2005 Porsche Cup winner announced

BRITAIN'S TIM SUGDEN WINS PORSCHE CUP WORLDWIDE DRIVERS AWARD American Le Mans Series and FIA-GT pilot secures title with Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs ATLANTA - December 12 -- Tim Sugden, a 41 year-old professional racer and team owner from Leeds, ...

BRITAIN'S TIM SUGDEN WINS PORSCHE CUP WORLDWIDE DRIVERS AWARD
American Le Mans Series and FIA-GT pilot secures title with Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs

ATLANTA - December 12 -- Tim Sugden, a 41 year-old professional racer and team owner from Leeds, England, has won the 2005 Porsche Cup - the trophy awarded annually to the most successful driver in privately-run race cars, by Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, in Stuttgart, Germany.

He secured the coveted award with his successes in the FIA GT Championship and the American Le Mans Series. The Cup winner receives the sought-after silver-gold trophy as well as 37,000 Euros ($44,400) in prize money. The Porsche Cup is endowed with prize money totalling 153,000 Euros ($183,600).

In the 36-years of Porsche Cup history, which began back in 1970, Sugden is the second United Kingdom resident to win the prestigious award. His compatriot, John Fitzpatrick, claimed the Porsche Cup in 1972, 1974 and 1980.

"It is a huge pleasure and honour for me to have my name on Cup winners' list. Over the past five years I had always hoped to win it. At the beginning of 2005 I knew this could be my season, as I was driving with two excellent teams: Gruppe M Racing in the FIA-GT series and J3 Racing from Atlanta in ALMS. Actually, ever since I entered GT racing in 1997 I have driven almost only Porsche vehicles. It simply had to happen at some stage."

Patrick Long, from Las Vegas, the American Le Mans Series co-champion in GT2 in his Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, finished second in the final points tally, with teammate Jorg Bergmeister finishing third. In all, eight of the top ten Porsche Cup drivers ran in the 2005 American Le Mans and Rolex Grand-Am road racing series in North America including Sugden's teammate Emmanual Collard (France), fourth in the Porsche Cup, who ran with Alex Job Racing at Petit Le Mans. Wolf Henzler (Germany) was sixth after winning the 24 Hours at Daytona, several SCCA

World Challenge races, and several top five ALMS finishes. Flying Lizard Porsche drivers Johannes van Overbeek and Jon Fogarty were seventh and ninth due to a third-place finish at Le Mans and top ALMS finishes, while Darren Law (tenth) split his time between ALMS and Grand-Am, including a third at Sebring with his fellow American Flying Lizard teammates..

Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA-GT championship in two different Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, and managed to finish seventh in the ALMS GT points championship as well to earn an eighth-place Porsche Cup finish.

Tim Sugden and his co-driver Collard finished the 2005 FIA GT Championship as vice-champions of the GT2 category. Driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for the British Gruppe M Racing team, the duo won five of eleven races. At two rounds Sugden and Collard climbed the podium in second place. Their successes contributed significantly to their Gruppe M Racing squad securing the team title.

"I have fantastic memories of each and every victory. But the greatest satisfaction came with our Imola win. I had never competed on this circuit before. The race in Istanbul was also extraordinary. There we won a difficult rain race thanks to our clever tactics," said Sugden.

In the American Le Mans Series, Sugden shared the driving duties with Justin Jackson, from Atlanta in the J3 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. At opening race in Sebring, with support from the American Nic Jonsson, the duo brought home the best result in the history of their J3 Racing outfit with second place in the GT2 category. Claiming third at the third race in Mid Ohio and through further top-ten finishes, Sugden reached sixth in the final GT2 drivers' standings.

"It was something very special to contest a marathon like the 12 hours of Sebring purely as a privateer and to finish near the front," said Sugden.

At three of the Le Mans Endurance Series races, Tim Sugden and Jonathan Cocker (Great Britain) competed again for Gruppe M Racing. In Spa and Monza the two British drivers were forced to retire with technical problems. The rain race in Silverstone ended with an accident.

Tim Sugden's motorsport career began at the age of eleven in a kart. At 13, Sugden had already received factory support. At 16, he won the British Championship and was captain of the British Junior Karting team in the Karting World Championship. Over Formula Ford and Formula Renault, Sugden then moved into Formula 3000.

In 1990 he swapped to touring car racing where until 1996 Sugden contested the BTCC partly as a works driver. After spending seven years racing touring cars, in 1997 Tim Sugden began his career in Gran Turismo motorsport, winning the British GT Championship at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT2. In 1998 he defended his title in a McLaren, and that same year secured fourth at the Le Mans 24 hour race as the best private driver. Driving different versions of the 911 GT3, Sugden claimed vice-championship honours in the category for near-standard sport scars in the 2002 and 2004 British GT Championship.

