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Old 01-12-2006, 07:45 PM
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Default Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (997) to Debut at 2006 IMSA GT3 Cup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsche
IMSA GT3 CUP HEADS FOR EXPANDED 2006 AFTER SUCCESSFUL INAUGERAL SEASON; SEVEN RACES, NEW PORSCHE 911 GT3 CUP (TYPE 997) START IN MARCH AT SEBRING

The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 997), shown here driven by Porsche Michelin Supercup champion Alessandro Zampedri, will star in the 2006 IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin.

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SANTA ANA, Calif. – November 7 – The International Motor Sports Association has announced the 2006 schedule and rules for the second season of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge sponsored by Michelin, including seven races and the introduction of the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 997) race car.

Uwe Brettel, president of Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), is pleased this series has been accepted in such a short period of time, and credits IMSA for its administration in a series where rules enforcement is a priority to keep competition equal.

“It has been our experience that it takes several years for a series like this to catch on, and IMSA has already expanded this series from five to seven races, and it looks like we’ll have
30 – 40 cars at each event,” said Brettel, whose experience as head of the Porsche Michelin Supercup series before he came to the U.S, has helped IMSA handle any start-up problems.

The series, which pits semi-professional and gentleman drivers against one another in equally prepared Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, will compete at some of North America’s finest tracks. New stops will include the season-opener at Sebring International Raceway, Mosport International Raceway and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

“This expanded schedule is appropriate for a series that is growing like the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin, while at the same time controlling costs,” said Tim Mayer, COO of IMSA. “With a new 997 Cup car being introduced by Porsche for next year, and Michelin’s continued partnership, the 2006 season is setting up to be one to definitely watch.”

The purpose-built race cars, based on the 2002 – 2005 Porsche 996 and new 2006 Porsche 997 body style, will have sealed engines and transmissions, providing for close racing where the driver’s talents are highlighted. PMNA will provide technical support for the series with personnel, parts and expertise both away from and at the track. The 2002 – 2005 models will run in one class, and the 2006 will compete in the other class during the 45-minute races.

Michelin will be providing the spec tire and technical assistance for competitors.

2006 IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY MICHELIN

SCHEDULE


March 17
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway
Sebring, Fla.

May 20
American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Lexington, Ohio

July 15
Grand Prix of Utah
Miller Motorsports Park
Tooele, Utah

Aug. 20
Generac 500 at Road America
Road America
Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Sept. 2
Grand Prix of Mosport
Mosport International Raceway
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

Sept. 29
Petit Le Mans
Road Atlanta
Braselton, Ga.

Oct. 22
Monterey Sports Car
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Championships
Monterey, Calif.

All races will be contested at American Le Mans Series events

2005 Season – A Great Beginning

The first event at Road Atlanta attracted more than 30 competitors, with many Porsche race car preparers, including TRG, Farnbacher-Loles, Orbit Racing, Kelly-Moss, Vici Racing, AASCO Motorsports, and Alex Job Racing preparing Cup cars for the amateur racers. Former Porsche Carrera Cup competitor Alfred Renauer (Germany) won the first event, having entered for Vici Racing to help the younger drivers, but could not score points as IMSA considered him a professional driver. Brent Martini (USA), a former Grand-Am champion, earned the 20 points for first.

Several racers who did well in the early events earned rides in the SPEED World Challenge before the year was out, including college student Lawson Aschenbach (USA), who won at Mid-Ohio and scored a podium finish three months later at the SPEED race in Denver, and Ricardo Imery (Venezuela), who scored second-place points in the first two Cup races, and entered two SPEED events.

The one of the stars of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge series turned out to be Jay Policastro (USA), who won in the Orbit Racing Porsche Cup at Portland, and finished four of the five races on the podium to win the points title. Policastro, the owner of the team that won the GT class at the 2004 Rolex 24, finished second at Road America and Mid-Ohio and third at Road Atlanta to clinch the championship.

The other star was Kevin Roush (USA), a Porsche tuner and Porsche club racer who earned the pole at all three races he entered, and won the final two events at Road America and Laguna Seca. Nathan Schwartzbaugh (USA), a student, finished third in points with two podium finishes, while Paul Orwicz, Tom Pank. Shawn Price, Chris Wally, Phil DeAngelis, Mark Hapfer, Warren Chang and Joe Kunz, all from the U.S., scored podium finishes.
Ahh, one of my dream cars... the Porsche 911 GT3 in all of its forms (Clubsport, Cup, RS, RSR).
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