A superb line-up of teams and drivers are raring to go for the first of 20 races of the 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship which starts this weekend (April 4/5) at Brands Hatch, Kent.
An impressive total of 25 registered competitors have signed up to compete in the stunning 420bhp ‘Type 997’ 911 GT3 Cup, in what is the UK’s fastest single marque Championship, supporting the British Touring Car Championship over ten weekends at circuits up and down the country.
The Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship is structured around three driver categories, Pro, Pro-Am1 and Pro-Am2. The first two categories use the latest specification race cars, with the Pro-Am1 contest running alongside the overall title chase but intended for drivers making their first full-time commitment to the Championship. Pro-Am2 allows drivers to use older, less powerful versions of the ‘Type 997’ 911 GT3 Cup race cars, and the category is designed to allow people to dip in and out of the Championship depending on budget and business commitments.
The latest teams and drivers to confirm their plans for the 2009 season include Scottish teenage sensation Glynn Geddie (Aberdeen), who has signed to race with Team Parker Racing for his first full season in the championship. Also in the Team Parker squad will be Hertfordshire-based American Jake Roszenweig, who will tackle three race weekends alongside his single-seater campaign in Europe.
From Scotland comes a pair of cars from the newly-titled Celtic Speed team, to be driven by Tommy Dreelan and Bob Lyons, both from Aberdeen. These drivers made their Carrera Cup debuts part way through 2008 and will now return for fuller campaigns.
Parr Motorsport will again field Robin Clark (Edenbridge, Kent) in the Pro-Am2 category. Championship newcomer Glenn McMenamin (Milton Keynes), who hopes to join the grid at Donington Park in May, will join Clark in the squad.
The top three from 2008 are all back for more; Tim Harvey (Oxford) will defend his Championship title while Michael Caine (Newmarket, Cambridgeshire) and Tim Bridgman (Stansted, Essex) try and take the crown for the first time.
Ranged against them in the Pro class will be Carrera Cup GB Scholarship winners Tom Bradshaw (Blackburn, Lancashire) and Lewis Hopkins (Winchester, Hampshire).
Team Parker Racing (based near Leicester), Red Line Racing (from Stockton on Tees) and Motorbase Performance (from Wrotham, Kent, just down the road from Brands Hatch) will renew their long-running rivalry in the Teams' Championship, while RSS Performance returns with a strong three-car squad.
New to the Carrera Cup GB is the JHR team, which will field series newcomers Robert Lawson (Richmond, Yorkshire) and Derek Pierce (Ayrshire), while new teams joining the grid include Team Kinfaun, JMH Automotive, and GT Marques.
New drivers on the grid will include youngsters Ollie Jackson (Reigate, Surrey) and 17-year old George Richardson (Nether Alderley, Cheshire), while Michael Leonard (Naas, Eire), Tony Gilham (Dartford, Kent), Karl Leonard (Naas, Eire), John Quartermaine (Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire) and Graeme Mundy (Salisbury) all return.
Exciting news for the Brands Hatch season opener is that former Le Mans and BTCC ace Anthony Reid will race in the opening two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, when he drives the guest car entry entered by Porsche Cars GB.
"It's going to be really competitive and I'm delighted to get the chance to race in such a credible championship," said Reid (51). "There are some very good teams and drivers in the Carrera Cup and I want to give it my best shot. I always set my targets high and I want to achieve the best possible result."
Although this will be Reid's first race in the latest generation of 911 GT3 Cup car, he has raced extensively in Porsches (1) through his career and owned a 911 as a road car.
"I raced a 911 GT2 in Japanese GT from 1994 to 1996 and before that I did some Porsche Supercup races. Over the years, I've driven a lot of Porsches," he revealed.
Reid will drive the car for the first time during the pre-weekend testing at Brands on Friday. "My last race on the BTCC package was in 2004, and I'm really looking forward to the challenge."
The Porsche Carrera Cup GB race on Sunday, April 5, will be broadcast live on ITV4 from 15:00.
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