As his favorite race track, Tim Sugden selects the demanding Road America circuit in the US state of Wisconsin. For the bachelor from Leeds in the British Midlands, his love of speed also occupies his leisure time where he often competes at the wheel of a racing kart.

Porsche Cup 2005: the top 15 drivers

1. Tim Sugden (Great Britain)
Gruppe M Motorsport
J3 Racing
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

10,150 points
Prize money 37,000 E

Vice-champion in the FIA GT2 drivers' championship; second place in the GT2 class at the Sebring 12 hour race (USA); sixth in the GT2 drivers' classification of the American Le Mans Series.

2. Patrick Long (USA)
Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing
AASCO Motorsports
Farnbacher Loles Racing
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

8,830 points
Prize money 23,000 E

Champion in the GT2 category of the American Le Mans Series, GT2 victory at the Sebring 12 hour race (USA) and second place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France). Successes in the Rolex Grand American Sportscar Series and the SCCA World Challenge.

3. Jörg Bergmeister (Germany)
Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

8,310 points
Prize money 18,000 E

Champion in the GT2 category of the American Le Mans Series, GT2 victory at the Sebring 12 hour race (USA) and second place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France).

4. Emmanuel Collard (France)
Gruppe M Racing
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

7,670 points
Prize money 13,000 E

Vice-champion in the GT2 class of the FIA GT Championship, successes in the American Le Mans Series.

5. Luigi Moccia (Italy)
Autorlando Sport
Porsche 911 GT3 RS

6,400 points
Prize money 10,000 E

Fifth in the drivers' standings of the FIA GT2 Championship; third in the GT2 classification of the Le Mans Endurance Series.

6. Wolf Henzler (Germany)
Farnbacher Racing USA
Farnbacher Loles Racing
British American Motorsport (BAM!)
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

6,090 points
Prize money 9,000 E

Fourth in the GT2 drivers' championship of the American Le Mans Series; fourth in the Speed World Challenge, GT class (USA); class victory at the Daytona 24 hour race (USA).

7. Johannes van Overbeek (USA)
Flying Lizard Motorsports
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

5,200 points
Prize money 8,000 E

Third in the GT2 drivers' championship of the American Le Mans Series; third in the GT2 category at the Sebring 12 hour race (USA) and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France).

8. Mike Rockenfeller (Monaco)
Gruppe M Racing/Porsche AG
Alex Job Racing
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

4,660 points
Prize money 7,500 E

GT2 drivers' champion in the FIA GT Championship; seventh place in the GT2 final standings at the American Le Mans Series; GT2 class wins at the Le Mans 24 hour race (France) and at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium).

9. Jon Fogarty (USA)
Flying Lizard Motorsports
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

4,600 points
Prize money 6,500 E

Third place in the GT2 drivers' championship of the American Le Mans Series; third in the GT2 class of the Sebring 12 hour race (USA).

10. Darren Law (USA)
Flying Lizard Motorsports
Zoom Motorsports
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

4,440 points
Prize money 6,000 E

American Le Mans Series: tenth in the GT2 drivers' championship; eighth in the GS category of the Grand Am Cup Series (USA); third in the GT2 category at the Sebring 12 hour race (USA).

11. Gerold Ried (Germany)
Proton Competition
Porsche 911 GT3 RS

4,190 points
Prize money 5,000 E

Sixth in the GT2 drivers' standings of the FIA GT Championship; third place in the GT2 category at the Spa-Francorchamps 24 hour race (Belgium).

12. Christian Ried (Germany)
Proton Competition
Porsche 911 GT3 RS

4,030 points
Prize money 2,500 E

Seventh in the GT2 drivers' standings of the FIA GT Championship; third place in the GT2 category at the Spa-Francorchamps 24 hour race (Belgium).

13. Raimond Narac (France)
Performance Team
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

3,490 points
Prize money 2,500 E

Winner of the French GT2 drivers' championship.

14. Sebastien Dumez (France)
Performance Team
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

3,490 points
Prize money 2,500 E

Winner of the French GT2 drivers' championship.

15. Marc Lieb (Germany)
Gruppe M Racing/Porsche AG
Alex Job Racing
Sebah Automotive
Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 RS

3,400 points
Prize money 2,500 E

Winner of the FIA GT2 drivers' championship; winner of the GT2 drivers' title in the Le Mans Endurance Series, victory in the GT2 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France).

-porsche-

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