The Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge is a one make driver’s series that in 2013 ran along side with the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). In 2014 ALMS and Grand-Am will merge to become United Sportscar Racing and the GT3 Cup Challenge will run along side with the new series.
Since the cars are all essentially the same the difference between winning and coming in last is largely due to a driver’s skill. Many of the drivers are promising young drivers and others are experienced racers.
This video shows highlights of the exciting 2013 season. The footage has a lot of good on track scenes and shows what the competitive racing series is all about.
Check out the video and then let us know what you think of the Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge in the comments.
Magnus Racing Porsche Fights to Challenge Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season came to an end this weekend which also was the last race for the series before it merges with the American Le Mans Series. Coming into the final race both Porsche and Ferrari had a chance at both the GT class manufacture’s championship and the GT class driver’s championship.
For Porsche the hope was on the number 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car having a good race and getting enough points to finish ahead of the number 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458. Unfortunately, for them an on track incident kept them from having a very good finish. They were looking good enough for a podium finish but the incident forced them back in the pack and they ended up finishing 13th in the GT class. Finishing at all was an amazing accomplishment as the car was badly damaged in the incesent.
For Ferrari things worked out very well with the number 63 Ferrari 458 taking the class victory. For Porsche fans one of the winning drivers will be vary familiar as Leh Keen was on the winning team. Leh started the season driving the number 59 Brumos Racing Porsche, until Brumos decided to get out of the series. Mr. Keen had also won the championship in the Brumos car a few years back.
Let us know what you thought of the race in the comments.
Race Results – GT Class
1. No. 31 Lawson Aschenbach/Darnestown, MD; Eric Curran/Holyoke, MA; Marsh Racing Corvette – 162 laps
2. No. 63 Alessandro Balzan/Italy; Leh Keen/Charleston, S.C., Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 – 162 laps
3. No. 64 Johannes van Overbeek/Oakland, CA; Jeff Westphal, San Carlos, CA, Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 – 162 laps
4. No. 57 John Edwards/Cincinnati, Ohio; Robin Liddell/England, Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro – 161 laps
5. No. 93 Michael Marsal/New York; Tom Kimber-Smith/Great Britain, Turner Motorsports BMW M3 – 161 laps
6. No. 75 Antonio Garcia/Spain; Jan Magnussen/Denmark, Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT-R – 160 laps
7. No. 61 Alex Tagliani/Montreal; Jeff Segal/Miami, R.Ferri/Aim Motorsport Ferrari 458 – 159 laps
8. No. 18 Mark Greenburg/Jamaica Plains, Mass.; Richard Lietz/Austria, Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 156 laps
9. No. 73 Patrick Lindsey/Santa Barbara, Calif.; Patrick Long/Playa del Rey, Calif., Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 151 laps
10. No. 66 Damien Falkner/Ireland; Richie Stanaway/New Zealand; TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage – 106 laps
11. No. 69 Emil Assentato/Locust Valley, NY; Anthony Lazzaro/Acworth, Ga., AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 – 105 laps
12. No. 46 Al Carter/Greenville, DE; Eric Lux, Williamsville, NY, Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8 – 83 laps
13. No. 44 Andy Lally/Newport, NY; John Potter/Salt Lake City, Utah, Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 67 laps
14. No. 94 Bill Auberlen/Redondo Beach, Calif.; Paul Dalla Lana/Canada, Turner Motorsports BMW M3 – 2 laps
15. No. 18 Bob Doyle/Killingworth, CT; Kyle Marcelli/Toronto, Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – DNS
Manufacturer Final Point Standings – GT Class
1. Ferrari – 372
2. Porsche – 357
3. Chevrolet – 334
4. BMW – 320
5. Audi – 164
Team Point Final Standings – GT Class
1. No. 63 Scuderia Corsa – 341 points
2. No. 44 Magnus Racing – 331
3. No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports – 330
4. No. 69 AIM Autosport – 317
5. No. 73 Park Place Motorsports – 303
6. No. 94 Turner Motorsports – 299
7. No. 61 R.Ferri/Aim Motorsports – 293
8. No. 31 Marsh Racing – 277
9. No. 93 Turner Motorsports – 272
10. No. 18 Muehlner Motorsports America – 205
Three Porsche customer teams entered four 911 GT3 Cup cars in today’s final GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race anticipating a dramatic two-hour, 45-minute GT fight for the championship. The GRAND-AM Championship Weekend at Lime Rock Park offered a three-way battle for the Rolex GT team, driver and manufacturer’s championships with Magnus Racing carrying the banner for the German marque. When the checkered flag flew for the final time over a GRAND-AM field, the teams had their dramatic race but fell just short of a title.
