LONG BEACH, Calif., December 21, 2004 -- Bringing to a close his most successful season of professional sportscar racing, Craig Stanton was honored by Porsche this past weekend in Weissach, Germany. Stanton was named runner-up for one of the most coveted awards in international motorsports, the Porsche Cup. The annual award is given to the highest finishing, non-factory driver that has competed in a Porsche in any of a number of international and domestic race series the world over. The Long Beach, Calif. resident, who earned nearly $30,000 for the award, captured 8,510 points across the three race series in which he competed, all in variants of the Porsche 996/911 platform. The annual Porsche Motorsports' banquet, Stanton's first, was held Saturday, December 18th at Porsche's motorsports facility one hour from their international headquarters in Stuttgart.
His first victory of the season came at the Grand-Am Cup season-opener at Daytona International Speedway in January. There he co-drove with Terry Borcheller (Gainesville, Ga.) in TheRaceSite.com Porsche 996. The two would collect a total of three wins together before splitting. Stanton would be joined by multi-team co-driver David Murry (Cumming, Ga.) for three more wins and the Grand-Am Cup championship in TheRaceSite.com entry. That championship earned Stanton a special wristwatch given to him by Porsche at the banquet. He took a sole Grand American Rolex Series victory in Super Grand Sport (SGS) class at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Murry in the No. 16 AASCO Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry.
Stanton added to his 2004 Porsche Cup tally by competing for Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing for the second year. The combination of Stanton and Petersen/ White Lightning teamed for several GT2 (formerly GT) class podiums in 2003 including a victory at the Road America 500. In 2004, again being joined by Murry, Stanton earned six American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT2 podium finishes driving the No. 31 Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ Michelin Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Despite all having the same 996 platform, the RSR is the most sophisticated and powerful of the three Porsche's that Stanton piloted. Although not winning a race in the ALMS this season, Stanton finished second twice (Mosport and Road America) and won four IMSA Cups- given to the highest finishing privateer effort in each class- for the No. 31 Porsche. Stanton and Murry would finish tied for fifth in ALMS GT2 driver points at season's end.
Murry, a former Porsche factory driver at Le Mans, finished fourth in the 2004 Porsche Cup with 7,515 markers. Though the award is open to the hundreds of Porsche racers competing worldwide, only the top 15 are asked to attend the banquet each December. Stephane Ortelli was the 2004 recipient of the Porsche Cup.
Craig Stanton: "This was really pretty darn cool. There were people from all over the world and it was really quite an honor just to be asked to attend. To be singled-out twice, first for the GS class victory and then for second in the Porsche Cup standings was really, really special to me. To have my wife Joy there with me, and Dale, Stefan and David was truly special. I just wish the entire Petersen/ White Lightning team and all the guys from all the crews I raced with this year could have been there. They made this all possible for me. This was my first time to come to Weissach and to be a part of this; to get to sit there right across from Roland Kussmaul (lead Porsche Motorsports engineer) and his wife will be something that I will always, always remember."