After three decades hosting Porsche-on-Porsche excellence elsewhere, the vaunted Porsche Carrera Cup series comes to North America for the 2021 motorsports season. Not to be confused with the existing GT3 Cup Challenge run in both the States and in Canada, this is seen as the next level in the wide array of one-make Porsche spec-series around the world, and makes the U.S. the tenth regional Carrera Cup series on the global stage.
While there are 21 distinct Porsche spec series run in 31 different countries on five continents, not all series are created equal. By merit of both the participating cars and level of factory support, only ten of these series are considered part of the Carrera Cup roster. Primarily, this means Porsche Motorsport North America now manages the series in its territory, partnering with IMSA for logistical requirements like track management and tech inspection while handling for itself the organizational items such as qualified cars and team/driver assistance.
The arrival of the Carrera Cup also brings Michelin as its title sponsor. All tires used in the NA Carrera Cup will be Michelin Pilot Sport Cup N3 slicks, bringing the leading U.S. Porsche spec series in line with the nine other series. This, along with a new and as-yet-unrevealed 992-based GT3 Cup car, will give American drivers a better shot at the popular and very competitive Porsche Junior Shootout. The Shootout pits one Junior driver from each participating region against each other in a race for the chance at running in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup that supports and follows the Formula 1 racing season.
The start of the new North American Carrera Cup kicks off March 17 at Sebring and will run 16 rounds over eight venues in both the U.S. and Canada. Each race is 45 minutes long and slots in as part of a season-long driver and team championship for Pro, Pro-Am, and Rookie classes. Like other spec series, all drivers who use the newest 992-based GT3 Cup race in the Pro category, but so-called “gentleman drivers”—or pay-to-players—primarily stick to the Pro-Am section and may run older cars. Rookies are all drivers under 23 years and play a part in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Junior program that assists in both driver and motorsports career development.
As of this writing, Porsche Motorsport North America has not issued a statement regarding the future status of the existing GT3 Cup Challenge and whether or not the old program will exist alongside the new series, but it has has confirmed it is working toward a forthcoming announcement.
2021 Porsche Carrera Cup North America Schedule (provisional)
March 17–20 | Sebring International Raceway
May 20–23 | Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
June 24–27 | Watkins Glen International
July | Toronto Indy
August 6–8 | Road America
August 20–22 | VIRginia International Raceway
September | TBA
October 6–9 | Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
The post Porsche Carrera Cup Series Announced for North America for 2021 appeared first on Automobile Magazine.