• To the Point. Porsche Carrera Cup North America Point Structure. • Porsche Podium. Wehrlein Achieves First 2021 Formula E Podium for Porsche in Rome. • Le Mans Double. Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup Points Leader Rogers Takes Both Races at Simulated Le Mans. • Endurance Aces. Porsche GT Team Announces Factory Drivers for WEC Enduros. • 2021 World Endurance Championship Schedule. • Eyes of Texas. Porsche Carrera Cup North America Announces COTA Date.
To the Point. Porsche Carrera Cup North America Point Structure.
When developing the Porsche Carrera Cup North America, Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) had to address several aspects to set the premier one-make race series apart from what had come before. One such area was the way in which champions for each of the inaugural season’s three classes would be crowned. The sole importer of Porsche race cars in the United States and Canada worked closely with IMSA officials to craft a point system that awarded success, speed and consistency.
The point structure for the Porsche Carrera Cup North America – like all Carrera Cups worldwide – is based on the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup points model. First-place for each round pays 25-points, five points more than second-place. The third-place finisher will bank 17 markers while fourth-place earns 14. A fifth-place finish in any round will pay 12-points, sixth-place will be awarded 10-points. Every position from seventh-place to 15th will drop one point with each successive slot. 16th-place and below are awarded no points.
One area the North American championship departs from the Supercup structure is the awarding of points for qualifying. Pole position winners for every race are gifted an additional five-points for showing expertise and speed in the 30-minute qualifying session. This allows a single driver to – theoretically – earn 60-points over the course of a normal weekend: 25 x 2 for race wins and 5 x 2 for pole position wins.
Championships will be awarded to Drivers in all three classes: Pro, Pro-Am and Pro-Am 991. Regardless of class, a single Entrants Champion will be crowned. Entrants points are distributed in the same amounts and structure as Driver points to only the highest finishing car entered by that team. No pole position points are awarded to Entrants.
After two-rounds, both held at Florida’s Sebring International Raceway in March, Seb Priaulx (United Kingdom) leads Kay van Berlo (Netherlands) by ten-points. Each driver – both of whom compete in the Pro class with the newest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car (type 992) – earned a victory and runner-up finish in the first weekend of competition. Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) and Riley Dickinson (New Braunfels, Texas) hold positions three and four following the first two rounds by virtue of third-place finishes in one of the two, 45-minute races. Parker Thompson (Canada) closes-out the top-five of the Pro class with 26 points.
Alan Metni (Austin, Texas) will travel to his home track, the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on April 30 – May 2 for Rounds 3 and 4 of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America, with a commanding lead in the Pro-Am class. The Texan scored back-to-back victories at Sebring in the category for drivers 40-years-old and older racing the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. He is 16-points ahead of Thomas Collingwood (Canada), 21-points in front of Tim Pappas (Boston, Massachusetts), 23 beyond Efrin Castro (Dominican Republic) and 24 up on Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Curt Swearingin.
There will be a single Pro-Am 991 champion crowned in the history of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America. The class for previous generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars ( type 991.2) will only be campaigned in 2021. Following the first two rounds there is a tie at the top of the leaderboard with Kurt Hunt (Atlanta, Georgia) and Matt Halcome (Dalls, Georgia) holding 45-points apiece after swapping the top two positions in Rounds 1 and 2. Grady Willingham (Birmingham, Alabama) goes to Texas third in points with 31 markers while Jeff Majkrzak (Orono, Minnesota) and Joe Still (Huntsville, Alabama) grasp fourth and fifth-places with 29 and 20 points each.
The Entrants Championship battle reflects the Pro class with the highest-placing team, Kelly-Moss Road & Race, entering the winning and second-place efforts in both rounds. The Madison, Wisconsin-based program fielded both Priaulx and van Berlo guaranteeing the winner’s share of points – 50. 311RS Motorsport (represented by Keen and Ryan Gates) has 37 points as a result of Keen’s Round 1 podium. Team Hardpoint EBM rode Dickinson’s third-place result in Round 2 to 32-points for the weekend, the VIRginia International Raceway-based team also fields Castro. Thompson’s results earned JDX Racing 31-points, good for fourth-place, while Dylan Murry (Athens, Georgia) gave BGB Motorsports – a team he shares with Collingwood – 23 points to hold fifth-place.
