The addition of several high-profile events to this year’s Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America schedule “ticks the box” for both competitors and Porsche’s partners alike according to Porsche Motorsport North America single-make and GT sports manager Troy Bundy.
Porsche’s premier North American single-make series features events at the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix and U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, as well as the popular Porsche Rennsport Reunion, the NASCAR Xfinity Series weekend at Road America as well as a return to the streets of Long Beach in support of the NTT IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The calendar also includes IMSA staples at Sebring International Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which provides one of the most varied schedules of any sports car racing series.
“It was a conscious decision,” Bundy told Sportscar365. “We never wanted to go away from IMSA, so we’ll have the traditional events with IMSA that we and the customers love to run at.
“IMSA is our home, definitely, but with the introduction of GTP, we’ve got a lot of Porsches here [at Sebring]. We’ve got the 963, the GT3 R, GT4 and we’ve got Cup cars.
“I don’t think at these events we need more Porsches running around the track.
“So we saw the opportunity with Carrera Cup to take that platform and use that as a tool to reach new audiences and in new markets. You can see that’s what we’re doing.
“Obviously we ran at Long Beach last year with IndyCar and that worked really well for us and was a really great event, so we continued to do that.
“Instead of going to Road America with IMSA, we had the opportunity to go with NASCAR, which is great and again, a new audience.
“Rennsport was a no-brainer really. It comes around once every four years and that was something we definitely wanted to be at. And we’re the only real proper, competitive racing series running at that event, so that’s a highlight for us.
“Of course the two Formula 1 [events]. We aimed for one and we got two, so that’s good.”
Bundy, who arrived at Porsche Motorsport North America last year following a nearly five-year stint at Porsche Cars Australia as its head of motorsport, had previous experience in working with F1 in helping organize the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia rounds during the F1 Australian Grand Prix.
“We’ve run in Australia at Albert Park for 15-16 years now,” he said. “I’ve seen it first hand how great it is when Carrera Cup runs [with F1].
“Porsche has an overall relationship with Formula 1 in general with Supercup. I think it makes sense when Formula 1 comes to a market and there’s Carrera Cup there, we should run at it and that’s what we decided to do.
“They are big beasts of events and highlight events with huge exposure with a great profile. Our competitors and partners are super excited to be there.”
With the addition of Miami and COTA, as well as the always well-attended Rennsport event, Bundy projects total attendance figures to more than double during the 2023 season.
“When you look at our numbers, last year we had about 500,000 live audience that saw Carrera Cup. This year is going to be 1.2 million,” he said.
“We’ve basically over doubled our live audience that we’re going to get in front of because we’re going to some big marquee events now.
“We won’t ever go the complete opposite direction; we want to keep the traditional IMSA events that our category should be running at and our competitors and teams like running at.
“When there’s highlight events coming around, like Formula 1, I think Carrera Cup’s the perfect platform for Porsche to take our series and be in front of that new audience.
“I think it ticks the box for everyone. It ticks the box for Porsche. It ticks the box for our competitors, teams but also our corporate partners as well, who gets new exposure to Formula 1 fans and stuff like that.
“It was a lot of work but I think we’re all very happy with the outcome and we’ve seen the result of an [oversubscribed] grid, which is a great problem.”