Carrera back on track
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.