Both Rounds 3 and 4 will take place at the Circuit of the Americas on May 2. The weekend, named as a replacement for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) following a COVID-related cancelation at that facility, will open for practice on Friday, April 30 with qualifying scheduled for Saturday, May 1.
Porsche Carrera Cup North America is the premier one-make race series in the United States and Canada utilizing a combination of the latest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, type 992, and MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup N3 racing slick to challenge the best road and street race courses on the continent. As with all national Carrera Cups worldwide, The inaugural season of the championship is scheduled to host 16-rounds at eight venues. Each 45-minute race counts toward a season-long driver and team championship in each of three classes: Pro, Pro-Am and Pro-Am 991.
Live timing and scoring of every session, a direct link to the live video feed, and more information on North America’s first Porsche Carrera Cup can be found at www.PorscheCarreraCup.us .
Porsche Podium. Wehrlein Achieves First 2021 Formula E Podium for Porsche in Rome.
Pascal Wehrlein (Germany) claimed a third-place finish at the Rome E-Prix on Sunday, April 11, earning the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team its first podium of the 2021 season. Driving the No. 99 Porsche 99X Electric race car, Wehrlein earned the third-place result after a gripping race against tough opposition. His teammate André Lotterer (Germany) finished the fourth round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship contested in the Italian capital in position 15.
A day earlier, Saturday, April 10, in the third round of the season on the street circuit in Rome, Wehrlein scored seventh-place finish in the electric-powered, single-seater Porsche 99X Electric earning valuable points for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. After a strong qualifying effort and the second-fastest time in the battle for Super Pole, Lotterer secured a spot on the front row of the starting grid. However, the veteran of the Porsche Formula E team was relegated to 14th-place after a five-second penalty was accessed for an overtaking maneuver.
The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team contests its second Formula E season in 2021 with the Porsche 99X Electric. André Lotterer celebrated a successful racing debut in November 2019, finishing in second-place at the season-opening race in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia after meticulous preparation. It was a dream start and proof that Porsche had a competitive vehicle right from the outset with the Porsche 99X Electric race car. This was impressively underlined by the first pole position in Mexico City and another second-place on home turf in Berlin, Germany. Formula E is the world’s first fully-electric street racing series and, as an accelerator for innovative and sustainable mobility technologies, it has brought thrilling motorsport to people living in major cities since 2014. This season, in which a driver and team world champion will be crowned for the first time, more automobile manufacturers compete than in any other racing series. As such, the races are fascinating and fiercely contested.
The next event, Rounds 5 and 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is the Valencia E-Prix in Spain on April 24 – 25.
Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E.
“We’re thrilled about our first podium of the season. That was a positive surprise at the finish. The conditions weren’t easy, but we were strong. We’ve made good progress since the start of the season in Diriyah [Saudi Arabia]. We were at the front in qualifying, but ultimately, we now have to implement that in the race. Sunday we were close. Pascal’s third-place is a result on which we can build for the next doubleheader in Valencia.”
Pascal Wehrlein, Driver, No. 99 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric.
“That was a good day for Porsche and me. To climb the podium at the fourth race of the season is a great result. I’d like to thank my team for their hard work and tremendous support. Still, when you take the lead, you obviously want to win. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible today because – like in Diriyah – we lacked a bit of speed in the race. Still, we’re on the right track. I hope that by Valencia we can take another step forward.”
André Lotterer, Driver, No. 36 TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team Porsche 99X Electric.
“Like in Diriyah, that was a tough weekend for me with no points. Nevertheless, I think we’ve once again underlined our potential. Pascal’s podium result motivates the whole team. There are still some minor details that we need to work on to be able to achieve our first win in Valencia.”
Le Mans Double. Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup Points Leader Rogers Takes Both Races at Simulated Le Mans.
On the virtual Circuit des 24 Heures, home of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Josh Rogers (Australia) set the fastest qualifying time and won both the sprint and the main race on April 10. With this perfect result, the Virtual Racing School driver further extends his lead in the point standings after the ninth of ten Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup (PESC) rounds. Title defender Sebastian Job (Great Britain) claimed second-place after the three-lap sprint on iRacing’s simulation platform. In the main race, however, he had to throw in the towel early after sliding off the track. Rogers’ teammate, Mitchell DeJong (Temecula, California) looked certain to win the six-lap event, only to slide off the track as well, shortly before the checkered flag. As a result, Norway’s Tommy Östgaard and Zac Campbell (Lawrenceville, Georgia) inherited positions two and three.
