As the Supercars Championship kick starts its season of endurance, the Porsche series begins the 2017 Endurance Cup, which will see one long-distance race held at each at its Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast rounds.
Following two 14-lap sprint races on Saturday at Sandown, Carrera Cup will embark on a longer 25-lap, 77.5km endurance style third race on Sunday which, should it last the distance, will become the second longest race in the series’ history.
Only one Carrera Cup Australia race has ever surpassed the scheduled 77.5km Endurance Cup opener in length: In 2004, Carrera Cup held a Friday night 20-lapper on the 4.47km Gold Coast ‘Indy’ circuit, with eventual champion Alex Davison claiming victory under lights in the 89.4km race.
The new title will see the highest point scorer from the three Endurance Cup races in both Outright and TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge classifications being awarded the Endurance Cup at season’s end.
Carrera Cup races are traditionally 25-30 minutes in length, while the Endurance Cup race at each of the final three events will be 40-45 minutes in length, providing those within the championship additional race time across three of the most popular motor racing events in the country.
As the series prepares to launch the Endurance Cup, Porsche Cars Australia Motorsport Manager Troy Bundy believes introducing the new endurance format will not only provide more race time, but also create new challenges for those on track.
“The start of the Endurance Cup has been greatly anticipated since its announcement before the start of the season. It’s tremendous to be able to extend our overall race time at some of the most popular events on the racing calendar at three remarkably different race circuits,” said Bundy.
“We hold a similar mini-series, the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy, in our GT3 Cup Challenge series, which has proven extremely popular since its 2011 introduction, so replicating this format for Carrera Cup was an easy decision.
“The longer Endurance Cup races are a true test of fitness for our drivers, especially at a circuit like Surfers Paradise, but also adds the challenge of tyre management. We are always looking for new ways to improve our product and I believe this is a great addition to the series entering the final stages of the season.”
The points structure for the Endurance Cup will follow that of the regular three-race rounds, with the highest point scoring Outright and TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge ranked drivers from the three long distance races to be awarded the two Endurance Cup titles at the end-of-season Awards Night.
The first of three Endurance Cup races will take place at the forthcoming Sandown round, to be held on September 15-17, 2017.