A new Porsche sprint championship reserved for pure amateurs, gentlemen or young drivers who want to take their career in motor sport to the next level.
In 2013, The Driving Force launched the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux, which became the very official Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux this year. In 2018, the Porsche Endurance Trophy Benelux made its appearance. And it is not over yet! In 2020 the people behind The Driving Force will launch a third championship: the Porsche Sprint Challenge Benelux.
“In talking with the drivers and the teams, we came to the conclusion that there is room for a third series around Porsche,” said Hans Van de Ven, who is responsible for this championship.
“Most of the drivers who bought a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport last winter find that the level of Belcar is too high to be involved in motor sport. In addition, the mix with prototypes makes the differences in speed too significant and some therefore even preferred not to compete in races they had put on their agenda. Since this is obviously regrettable, we came up with the idea of setting up a series for pure amateurs. In extending our discussions, we noticed that many fans have a 911 GT3 Cup car of an older generation which they only drive on track days, but would like to compete in a race. And from all this the Porsche Sprint Challenge Benelux was born.”
Olivier Aerts, the new Series Manager of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, will also be in charge of the Porsche Sprint Challenge Benelux.
“We will be running six race weekends – three in Belgium and three in the Netherlands,” he says. “We want to limit this to two-day meetings, each time with two 25-minute qualifiers, a 60-minute long sprint with a mandatory pit stop and two 25-minute sprint races + 1 lap. It will be possible to drive alone or to share a car between two drivers. There will be two classes in the pack: the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, type 991 and 997 will be in Class 1 and the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport (981) et 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport (982) in Class 2. The 911 GT3 Cup category is only accessible for amateur drivers wanting to have fun, who are classified Bronze by the FIA. Young drivers classified Silver from karting or who want to take the step from another single-make competition will be able to race in Class 2, but not in Class 1.”
With the Porsche Sprint Challenge Benelux a missing link is created between friendly – and well organized – single-make cups (like the Fiesta Cup, the Mazda MX-5 Cup and the Fun Cup) and the top echelon. Drivers will be able to master a 425-hp Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport before tackling the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux. In association with Porsche Motorsport, the promoter will also integrate the Porsche Junior Recruitment Programme in this new championship, in the search for young talents who dream of climbing the pyramid built by Porsche Motorsport.
“For us, it is essential that fun is the watchword of these weekends,” continues Olivier. “At each meeting, we will establish a Porsche Hospitality in the paddock where all teams can enjoy a drink and a snack. In addition, they can easily invite their sponsors and welcome them under optimum conditions. We will try to take care of the real gentlemen-drivers, in particular by proposing with the teams a simple “Arrive & Drive” formula to allow the drivers to join our events with a minimum of worry and upset.”
“For me, the Porsche Sprint Challenge Benelux is a new milestone in our #mission2022 programme,” concludes Hans Van De Ven. “Our goal is to have in 2022, the year of the introduction of the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, type 992, three championships in the Benelux, all in close cooperation with Porsche AG and the two national importers, D’Ieteren Porsche Import for Belgium and PON Porsche Import for the Netherlands. To achieve our new objectives, we have hired a new Series Manager, but also a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and Marketing Manager. In addition, we already have with Frederik Meire, who has a great deal of experience in Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, the ideal person to handle all the technical aspect. In other words, we are ready for the future!”