With 600 points to his credit, Rogers heads to the final round in Monza holding a convincing lead in the drivers’ championship. DeJong ranks second with 407 points followed closely by defending champion Sebastian Job (395).
The final round of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup will be contested in 14 days at the Royal Park in Monza. On April 24, around 40 digital Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers will pit themselves against each other for the last time this season, and the champion will be crowned at the 3.6-miles (5.79-kilometer) Grand Prix circuit. With its long straights, the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is regarded as a full-speed temple. The sprint runs over seven laps, with the main event over 14 laps.
Joshua Rogers, Driver, Virtual Racing School Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“I didn’t really want to get involved in fights so early in the race, but we were bumper to bumper and I had to keep defending my position. It’s a real shame for Mitchell DeJong. His driving was fantastic and he controlled the race very well. In the sprint race, after my overtaking maneuver really worked between the Mulsanne Corner and Porsche Curves, I tried it again in the feature race and it worked out again. I knew it was difficult to pass after the Porsche Curves, so I had to make my play.”
Zac Campbell, Driver, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Esports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“I didn’t expect this result at all. For me, Le Mans is the worst track on the calendar and I struggled today. I have to apologize to Diogo Pinto, Jamie Fluke and everyone else who got caught up in that last lap ordeal. I touched the rear of Diogo’s car and caused a big crash. That shouldn’t have happened. I’ll probably give Diogo the prize money for third-place because he deserved it 100 percent. Still, I’m happy with that result: from P16 to P3 – I’m thrilled.”
Endurance Aces. Porsche GT Team Announces Factory Drivers for WEC Enduros.
Porsche has secured the support of two endurance aces for the two FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) races in Portimão, Portugal and Le Mans, France. Frédéric Makowiecki (France) reinforces the regular WEC drivers Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) and Richard Lietz (Austria) in the No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR race car for the two events. The Frenchman has been part of the driver line-up to tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the last three years. In the No. 92 car, Neel Jani (Switzerland) and the Kévin Estre (France) receive support from Michael Christensen (Denmark). The Dane won the LMGTE-Pro class at Le Mans in 2018 with Estre and Belgium’s Laurens Vanthoor. The experienced trio will also contest round two of the season, an eight-hour race in Portugal on June 13.
Jani won the overall classification of the 24-hour French classic in 2016 at the wheel of the Porsche 919 Hybrid driving with Romain Dumas (France) and Marc Lieb (Germany). His five teammates have harvested eight class victories so far with the 911 RSR at the tradition-steeped endurance race at the Sarthe.
History has shown that experience racing together in advance of the world’s most storied endurance sports car race is essential. The synergy between the drivers on and off the racetrack is a key factor for them to prepare optimally for the Le Mans 24-hour race.
Round 2 of the WEC in Portugal offers the perfect opportunity to compete with three drivers in each car. With a race duration of eight hours, all drivers get plenty of track time at the wheel of the Porsche 911 RSR. On June 13 – the original date for the 24 Hours of Le Mans – the FIA WEC will be contested for the first time on the 2.92-mile (4.692-kilometrer) circuit in Portugal’s Algarve region. The 89th running of the long-distance classic in France is now scheduled to be held on August 21 – 22.
Pascal Zurlinden, Director Factory Motorsport.
“Between them, these six nominated drivers have a total of 59 Le Mans races under their belts. This experience is invaluable. There’s absolutely no doubt that we’ll be very well-positioned for the highlight of the year. The eight-hour race of the WEC in Portimão is the perfect complement to our intense preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
Alexander Stehlig, Head of Operations FIA WEC.
“It’s hugely important that the two driver crews we send to Le Mans have contested as many races as possible together. The instinctive understanding between them, knowing each other’s setup preferences and the smooth interaction with the engineers play crucial roles. With all six drivers competing at the WEC race in Portugal, we’ll be able to fine-tune the processes even more so that we’ll head to Le Mans with an extremely well-rehearsed crew.”
