Porsche has announced the launch of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America, which is scheduled to debut in 2021.
Partnered with IMSA and Michelin, it will mark the German manufacturer’s first premier single-make series in the U.S. and Canada after a 30-year history of Carrera Cups worldwide.
The series, set to feature 16 rounds at eight venues, will be contested using a new-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup N3 racing slicks.
As with all Carrera Cups worldwide, Porsche, through Porsche Motorsport North America, will manage the single-driver per entry series, with IMSA serving as the sanctioning body that will be tasked with scrutineering and on-track officiating.
Veteran PMNA employee Brian Blocker has been named the series manager, presided under PMNA President and CEO Dr. Daniel Armbruster.
Each 45-minute race will feature three classes: Pro, Pro-Am and Rookie, with previous-generation Porsche Cup cars eligible in Pro-Am alongside the yet-to-be-revealed new Cup car for all three classes.
The Rookie class will be open to drivers 23 years old or younger and will be automatically included in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Junior program.
Porsche Carrera Cup North America, which essentially takes the place of the current IMSA-sanctioned GT3 Cup Challenge USA and Canada series, becomes the 10th Carrera Cup worldwide, totaling 21 Porsche singe-make championships competing in 31 countries.
The original Carrera Cup Deutschland was founded in 1990, and has widely been considered as the feeder series to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
“For those aware of the Carrera Cup tradition worldwide, they will understand that this is a new and unique series to anything we have ever had in North America,” said Armbruster.
“Carrera Cup is the ultimate regional step in the one-make championships globally.
“While we have always run our Cup Challenge program at the highest level possible, and closely on par with any Carrera Cup, the Porsche Carrera Cup North America provides us the opportunity to present an even greater product to our customer and to racing fans.
“We are very excited and very pleased to continue our partnership with IMSA, who has proven so vital to the growth of Porsche one-make racing.
“Through the addition of Michelin as our tire partner, we bring in a longtime associate of Porsche Motorsport and now completely align Porsche Carrera Cup North America with the other nine championships worldwide.”
Blocker explained the goal of Carrera Cup North America is to create a customer series that “truly addresses” the needs of the market.
He cited an example of a working relationship with Patrick Long, Porsche’s only American factory driver, and Long’s Luftgekühlt team to help bring an “innovative” new design and feel to the paddock.
“We want to create a new championship that is in the best interest of those who compete in it, aspire to it and watch it; not a rebranding of what we had nor a plug-and-play to what other regions around the world do,” said Blocker.
“North America is a unique market with opportunities and potential that others do not enjoy. We will hold and honor the best traditions of Carrera Cup globally, but we will also think outside of the box to create a new and unique type of experience for our competitors and fans.”
2021 Porsche Carrera Cup North America Schedule (provisional):
March 27-20 — Sebring International Raceway
May 20-23 — Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
June 24-27 — Watkins Glen International
July — Toronto Indy
Aug. 6-8 — Road America
Aug. 20-22 — Virginia International Raceway
September — TBA
Oct. 6-9 — Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta