Int. one-make series newsletter 06_2017
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia
April 7-9, 2017 Shanghai International Circuit
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia opening Weekend alongside Formula 1
Cold rain weather couldn?t dampen high spirits as the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia kicked off its first race weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit with two raucous rounds of motorsport alongside F1.
The first race weekend officially began on Friday as the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia?s 25 drivers arrived on track greeted by cold rains prior to the first practice session late in the afternoon. There was, however, a silver lining to the cloudy day as three of the competition?s most promising driver?s, Andrew Tang, Martin Ragginger and Chris Van der Drift, were given the chance to visit the ultra-chic F1 Paddock Club for a 15 minute discussion on Porsche motorsport in front of F1?s highest-level VIPs.
But the real action took place on Saturday as the competition began in full swing starting with an early morning qualifying session that was dominated by the series? youngest competitors, with three drivers under 26 from the Porsche China Junior Talent Pool all taking the top times. A strong crowd look on from the grandstands as a dramatic Round 1 saw series veteran Martin Ragingger seal the first win of the season and earn his dealer Team Porsche Holding the honor of first ever recipient of the newly-introduced Dealer Trophy. Three of the series? top Chinese drivers, Cui Yue, Zhang Dasheng and Yuan Bo, were given the same opportunity to meet and greet F1 VIPs in the F1 Paddock Club, earning the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia high-praise from F1 organizers.
Guests, drivers and organizers packed into a super sleek Bar Rouge, with a scenic view of Shanghai?s Bund, that evening for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia?s red-carpet welcome part attended by the Porsche China CEO Franz Jung. The event saw approximately 100 guests enjoy top quality food and beverage as they celebrated the season start. The crowd swelled later in the evening after the exclusive event opened its doors to the public, giving PCCA drivers, dealers, media and organizers a chance to mingle with the public.
Nearly a dozen VIP media arrived on Sunday to witness what would prove to be the most dramatic race of the weekend as this year?s competitive line-up went toe-to-toe, with the action coming to a climax as three drivers charged side by side for second place lead in the dwindling minutes of the race, much to the delight of a nearly packed grandstand audience. Will Bamber, brother of Porsche?s 2015 24 Hour of Le Mans Winner Earl Bamber, took the win for Round 2 after an excellent display of controlled aggression.
With more than 180 guests throughout the weekend, several in-depth driver interviews with media, a hugely success welcome dinner ? the first race weekend for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia set the tone for what looks to be one of the most progressive seasons to date.
For more information check: http://www.carreracupasia.com/
Porsche Carrera Cup France
April 11, 2017 Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
Official test for PCCF in Magny-Cours
On the single day of official practice ahead the 2017 campaign at Nevers Magny-Cours, Sébastien Loeb Racing?s Joffrey de Narda was on top of the Porsche Carrera Cup France timesheet. Also quick was Sweden?s Philipp Morin who was invited to discover the French venue by Martinet by Alméras.
The 17 drivers who attended the session included Sweden?s Philipp Morin who is currently building up to his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign and who stands out as a potential winner of the race scheduled to take place at Le Mans in June.
The morning?s session was topped by Joffrey de Narda who posted a time of 1m42.103s as bright sunshine saw the track temperature soar quickly to 30°C. The Sébastien Loeb Racing driver finished clear of the 2016 Rookie winner Florian Latorre who has switched to Martinet by Alméras for 2017. Vincent Beltoise (Saintéloc) and Julien Andlauer, another Martinet by Alméras recruit, were 3rd and 4th.
In the afternoon, Joffrey de Narda again emerged as the fastest Porsche Carrera Cup France entrant ? in the wake of Philipp Morin ? thanks to a lap of 1m41.827s. Florian Latorre was less than one-tenth of a second adrift, chased by Vincent Beltoise and Julien Andlauer.
Amongst the series? newcomers, Valentin Hasse-Clot (Sébastien Loeb Racing) was 6th, ahead of Antoine Jung (Team 85 / Bourgoin Racing), while Enzo Samon (Saintéloc) was the third-fastest rookie.
Last year?s Gentleman Driver champion Christophe Lapierre, who is targeting a record fifth B Championship crown, led his class, ahead of Roar Lindland (Sébastien Loeb Racing) and Nicolas Misslin (Martinet by Alméras).
The next date on the Porsche Carrera Cup France calendar is Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (May 4-6), as a curtain-raiser race for Belgium?s round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, where two races will be held.
For more information check: http://www.porsche.com/france/sportsandevents/motorsport/customerracing/porschecups/porschecarreracupfrance/
Porsche Carrera Cup Japan
April 9, 2017 Okayama International Circuit
Mikasa won two in a row in opening round of PCCJ
Yuichi Mikasa, who was ranked 2nd as PCCJ scholarship driver in previous season, won two races in season openers of PCCJ at Okayama International Circuit.
