Organisers of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB have confirmed a slightly altered calendar for the 2017 campaign, headlined by a return to the Circuit de la Sarthe after a two year absence.
Carrera Cup GB will join the French and Benelux championships on a combined grid of over sixty cars, holding a key support slot on the morning of the classic Le Mans 24 Hours. The synergy between championship, manufacturer and race is impossible to overlook. Porsche have claimed the past two Le Mans 24 Hours, with a total success rate of eighteen overall victories.
The calendar is still underpinned by the seven TOCA package meetings that feature, however Donington Park is a headline return to the calendar, again following a two year exodus. This means the series will once more omit the TOCA trips to Thruxton and Rockingham, however Croft additionally makes way for the return to Donington.
Said Leicestershire home-coming will also see a forty-minute endurance style race, as witnessed during the World Endurance Championship support meetings in 2015 and 2016.
Alterations to the championship package include a mentoring session with a Porsche engineer pre-season for any Rookie who enters next year’s championship.
Announcing the calendar, series boss James MacNaughton was keen to highlight the co-operation between championship and entrants. “We’re always getting feedback from our teams and drivers and at the same time we monitor how things are moving within the world of motorsport. By taking all of this on board and planning ahead, we’ve worked hard to ensure the Porsche Carrera Cup GB is the best platform for all our competitors in 2017.”
Comment: “…we’ve worked hard to ensure the Porsche Carrera Cup GB is the best platform for all our competitors in 2017.” If a fragment can better encapsulate the current attitude of the organisers behind the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, I am yet to see it.
Speaking to championship bosses what is clear is the desire to ensure there is co-operation between those organising the series and their customers.
It would be all too easy for the championship to look at its current period of success, with a healthy Pro contingent leading a strong overall grid in excess of twenty cars, and decide that everything is fine, dandy and can be left well alone.
However, there is an awareness that things can change very rapidly in motor racing. What works one season, may not be so attractive the following year. These changes ensure the series remains fresh and engaging to prospective entrants. Racing on the morning of the Le Mans 24 Hours is a sales-pitch in itself.
The return to Donington and the decision to run an extended forty minute race signals the intention to retain what has been a popular addition to the World Endurance Championship away days at Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Retaining a secure seven meetings on the TOCA package ensures commercial viability for prospective sponsors, with the series a popular part of any British Touring Car Championship weekend.
All the indicators suggest the series is set not just to consolidate but further grow as Britain’s top one-make GT class in 2017…