FOR THE first time, cars currently competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship will be eligible for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour in 2017.
Following the announcement of the series’ 2017 calendar today, Porsche Cars Australia has also confirmed that the Type-991 Porsche GT3 Cup Car that makes up the Carrera Cup grid will be able to contest Australia’s around-the-clock enduro next February. The cars are eligible for Class B.
Prior to the 2017 event, Carrera Cup cars imported for the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia were reserved for exclusive use in that championship, while the Bathurst 12 Hour maintained regulations stipulating that only the previous-generation Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car was the latest eligible for the race.
With both class and event restrictions lifted for 2017, a host of the current-spec Porsche GT3 Cup Cars are expected to contest the race on February 3-5 both from Australia and abroad.
“We think there is great value for our competitors being able to run their current cars in the Bathurst 12 Hour prior to the 2017 championship commencing in March,” Porsche Cars Australia Motorsport Manager Kurt Sakzewski explained.
“A lot of our competitors bought their cars with the anticipation that they would then run them in the Bathurst 12 Hour in the fourth year of ownership, as teams like Grove Racing have done so successfully in the past.
“It’s a great opportunity for our competitors to get some miles at Bathurst ahead of the season and we will support them there as we do at Porsche Carrera Cup Australia rounds.”
Earlier this week Australian outfit Synep Racing confirmed they were importing a car from British outfit, Brookspeed, for the race.
Porsche’s remarkable Cup Car has had an enormous track record of success on the Mountain, both in its own class and against the faster GT3 machinery.
A 997 GT3 Cup car finished fourth outright in 2012 and ninth the following year – the 2013 result perhaps even more impressive given the depth of the GT3 field that year.
Last year, Porsche Carrera Cup outfit Grove Racing won Class B for the second time in three years and finished 12th outright in the process.
2017 will also mark the first year the current-specification Porsche 911 GT3 R will be eligible for class A, with several examples of the model expected to compete.