FThe 2012 Porsche Club Championship field is already looking to be one of the strongest in recent years with 22-drivers registered with the first race still seven weeks away. Class One currently sees 13-confirmed entries, with reigning champion Mark Sumpter now in a 964 C2 to defend his crown, while Class Two is also filing rapidly with a mix of returning familiar names and racers new to the series.Challenges for Sumpter could come from some new directions, with former class champions Mark McAleer, overall winner in 2007, and Pete Morris entering newly-eligible 996 C2s, the first of the water-cooled 911 variants to be permitted and the most-powerful, but heaviest, cars in the class. The Boxster is also a feature in Class One this coming season, with four of the 3.2-litre cars entered. The Hartech pairing of former class champions Marcus Carniel and Ben Demetriou could prove a force in the races, while Lee Atkins and Stuart Cheetham have also entered Boxters.Other regulars back for 2012 include Richard Bennett in his 993 C2 and Kevin Harrison in his trusty 964 C2, the fast-starting Harrison always livening up the early laps. Richard Ellis is back with his 993, while 2011 rookie Mark Koeberle returns with his 968 CS. Other entries are expected with two more 996s currently being built up.In Class Two there is welcome return for Kevin Eacock and Fraser Robertson, Kevin out in a 968 CS, the model now eligible for the class running at a different weight to a Class One 968. Paul Seagrave is out once more in his 944 S2, with last year’s Class One newcomer Paul Ward also running a 944 this season. Stuart Ing is back with his 2.5-litre Boxter, while regular Paul Follet will be running his 968 CS once more – but has so far yet to declare which class he will run in.“We are delighted with the level of entries we have so far, and we are talking to several drivers who have yet to actually send their entry in,” says series coordinator Steve Kevlin. “We already have a terrific mix of model types with not only the new cars but the ones that have been the mainstay of the championship in recent seasons, and it is looking really strong for 2012.”The 15-race, seven meeting 2012 Porsche Club Championship season opens at Brands Hatch, Kent, on May 5th.