Porsche has been a key exponent of the GT4 class of GT-style racing since the very early days of the category in the late 2000s, then using a variant of its 997 911 model before later switching to the Cayman, which sits between the higher-end 911 and the lower end Boxster in Porsche’s road-car line-up.
iRacing features the 718 version of the Cayman to compete alongside the service’s other GT4-specification machines, the 718 having replaced its predecessor – the GT4 Clubsport MR – at the start of 2019.
Introduction to the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
The 718 picked up from where its Father left off, providing teams all over the globe with a strong platform with which to battle for championships and wins in high-level series such as the GT4 European Series, the IMSA Michelin Pilot championship as well as British GT – where GT4’s compete in a multi-class format alongside faster GT3 vehicles.
The 718 Cayman GT4 features a similar layout to Porsche’s 992 GT3 R monster, with a rear-mounted engine powering only the rear wheels – a configuration that enables the vehicle to enjoy a large amount of traction as a result of the bulk of the car’s weight pushing the driven wheels into the tarmac.
In iRacing the 718 GT4 is eligible for several different series, with the GT4-only fixed setup GT4 Falken Tyre Challenge allowing you to compete over 15 minutes while the Falken Sports Car Challenge is a multi-class format alongside the LMP3 class, the contest staged over 30 minutes.
This series also allows you to tweak your setup in any way you wish, though if you don’t want to go through the hassle of this you can always sign up for Coach Dave Academy’s iRacing set-up service in order to hit the ground running.
The Basic Car Setup
Much like the 992 GT3 R, the 718 Cayman GT4 carries the same inherent characteristics as a result of its rear-engine layout, with understeer more prevalent as a result of the lack of weight on the front end of the car, which results in the front tyres not being pushed into the ground as much as a conventional car and thus reducing front grip.
Also, due to the GT4 regulations that keep the use of aerodynamic devices to an absolute minimum, you don’t have the black magic of downforce to help you make up for this lack of front-end bite, so instead tweaking the mechanical aspect of the 718’s set-up is necessary in order to improve its behaviour.
- Dialing the brake bias a couple of per cent to the rear is a good place to start in order to reduce the amount of pressure on the front tyres, thus improving turn-in as well as allowing you to brake that bit later and still carry ample corner speed.
- Reducing the front ARB blade settings can help to reduce understeer by allowing the cornering load to be spread more evenly between the front wheels
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Aerodynamics and Bodywork
The 718 GT4 is very basic in terms of its aerodynamic configuration as a result of the restrictive nature of the GT4 regulations, the Cayman only featuring a fixed front splitter as well as an adjustable rear wing.
Due to the unchangeable splitter, the only influence you can have on the vehicle’s aero is with the rear wing, though due to the relatively small amount of downforce it produces the main aspect it controls is the drag coefficient of the machine – lower settings are better for tracks like Monza while the higher settings can give more medium and high-speed corner stability at circuits like Imola.
Steering and Cornering
Much like the 992 GT3 R, a smooth driving style is critical in order to get the most from the 718 Cayman GT4, as any overdriving will exacerbate the vehicle’s natural tendency to understeer or, conversely, can even cause over-rotation.
- Getting your braking done before turn-in will help to reduce the load on the front tyres and thus help turn-in bite as well as maximise the grip of the rubber through the corner without scrubbing them, which could in turn lead to more understeer.
- Minimal steering angle is very important to, again, prevent the front tyres from being overloaded and losing grip.
- Successfully achieving this will allow you to neatly kiss the apex with the nose and then allow you to get on the power early to take profit of the 718’s impressive traction
Do you still need some help getting the most out of the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4? Check out Coach Dave Academy’s Lap Guides, such as this one at Motorland Aragon with Corentin Guinez.
Power Delivery and Braking
The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 features adjustable electronics – namely traction control and anti-lock braking assist – in order to make sure you can quickly build up confidence under braking and accelerating out of corners.
The power curve of the 718 is pretty linear as a result of the vehicle’s 3.8-litre flat-six engine, a powertrain that crucially is naturally aspirated which gives it a nice smooth torque curve that, in unison with the car’s potent rear traction, allows you to put the power to the ground effectively and with confidence.
- The more grip the track has the lower you’ll generally want to set the TC and ABS values, while the opposite is true the lower the grip level of the given circuit.
The Porsche 718 GT4 certainly requires you to rewire your brain somewhat to get the most from it – especially if you are already used to one of iRacing’s other GT4 offerings – though if you can overcome its challenges you’ll be left with the use of a precision weapon that can prove lethal to the competition, especially on circuits where traction zones are prevalent.
If you fancy making the switch today then why not speed up your learning process with Coach Dave Academy’s specially-built setups that will give you the best possible chance to click with the 718 from the moment you fire up the motor. You can also refer to our rundown of how each GT4 machine compares in iRacing in case you struggle to gel with the intricacies of the 718, or just fancy trying something new.