At a fast, frightening circuit, a 981 Cayman GT4’s horsepower deficit ought to keep it from hanging with a well driven 991.2 GT3 RS. However, there are some very quick, challenging corners to negotiate here, which make bravery and commitment almost as useful as raw firepower. As we see, the mid-engine marvel’s incredible agility, when paired with a slightly better driver, is enough to level the playing field at Magny-Cours.
Not that the man in the yellow RS is a slouch, but the Cayman driver, Ricopassion, exudes superior skill and confidence through his measured driving. His perfect heel-toeing, neater lines, and willingness to cut a few angles in quicker corners (1:04) indicate he’s completely on top of his Cayman.
Casually opposite locking at eighty miles per hour—without losing much mid-corner speed—is something which takes a lot of familiarity with the car.
Though the Cayman has stellar traction, its 380 horsepower are enough to induce a little oversteer out of hairpins (3:14), so Rico’s throttle application has to be more progressive there than the RS driver’s. The RS’ low-speed traction, combined with a PDK gearbox, more torque, and another 140 horsepower spread the two quite a ways along the straighter sections of this famous French track.
The Cayman isn’t bringing more outright performance to the battle, so it is confidence through Magny-Cours’ faster bends and braking zones that help reel in the RS repeatedly. Considering the gap the RS achieves along every straight of some length, it’s very impressive how Rico can late-brake himself back into contention. Most notably after they both thread through traffic (2:15), Rico stands on the middle pedal, shifts from fifth to second, and claws back at least ten car lengths.
In the end, it’s the Cayman’s strong brakes, entertaining balance, and incisive nose which make up for the obvious difference in traction and power. Of course, were it not for Rico’s obvious talent and boldness, these qualities in the Cayman’s chassis couldn’t be accessed. In addition to being purely entertaining, this high-speed battle demonstrates that, provided the cars aren’t too different in terms of performance, a driver of superior skill can really make up the difference.