2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Racing


(from Porsche Press Release)  Gianluca Roda first Italian to win the Porsche Cup

Stuttgart. Gianluca Roda is the first Italian to win the Porsche Cup, which has been awarded by Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, since 1970. As the brainchild of Ferry Porsche, the company honours the best private Porsche race driver each year with this trophy.

The businessman from Como yielded many successes with the Porsche race car fielded by the Autorlando Sport team based in Pedrengo near Bergamo in northern Italy. With five victories and a total of eight podium results from 14 races, Roda secured the GT3 title of the Italian Gran Turismo championship. In his bid for the title, the 51-year-old could rely on support from Porsche: Works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) shared driving duties with Roda at eight races in the cockpit of the 911 GT3 R. His factory pilot colleagues Patrick Pilet (France) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) supported Roda at two rounds, with Raffaele Giammaria (Italy) providing reinforcement at another two races.

With Richard Lietz (Austria), Roda contested the International GT Open in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. After 16 races in six European countries, the pair concluded the season with vice championship honours in the top “Super GT” category by a very narrow margin.

Four wins from four guest appearances in the Spanish GT Championship were also part of the amiable Italian’s impressive track record. In Estoril and Jerez, Roda shared the cockpit of the Autorlando Porsche with his compatriot Raffaele Giammaria. With fourth place in the GT class at the season final of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in Zhuhai, China, Roda earned extra points in the fight for the Porsche Cup at the wheel of a Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Taking home the Porsche Cup, Gianluca Roda joins the ranks of many top race drivers to have received the coveted trophy, including Bob Wollek, Bernd Schneider, Jochen Mass as well as current Porsche works pilots Wolf Henzler and Marc Lieb.

Raymond Narac from France ranks second in the 2010 Porsche Cup. As owner of the well-established IMSA Performance Matmut squad, the 43-year-old businessman was a regular driver in his own racing Porsche and enjoyed great success. He kicked off the season with overall victory at the Dubai 24 hour race, and followed up with second overall at the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium. Until the season finale of the International GT Open, Narac – supported by Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet – was tied for points with Gianluca Roda in second place, to finish the year a close fourth.

After an extremely successful season in the American Le Mans Series, Klaus Graf (Germany) takes home a well deserved third place in the Porsche Cup. The 41-year-old professional racer notched up a class victory at the wheel of the Porsche RS Spyder fielded by Muscle Milk Team Cytosport at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring. Over the course of the season, he yielded two overall victories from Lime Rock and Mosport. After the ninth and final round, Graf earned himself the vice-championship title in Class Two for Le Mans prototypes.

Gianluca Roda is awarded the Porsche Cup on 11 December at the “Night of Champions” in the R&D Centre, Weissach. In addition to the valuable challenge cup, the best Porsche private driver of the year takes home a Porsche 911 GT3. The 2010 Porsche Cup carries a total value of over 250,000 Euro, with positions two to ten receiving prize money. Drivers earned points towards this year’s traditional competition in 19 Grand Touring and prototype race series worldwide as well as at selected long distance races.

Carrera Cup Deutschland:  Armindo claims championship title,
Engelhart celebrates first win

Stuttgart. The Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland concluded the season with a turbulent, cliff-hanger race. The ecstatic winners of the final round are Nicolas Armindo and Christian Engelhart, the Nick Tandy as the unlucky loser. For Frenchman Armindo, fifth place in Hockenheim was enough to win the championship. “It’s a dream come true,” said the 28-year-old. Christian Engelhart’s elation was no less enthusiastic. In his third season contesting Germany’s fastest brand trophy series, the German (MRS Team PZ Aschaffenburg) was delighted with his first win.

Second place in the 22-lap sprint went to the guest driver for Hermes Attempto Racing, Jeroen Bleekemolen. The Dutchman gave chase to Engelhart in the second half of the race, nibbling away at his advantage lap for lap until, with four laps to go to the flag, Bleekemolen was practically glued to the rear bumper of the leader’s 911. The duel between the two fair rivals during the last ten minutes was a display of motorsport at its finest. At the flag, Bleekemolen, as the double champion of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, was just 0.2 seconds shy of the 23-year-old German. Trailing the two in third was another guest driver and vice-champion of the 2008 Carrera Cup season, Jan Seyffarth (Germany) from Team SMS Seyffarth Motorsport.

