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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Porsche Closing In on Manthey Blancpain GT Program

Porsche likely to expand into Blancpain GT with Manthey-run effort in 2018…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche is likely to expand its GT3 program into the Blancpain GT Series next year, with a Manthey-run operation on the German manufacturer’s “bucket list” according to Head of Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser.

Walliser confirmed talks of a Pro class factory-supported effort in the Endurance Cup, which would see up to two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs entered in SRO Motorsports Group’s flagship series.

It would come as part of Porsche’s planned expansion of its GT racing activities for 2018.

“It’s one of our possibilities, as we see Blancpain GT as a [series] we can support,” Walliser told Sportscar365. “We think it’s positive.

“We haven’t decided on our programs so far. But for sure it’s on our bucket list, I would say. It depends a little bit on the overall situation within Porsche.”

Walliser believes a works-supported Blancpain GT program would help bring additional Porsche customers into the championship.

Only a single Porsche, a Pro-Am entry from Herberth Motorsport, took part in the entire Endurance Cup this year, aside from Team 75 Bernhard’s one-off entry in the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

He explained they gauge their success in each series if it at least matches Porsche’s roughly 15 percent global market share in GT3 car sales.

“If we are over 15 percent, we are doing a good job, like in Pirelli World Challenge,” Walliser said.

“If we are under, we have to improve. With the Blancpain GT Series, we’re way under. We have to come back and be strong.”

Full-Season IGTC Program Likely

Walliser, meanwhile, said an Intercontinental GT Challenge program “could be” worked into Manthey’s Blancpain GT campaign.

The 24 Hours of Spa is a shared event between both series, with only three additional rounds in the IGTC schedule, at Bathurst, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and a new 10-hour race at Suzuka.

However, Sportscar365 understands that Team 75 Bernhard is the leading candidate to represent Porsche in the full IGTC next year.

The manufacturer’s 2018 programs will be announced at its ‘Night of Champions’ awards ceremony on Dec. 9.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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