Thirty years after the series launched, North America will finally host a Porsche Carrera Cup racing program during the 2021 season, Porsche Motorsports North America has announced. The series will pit drivers in the yet-to-be-unveiled Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car for an 8-weekend, 16-race championship schedule.
Competition will be contested in three categories — Pro, Pro-Am and Rookie.
“All drivers can contend for Pro class victories but must utilize the newest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car to do so,” Porsche said. “The Pro-Am class is eligible for ‘gentlemen’ drivers – a driver who does not make a primary profession of automobile racing. A driver in the Pro-Am category may use the newest machine or the previous generation.
“The Rookie class is only open to drivers who are 23-years-old or younger. All drivers age 23 and under enjoy the additional benefit of inclusion in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Junior program. As a Junior, drivers receive valuable training tools for those wishing to make a career of professional motorsport.
“A driver will be selected from the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Junior program to represent the region in the annual Porsche Junior Shootout in Germany at the end of the year.”
The Carrera Cup was founded in Germany in 1990, with France getting its own series a year later. Since then, the series has expanded to 21 series in 31 countries on 5 continents, and now to the United States and Canada as well.
The series is part of the global Porsche Motorsport Pyramid funneling the very best of their champions to Porsche Mobil Supercup and into professional sports car and GT racing,” Porsche said.
The inaugural Porsche Carrera Cup North America will be contested under the sanctioning banner of the International Motor Sports Association. Here is the provisional 2021 schedule:
March 17 – 20 / Sebring International Raceway
May 20 – 23 / Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
June 24 – 27 / Watkins Glen International
July / Toronto Indy
August 6 – 8 / Road America
Aug. 20 –22 / Virginia International Raceway
September / TBA
Oct. 6 – 9 / Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
“Many aspiring sports car racers in other parts of the world have used the Porsche Carrera Cup as a springboard to a professional career in sports car racing,” IMSA president John Doonan was quoted in the Porsche news release. “Competition in other Carrera Cup races is fierce, and I have no doubt this series will bring that same level of entertainment to race fans on this continent.”
“Our goal with Porsche Carrera Cup North America is to create a customer racing series that truly addresses the needs of the market,” added Brian Blocker, Porsche Carrera Cup North American series manager. “We want to create a new championship that is in the best interest of those who compete in it, aspire to it and watch it; not a rebranding of what we had nor a plug-and-play to what other regions around the world do.
“North America is a unique market with opportunities and potential that others do not enjoy. We will hold and honor the best traditions of Carrera Cup globally, but we will also think outside of the box to create a new and unique type of experience for our competitors and fans.
“As an example, we have developed a working relationship with Patrick Long and the team at Luftgekühlt to bring an innovative new design and feel to the paddock, and to create an immersive Porsche-branded atmosphere celebrating the past, present and future of Porsche Motorsport.”
For more information, visit the Porsche Motorsports North America website.