The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced the 2012 schedule for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, North America's fastest growing single-make racing series. The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada grows from six to nine races and adds two new venues in 2012.
The series, developed in conjunction with Porsche Cars Canada Ltd. (PCL), and Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA), was announced in March of this year and is designed to develop new drivers and prepare them for competition in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
The five-event, nine-race Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season kicks off at the annual Victoria Day SpeedFest at Mosport International Raceway in May. The Platinum and Gold Cup competitors will then be invited to join their American counterparts at the prestigious Formula One Canadian Grand Prix at Montréal's Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, followed by a new venue for the series, the historic Circuit Mont-Tremblant.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada will once again compete alongside the U.S. GT3 series at Mosport International Raceway at the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport, part of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón season. The series will come to a close at the first venue visited in their inaugural season, Calabogie Motorsports Park.
"In the less than eight months since the series was first announced we have not only completed our inaugural season of races but are already introducing an expanded calendar of quality venues and year-end awards for the upcoming 2012 season," said Steven Sewell, IMSA Director, Development Series. "The addition of Mont-Tremblant in conjunction with inviting our full-season competitors to join in their own classification as part of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge during the Grand Prix du Canada is significant in the growth and popularity of the championship."
"We are extremely proud of this year's expanded schedule," said Joe Lawrance, President and CEO of Porsche Canada. "It is a clear demonstration of Porsche's commitment to the future of racing in Canada. When we launched the series last year, the fields were small, but the racing was highly competitive and professional. By the last weekend at Mosport, the fields had tripled and the racing was some of the best we'd seen. All in all, it was a great first year, but this year promises to be even better."
"We are very pleased with the series' progress," added Jens Walther, President of Porsche Motorsport North America. "We see a tremendous amount of activity from our Canadian customers - buying cars, updating cars. Last season, we did not even know if we had a series until six weeks before the first green flag fell."
First on the agenda for GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series participants is the IMSA Development Series Winter Test at Sebring February 6-7, 2012. They will be joined by the two other IMSA Development Series, the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada features semi-professional drivers racing head to head in one of the world's most successful race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. The series is divided into three classes; the Platinum Cup, featuring the more powerful 2010 - 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, the Gold Cup, which includes 2005½ - 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars and the Silver Cup class for 2002 - 2005½ 996 Porsches.
Competitor information is available at imsaracing.net.
Photo credit: FriedrichPhoto.com/IMSA
2012 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Schedule
May 17 - 20 Mosport International Raceway Bowmanville, Ontario
June 8 -10 Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve Montréal, Québec*
July 5 - 8 Circuit Mont-Tremblant Mont Tremblant, Québec
July 19 - 22 Mosport International Raceway Bowmanville, Ontario
August 9 - 12 Calabogie Motorsports Park Calabogie, Ontario
*Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Platinum and Gold Cup class drivers are invited to join their American counterparts at the Canadian Grand Prix