***This week’s season opener at Sebring International Raceway marks the official debut of Deluxe Corporation as title sponsor of the championship, which is now known as the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America.
***Sebring has served as the opening rounds of Carrera Cup in each of its three seasons to date. The 3.7-mile airfield circuit also played host to the series’ pre-season test on March 6-7, which saw the majority of competitors take part.
***Porsche Motorsport North America single-make and GT sports manager Troy Bundy revealed that the series faced an oversubscribed grid, with six of the eight events restricted to 40-car fields due to space limitations.
***Bundy told Sportscar365: “We actually got more than 40 full season entry [requests] for the year. So we had to tell about five to seven customers that unfortunately we don’t have a slot available. It’s never easy breaking [the news] to people but it’s a good problem to have.”
***Sebring and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are the only two tracks on the calendar that allow for 40-plus car fields. Bundy said the rejected entries have committed to Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama, which kicks off next weekend at Sebring.
***In a change for this year, Pro-Am and Am class competitors are able to drop their two worst results from the season, allowing for gentlemen drivers to skip a race weekend. The final two rounds of the season at Circuit of The Americas are not able to be dropped, however.
***Bundy said: “That’s a really important initiative because you have to understand why these guys take their racing really seriously. At the end of the day, they also run businesses, they’ve got family and other commitments.”
***There are new color designations for the three categories. The Pro class have florescent orange number decals, with Pro-Am sporting florescent green and Am with florescent yellow, in an effort to better distinguish the cars.
***Porsche Motorsport North America hosted a launch reception on Tuesday evening in the new trackside Porsche hospitality suite, which saw IMSA President John Doonan in attendance, among team representatives and drivers, who collected Tag Heuer watches.
***The 2023 season marks the first of a two-year contract extension with IMSA as the sanctioning body. “I think the variety of the schedule will put everybody to the test, from temporary circuits to some of the most famous road racing circuits in North America and a very difficult place here to kick off the season,” Doonan said.
***Of the 41 drivers, 15 are rookies to the series. Eleven of the new drivers are competing in the Pro class, which, with 22 cars, is the largest of the three categories that all feature Type-992 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
***While 2021 and 2022 Pro champions Sebastian Priaulx and Parker Thompson are not entered this year following their graduations to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class alongside 2022 runner-up Kay van Berlo, there are four previous class champions in the field: Alan Metni (2022, Pro-Am), Mark Kvamme (2002, Am), Efrin Castro (2021 Pro-Am) and Matt Halcome (2021, Pro-Am 991).
***MDK Motorsports has expanded into six-car operation after fielding two cars in 2022. The Ohio-based squad is debuting a new paddock setup this weekend. It includes Pro class efforts for Jason Hart, Jimmy Llibre and Stefan Rzadzinski, alongside Pro-Am and Am class entries.
***Kvamme told Sportscar365: “It’s fun because one of my teammates, Scott Noble, who just got [Am class] pole, he and I are going to be after it this year. I think in the Am class it will be me, John Goetz and Scott. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
***The combined age of JDX Racing’s three new drivers: Will Martin, Alex Sedgwick and Elias De La Torre adds up to 60, the same age of team principal Jeremy Dale.
***PT Autosport, which a backer of Sedgwick’s JDX-run entry, will open the application process for its second annual Aspiring Driver Shootout, to be held in August at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The winner is granted a $100,000 racing partnership and will join the team’s junior racing program.
***Both 40-minute Carrera Cup races will be held today, with Race 1 getting underway at 9:15 a.m. ET, followed by Race 2 at 5:35 p.m. Live coverage will be available on Peacock, IMSA.tv and PorscheCarreraCup.us featuring commentary from IMSA Radio’s John Hindhaugh and Jeremy Shaw.
***All 16 races this season will be archived on the Porsche Motorsport North America YouTube page.
***Additionally, the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America web site has been re-launched for this year, providing a more interactive and information-rich experience for users. A new app is also available.