Porsche Motorsport GB has revealed its plans for the 2023 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone. As the championship’s 20th anniversary year entered its penultimate weekend, teams, sponsors and guests were given an insight into what lies ahead for the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK – a successful blend of initiatives that will support the healthy grid and continue to promote close racing.
Porsche Carrera Cup GB enters its 21st season in 2023 and its second season with the 510 hp ‘Type 992’ 911 GT3 Cup. The latest iteration of this racing 911 was launched in 2021 and is used in 30 Porsche one make championships globally. 2023 will also be the second season for Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior driver Adam Smalley (Redline Racing), who enters the final year of his programme looking to build yet further on his successful debut season.
As it has since its inaugural season in 2003, Porsche Carrera Cup GB continues to occupy its traditional position as part of the TOCA package – running in support of the British Touring Car Championship. The combination of live terrestrial television coverage and a paddock packed with motorsport enthusiasts, provides drivers and teams with an unrivalled platform.
The championship gets under way at Donington Park in April and concludes at Brands Hatch in October with a full season of racing taking place across 16 rounds and eight weekends – including a return to the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit in August.
Provisional 2023 calendar:
22 / 23 April Donington Park (National) Rounds 1&2
6 / 7 May Brands Hatch (Indy) Rounds 3&4
3 / 4 June Thruxton Rounds 5&6
17 / 18 June Oulton Park (Island) Rounds 7&8
12 / 13 August Knockhill Rounds 9&10
26 / 27 August Donington Park (GP) Rounds 11&12
23 / 24 September Silverstone (National) Rounds 13&14
7 / 8 October Brands Hatch (GP) Rounds 15&16
The championship’s refined rules and regulations remain largely consistent with 2022. Introduced for the 2018 season, reverse grids for the second race of each weekend are a feature that remain for 2023. Following the first race, a number between four and six is selected at random. This number determines whether the first four, five or six drivers across the line for the first race will have their grid positions reversed for the second. All other competitors will form on the race two grid according to their finishing position in race one. As introduced in 2019, should a competitor fail to finish in race one, they will take up a grid position for race two immediately behind the last finisher in their category from race one. Both races continue to feature a standing start.
Also remaining consistent with recent seasons is the points structure, unchanged across all three categories. There is a weighting for Pro category drivers in the first race which rewards qualifying performance, and partially offsets any penalty for a reverse grid placing in the second. For the fastest qualifiers in each category comes the award of two championship points, one championship point remains on offer to the driver who posts the fastest race lap in each category. An overall points table calculated on the same basis as in 2022 will determine the Teams and Rookie championships.
Category champions in all three categories – Pro, Pro-Am, Am – and Teams champions continue to receive the use of a Porsche road car for one year. Drivers with the highest number of fastest laps in each category (Pro, Pro-Am, Am and Rookie) at the end of the season will receive a TAG Heuer chronograph watch.
New for 2023 is an increased number of Porsche exclusive tests. These official test days will allow drivers the opportunity to exploit the speed of the GT3 Cup without being hampered by the slower vehicles typically found on a general test day, developing and honing driver skill in a fully supported environment. The eight official test days – up from four in 2022 – will be split into two time periods, pre- and in-season, all taking place at circuits that form part of the 2023 calendar.
Underlining the championship’s desire to promote close racing, a driver’s category – Pro, Pro-Am, or Am – will continue to be determined via driver and team nomination prior to the start of the season. In 2023, championship competitors will be permitted to register a formal protest of a driver’s category up to round seven of the season. In addition, a panel of Porsche experts will have the power to re-categorise drivers during the season.
Any change to a driver’s category will not affect the championship or entrant points already earned. However, the driver will have their existing category points revised to reflect the number they would have obtained in the new category, had they been competing in it from the beginning of the season. In addition, all drivers from the competitor’s former category will have their category points revised to reflect the number they would have received.
Porsche Motorsport GB continues its innovative incentives package. Introduced in 2022, the package is designed to attract the best of the UK’s racing talent. The overall 2022 champions in selected high-profile British championships will qualify for a half-price championship entry fee for Porsche Carrera Cup GB.