Magnus Racing’s championship aspirations nearly came to an end before five minutes had ticked from the race clock. John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah), starting 11th in the GT class, was hit from behind by another GT class car on the second lap of the race. The contact resulted in the No. 44 spinning into the path of oncoming traffic. Now sitting sideways across the track, a GX class car made heavy contact to the nose of the Magnus entry doing substantial damage to the radiators and left front suspension. The team was able to make repairs and return the track with one-hour and 40-minutes remaining.
Despite being 61 laps down to the GT class leader, the impressive performance of the Magnus crew allowed Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.) – making his 239th-career GRAND-AM start, more than any other competitor – to finish 13th. The points awarded for the position were just enough to give Magnus Racing second in the GT championship, one point ahead of Stevenson Motorsports.
“What a gutsy performance from the Magnus Racing Porsche crew,” offered Lally after the race. “Our car was destroyed; totaled; wrecked; done … But after Potter was punted off the track and then t-boned on lap two, the crew got to work, pieced this car back together and got me and John onto the track for 67 laps and a 13th-place finish. That effort gave me the required 30-minutes, Potter his 30 minutes, and made the difference between second in the championship rather than the fourth a DNF would have given us. This is the best crew is motorsports.”
Porsche finishes second in the manufacturer standings. The 357 points, just 15 behind Ferrari, came by virtue of the highest placing Porsche customer team in each race. Magnus Racing won one race (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca) and had a string of consistently strong finishes while Park Place Motorsports earned three second-place finishes in 2013.
An eighth place finish by Mark Greenburg (Jamaica Plains, Mass.) and Porsche factory pilot Richard Lietz (Austria) in the No. 19 Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche was the best result for a 911 GT3 Cup car on the day. The run was made the more impressive as the program was not announced until just the day before on-track action began on the 1.5-mile Connecticut track.
Park Place Motorsports looked likely to close its rookie season with a fourth podium finish of the year. However, with just minutes remaining in the race, the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry shared by Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, Calif.) and Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, Calif.) was hit from behind by a Daytona Prototype (DP) competitor entering Lime Rock’s uphill chicane. Long pulled the damaged car to the side of the track dropping it from second-place to ninth in the final running order.
“Richard Westbrook came over and apologized to me, saying that he made a massive error and he was sorry,” said Long after the incident. “We had caught up to the number 31 Corvette, less than a second behind, but I don’t know if we could have passed them or not. I was hoping that, through traffic, and some advantage with braking, we might have had a shot to win. Still, this Park Place team has made a huge progression from the beginning of the year until now, and the crew has done a great job keeping us competitive against a very tough field.”
His teammate, Lindsey, continued: “We were in position for a podium at the end. With the on-track incident putting Patrick off the track at the end, we didn’t get that top finish, but we were competitive as we have been all season. I am very proud of the Park Place Motorsports team.”
A second Muehlner Motorsports America was awarded 15th in the final standings. Damage sustained in Saturday morning qualifying kept the No. 18 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driven by Bob Doyle (Killingworth, Conn.) and Kyle Marcelli (Toronto) from taking the green flag.
Two Porsche Backed Cars to Race in United Sportscar Racing
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series are nearing the end of the season and the permanent end of each series. Next year the two endurance racing series will be merging and become United Sportscar Racing. This should provide some great racing action for racing fans.
Porsche has had a lot of success in both racing series. Most of this success has been by customer racing teams. However, next year two factory backed Porsche 911 RSRs will be competing on the track.
With the new factory backed cars in the United Sportscar Series and Porsche’s return to the top level of competition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 2014 should be pretty exciting. Let us know how you think the German performance car maker will do racing next season in the comments.
Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) have announced the sports car marque will field a two-car factory team named PORSCHE NORTH AMERICA throughout next year’s inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Racing championship. The effort will utilize the new Porsche 911 RSR, the same as the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans LM GTE-Pro class-winning entries. The headquarters for the program will be at Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) in Santa Ana, Calif. CORE autosport will act as the competition partner for the program.
“North America is Porsche’s single largest road car and motorsports market. Therefore, we have decided to focus a full factory program in the newly formed series, similar to our competing in the World Endurance Championship together with Manthey Racing,” said Hartmut Kristen, head of Weissach, Germany based Porsche Motorsport. “Having finally a unified platform to compete on has made the decision so much easier to enter a GT based Porsche factory team for the first time in American sports car racing,” he added.
It is planned that the driver lineup for the season will come from Porsche’s factory driver stable for both works-entered cars. A driver announcement will be made at a later date.
The 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Racing season opens with the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25-26.
