Inspecting Top Gear USA host's new set of wheels
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Former Top Gear USA host and Global Rallycross champion Tanner Foust is set to return to New Zealand for next month's Leadfoot Festival in Hahei.
It is the second time in as many years that Foust has driven at the cult event, though this time he will be trading his fierce Rockstar Energy Volkswagen Passat V8 drift car for a different kind of machine — a new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
Stickered up to look like the LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid that New Zealander Brendon Hartley drove in the World Endurance Championship last year, the GT4 Clubsport represents a stripped-out, track-focused version of Porsche's popular small sports car.
The Clubsport is based on the already potent and celebrated Cayman GT4, with the same mid-mounted 3.8-litre flat six engine. However there are plenty of differences between the two cars.
It comes fitted with a modified six-speed double-clutch transmission paired with a beefed-up mechanical rear-axle differential — both designed to cope with the pressures of racing and track usage. Up-rated racing-spec brakes, suspension, and roll cage further help its cause for lap times.
The diminutive 1300kg sports car can even be modified to conform to international GT4 motorsport specifications, with the addition of a kit straight from the Porsche factory.
While GT3-spec racing continues to make waves worldwide via classes such as the Australian GT Championship, GT4 has emerged as a cost-effective, production-based sub-class — with manufacturers such as McLaren, Ford, and Aston Martin competing against one another.
Foust is one of a number of high-profile names who have confirmed their presence at the growing Leadfoot hill-climb event; following on from the likes of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser jnr, Pikes Peak winner Paul Dallenbach, and four-time Bathurst 1000 champion Greg Murphy.
The 43-year-old's former Top Gear USA co-host Rutledge Wood was also scheduled to make the trek to Hahei, but has had to pull out because of upcoming back surgery.
This year’s Leadfoot Festival takes place from February 4-5. Visit leadfootfestival.com for more information.