Qualifying championships are:
Porsche Sprint Challenge GB – Pro and Am category champion
British GT – GT3 and GT4 overall champion
FIA British Formula 4 – Overall champion
Ginetta GT4 Supercup – G56 Pro, G55 Pro and G56 Am class champion
Ginetta Junior Championship – Overall champion
MINI Challenge Championship – JCW class champion
Porsche Club GB Championship – Class 1 champion
For any drivers interested in competing in the championship there will be an opportunity to test the GT3 Cup and to learn more about the championship at the annual Taster Day at Silverstone in November. Drivers who complete a season entry form alongside the relevant championship entry fees before December will qualify for the maximum early registration reward up to the value of £4,000.
Porsche GB 2024 / 2025 Junior:
The search for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2024 / 2025 Junior will begin in 2023. The Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior programme is designed to nurture young racing talent, fostering the entry of promising young drivers into the Porsche Motorsport pyramid. The Junior programme offers one of the largest individual prizes in UK motorsport, contributing £85,000 per year towards the racing budget of the Junior driver.
The opportunity has advanced the professional racing careers of former Porsche Carrera Cup GB Juniors Harry King (2020 / 2021), Dan Harper (2018 / 2019), and Charlie Eastwood (2016 / 2017) – each took title honours before furthering their careers on the international motorsport stage. Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2022 / 2023 Junior Adam Smalley (Redline Racing) won on his championship debut and arrives at the Silverstone weekend in contention for championship honours.
Porsche Young Driver Development Programme
Porsche Motorsport GB has a history of nurturing young racing talent, a focus that remains as an important aim for 2023. The Porsche Carrera Cup GB Young Driver Development Programme for Rookie drivers draws on elements of the Porsche GB Junior programme, benefitting qualifying drivers in a number of ways. Benefits include access to an end of season prize fund of over £35,000 in total for the top-placed Rookie.
Those drivers who are eligible also receive engineering support from the Porsche Carrera Cup GB technical team, media training and a ‘Tyre Masterclass’ by Michelin. Three free sets of Michelin slick racing tyres are also made available alongside Young Driver Development Programme branded clothing, access to Porsche Human Performance experts at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone and the opportunity to represent Porsche at selected events.
Driver safety is always a priority for Porsche and, as part of this, the in-car flag signalling system adopted by Carrera Cup GB in 2022 continues for 2023. This electronic system is integrated into the vehicle’s dashboard display, alerting drivers to safety flags and the deployment of the Safety Car, providing a direct visual link between Race Control and the driver.
‘Type 992’ 911 GT3 Cup:
The 2023 season uses the ‘Type 992’ 911 GT3 Cup, introduced to Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2022. Porsche has built over 4,200 Cup cars to date and this latest iteration is powered by a 4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine producing 510 hp and 470 Nm torque. The GT3 Cup engine is a sealed unit with a run time of 100 hours. The Cup features a six-speed sequential gearbox, the paddleshift actuation using an electronic actuator for faster, seamless gear shifts – this results in a total gearbox run time of 120 hours with inspection services required at 30, 60 and 90 hours.
Double wishbone suspension on the front axle is one of the chassis highlights, while the rear uses a traditional multi-link design. Testing driver skill, braking is provided by a non-ABS Brembo system with six-piston calipers at the front, four-piston calipers at the rear. The exterior makes extensive use of aerodynamics, delivering high levels of downforce in part due to an eye-catching carbon-fibre rear wing with ’swan neck’ mounts, familiar from the 911 RSR. The wheels – 12 x 18’’ front and 13 x 18’’ rear – are shod with Michelin N3R slick racing tyres, developed by tyre partner Michelin exclusively for the latest GT3 Cup.
Drivers continue to benefit from a 10.3’’ full-colour TFT dashboard display, backlit digital touch panel and a multifunction quick-release carbon-fibre steering wheel with illuminated buttons. All ‘Type 992’ 911 GT3 Cup cars arrive from the Porsche factory finished in a base colour of GT Silver Metallic.