73 Porsche race cars will represent the German marque across three sanctioning bodies and five race series at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) April 30 – May 2. The race weekend in Austin, Texas promises to be one of, if not the, largest collection of purpose-built Porsche race cars to compete in one location this year. Each of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America, SRO GT America, SRO GT World Challenge America, SRO GT4 America and Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama will have multiple races on the 3.4-mile, 20-turn race track.
The Porsche Carrera Cup North America was a late addition to this massive motorsport weekend. The premier one-make race series on the continent chose this as a replacement for its second weekend when travel restrictions made it impossible for the 27 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars entered for the two races to travel to Canada. Therefore, the 20 Type 992 current generation and seven Type 991.2 last gen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars will contend Rounds 3 and 4 on the track near the Texas capital. More on the peak of the North American one-make motorsport pyramid at: www.porschecarreracup.us .
By virtue of its multi-generational and multi-format design, the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama sees the largest number of Porsche entries, 32, across the three organizing bodies. 14 type 991.2 and eight type 991.1, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars comprise the Platinum and Gold classes respectively. They are joined by 10 Silver class Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport entries in two, 40-minute races scheduled, one each on Saturday and Sunday. Learn more at: www.porschesprint.com .
Porsche will be represented in the three major SRO series by 13 total entries. A single Porsche 911 GT3 R race car driven by Fred Poordad (San Antonio, Texas) and Jan Heylen (Belgium) will challenge for top-honors in the SRO GT World Challenge America. The No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche will race two, 90-minute races in the Pro-Am class.
The six Porsche race cars in the SRO GT America series – single driver/40-minute races – are split evenly between the rear-engine Porsche 911 GT3 R racers and mid-engine Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The Porsche GT3-spec contenders are a “Who’s Who” of Porsche veteran teams. The No. 32 driven by Kyle Washington is prepped by GMG Racing. The No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Charlie Luck has John Wright’s Wright Motorsport operation overseeing its readiness while Flying Lizard Motorsports is back with Andy Wilzoch behind the wheel of the No. 460. The GT4 class will have Tim Pappas wheeling the No. 54 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for Black Swan Racing while Premier Racing puts Adam Adelson behind the wheel of its red, black and neon yellow Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Stephen Cameron Racing fields Alain Stad in the No. 619.
The SRO GT4 America championship has a total of seven Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars entered. The road-based racer will be represented by NOLASPORT with three entries: Sam Owen/Sean Gibbons in the No. 7, David and Russell Walker in the No. 46 and the Texas duo of Matt Travis and Jason Hart in the No. 47. TRG fields two cars in the two, 60-minute GT4 America SprintX races; the No. 17 of James Rappaport and Todd Hetherington and the traditional pairing of veterans David DeBoer and Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 66. Aurora Straus will share the No. 43 Murillo Racing-prepared Porsche with Jeff Mosing in the Am category at COTA while Pappas and Jeroen Bleekemolen go for Pro-Am honors in the Black Swan No. 54.
Multiple programs plan to race in multiple series this weekend. Wright Motorsports will see entries in Porsche Carrera Cup North America (three cars), SRO GT World Challenge (one entry) and SRO GT America (one entry). Black Swan Racing will campaign 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars in two different SRO series (GT America and GT4 America), Kelly-Moss Road & Race enters both the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama (six cars) and Porsche Carrera Cup North America (four cars), Premier Racing will have entries for Adelson in both SRO GT America and Porsche Sprint Challenge North America. ACI Motorsports will bring five Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars across both Porsche one-make series (four in Sprint Challenge and one in Carrera Cup) while Topp Racing has four on-site (three in Carrera Cup North America and a single car in Sprint Challenge) and JDX Racing has five (two: Carrera Cup, three: Sprint Challenge). GMG has entries in Sprint Challenge and SRO – one each – as does Flying Lizard – one each – and NOLASPORT (three in SRO GT4 America and a single entry in Sprint Challenge).
Texas Two-Step. Porsche Carrera Cup North America to Run Rounds 3 and 4 in Single Day.
