The Single-Make Series Features the Latest Generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car
By John Oreovicz
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Porsche has one of the strongest factory-supported motorsports programs in the world. Now, IMSA is teaming with the legendary German manufacturer to sanction the Porsche Carrera Cup North America, the first North American regional championship for Porsche’s successful one-make series featuring the latest competition version of the iconic 911.
Through seven generations of upgrades and enhancements since 1990, Porsche has sold a remarkable 4,251 units of the 911 in GT3 Cup specification. Think about that: More than four thousand racing cars based on the production version of the GT3, which features a naturally aspirated flat-six engine that makes it the most-sought-after version of the 911 for enthusiast drivers.
The 2021 season marks the debut of the latest “Type 992” generation of the 911 in GT3 Cup trim. The new car features modified suspension and an uprated 510-horsepower version of Porsche’s legendary boxer motor driving the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox with steering wheel paddle activation. Aerodynamic enhancements include utilizing the wider 911 Turbo-style bodywork for the first time on the GT3 Cup car.
Porsche Carrera Cup North America: Sebring entry list
The Carrera Cup North America season consists of 16 45-minute races, starting this week at Sebring International Raceway as support events for the 69th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts. It brings the total number of regional Porsche single-make championships to 21, racing in 31 countries across five continents and more than 100 circuits.
To celebrate the inauguration of the North American series, IMSA competitors were the first in the world to experience the 992 version of the 911 GT3 Cup Car on track, at a special test at Sebring staged March 8-9.
“Not only is this special on this continent, but it is also special worldwide,” said Brian Blocker, Series Director, Porsche Carrera Cup North America.
Nineteen of the new cars took part in the Sebring test, turning a total of 420 laps. This week’s opening round of competition attracted an entry list that features 23 of the 992-generation cars (14 Pro, nine Pro-Am) as well as 12 Pro-Am entries using 991-generation cars in a separate 991 Pro-Am category.
The test demonstrated that the 992 version of the 911 GT3 Cup car is about four seconds a lap quicker around Sebring than the 991, matching Porsche’s expectations.
“The customer debut of the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car was successful,” stated Daniel Armbruster, President and CEO, Porsche Motorsport North America. “The cars were immediately fast, and the teams and drivers showed how professional they are by finding speed right from the start.”
Sebastian Priaulx, the 20-year-old son of three-time FIA World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx, paced the first day of action at Sebring with a lap timed at 2 minutes, 0.870 seconds, about a half second clear of his Kelly-Moss Road & Race teammate Kay van Berlo.
The Carrera Cup North America is the highest single-make platform in the Porsche Motorsport pyramid in North America that offers a path for competitors from the grassroots of motorsport to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Porsche differentiates itself from other manufacturers by offering simple turnkey entry into the Carrera Cup North America, a separate category for junior drivers aged 23 and under, and dedicated hospitality at race venues for series competitors.
“While we will have multiple unique details which set the Carrera Cup North America apart, like a bespoke paddock experience and Michelin Pilot race tires, the most obvious and quickly recognizable to the fans will be latest and greatest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car,” Blocker said.