A certain sebastian vittel YouTube channel is back again, demonstrating his driving talent and making his viewers envious with the latest addition to this incredible stable. The first 718 Cayman GTS to be modified by Manthey Racing, this car has all the agility a track toy needs, though it might lack a little in the propulsion department. Nonetheless, it has no difficulty keeping in touch with a much punchier BMW M4 Competition at the ‘Ring.
The list of modifications are, in typical Manthey style, understated and functional. No big, glossy, chrome-covered bits to impress the average joe; these tweaks imbue the car with an ability to run laps without fuss, increase stability at speed, and give the driver that little extra to push to and beyond the limit of adhesion.
Manthey Racing’s KW competition suspension, valved for the crests and cambers of the Nordschleife, were the first item on the menu. For a little added confidence in the deceleration department, the Manthey package includes fade-free Endless Ma45 pads and stainless brake lines. BBS Cayman GT4 forged wheels reduce unsprung mass and give the car better compliance, and a ducktail spoiler helps settle the rear and adds some styling points that a car this suited to the ‘Ring deserves. For some improvement and rigidity, but more importantly—peace of mind while driving quickly at Europe’s least forgiving track, the last piece of the package is a half-cage. Helps to know that the Cayman could take a big shunt with the walls so close.
Though the BMW clearly has the measure of the Cayman on the straights, Mister vittel’s confidence on the brakes, his superior lines, and greater turn-in speed close the gap, especially on the tighter sections of the Nordschleife.
Where vittel really stands out is his shorter lines, his earlier throttle, and his obvious commitment in the faster corners. By shortening the corner and spending a little less time on the brakes, the M4’s advantage at the corner exit is minimized. That keeps the gap from growing too large to be irrecoverable, and vittel begins to nip at the M4’s bumper at 6:18, when he’s able to get to throttle sooner through the quick section known as Kesselchen.
Before a conclusive statement can be made about either car, it needs to be mentioned that the the driver in the video is clearly more comfortable with his car and the circuit. Now, given the Cayman’s ease of placement and greater stability, it seems to more reassuring car to thrash on such a demanding circuit. That, and the way it puts the power down without any fuss, more than makes up for its Subaru-esque burble.