Porsche Motorsport GB will add a new championship to the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid for 2020, which rises from Porsche Club Motorsport all the way to the World Endurance Championship and Formula E. Porsche Sprint Challenge GB establishes a new level for competitors in the UK, sitting between the Porsche Classic Boxster Cup and Porsche Carrera Cup GB.
Porsche Sprint Challenge GB will feature the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which has the road-going GT4 variant at its core, in this case powered by a mid-mounted 3.8-litre flat-six engine and delivering 425 hp to the rear wheels though a six-speed PDK gearbox.
The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport ‘Competition’ used in the championship features as highlights:
• Switchable ABS, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control (TC)
• Air conditioning
• 115-litre safety fuel tank
• Adjustable brake bias
• Integrated air jack system
• Quick-release racing steering wheel adapted from the 911 GT3 R
• Automatic fire extinguisher
Michelin and Porsche have enjoyed a successful partnership in both motorsport and series production cars since 1961, and that will continue into Porsche Sprint Challenge GB. Both Michelin slick and wet tyre options will be offered, with six new slick tyres permitted per weekend. There will also be one tyre raffle per weekend, giving a randomly-selected competitor the chance to win a set of four Michelin tyres for their 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
In line with the position of the championship within the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid, and facilitated by the low running costs of the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, the estimated budget for a season of competition is around half that of Porsche Carrera Cup GB.
Accommodating both amateur and professional drivers alike, and likely to be graded at National B level, the championship will operate a two-category structure: Pro and Am. While both will feature on the same grid, each category will operate with a distinct points structure and championship table, as has been customary with Porsche Carrera Cup GB.
Whether participating with a professional team or individually, competitors will benefit from a dedicated race centre, providing hospitality and shelter across six weekends and 12 races – with five of six weekends confirmed to feature a ‘double header’ format. The provisional 2020 calendar is:
Rounds 1 & 2 - Silverstone (National) - 25th & 26th April – ToCA
Rounds 3 & 4 - Silverstone GP - 6th & 7th June - British GT
Rounds 5 & 6 - Donington Park GP - 20th & 21st June - British GT
Rounds 7 & 8 - TBC - TBC - Porsche Club GB
Rounds 9 & 10 - Croft - 15th & 16th August – ToCA
Rounds 11 & 12 - Donington Park GP - 19th & 20th September - British GT
Providing for the varying aspirations of competitors, the calendar has been chosen to link to both lower and upper levels of the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid, whilst also providing maximum commercial exposure. One weekend alongside Porsche Club Motorsport will give prospective graduates a flavour of the championship, while rounds supporting British GT and ToCA - which bring live streaming and national television coverage respectively - secure participation for the championship at the forefront of UK motorsport.
A further benefit is brought by the flexibility of the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. For those competitors wishing to progress within endurance racing, the fitment of the optional ‘MR’ package will homologate cars for participation in international GT4 racing, including the GT4 category of the British GT Championship. In addition, for drivers looking to progress through the network of Porsche one-make championships, rounds in support of the ToCA package will offer an insight into the environment of Porsche Carrera Cup GB. However, no rounds will clash between the two championships in 2020, assisting any teams committed to both.
The championship will be coordinated by Porsche Cars Great Britain, providing technical and parts support, together with media support, at each round. Cars will also be supplied directly by Porsche Cars Great Britain, currently at a cost of £131,100 ex. VAT and including delivery, with first deliveries expected later in 2019.
James MacNaughton, Motorsport Manager, Porsche Cars Great Britain adds: “Porsche Sprint Challenge GB is the result of a demand, from both within and outside of our community, for a championship that bridges the gap between club motorsport and Porsche Carrera Cup GB. The 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport is the perfect fit, capable of quick lap times and engaging to drive, but with the advantage of traction control and ABS for less experienced drivers. It’s also realistic for privateers to run the car themselves.
”We’ve taken care to organise the calendar and structure within our team to ensure that both championships are self-sufficient – Porsche Carrera Cup GB is in its 17th season, it’s a successful formula and will no doubt benefit from another strong feeder series.”
Over 50 prospective teams and drivers attended a launch event held at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone on 10 September, while a Taster Day will be held later in the year to offer prospects a chance to drive the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport and meet the team – contactable via firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those wishing to register for Porsche Sprint Challenge GB, the full-season entry is £12,000 + VAT. However, for those registering before 1 December 2019, the full-season entry will be reduced to £10,000 + VAT.