The winter break is over for the teams of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup and the Carrera Cup Deutschland. On 5th and 6th March, more than 40 pilots and 29 teams tested their new racing sports cars for the first time on the Hockenheimring in preparation for the upcoming season. The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup now delivers 420 horsepower instead of 400hp. The aerodymanics of the successful makes cup racer also underwent modifications.
During testing, the teams focussed on familiarising themselves with the 2008-spec vehicle. For the newly formed team-driver combinations the emphasis was on working through processes and finding set-ups. For Christian Abt (Germany), who now contests the Porsche Carrera Cup after racing for eight years in the DTM, this was just his third time at the wheel of a racing-911. “I’m going to need some time to get used to the Porsche,” said the 40-year-old Abt. “But I can already say now that it’s great fun. The competition is extremely tough but I’m looking forward to this new challenge.”
Porsche specialists, like reigning Supercup vice-champion Damien Faulkner (Ireland) and Nicolas Armindo (France), who last season concluded the Carrera Cup Deutschland season third overall, praised the new 911 GT3 Cup. “It’s the increase in torque that’s most noticeable. And the sound this year is even better than in 2007,” said the 25-year-old Frenchman, in reference to the changed exhaust system. “That’s how a race car should sound!”
The more powerful engine and the modified aerodynamics of the GT3 Cup were also noticeable on the time sheets. Despite cool weather the times were immediately at the level of last year’s fastest lap times. “This shows that there is huge potential in our new car,” said UPS-Porsche junior Martin Ragginger (19), for whom 2008 is his second season contesting the Carrera Cup Deutschland.
For the teams in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, Porsche offers another novelty this year. In entering the world’s fastest international makes cup, the 13 teams each receive a 385 hp sand-white Porsche Cayenne S to drive for the entire season. The vehicles in Porsche Motorsport Design were handed to the team bosses as part of the delivery of 60 Cup-911s on the Grand Prix circuit.
The Porsche Mobil1 Supercup takes off on 5th April as support to the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Bahrain. For the pilots of the Carrera Cup Deutschland the flag drops on 13th April on the Hockenheimring.