The Porsche Carrera Cup North America comes to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas for its second weekend of competition, April 30 – May 2. The premier one-make Porsche racing series on the continent moved the event from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) due to travel restrictions into Canada and the resulting schedule modification has forced several changes for participants. While logistical issues had to be overcome to secure teams, television and support at Rounds Three and Four of the 16-race inaugural season, 27 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars are entered. The addition to the established SRO America weekend on the 3.4-mile Formula One circuit – site of the United States Grand Prix – has forced on-track schedules to be adapted with competitors racing both 45-minute events on Sunday, May 2. Official practice gets underway Friday, April 30 with qualifying slated for Saturday, May 1.
With the first 45-minute race scheduled for 8:00 a.m. Central Time, Sunday, May 2 and the second later than day at 2:50 p.m. CT, drivers, teams and series officials will have a quick turn-around to prepare between rounds. This will put a premium on programs who can go mistake-free in the first race of the day on the 20-turn track. One of the newest major race tracks in the United States, COTA provides ample run-off space to help mitigate heavy damage in the event of an off-course excursion. However, its fast turns and long straights are punctuated by tight switch-backs including the trademark uphill charge into the first turn. These often encourage door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper battles that, while exhilarating for the audience watching the livestream at www.porschecarreracup.us , can prove a nightmare for teams trying to quickly prepare for the second race in the single-make, single driver series.
Of the 27 cars entered to race, 14 make-up the Pro class for the newest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars, based on the 992 generation of the iconic sports car. In the opening weekend at Sebring International Raceway, Seb Priaulx (United Kingdom) and Kay van Berlo (Netherlands) exchanged the top two podium spots in their Kelly-Moss Road & Race prepared machines. Veteran Leh Keen (Atlanta, Georgia) earned third-place in race one driving for 311RS Motorsport while New Braunfels, Texas-resident Riley Dickinson, driving the Team Hardpoint EBM entered and Porsche Austin-backed 911 GT3 Cup car, stood third in Race 2 at the Florida track. Six type 992, normally aspirated, flat-six machines make-up the Pro-Am class for drivers 40-years-old and older. It was Austin’s own Alan Metni that secured both Sebring wins for the class in the No. 99 Kelly-Moss Road & Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. The remaining seven drivers on the entry list will sit behind the wheel of the previous generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, the type 991.2, in the Pro-Am 991 class. Five of those cars – including Sebring class winner Matt Halcome (Dallas, Georgia) – are prepared by Goldcrest Motorsports.
Live timing and scoring of every session, as well as live streaming of races, can be found at www.PorscheCarreraCup.us .
Comments before the race
Brian Blocker, Series Manager, Porsche Carrera Cup North America.
“We have all had to learn to adapt quickly over the course of the last year. Motorsports is no different. We have advantages and challenges due to the fact that Porsche Carrera Cup North America is in its first year. I believe one area we have an advantage is scheduling. We don’t have ten years of ‘this is how it is done’ so our teams and partners have been great at working with us to achieve a common goal. Every race team, driver, our partners like Michelin and suppliers have all been pulling together for the greater good. We particularly have to thank IMSA, the SRO and COTA for working so hard to make this event happen. It is not often you can interchange – on short notice – an iconic track like CTMP with a marvelous facility like Circuit of the Americas this seamlessly. We are looking at an incredible weekend of racing in Austin.”
John Wright, Team Principal, Wright Motorsports.
“We’re excited to get such a packed weekend at Circuit of the Americas underway, starting with a brief test for the Porsche Carrera Cup, in which three of our five entries for the weekend will be running. We had some adversity in the opening arounds at Sebring, but we’re ready for what COTA has in store. With both races on Sunday, it’ll be important everyone has a clean race in the morning. Overall, I think we’ll have a strong run here.”
Riley Dickinson, Driver, No. 15 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“There’s nothing like having a home race. Being able to sleep in your own bed is so nice, and the track is one of my favorites anyway. I’m really looking forward to it, because it is my first professional race at COTA. I did a test in the old Porsche Cup cars in February of 2020, but I’ve driven a lot of Porsches out here with Hill Country PCA and doing some coaching. But being here for a Porsche Carrera Cup North America race is long overdue. It’s going to be a fun week. It’s a busy week. We’re testing early in the week, and then Tuesday night, as soon as we roll off the track, we’re going to take the No. 53 Porsche Austin/Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3 Cup straight to Porsche Austin to go on display. Wednesday we’re doing a tour of their facility with the team and the car will stay on display on Thursday until it’s time to come back, load in and get ready to race.”
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 .