‘Agile. Fast. Brilliant’: Jim Richards has praised the Porsche Cayman S as a tarmac rally car following its impressive Targa Tasmania debut, despite a premature end to its 2014 campaign.
Richards, an eight-time Targa Tasmania winner, and his co-driver Barry Oliver were exceeding all expectations when taking their near-standard Cayman S well within the rally’s outright top 10 while holding a commanding lead in the Showroom Sport class.
Ultimately Richards’ campaign ended on the penultimate stage of Leg 4; his Cayman S sustained radiator damage when hitting a fence post on the wet Riana stage while passing a slower competitor.
At the time of the incident, the Cayman was placed eighth outright.
While the Cayman S didn’t reach the final day of competition, the result didn’t dampen Richards’ enthusiasm towards mid-engined sports car.
“The Cayman S was absolutely brilliant and the best car I’ve ever driven at the Targa Tasmania event,” said Richards.
“The car’s ability to handle the terrain was hugely impressive. It has a great chassis so, directionally, the car was fantastic and drove uninterrupted over every bump.
“The Cayman was only around three quarters of a second slower than the 911 GT2 RS I have driven in the rally previously. That is absolutely mind blowing for a car that has 300 hp less and weighs around the same as the GT2 RS.
“We went in to Targa Tasmania to see if we could be competitive in the Showroom Sport class and be within the top 20. As it turned out, we were quickest in the class on every stage and were not far off the times of the outright competitors.
“The result was disappointing; though we know we have a strong car leading into the coming rallies and can head to Tasmania next year confident that we have a brilliant car for the event.”
The Showroom Sport class caters for production vehicles valued between $100,000 and $200,000 and manufactured after January 01, 2003.
Richards will next campaign the Porsche Cayman S at Targa West on August 14-17, 2014, followed by Targa High Country on November 07-09, 2014.