The 2018 Petro-Canada Lubricants Porsche Club Championship with Pirelli starts at Donington Park on April 14th with a great season in store featuring new cars and a host of returning champions.
New for this season is the 997 version of Porsche’s famous 911, the model of that car sold between 2004 and 2012, and this becomes the most powerful car in the series – and also the heaviest under the power-to-weight ratio balancing that equalises performance in the classes. The 997 runs in class one, and drivers such as double champion Pete Morris have opted for the new challenger as they chase outright victory, with Michael Price and Del Brett also expected out. One of the highlights of the season will be seeing how quickly their teams can get the cars on the ultimate race pace.
Five former outright champions are entered in class one, making the action at the front of the field certain to be close. Mark McAleer added the 2017 crown to his 2007 title and will start the season in his successful 996 C2 before becoming another to move to the 997. Rapid in the second half of 2017 was 2011 champion and multiple race winner Mark Sumpter, his Paragon-liveried 996 C2 sure to be a class benchmark this year.
Andy Toon and Chris Dyer are also former champions, Toon a team-mate of Pete Morris in a Strasse-run 996, while the Leeds squad are also fielding Chris Dyer in a Cayman S, and pre-season testing suggests that car could be a real force this year.
There is strength in depth in class one, with 996-racers Craig Wilkins and Kevin Harrison also previous race winners, and with class two pace setter in recent seasons Steve Cheetham stepping up a class to join the Cayman S runners he could spring a surprise to the established front-runners.
The Boxster S has been the car to have in class two in recent seasons, and the model is out in force this season. With Cheetham and last season’s class winner Jake McAleer moving up to class one (Jake not appearing until later in the season) the path could be open for another driver to step up and take the honours.
Paul Seagrave was a podium regular last season, while Tim Bates has been rapid in sporadic appearances in the series and could shine in a full season in his Boxster. Trevor Lewis again returns, while adding variety to the class will be the 964 C2 of the experienced David Botterill. Boosting the class are a number of newcomers, any of which could have the pace to shake up the regulars.
Joining the field for selected rounds – starting at Brands Hatch in early May – will be the class three runners, Boxsters restored and prepared for racing by Porsche centres across the country, driven by employees of those centres who are new to racing. Wearing classic Porsche liveries, the cars will boost an already impressive entry have their own Restoracing Championship.