Porsche announces 2007 GT3 Cup Challenge schedule

MULTIPLE RACE WEEKENDS, SOLID SCHEDULE INCLUDING INDY AND A LAGUNA ENDURO HIGHLIGHT 2007 SCHEDULE FOR IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY MICHELIN BRASELTON, GA -- December 5 - The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin has added one of...

MULTIPLE RACE WEEKENDS, SOLID SCHEDULE INCLUDING INDY AND A LAGUNA ENDURO HIGHLIGHT 2007 SCHEDULE FOR IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY MICHELIN

BRASELTON, GA -- December 5 - The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin has added one of the world's most famed venues to its already solid 2007 schedule. The third-year series will contest a pair of 30-minute events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of the United States Grand Prix, sanctioning body IMSA announced.

The rounds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on June 16-17 bring the number of 2007 events to 11. The United States Grand Prix also is one of four race weekends next season that will feature two races per event for the field of semi-professional and gentlemen drivers.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for the drivers, teams and sponsors associated with the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin," said Tim Mayer, COO of IMSA. "Adding the United States Grand Prix to an already fantastic schedule for 2007 shows the commitment of IMSA, Porsche and Michelin to further grow and enhance this terrific series. It will be a joy for all of us to see more than 40 Porsche GT3 Cup cars competing on the same track as the stars of Formula One."

The largest single-make series in North America, the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin will compete at eight different North American venues in 2007 -- Sebring International Raceway, Miller Motorsports Park, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Mosport International Raceway in Canada, Road Atlanta and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2007.

"As the Porsche Michelin Supercup manager who brought the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup to Indianapolis for the first time in 2000, I am very excited to see IMSA go to the Brickyard with this growing series," said Uwe Brettel, president of Porsche Motorsport North America. "Over the years, the GT3 Cup race car has provided the Formula One fans with great racing and a glimpse of future American Le Mans Series stars. Indy winners have included Jorg Bergmeister, Marco Werner, David Saelens, Wolf Henzler and Stephane Ortelli -- all American Le Mans Series winners."

The 2007 slate will continue to give top semi-professional and gentlemen drivers from the United States and North America the opportunity to compete with such prestigious organizations as the American Le Mans Series in the world's most successful GT3 car -- the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racer. IMSA and Porsche Motorsport North America already have received full-season commitments for a maximum of 50 entries.

"The 2006 season soared beyond the expectations we had for our second year of competition," said Tim Mayer, COO of IMSA -- the sanctioning body for the series. "We have seen fantastic racing at the top venues in North America, and 2007 will provide much more.

"We heard strong messages from our competitors that they would like to see the series expand to multiple race weekends, new venues and longer events," Mayer added. "With this schedule, we have accomplished all of those. This is a schedule with which our competitors, IMSA, Porsche Motorsport North America and Michelin can be justifiably proud.

Porsche has been a strong supporter of sports car racing -- particularly in North America with Porsche Motorsport North America -- and its support of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin is strong evidence to that point.

For 2007, all competitors will field the new Type 997 cars from Porsche. After seeing fields in excess of 45 entries in 2006, it is expected that series stops easily will see 50 cars per event as the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin continues its phenomenal growth in its third year as the largest single-make championship in North America.

The purpose-built race cars, based on the Porsche 911 GT3 (type 997) body style, will have sealed engines and transmissions, providing for close racing where the driver's talents are exemplified. PMNA will provide technical support for the series with personnel, parts and expertise both away from and at the track.

"Porsche customers are known worldwide for their loyalty and passion for sports car racing," said Uwe Brettel, President of Porsche Motorsport North America. "We are very pleased with the growth of this series and the response from current and potential competitors. Our partnership with IMSA and Michelin already is paying significant dividends, and we fully expect that to continue in the years to come."

2007 IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY MICHELIN SCHEDULE

March 16
With the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
Sebring International Raceway
Sebring, Fla.

May 18-19*
With the Utah Grand Prix
Miller Motorsports Park
Tooele, Utah

June 16-17*
With United States Grand Prix
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis, Ind.

July 21*
With American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Lexington, Ohio

Aug. 25-26*
With the Grand Prix of Mosport
Mosport International Raceway
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

Oct. 5
With Petit Le Mans
Road Atlanta
Braselton, Ga.

Oct. 21**
With the Monterey Sports Car Championships
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Monterey, Calif.

*Signifies two 30-minute races.

**Signifies one-hour, 45-minute endurance race.

-credit: porsche

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers David Saelens , Stéphane Ortelli , Jörg Bergmeister , Marco Werner , Wolf Henzler