17 drivers have already had their first taste of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in anticipation of the 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season. The Taster Day took place last week and traditionally marks the commencement of preparations for the following year, which for 2017 features a headline round alongside the pinnacle of endurance racing, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
A record number of drivers, the youngest just 16 years of age, attended the test on Silverstone’s International circuit with advice on hand from 2016 category race winners Charlie Eastwood (Pro), John McCullagh (Pro-Am1) and Peter Kyle-Henney (Pro-Am2).
The fully-supported, exclusive test day is aimed at providing prospective competitors an opportunity to gain experience of the car and championship well ahead of the new season. In addition to two cars from Porsche, championship regulars Team Parker Racing, GT Marques and IN2 Racing also fielded cars.
Completing the line-up, newcomers JTR made their first official appearance at a Porsche Carrera Cup GB test session since announcing plans in late July to enter the championship for 2017. The team, led by Porsche factory driver and 2015 Le Mans winner Nick Tandy, looked rapid in its testing livery with a selection of drivers following benchmark Tandy in taking turns behind the wheel.
As the championship prepares for its 15th season, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB has renewed its agreement with TOCA, organisers of the UK’s leading motorsport package, for another three years. As a result, the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK will maintain its unbroken and prime position alongside the British Touring Car Championship.
James MacNaughton, Motorsport Manager for Porsche Cars Great Britain, commented: “2017 will be our 15th season, and the record number of interested new drivers that came to Taster Day underlines the enduring strength and appeal of our championship. In our time with TOCA we’ve seen three evolutions of the iconic 911, and by continuing our position in an environment that provides maximum exposure and opportunities, we can offer our teams, drivers and sponsors a solid platform on which to base their long-term planning.”
Reflecting on the new agreement, Alan Gow, Chief Executive of TOCA, said: “Motorsport is always moving forward, which provides a constant challenge to maintain a relevant environment. It’s testament to the package we offer high-profile championships like the Porsche Carrera Cup GB that together we’ve managed to achieve a level of consistency that benefits everyone, on both sides of the catch fencing.”