After owning this car for 8 months and doing quite a few thousand street miles and 4 track days it is easy to see why it gets such rave reviews. My interest in performance street cars is track based. Heading to the track for an open track day is where I find the enjoyment of sports cars and performance. There have been quite a few different street cars and race cars through my garage, and all used in various ways so let's call that a solid base to make comparisons. Up until this point arguably the best car I have ever owned was a 2015 Subaru BRZ that was immediately track prepped upon taking possession and gave me 2 years, 7500 miles (about 3500 miles on track) of trouble-free use. It did exactly what I asked of it in a pleasant, usable way.
I am a Porsche fan. I am not afraid to admit that, and I have had a Porsche of some sort in my garage for the last 10 years. The Porsche GT cars have always been the pinnacle for me. With that goal of owning a Porsche GT car on the agenda for years I had always had a set of milestones to obtain before getting serious about pulling the trigger. I got to those milestones in early 2021 so the hunt began. The 2010 GT3 was the dream car forever (and honestly still is) but the market priced me out of those. Moving to 981 Cayman GT4 shopping opened a lot of options as the cars were newer, lower mileage and a lot more inventory to choose from even though in the frantic market you had to be quick to pull the trigger. This 2016 Cayman GT4 popped up a local Porsche dealership on a Sunday morning and it was quickly decided it would be the one. Only 11,500 miles on the clock and with a Porsche 2 year certified pre-owned warranty made it an easy option. Spec'd well with Lightweight Carbon Bucket Seats and Steel brakes added to the personal features for me as I plan on tracking the car.
The best part about track-oriented Porsche models is how little they need to be enjoyed in a high-performance driving environment. Past track cars I have had required brake upgrades, suspension upgrades, wheel / tire packages, tuning, etc. The Cayman GT4 needs none of that other than to sign up for events.
After 2 track days with the car as it came from the factory, I did make some bare minimum changes to expand its track capabilities. Here is the quick, and yes, I mean quick list of things done to my car currently.
2016 Porsche Cayman GT4
OEM Size Michelin Pilot Sport 4S Tires
Tarrett Rear Toe Links
Castrol SRF Brake Fluid
Ferodo DS1.11 Front and Rear Brake Pads
Alignment by Drivers Choice
Voila, let’s put the street and track miles on the car.
175 Track Miles at Sebring on December 17th, 2021. The car ran flawlessly. Had a great day running quick and finding fellow drivers to track with. Best Lap Time of the day was a 2:24.8. The tires showed even wear and brakes were solid all day. I wished for better initial front end bite on turn in. I will play with the sway bar settings and make the aero changes on the car next time at Sebring.
The FIRM in Starke, FL. I have had the GT4 there 3 times now for track days and it continues to be a great place to have a good time on track in a relaxed atmosphere. Best Lap to date there has been a 1:17.3. It is extremely hard on left front tires as anyone that has been there can attest. The last time out I killed my left front. I am running the max camber on the front we can get with OEM parts. That in conjunction with the soft side walls of the PS4S will make it tough to ever get better tire wear at a place like The FIRM where 8 of the 10 turns are tire gnawing right handers.
Other than the expired left front tire I have had both front spoiler vertical trim pieces come loose on the track. I lost one and had to purchase a replacement and since then we have bonded them onto the bumper more effectively.
The plans going forward are most likely a bolt in roll bar, (probably the Competition Motorsports one) and 6-point harnesses so I can wear my HANS on track. And as the budget allows, I will pick up a set of 19" wheels, do the wheel stud conversion and then look at alignment parts to add to the chassis. I subscribe to a Keep It Simple Stupid attitude. The least amount of parts I can get away with purchasing and the more seat time I can have makes me happy.