Porsche's first motorsports win came in 1948 with Porsche no. 1 at a hill climb. Since then, Porsche has regularly participated in hill climb events. The brand has even built specialized cars, like the 909 Bergspyder which was recently featured in the Top 5 series as the lightest Porsche model. Drivers like Jeff Zwart and Porsche factory Driver Romain Dumas have claimed class and overall wins at the mountain. Now, Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), in conjunction with Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Organization (PPIHC), is introducing an invitation-only class for the Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
The Caymans will run in the Time Attack Division, and three variants will be eligible for the Hillclimb. The Clubsport, IMSA GS class-spec Clubsport and the international GT4-spec Clubsport MR will all be permitted as part of the first official one-make category in the race's history. At Pikes Peak all three variants will use the same Yokohama ADVAN A052 tire. Yokohama is a longtime partner of Porsche Motorsports North America. Mobil1, also a Porsche Motorsports partner, is also supplying products for the class.
The now fully-paved course is well suited to the Cayman GT4 Clubsport circuit racers. The race course begins at just under 9,500 feet elevation, and covers 12.42 miles and 156 turns before reaching the 14,115 foot pinnacle.
Coached by the Best
The eight invited drivers will be coached by eight-time class champion Jeff Zwart. Zwart has achieved class wins in 911s in 1994-'98, 2002, 2010 and 2015. Zwart's course mastery will prove to be a valuable tool for the eight drivers who will likely be new to the course.
Porsche factory driver Romain Dumas will be a special guest of Porsche for the weekend. Dumas will be driving under the Volkswagen banner in an all-electric racecar, attempting to set a course record. If successful this will be Dumas' fourth overall and third consecutive win at Pikes Peak. Dumas' previous Pikes Peak entries were all in Norma prototype racers.
This new one-make class is exciting, and is an intriguing use of the fully-paved course. The very nature of the Pikes Peak event is an equalizer. This unique event permits very dissimilar vehicles to compete on the same day at the same circuit. After all, who doesn't want to know how a Porsche Cayman IMSA car stacks up against a 2,400 horsepower Freightliner?