John Tecce of BGB Motorsports Group is something of a Porsche racing legend. From running an IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge team for about two decades to getting 3.8-liter-swapped Caymans homologated for the 24 Hours of Daytona right before factory homologation was mandated, he and his team have been pulling extra speed out of Caymans for years. The latest feat? Using a factory force-fed flat-six and a Cayman GT4 Clubsport to build the high-altitude Cayman missile that Porsche wouldn’t dare build.
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Last year, a Texan group wanted to pick Tecce’s brain about “the ultimate Cayman swap” for Pikes Peak. His response?
I have invested a lot of water and shampoo every morning over an idea that exists on paper and in my head to put a 911 Turbo S engine and PDK in a Cayman; it’s going to be six figures but it will make 250 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 RPM above what a GT4RS or a GT3RS make which is what you need for going up big hills or what’s known as mountains. The mid-engine layout is not the best platform for endurance racing and adding turbos will further exacerbate that but I think that if we could make it reliable on a race track in the southeast for an extended amount of time, it should be more than ready for a trip up the mountain.
Because the Pikes Peak course sees an elevation change of 4,720 feet from the bottom to the top, air density is a real concern. Although atmospheric pressure at sea level is 14.7 psi, climbing the course would see a multiple PSI drop in that pressure. Less air in a naturally-aspirated engine means less fuel is required for optimal combustion, which means less power — not ideal for race cars. So, how do you fix this? Sure, you can take atmospheric pressure out of the equation by switching to electric power, but for combustion-powered cars, forced induction is a great way to combat the effects of altitude. After all, if you’re targeting a specific boost pressure, that pressure should remain relatively stable regardless of altitude.
Tecce and his team quickly set to work shoehorning the the 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six from a 991 Porsche 911 Turbo S into a Cayman GT4 Clubsport — no easy task, as it required quite a bit of fabrication to pull off. Turbocharger housings and wastegate actuators were clocked, an intercooler system was made, and wiring was altered to make the mighty turbo motor fit perfectly in the compact chassis.
The result? A Cayman with 527 wheel horsepower, 528 lb.-ft. of wheel torque (per the dyno — see comparison with a stock GT3RS above), and few downsides. As it sits, the car still uses a factory 911 Turbo S tune, which means it’s apparently perfectly drivable. In the areas where many tuner cars may struggle, such as rolling on the throttle from light load, the BGB Motorsports Group Cayman Turbo S should simply drive like Porsche tuned it, because it did. There’s no wild track-spec sequential gearbox that’s unsuitably loud for the street either. Slung behind the engine sits a PDK transmission, a Porsche dual-clutch automatic that’s as street-friendly as you can get. However, 527 wheel horsepower isn’t where the Pikes Peak Cayman is stopping. BGB Motorsports is targeting more than 700 horsepower, an insane figure full-stop, let alone in a Cayman. Needless to say, this is one race car I’m seriously excited to see go up the mountain.
(Photo credits: John Tecce/BGB Motorsports Group)
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