barker’s solid run of form kept him in the top 10 of the Supercup standings.

As with many of the circuits on the 2013 calendar, Spa was a new experience for Barker. The young Brit finished qualifying in 13th, after still getting used to his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car around the demanding Belgian circuit.

Ben Barker Porsche Supercup Spa 1

Come the race, the Oxford-based driver had a good run through Eau Rouge on the second tour, allowing him to get alongside Christian Engelhardt and Richie Stanaway.

Despite locking up for Les Combes, Barker was able to complete the pass, moving into 11th spot. He then set about chasing down Team Bleekemolen stable mate, Jeroen Mul.

After running side-by-side through the fast left-hander at Blanchimont, Barker eventually prevailed. However, his next target, Kevin Estre was too far up the road to be challenged.

When Giermaziak suffered his shifting gremlins on the last lap though, Barker was able to move into ninth place, cementing his standing at number three in the Rookie classification.

Ben Barker Porsche Supercup 2

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