In qualifying on Saturday morning, Mikasa took the pole position with a new record lap by 911 GT3 Cup in Okayama. Yuta Kamimura, PCCJ scholarship driver in 2017, was lined up in front row with Mikasa. Two champions of Gentleman?s class in previous years, Shinji Takei (2015) and Satoshi Hoshino (2014 and 2016) came together in the second row.
The first round took place in the late afternoon on Saturday. Because of the red flags in qualifying of Super GT, the sun was setting down already in Okayama.
The pole sitter Mikasa led the race from opening lap to checker flag and won PCCJ the first time since Fuji in last May. For Kamimura, it was the first race in a GT car. Maximum gap between Mikasa and Kamimura was about 3 seconds. Kamimura closed the gap to less than a second once but he couldn?t reach to the top checker. Takei won gentleman?s class by third position in Overall.
The second round of PCCJ was held on Sunday. The grids were decided by the second best time in qualifying. There were no changes in the first two rows. At the start, Takei overtook Kamimura and came up to second position. Okayama is known for its tough course to overtake. Kamimura followed Takei by tale to nose and had to spend 12 of 15 laps. While these were fighting, Mikasa built a huge gap and secured the second win of the weekend. Just like in the first round, Kamimura goaled in second and Takei and Hoshino came after.
The 3rd and 4th round of PPCJ will be held in Fuji International Speedway on May 3 to 4.
For more information check: http://www.porsche.co.jp/ms/pccj/
GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli
April 07-09, 2017 Sandown Raceway
Shahin and Steffensen win Sandown opener
The 10th season of Australia?s second-tier Porsche one-make series, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli, kicked off last weekend in treacherous Melbourne weather.
The Sandown Raceway opener featured three races, the first of which was held on Saturday in dry conditions before teams fitted wet weather tyres for Sunday?s two races.
Saturday?s race featured a spectacular incident just 200m from the start; pole-sitter Brenton Grove, son of Carrera Cup driver Stephen Grove, suffered a slow start. As rivals filed past Grove, several made contact which resulted in a spectacular multi-car accident. Five drivers, including new Australian Porsche Junior Jordan Love, were out of the race. Grove dominated from the restart to claim an 11.5 second victory.
Love was the star of race two; starting from 14th on the grid, he jumped to second place in half a lap in the wet conditions. Grove then spun into the gravel and out of the race, allowing Love to inherit the lead and eventually claim a 38 second victory from Sam Shahin.
Love again dominated race three, the Porsche Junior finishing over 20 seconds ahead of Anthony Gilbertson and Grove.
Consistency proved key, however, as Shahin?s third, second and fifth handed the businessman racer the Outright and Elite Class victory for the round from Love and Grove.
The surprise for the round was the Professional Class victory of high profile athletics star John Steffensen. The Olympic Games silver medallist and dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist placed sixth in every race and, in his class, placed second, second and third, capitalising on Love?s and Grove?s DNFs to take the class win in his first ever motor racing event.
The series returns for round two at Phillip Island on May 26-28, joined at the event by fellow one-make series, Porsche Carrera Cup Australia.
For more information check: http://www.gt3cupchallenge.com.au/
GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux
April 6, 2017 Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge kicks off promising 2017 season
On Thursday April 6th engines roared at the first official meeting of the 2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux season. The damp track soon dried as the sun shone over the world?s most famous racing corner; Eau Rouge. Over 35 international Porsche Cup cars raced into the forests of Spa-Francorchamps testing their new setups and tactics.
With 4 hours of track time, teams thoroughly tested their cars while journalists and Porsche fans didn?t know where to look first. Over 150 Porsches filled the circuit and paddocks. Throughout the day, fastest lap times were continuously exchanged between young wolves and experienced Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge drivers, confirming the expectations of what will be a truly competitive season.
Local Porsche Centres had the opportunity to bring Porsche owners and let them experience track driving under professional guidance. ?The Porsche DNA was more present than ever?, according to Bernard Van Bellingen - PR Manager at Porsche Import Belgium.
2015 and 2016 Champion Dylan Derdaele is optimistic: ?We really look forward to the new season. The calendar is filled with lots of fun racetracks and we?ll do everything in our force to win the championship for the third year in a row. The car is really fast, we?re already close to our qualification times from last year and it?s just our firs test!?
After two years of absence, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux is glad to welcome back 2014?s Champion Xavier Maassen who signed up for a complete program. Competition will be fierce in the fastest racing series in the low lands.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux returns to Spa-Francorchamps in three weeks for the FIA WEC race.
For more information check: http://www.gt3cupchallengebenelux.com