Car­rera back on track

NT News - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL GOVER

TWENTY-TWO race-ready Porsche 911 GT3s will be shipped to Aus­tralia next month for the re­birth of a Car­rera Cup rac­ing se­ries.

The cars will hit the track for the first time at the Aus­tralian Grand Prix at Al­bert Park in March and will race through a seven-round ti­tle se­ries.

The field is yet to be set, but the boss of Porsche in Aus­tralia is con­fi­dent there will be a full field through 2011.

‘‘We’ve or­dered 22 cars,’’ Michael Win­kler said.

‘‘Our goal is to start with 18 cars, and keep a cou­ple of spares.

‘‘If we have en­tries for more than 18 then that’s fine, we’re not go­ing to re­strict it as such, but we won’t be get­ting more than 22.

‘‘We think an es­sen­tial part of keep­ing the value equa­tion is re­strict­ing the num­ber of cars.

‘‘We have ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from over 25 peo­ple. Out of that pool the goal of 18 on the grid at the first race is very re­al­is­tic.’’

Car­rera Cup rac­ers will pay around $275,000 for their cars, in­clud­ing a start in the se­ries and a lo­cal up­grade kit.

They will be me­chan­i­cally iden­ti­cal and in­tended to cre­ate fast, even rac­ing in a se­ries which has al­ready pro­duced cham­pi­ons in­clud­ing Alex Dav­i­son, David Reynolds, Craig Baird and Jim Richards.

The new cars are still based on the 997-se­ries 911 but are quicker than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion thanks to more power, big­ger wings and a dif­fer­ent trans­mis­sion sys­tem.

‘‘They will be mea­sur­ably quicker,’’ Win­kler said.

Car­rera Cup col­lapsed in 2008 af­ter a change of own­er­ship and Win­kler said the cat­e­gory is be­ing re-cre­ated un­der di­rect Porsche con­trol.

‘‘We are ready to go,’’ Win­kler said.

‘‘We’ve got con­tracts in place with all the par­ties.

‘‘The stake­hold­ers are very, very en­thu­si­as­tic.

‘‘I think there will be a good mix of driv­ers, as there was last time.’’

And he has no il­lu­sion about the rea­son for Car­rera Cup.

‘‘At the end of the day it’s about get­ting the brand name out there,’’ Win­kler said.

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