Frédéric Makowiecki, Driver, No. 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“It’s great that I can share driving duties in the number 91 car at Le Mans with Gimmi and Richie for the fourth year in a row. We’re a very well-oiled threesome and we’ve always done well at our races. Unfortunately, it’s never been quite enough for us to win our class at Le Mans yet, but that should change this year. We’ll tackle the WEC race in Portugal with the aim of refining the interaction with our new race engineer John McGregor. There’s not a lot of time to work on some aspects during the Le Mans week, so we’ll do that in Portimão. That puts us in a good starting position.”
Michael Christensen, Driver, No. 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR.
“I’m very much looking forward to our joint outing in the number 92 car at the Portimão race. I also feel particularly fortunate to be able to drive for Porsche at Le Mans this year. It’s the biggest, toughest and most important race on the calendar every year and, if we’re successful, the most wonderful. I hope we’ll perform as well as we did in 2018. Another class victory would be a dream come true.”
2021 World Endurance Championship Schedule.
April 26/27 – Prologue – Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
May 1 – 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
June 13 – 8 Hours of Portimão (Portugal)
July 18 – 6 Hours of Monza (Italy)
August 21 – 22 – 24 Hours of Le Mans (France)
September 26 – 6 Hours of Fuji (Japan)
November 20 – 8 Hours of Bahrain (Bahrain)
Eyes of Texas. Porsche Carrera Cup North America Announces COTA Date.
Porsche Carrera Cup North America has added the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) to the calendar of its debut season in 2021. The Austin, Texas-area track will host Rounds 3 and 4 of the premier one-make championship April 30 – May 2. The twin, 45-minute events at COTA come as a result of ongoing COVID-19-related Canadian travel and gathering restrictions. The first of the two scheduled event weekends in Canada will be substituted by the three-class (Pro, Pro-Am and Pro-Am 991) championship with the Texas rounds. Porsche Carrera Cup North America joins Porsche Sprint Challenge North America and the SRO America – in which race cars produced by the German marque compete in three championships – at COTA.
The second race weekend of the new championship had been scheduled for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), May 21 – 23, in support of SRO America, but had to be cancelled due to ongoing mandated restrictions. Porsche Motorsport North America president and CEO Dr. Daniel Armbruster, Series Manager Brian Blocker and IMSA officials worked closely with SRO management and COTA track representatives to move to the popular Texas facility. The addition of Porsche Carrera Cup North America to the already top sports car racing card promises fans, teams and partners one of the most competitive GT weekends of the year.
The home of the United States Grand Prix, COTA is a 3.4-mile (5.513 km) track best known for its dramatic uphill charge into the first of 20-turns. Porsche one-make racing has been a part of the fabric of the facility outside of the capital of Texas since 2012 when Porsche Trophy West USA – now known as the Yokohama Drivers Cup USA – ran as support to the inaugural Formula 1 race there. The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, the pinnacle of the Porsche one-make pyramid worldwide, raced at the track alongside Formula 1 from 2014 – 2016. Earl Bamber (New Zealand), co-owner of Team Hardpoint EBM which has both Pro and Pro-Am class entries in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America, won the pole position at the first Mobil 1 Supercup event at COTA in 2014. Eventual Porsche factory driver Mathieu Jaminet (France) won both races in 2016.
Both Rounds 3 and 4 will take place on May 2. The weekend will open for practice on Friday, April 30 with qualifying scheduled for Saturday, May 1. Specific details, including further on-track session times and broadcast information, will be communicated as they are formalized.
Live timing and scoring of every session, a direct link to the live video feed, and more information on North America’s first Porsche Carrera Cup can be found at www.PorscheCarreraCup.us .
Brian Blocker, Series Manager, Porsche Carrera Cup North America.
“We are in challenging times, and the safety and well-being of our customers, the teams and as well as racing fans is our highest priority. Like everyone, we have done our best to adapt as changes have arisen. We were very much looking forward to racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in May, but unfortunately won’t be able to do so as planned. However, working with our partners and stakeholders, we have found a great solution by joining the SRO and Porsche Sprint Challenge North America at COTA April 30 through May 2. While we certainly didn’t want to have to make these changes, we could not have asked for a better alternative than to be racing in Austin.
Canada remains a key part of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America vision. We are monitoring events in Toronto closely right now with every intention of racing there with IndyCar. We are committed to this being a true North American championship.”
*Image courtesy of Porsche.