997 PORSCHE GT3 CUP CAR NOW ELIGIBLE FOR GT3 CUP CHALLENGE AUSTRALIA Following the announcement last Thursday of the cancellation of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship, Type-997 GT3 Cup Cars will instantly become eligible for...
997 PORSCHE GT3 CUP CAR NOW ELIGIBLE FOR GT3 CUP CHALLENGE AUSTRALIA
Following the announcement last Thursday of the cancellation of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship, Type-997 GT3 Cup Cars will instantly become eligible for the 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series.
Following a meeting between CAMS and GT3 Cup Challenge officials in Melbourne yesterday, the series has revised eligibility rules to allow for owners of the 997 model Porsches to have a place to race this year, continuing the GT3 Cup Challenge key principal of drawing Porsches out of the garage and onto the track in a cost effective way.
The new agreement will see the current Carrera Cup cars make up their own '997 Trophy' class this season and will not compete for outright championship contention as the GT3 Cup Challenge for 2009 was predicated on the 996 GT3 Cup Cars being the focus of the Series.
Only competitors racing in the existing Type-996 and older model Porsches will be eligible for the outright title as was the case last year. The series will also remain open only to amateur drivers, with 'seeded' or 'professional' drivers not eligible to compete. CAMS and Porsche Cars Australia remain supportive of this concept on which the series was created.
The series has also ruled out any potential move on to the V8 Supercar calendar due to a continuing focus on maintaining the cost-effective and 'race with your mates' format of the series, and will remain an enthusiastic partner and core category of the Shannons Nationals.
This change to the regulations opens eligibility to the 997 GT3 Cup Cars one year earlier than planned. The 997 model cars will then become the benchmark car for the 2010 season and onwards as per the plans put in place by series organisers when the GT3 Cup Challenge was founded last year.
Porsche Cars Australia will continue to be a major supporter of the GT3 Cup Challenge and will provide trackside support at each round of the series for all competitors. Porsche remains the only manufacturer involved in circuit racing to provide this high level of assistance to its customers.
Several 997 GT3 Cup Car owners have already been in contact with GT3 Cup Challenge organisers to inquire about entries at the opening round of the championship, to be held at Mount Panorama between February 20 - 22.
"We are very pleased to be able to offer 997 owners a place to race, starting as soon as our first round at the Bathurst 12 hour event," said GT3 Cup Challenge series administrator Jodi Zylstra.
"Our series was formed on the basis of giving Porsche owners a place to race their cars and it was a logical choice for us to welcome them.
"Since our inception in March 2008, our current competitors have been aware that the 997 Cup Car would become eligible to compete in the GT3 Cup Challenge series when the new model car was introduced to Carrera Cup at the commencement of the 2010 season.
"We are all very mindful of the fact that potentially the 'early introduction' of the 997 to our Series may 'ruffle a few feathers', so as a way of combating this situation it has been decided that the 997 Cup Cars will race in their own class enabling owners of 996 models to still have an opportunity to secure the 'Series Champion' title this year.
"Our existing competitors have be en supportive of the decision to include the 997s this season and understood that they may have been without a place to race if we didn't," Zylstra added. "In response to the quick action of CAMS and Porsche Cars Australia, we have already had interest from 997 owners who are keen to race them at Bathurst and we are currently working with them to make it happen."
More than 45 cars are already entered for the first round of the 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series following a combination of GT3 Cup and Porsche 944 Challenge grids.