AUSTRALIAN-based team McElrea Racing will join the Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by Cayman Islands in 2023, marking their first step into competition in the United States.
McElrea Racing has established a separate US base of operations in Mooresville, North Carolina, and will field a multiple-car team in Porsche Carrera Cup North America championship next year.
Their existing Australian operations will continue unaffected.
The team has signed one exciting Australian driver, to be announced in coming weeks, with others to be confirmed at a later date.
Experienced GT and Porsche mechanic David Gahagan has been hired as Crew Chief to manage the US operations.
McElrea and Gahagan’s relationship began eight years ago when he came to Australia with David Calvert-Jones Bathurst 12 Hour program, which was supported by McElrea Racing.
Additional key positions, including race engineers, are already in place.
Based in Queensland, McElrea Racing was founded in 2009 by New Zealand racer Andy McElrea with the ambition of forming the best customer racing team in one-make Porsche racing in Australia.
The team has won 12 major national titles in Australia – including two Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia championships – while also currently leading the 2022 championship with one round remaining.
McElrea Racing has also tasted success in long-distance racing with class and outright success at the Bathurst 12 Hour and in GT World Challenge Australia competition.
Current IMSA GTD-Pro class drivers champion Matt Campbell is a McElrea Racing graduate, having raced in Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge (Class B Champion) and won the 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship with McElrea.
Other McElrea Racing alumni include Jaxon Evans, Scott McLaughlin, Alex Davison and James Davison.
Andy McElrea’s eldest son, Hunter, currently races for Andretti Autosport in the Indy Lights championship, on the Road to Indy.
Andy McElrea – Team Principal, McElrea Racing
“I spent six years living and working in the United States in the late 1990s and early 2000s and I love the lifestyle, the people and the way they go motor racing.
“We’ll be spending a bit more time there in the next few years with Hunter’s racing so the timing of this is perfect.
“We have been looking at it for some time and after discussions with Troy Bundy (Head of One Make & GT Sports for Porsche Motorsport North America), who we know well from racing in Australia, helped me decide that this is where we want to be.
“From a competitive and commercial standpoint, GT racing in the United States is one of the best-kept secrets in Motorsport. It’s the largest market in the world with the best commercial and sponsorship opportunities for young drivers to progress their careers.
“Our objective is to create an alternative to the existing European Porsche Pyramid, wherein we bring young talent from our part of the world to the US. The reality is that the Porsche junior program being developed in the US is creating huge opportunities for young Carrera Cup drivers to win scholarships to advance to IMSA sports car racing, without having to win the junior shootout in Europe!”
“We have had great success with the European pathway, as proven by Matt Campbell and Jaxon Evans, but there is opportunity for an alternative and was the key driver behind our decision to tackle this really exciting opportunity. We want to cover both bases.”
“With the people we have in place there is no reason we can’t start our Carrera Cup North America presented by Cayman Islands program the same way our Australian Program did in 2011, which is with immediate success.”