The star is back on the track.
Renowned actor and racer, Patrick Dempsey, is set to commandeer a unique Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS in the upcoming La Carrera Panamericana, with the event scheduled to take place from October 13-19 in Mexico. This car emerges from a symbiotic collaboration between automotive giant Porsche and illustrious watchmaker TAG Heuer, resulting in the creation of two bespoke, race-tuned 718 Cayman GT4 RSs, meticulously designed to uphold the legacy of both brands in the world of racing.
Dempsey is slated to steer the car through the initial two stages of the historic Mexican road race, and enthusiasts got a sneak peek at one of the units at Rennsport Reunion, presented at the paddock of Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The car, despite being a harbinger of rich heritage and bespoke aesthetic upgrades, retains its stock form performance-wise, boasting 493 hp, a commendable top speed of 196 mph, and a capability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds.
Fabricated in the distinguished Sonderwunsch workshop in Stuttgart, the modifications to the car are primarily aesthetic, elevating its presence for the legendary race. It’s enveloped in a Le Mans Silver Metallic paint – a visual feast developed through the synergy of Porsche France, Le Mans organizers the ACO, and Porsche AG.
The alliance between Porsche and TAG Heuer is subtly yet distinctly emblazoned on the car, with the TAG Heuer logo gracing the hood's center, the rear wing's endplates, and the visible air filter box under the rear glass. The winged horse of Mobil gasoline makes a historic appearance on the left rear wheel arch, echoing the early days of corporate sponsorship in racing.
The interiors of the car mirror the refined aesthetics of the exterior. The cabin features Guards Red leather seats juxtaposed against a black dashboard and panel trim, detailed with black aluminum anodized trim. The Mexican flag's colors intricately cross-stitched on the steering wheel rim and dashboard, accompanied by the TAG Heuer logo, pay homage to the host nation.
This collaboration comes steeped in a profound historical connection between Porsche and the Carrera Panamericana. In the 1950s, Porsche marked its competitive presence in the original race, clinching a class win with a 550 Spyder in 1953. This triumph significantly influenced Porsche’s naming conventions, with “Carrera” becoming a recurrent feature, gracing models since the unveiling of the 356 A 1500 GS Carrera in 1955.
Similarly, the prestigious road race also left an indelible mark on TAG Heuer, inspiring the creation of its inaugural Carrera watch in 1963. This timepiece was a pioneering effort, conceptualized specifically for racers, featuring scales for a tachometer, decimal minutes, or a pulsometer.
Dempsey expressed his exhilaration about participating in the race, stating, “The Carrera Panamericana has a very special status, as for a long time it was seen as the toughest race in the world. I’m privileged to be following the path of Porsche’s early motorsport successes and TAG Heuer’s legendary Carrera.”
This synergy between Porsche and TAG Heuer not only celebrates the historical significance of both brands in motorsports but also manifests their commitment to continuing their legacies, creating marvels that are a testament to design, performance, and heritage.