Many Ferrari racing fans are a bit down as Formula One is on a hiatise until the end of the month. Fortunately, there will be some racing action this weekend that does involve the Prancing Horse. Multiple Ferrari 458 GT cars will be racing in the United Kingdom and the United States. This GT racing should help F1 fans wait for the sport to return.
The races this weekend include a race at Brands Hatch in the British GT Championship, and at Road America there will be a Grand Am race as well as an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race. The Grand Am race will be held on Saturday on the track and the ALMS race will be help on Sunday.
While all three races should provide good action here in the United State the Grand Am and ALMS races will be covered on TV. SPEED will be covering the Grand Am race and the ALMS race will be on ABC.
Of interest is that racing driver Leh Keen will be racing in both races. He is perhaps best know for his 2011 championship campaign in the Brumos Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car (Brumos pulled out of racing earlier this year), but he is now driving for Ferrari teams.
The races should be good, so get a comfy spot ready on the couch because there is plenty of racing to watch this weekend.
It is another busy weekend of racing for the extremely successful Ferrari 458 GT car. Cars are in action at Brands Hatch in the UK for the British GT Championship and over in America at Road America for the Grand Am and American Le Mans Series championships.
At Brands Hatch it’s the fifth round of the seven part British GT Series, as the ranks continue to grow for this popular British Championship the grid now features five Ferrari. Joining the ranks in the FF Corse entered car driven by South African Gentleman driver Jacques Duyver and young British driver Charlie Hollings. The pair will race in the GTC category as Duyver continues to gain experience ahead of a potential full attack on the championship next year. The second FF car is driven by Gary Eastwood and Rob Barff.
AF Corse have two cars in the race the #29 car for Spa 24 Hour winners Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin and the #13 car for John Dhillon and Aaron Scott. Mtech complete the line up with the #41 car for Derek Johnston and Jake Rattenbury.
The championship will remember driver Allan Simonsen at the weekend – the long time British GT and former Ferrari driver was killed at the wheel of his Aston Martin at the Le Mans 24 hours. The front row of the grid will be left clear and a 60 second roar of engines will remember his life and racing career. The cars will also run modified door panels in honour of this incredibly popular driver who still stands 12 in the championship. The two hour race runs on Sunday from 13:40 BST.
On Saturday the Road America Circuit plays host to the Grand Am championship featuring four Ferrari. Craig Stanton returns to the wheel of the second Scuderia Corsa car after driving with the team at Watkins Glen, he is partnered by Ferrari Challenge North America driver Chris Ruud.
“I am excited to be back with Scuderia Corsa,” said Stanton. “Chris and I have worked together for a long time in Ferrari Challenge and I am honoured to support him in his first pro-race.”
The Scuderia Corsa team is completed by Alessandro Balzan – who currently stands third in the drivers’ championship – and Leh Keen in the #63 car. Jeff Segal and Max Papis will drive the #61 R. Ferri / AIM Motorsport car. Emil Assentato and Anthony Lazzaro, who currently sit joint forth in the championship complete the Ferrari lineup in their AIM Autosport Team FXDD #69 car. The two hour 45minute race run on Saturday from 4pm ET.
On Sunday, Road America plays host to round six of the American Le Mans Series, the two hour 45 minute race begins at 2pm ET. Leh Keen is back in action with Team West / AJR / Boardwalk Ferrari driving with Townsend Bell. After missing the previous, Canadian round of the series due to accident damage, Risi Competizione is looking forward to its ALMS return with Olivier Beretta and Matteo Malucelli at the wheel.
The last weekend’s Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mid-Ohio turned out to be a very good race for Porsche. The race saw the number 44 Magnus Racing Porsche finish in second place in the GT class. This was after a setback in qualifying made the racing team look at how they had the GT3 Cup car setup.
The second place finish moved the racing team to the top of the race for the GT class points championship. They moved ahead of the number 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 that had been in the points lead. This sets up a good fight for first place in the points championship as the rest of the season rolls on.
This is the last season of Gran-Am racing as next year Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series will combine to form the United SportsCar Racing Series. In its last season the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series looks like it will have quite a swan song.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch the race the below video shows highlights from the race.
Magnus Racing left the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after GRAND-AM Rolex Series qualifying yesterday frustrated with an 11th place qualifying effort, last on the GT class grid. They leave the track after today’s Diamond Cellar Classic elated with a second-place finish and the lead in the GT class point standings. A remarkable turn-around made only more so by a late race penalty to a competitor that moved the No. 44 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car from third to second in the two-hour, 45-minute race. Porsche customer teams Park Place Motorsports, Snow Racing with Wright Motorsports and Muehlner Motorsports America took fifth, ninth and 11th respectively in the Lexington, Ohio round of the 2013 sports car racing season.