Nick Tandy, however, left Hockenheim deeply disappointed. For the five-time winner this season, everything went very wrong right from the start. With too much wheel spin, the Briton got away badly from second, and found himself embroiled in the start chaos at the first corner. Shortly before entering the Motodrom, a rival hit his 911 in the heat of the battle. Through this collision he was forced into the pits. Tandy was the most popular but by far not the only victim of the turbulent finale. Guest driver and pole-sitter René Rast (Germany, Farnbacher Racing PZN) was holding a clear lead when he slipped on coolant on the track and the journey into the gravel trap at the Motodrom entrance damaged his 911’s fan belt, signalling the end of his charge. Britain’s Sean Edwards (Team Deutsche Post by tolimit), who had taken up the race from fourth, also fell victim to the skirmishes of the first two laps. And as Slovakia’s Stefan Rosina (Förch Racing) was on his way to a probable podium result, his race ended prematurely in a tyre stack in the Sachs corner.

Martin Ragginger, however, was thrilled with the conciliatory conclusion to the season - just as he had hoped for. Driving for Schnabl Engineering, the Austrian added a fine fourth place to his three podium results from the first half of the season. Behind him, Nicolas Armindo brought home fifth ahead of his teammate Philipp Wlazik, who celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday. Sixth in Hockenheim was the eighth top ten placing for the German. Sascha Maassen was also pleased to have avoided the many scuffles along the way. Competing for Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, the German yielded a decent seventh ahead of his compatriot, David Mengesdorf (SMS Seyffarth Motorsport).

Another driver with good reason to celebrate was the journalist and amateur racer Chris Harris. Reporting worldwide of his experiences in the cockpit of the black VIP-Porsche fielded by Porsche AG, the Briton finished a sensational 14th – despite it being his first ever race with the 450 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. “Fantastic, I had a ball,” said Harris. “But most of all I take my hat off to this top class field.”

Christian Engelhart (winner): “What a huge race. It’s awesome to win from sixth on the grid. I was almost kicked out in the first lap when someone nudged my 911 from behind but managed to recover. Luckily for me, Jan Seyffarth slid on coolant in front of me so I was well warned by this. When Jeroen suddenly closed in on me I had to somehow shake him off and that’s when I set my fastest race lap in the final lap.”

Jeroen Bleekemolen (second): “Now that was a fun race. I quickly moved into third but fell back to sixth when someone shoved me. At first I was behind Nicolas but then I noticed that my car was running so well that I could make up places. It wasn’t enough to win but second place is great.”

Jan Seyffarth (third): “What a shame, René and I could easily have won the race. But at the entrance to the Motodrom the marshals didn’t bring out any flags although there was coolant on the track. René and I slid on it. He went off and luckily I continued and demonstrated that I could still bring home third place at my guest start. Perhaps I’ll come back next year.”

Race result

1. Christian Engelhart (D), MRS Team PZ Aschaffenburg, 33.44.017 minutes (146.190 km/h)
2. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 0.296 seconds
3. Jan Seyffarth (D), SMS Seyffarth Motorsport, + 7.203
4. Martin Ragginger (A), Schnabl Engineering, + 9.477
5. Nicolas Armindo (F), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 10.622
6. Philipp Wlazik (D), Hermes Attempto Racing, + 14.578
7. Sascha Maassen (D), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, + 15.501

Drivers’ classification after 9 of 9 races
1. Nicolas Armindo (F), 142 points
2. Nick Tandy (GB), 121
3. Uwe Alzen (D), 98
4. Robert Renauer (D), 96
5. Martin Ragginger (A), 79
6. Philipp Wlazik (D), 77

Team classification after 9 of 9 races
1. Hermes Attempto Racing, 244 points
2. Herberth Motorsport PZ Olympiapark, 205
3. Konrad Motorsport, 192

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