Porsche will debut a North American version of its successful single-make Carrera Cup series next year.
The series will utilize a combination of the latest yet-to-be-unveiled Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup N3 racing slicks. As with all national Carrera Cups worldwide, Porsche, through Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), will manage the single-driver per-entry series. IMSA will act as official sanctioning body as well as manage scrutineering and steward on-track activity.
Brian Blocker of PMNA has been named the Series Manager, with the opening round set for Sebring in March.
“Our goal with Porsche Carrera Cup North America is to create a customer racing series that truly addresses the needs of the market,” said Blocker.
“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. We are collectively exploring different ideas to improve the series from a real racer’s perspective and to highlight and bring attention to the personalities and the teams that put in a massive amount of work behind the scenes to make it all come together.
“We spent a lot of time talking with all of our partners: teams, drivers, marketing partners, suppliers and IMSA, over the last several years and particularly during the downtime earlier in the spring. The goal is to develop a series that meets the goals of everyone involved. We have taken that feedback and implemented it into what you will see on track for the first time at Sebring, March 2021.”
The inaugural season of the championship will host 16-rounds at eight venues in the eastern United States and Canada. Each 45-minute race will count toward a season-long driver and team championship in each of three classes: 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. 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 Team Championship is eligible for full season entries running the current generation race car.
“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,” said John Doonan, President/CEO, International Motor Sports Association.
“IMSA is proud to open the next chapter in our decades-long partnership with Porsche Motorsport North America, to bring this opportunity here to the U.S. and Canada next year with the launch of Porsche Carrera Cup North America. 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.”
The Porsche Carrera Cup North America joins the 21 Porsche one-make championships competing in 31 countries on five continents, and becomes the 10th Carrera Cup worldwide. Each race will enjoy live streaming accessible through the IMSA app and Porsche Motorsport North America web page (www.PorscheCarreraCup.us). Additional broadcasting and production plans are being finalized and will be communicated in the coming weeks.
The original Carrera Cup concept was founded in 1990 with the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland (Germany). One year later, France had its own one-make championship. By 1993, with the opportunity to race from within the Formula 1 paddock, Porsche Supercup was created. The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup remains the highest single make series globally utilizing the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car. A fourth Carrera Cup was added in 2001 when Japan began its own series. 2003 saw further growth of the concept with the addition of Great Britain, Australia and an overall Asia championship coming online. One year later, Carrera Cup Scandinavia was added into the mix while Brazil and Italy debuted the following two years. Since 2007, those nine regional Carrera Cups have been 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.
With the addition of Michelin tires, the Porsche Carrera Cup North America stays in lock-step with Carrera Cups run around the globe, each of which utilizes the official Porsche Motorsport partner to support safe, competitive and consistent racing. Michelin and Porsche have enjoyed a successful partnership in both motorsports and production vehicles for decades, with the French premium tire brand and the German sports car manufacturer working hand-in-hand since 1961. It is a partnership that has repeatedly produced sensational supercars, championship seasons and world record lap times in both race car and production cars. In North American motorsports, Michelin has partnered with Porsche in more than 120 sports car racing wins.
Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), founded in 1985, is the only authorized sales, parts and service provider in the United States and Canada for all purpose-built Porsche race cars including the 911 GT3 R, 911 GT3 Cup, Cayman 718 GT4 Clubsport, 911 GT2 RS Clubsport and 935-19. PMNA provides engine and transmission servicing, on-site race support and restoration services for historic Porsche race cars. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, PMNA is headquartered in 15,000 square feet of the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles.
2021 Porsche Carrera Cup North America Schedule (provisional)
March 17 – 20 Sebring International Raceway
May 20 – 23 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
June 24 – 27 Watkins Glen International
July (dates TBA) Toronto Indy
August 6 – 8 Road America
Aug. 20 –22 VIRginia International Raceway
Oct. 6 – 9 Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta