Welcome to the first of our weekly round-ups of Porsche one-make championship racing. While TCF gives a lot of attention to Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and the Porsche Carrera Cup GB series, we wanted to bring to your attention some of the other fantastic racing happening around the world in Carrera Cup, GT3 Cup Challenge and Sprint Challenge series.
Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux
The Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux headed to the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit with forty cars hitting the track with a combination of thirty 911 GT3 cup cars, joined by ten Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars ahead of the new Cayman Clubsport class in the Porsche Endurance Trophy.
In addition to this four Porsche factory drivers, Marc Lieb, Christian Ried, Marco Seefried and Uwe Alzen, took to track in the 911 GT2 RS Clubsport and the new 935.
The first race of the season is planned for 3/4 May when the series supports the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa-Francorchamps.
Porsche Carrera Cup Italia
It was the first race weekend of the 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup Italia season this weekend as competitors headed to Monza for the first two rounds.
Diego Bertonelli took the first win of the season as he piloted his Dinamic Motorsport 911 GT3 Cup car to win the opening race of the season ahead of Jaden Conwright and Simone Iaquinta. Bertonelli got the jump on pole sitter and initial leader Enrico Fulgenzi to lead the race on the third lap after a drag race down the front straight Bertonelli completed the move as they entered the first combination of corners.
With Beronelli out front and Conwright following through into second place, the battle for the remaining podium place ensued between Fulgenzi and Tommaso Mosca until the two collided at Variante della Roggia, putting them both out of the race.
Ianquinta fought with Patrick Kujala for the final spot as the race drew to a close, ultimately getting the better of the Spaniard.
The second race of the weekend saw similar battles out front and it looked like Ianquinta had secured his first win of the season, but following post-race scrutineering was disqualified after being unable to comply with minimum fuel-content requirements. As a result, Kujala was promoted to first place, taking the win ahead of Conwright and Bertonelli.
In the Michelin Cup, reigning champion Bashar Mardini took two victories while Federico Reggiani and Niccolò Mercatali shared Silver Cup wins using the 991 first Generation cars.
The weekend also saw the launch of Porsche Esports Carrera Cup Italia where 30 sim drivers took on each other in a bid to make it into the first round of the series in May.
Porsche Carrera Cup GB
Another series getting underway for 2019 was Porsche Carrera Cup GB which saw Porsche GB 2018/19 Junior Dan Harper come away from the weekend with the series lead.
Harper shared victories with George Gamble, whilst Lewis Plato also made a strong start to the year with two podiums. 2018 Pro-Am champion Seb Perez secured his first Pro podium in the opening race.
Karl Leonard took two victories in Pro-Am while reigning Am class champion Peter Mangion took one win with Justin Sherwood securing the other.
Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia
Tasmania’s Symmons Plains Raceway played host to the first round of the 2019 Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia as it supported the Supercars Championship for the first time.
A 22-car field lined up, with seven Pro class competitors, all from Porsche Cars Australia’s driver development programme including Max Vidau and Christian Pancione. They were joined by ten TAG Heuer Pro-Am class competitors and five Class B drivers in the 997-series 911 GT3 Cup cars.
Three races were held over the weekend which started with the opening race of the Endurance series – the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy.
Unfortunately, despite being billed as the longest race, a startline incident meant it would become the shortest of the three races to be held as the track was cleared.
Vidau secured the first win of the season ahead of reigning Australian Formula 3 champion Harri Jones and former Formula 4 driver Ryan Suhle. The story would be the same for the other two races as they repeated the finishing positions, leaving Vidau with a clean sweep and an 18-point series lead.
Sam Shahin took three victories in the TAG Heuer Pro-Am class while Class B victories were shared by Andrew Goldie who took races one and three, while race two was won by David Greig.
The next round of the 2019 Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia will take place at Sydney Motorsport Park on May 17-19.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA
Eighteen-year-old Canadian racer Roman De Angelis took victory in the opening race of the 2019 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at Barber Motorsports Park in emphatic fashion, leading from lights to flag as he beat rookie Riley Dickinson by seventeen-seconds.
Dickinson fought hard for the second place with Parker Thompson through the mid-part of the race, holding on until the end for a promising start to his GT3 Cup Challenge USA year.
Reigning Platinum Masters champion Alan Metni made the perfect start to his title defence with a class victory, also troubling the frontrunners in the overall race. Fred Kaimer finished second in class while Charlie Luck completed the podium.
Sebastian Carazo, Kurt Fazekas, and Efrin Castro completed the podium for the Gold Cup class for 911 GT3 Cup cars built between 2014 and 2016.
For the second race of the weekend, De Angelis completed the clean sweep, once again going untroubled on the way to victory, this time winning by an impressive 21.227 seconds. Sixteen-year-old Dickinson followed up his race one podium finish with another second place ahead of Parker Thompson.
Alan Metni won the Platinum Masters class for the second time of the weekend and in doing so took his first overall top-five finish in the series. Fred Kaimer finished in second place ahead of Fred Poordad.
Kurt Fazekas won in the Gold Cup class ahead of Rob Ferriol and Sebastian Carazo.
Yokohama Hard Charger Awards went to Platinum Cup Driver Dan Hardee in the first race as he improved from twenty-ninth to nineteenth and then Kurt Fazekas in the second race for gaining nine positions in the second race.
The next race in the series will see the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA head to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on 3-5 May.
Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe
Teams, drivers and partners met at the Lechner Racing Headquarters in Salzburg, Austria last week ahead of the new Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe (PSCCE) season as they were presented with the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport (Type 982).
Following the presentation, the Salzburgring hosted the official test day with 11 of the new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars on the track.
The series is set to have 17 drivers across the three classes – Pro, Pro-Am and Am with the first event happening at the Slovakiaring on 4-5 May.