Magnus Racing’s No. 44 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car struggled in Friday’s 15-minute GT qualifying session sending the defending North American Endurance Champions back to setup sheets last night. John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah) started today’s race at the back of the class on an Ohio track known for its difficulty in passing. The owner/driver’s strong opening stint handed the car over to teammate Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.) in prime position for the second half of the race. Lally, using pit strategy and smart driving, methodically made his way up into the top-three in the final 30 minutes of the race. The team then benefited from contact between eventual winner Bill Auberlen in the No. 94 Turner Motorsports BMW M3 and the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette of Eric Curran. When GRAND-AM race stewards deemed Curran’s contact avoidable, the Corvette was assessed a time penalty added to his final race time. The addition dropped Curran from the win to fourth in the final race standings thus moving Magnus up one spot to second place. The points award for the additional position was enough to move Magnus Racing back into the GRAND-AM GT point standings by three points over the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458.
“We made up so much time in the pits,” said Lally. “We got out ahead of the other Porsches and had a good battle with the guys. We got lucky. Those boys got racy at the front and hit each other and went off and got penalties and we’re leading the points. I can’t say enough for John [Potter] and this crew for doing such a good job today.”
The No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Playa del Rey, Calif.) narrowly missed benefiting from the same penalty that helped the No. 44. The motorsports arm of the Dallas, Texas area Porsche dealer would finish fifth after starting the race seventh. Park Place leaves Ohio sixth in the team standings.
“We’re pleased to get a top five out of a difficult race,” commented Lindsey. “We had a good car but we got held up by traffic early on in my stint. I was able to hand over a really good car to Patrick [Long] but we had problems executing in the pits. They were small things otherwise I am confident we would have been on the podium. We’re excited to have a top-five for our friends at Park Place back in Dallas and our Children’s Tumor Foundation NF Heroes.”
Snow Racing with Wright Motorsports, running only its second race of the 2013 season, finished ninth with 2011 GRAND-AM GT champion Andrew Davis (Athens, Ga.) and upstart driver Madison Snow (Lehi, Utah). The No. 18 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Muehlner America Motorsports finished 11th after retiring from the race.
The No. 38 BGB Motorsports Cayman driven by Dr. Jim Norman (Tampa) and Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta) finished second in the GX class. As a result, the team continues to hold the lead in the class point standings.
The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series will now take one weekend off before traveling to Watkins Glen International in Upstate New York. The Six Hours of The Glen is scheduled for June 30th and marks the second endurance race of the season for the Rolex Series.
Race Results – GT Class
1. No. 94 Bill Auberlen/Redondo Beach, Calif.; Paul Dalla Lana/Toronto, Turner Motorsports BMW M3 – 105 laps
2. No. 44 Andy Lally/Newport, NY; John Potter/Salt Lake City, Utah, Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 105 laps
3. No. 69 Emil Assentato/Locust Valley, NY; Anthony Lazzaro/Acworth, Ga., AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 – 105 laps
4. No. 31 Eric Curran/Holyoke, Mass.; Boris Said/Escondido, Calif., Marsh Racing Chevrolet Corvette – 105 laps
5. No. 73 Patrick Lindsey/Santa Barbara, Calif.; Patrick Long/Playa del Rey, CA., Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 104 laps
6. No. 93 Billy Johnson/Mooresville, NC; Michael Marsal/New York; Gunter Schaldach/Aspen, Colo., Turner Motorsports BMW M3 – 104 laps
7. No. 63 Alessandro Balzan/Italy; Jeff Westphal/San Carlos, Calif., Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 – 104 laps
8. No. 61 Max Papis/Mooresville, NC; Jeff Segal/Miami, R.Ferri/Aim Motorsport Ferrari 458 – 104 laps
9. No. 62 Andrew Davis/Athens, Ga.; Madison Snow/Lehi, Utah, Snow Racing with Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 104 laps
10. No. 57 John Edwards/Cincinnati, Ohio; Robin Liddell/England, Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro – 103 laps
11. No. 18 Leh Keen/Charleston, S.C.; Dion von Moltke/Coral Gables, Fla., Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – 31 laps
Team Point Standings – GT Class
1. No. 44 Magnus Racing – 169 points
2. No. 63 Scuderia Corsa – 166
3. No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports – 158
4. No. 94 Turner Motorsports – 157
5. No. 69 AIM Autosport – 155
6. No. 73 Park Place Motorsports – 150.
7. No. 61 R.Ferri/Aim Motorsports – 143
8. No. 31 Marsh Racing – 138
9. No. 18 Muehlner Motorsports America – 126
10. No. 93 Turner Motorsports – 125