The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has honoured its promise to quickly deliver an opportunity for disenfranchised former Porsche Carrera Cup competitors to race in 2009. A high-level meeting chaired by CAMS CEO Graham Fountain...
The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has honoured its promise to quickly deliver an opportunity for disenfranchised former Porsche Carrera Cup competitors to race in 2009.
A high-level meeting chaired by CAMS CEO Graham Fountain was held in Melbourne yesterday, involving relevant CAMS motor sport managers, the acting Chairman of the Australian Motor Racing Commission (AMRC) and the category managers from the Australian GT Championship and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge.
The result of the meeting will see the existing Porsche 997 Cup Cars become eligible to compete in either the Australian GT Championship or the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge in 2009.
The arrangement, agreed upon yesterday, is underpinned by a number of new and exciting opportunities for competitors. These include the flexibility to race in either of the aforementioned national categories at the owner's discretion, as well as no limitations on the vehicle being eligible to also compete at state and club level events. The actual arrangements regarding state level competition will be the subject of liaison between the AMRC and state panels to facilitate integration.
These opportunities also maintain the existing category objectives and place a number of conditions on this arrangement in order to maintain equity and opportunity for existing competitors in these categories.
The basic conditions applicable to this arrangement include vehicles entering the Australian GT Championship being able to compete without any restriction apart from the existing category parity system applying. Whereas vehicles entering the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge will compete in their own class within the Challenge but will be unable to obtain points for the series or be recognised as the outright winner in the series.
This condition is necessary as the GT3 Cup Challenge for 2009 is predicated on the 996- series GT3 Cup Cars being the mainstay of the category. However, effective from 2010, the 997-series GT3 Cup Cars will have all the rights of other competitors in the GT3 Cup Challenge. Inclusion of vehicles within this category will also be subject to the existing technical regulation arrangements that apply to ensure equity is maintained.
"With the full and open co-operation of the category managers we have been able to provide this opportunity for these competitors," Fountain said.
"This is a clear indication of the ability to provide opportunities to enhance the sport if we all work together with the single objective of increasing participation in the sport. "I thank Porsche Cars Australia, the category managers and competitors for their mature and professional approach to achieving this excellent outcome."
Australian GT Championship Category Manager, Martin Wagg said, "We are delighted with this outcome and with the support of our existing competitors look forward to welcoming new competitors and teams to the championship.
"This will positively contribute to our ever increasing championship and enhance the spectacle for the spectators."
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Category Manager Sven Burchartz added, "The outcome not only provides an opportunity for these competitors and teams but importantly maintains the integrity of our category, which is clearly aimed at the needs and desire of our competitors, which differ from those racing in the GT Championship.
"This is a great outcome that provides the necessary flexibility for all concerned and we look forward to welcoming some 997 Cup Cars as early as the Bathurst 12 Hour event later this month."
Porsche Cars Australia Managing Director, Michael Winkler, is also pleased with the outcome.
"While we are disappointed that the Porsche Carrera Cup Championship in Australia will not continue in 2009, we are pleased that our number one priority of assisting competitors to find other series to race in has been achieved," Winkler said.
"We will, of course, continue our commitment to Porsche motor sport in Australia and offer teams competing in either the GT Championship or GT3 Cup Challenge our high levels of support with on-track parts supply and technical assistance."
Formal arrangements to amend Category Management Agreements and the Sporting and Technical Regulations will now be undertaken by CAMS and the changes will be published in the normal manner.
Competitors are encouraged to contact the respective category manager to arrange the transition into the category as soon as possible given some of the tight timelines associated with early season event entry.