The highlight of the 2017 season will be the championship’s maiden voyage to the world-class Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia for a joint round with Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. The event will be the second occasion the two series have shared the race track after the Asia based sister series successfully raced at Sydney Motorsport Park in August, 2016.
To make the international round cost-effective for teams, Porsche Cars Australia will transport the fleet of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars to and from the Malaysian circuit.
An Endurance Cup will be introduced to Carrera Cup in 2017. While details are still to be confirmed, the initiative will likely see three long distance races run towards the end of the season, separate to the Pro-Am, which will crown the endurance champion.
The Porsche championship will retain its premium event schedule, returning to the largest motor racing events in Australia – Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 – continuing the series’ reputation as Australia’s most visible support category, both for television and trackside exposure. The season’s opening event in March, the announcement of which is pending governmental release, will also be a highlight event on the Carrera Cup schedule.
The series’ Pro-Am will return to Phillip Island, where it was held in 2014 and 2015, for the series’ sole Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals appearance before venturing north for Carrera Cup’s second Hidden Valley visit in as many seasons.
In addition to Carrera Cup’s Sepang round, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will allow four Australian series drivers to compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia round at the popular Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix event. In return, the Australian series will allow four Asian series competitors to compete at Carrera Cup Australia’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix round at Albert Park.
Other international one-make series racing opportunities will be made available for Carrera Cup Australia drivers, including the Carrera Cup support race for the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In addition to these opportunities, the prize for the 2017 outright and TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge champions will be a Porsche-funded one-off drive in an international Porsche one-make series in 2018.
Also new for 2017, TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge drivers will count their best seven rounds towards their end-of-season pointscore, allowing them to miss a round and still shoot for the class title.
Ahead of the 2017 season, all competitors entered into the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship will be able to use their 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) in the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour event. This will be the first time a current Carrera Cup spec 911 GT3 Cup car will compete in the once-around-the-clock race.
As the 2017 Carrera Cup season will be the last using the current generation 911 GT3 Cup car, competing teams will have the first opportunity to purchase the new 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991.II), which will enter Carrera Cup Australia as of the 2018 season.
Porsche Cars Australia Motorsport Manager, Kurt Sakzewski, is exciting about the initiatives that will make the 2017 Carrera Cup season one of the most spectacular to date.
“There’s no doubting that the 2017 Carrera Cup season will be special, highlighted by our first event in Asia. This is something we have wanted to do for some time and have now put the foundations in place to make it happen. Taking the Carrera Cup championship to Malaysia is a significant investment by Porsche, but will be a priceless experience for our teams and drivers,” said Sakzewski.
“We have also created numerous money-can’t-buy opportunities, available only to those racing in Carrera Cup Australia. You can’t purchase a spot on the grid at the Singapore Grand Prix, so it’s invaluable to be able to offer this to our drivers. We also retain our premium event schedule, attending the best motorsport events in the country, while continuing the popular Pro-Am format.
“An endurance mini series will also add a new element to the championship and provide more racing laps around some of the country’s greatest circuits.”
The 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship will conclude this weekend at the Gold Coast 600, where both the outright and TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge champions will be crowned.
2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Calendar
Round 1 – TBC*
Round 2 – Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix*, Melbourne, Victoria (March 23-26, 2017)
Round 3 – Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Phillip Island, Victoria (May 26-28, 2017)
Round 4 – Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin, Northern Territory (June 16-18, 2017)
Round 5 – Sepang International Circuit*, Sepang, Malaysia (July 21-23, 2017)
Round 6 – Sandown 500, Melbourne, Victoria (September 15-17, 2017)
Round 7 – Bathurst 1000, Bathurst, New South Wales (October 05-08, 2017)
Round 8 – Gold Coast 600, Gold Coast, Queensland (October 20-22, 2017)
* Subject to confirmation