Celebrating the end of a successful season and looking ahead to 2019 was the theme of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB ‘Night of Motorsport’, held for a second year at the home of a very different type of horsepower, Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire.
Opening the evening was the announcement of the finalised 2019 calendar, which will continue to provide a world-class calendar for teams, drivers and sponsors as part of the world-wide Porsche Motorsport family. For the first time, Porsche Carrera Cup GB will visit Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Home to the Spanish Grand Prix and traditionally the first round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, the circuit will welcome Porsche Carrera Cup GB alongside the European Le Mans Series in 2019.
The remainder of the seven weekends and fourteen rounds will continue to run alongside the BTCC calendar as part of an on-going commitment to the TOCA package that has provided such a successful home for the championship since its inception in 2003. Thruxton in Hampshire was last visited by the championship in 2014 when both races were won by Michael Meadows, while Croft in North Yorkshire last made an appearance on the calendar in 2016, both races won by Dino Zamparelli. The full 2019 calendar:
Brands Hatch (Indy) Rounds 1&2 5-7 April
Donington Park Rounds 3&4 25-28 April
Croft Rounds 5&6 14-16 June
Oulton Park Rounds 7 &8 28-30 June
Barcelona Rounds 9&10 19-21 July
Thruxton Rounds 11&12 16-18 August
Silverstone (National) Rounds 13&14 27-29 September
Brands Hatch (Grand Prix) Rounds 15&16 11-13 October
Approaching 200 members of the 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup GB family, including Richard Attwood who partnered Hans Herrmann to the first of 19 overall victories at Le Mans for Porsche, gathered to recognise the champions and stand-out performances of the season.
A notable highlight was the ‘Sacred Driver of the Year' award which went to Dan Vaughan, who claimed second in the Pro-Am category in his Rookie season with twelve podium finishes and three wins. There were other special awards to be collected, including four Superfast Chronograph timepieces that were presented by Antonius Kerssenbrock, Managing Director of Chopard Great Britain, to the driver in each category – Pro, Pro-Am, Am and Rookie – who, fittingly, achieved the highest number of fastest laps throughout the season. Dan Harper, Seb Perez, Peter Mangion and George Gamble were the deserving recipients for 2018.
For Tio Ellinas, Seb Perez and Peter Mangion, the most obvious spoil of winning the Pro, Pro-Am and Am categories respectively was outside next to the red carpet - a brand new Porsche 911 Carrera T. All three have the use of a Porsche 911 for 12 months, while team champions JTR receive a Porsche Cayenne for the same term.
Record numbers at Porsche Carrera Cup GB Taster Day
On Wednesday 31 October, prospective drivers for the 2019 season attended the annual Porsche Carrera Cup GB Taster Day held on the Silverstone International circuit. Due to unprecedented demand, a record 26 drivers were able to test one of three second-generation ‘Type 991’ 911 GT3 Cup cars around the 1.85-mile circuit, fully supported by Porsche Cars Great Britain.
In addition to sampling the car, potential drivers and sponsors were able to meet the team behind the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK, explore the experience of a season with competitors past and present, and gather material on the day courtesy of the ever-present championship photographer and Vbox system.
Underlining the championship’s support for its teams, the exclusive track time was made available to all 2018 teams to allow for individual tests and sponsor activations as required.
The record breaking attendance points to 2019 providing another exciting and competitive season, underpinned by an evolution of the rules successfully introduced for 2018. For those whose plans fall into place early, the championship will, for a second year, offer two levels of reward: any driver who registers before 1 December 2018 will be credited £4,000 after the last round of the 2019 season, while any driver who registers after 1 December 2018 but before 21 January 2019 will receive £2,500 after the last round of the 2019 season. In both cases, drivers must submit a completed registration form and have made full payment of their registration fees by the set deadline. The credit is also dependent on the driver competing in every round of the 2019 season.