Bahrain - 28 March 2005: On the occasion of the first ever Porsche Michelin Supercup round in Bahrain, Porsche announces another premier: the new 911 GT3 Cup car (type 997) will make its race debut on the Bahrain International Circuit on 3 April at 12:10 p.m. The announcement was followed by a unique Porsche Parade of the GT3 Cup cars and other Porsche models which were the guests apearance on the roads of the capital city of Manama.
Mohamed Rahman, Acting Managing Director of Dubai-based Porsche Middle East & Africa, speaking at the press conference held at the Ritz Carlton, said: “We are sharing with you today yet another milestone in the history of Porsche Middle East since its establishments in 1999. Having such race tracks in the region give us the opportunity to relate to where we are coming from. We are glad to share the thrilling excitment created by the Supercup with more than 20,000 spectator coming from all over the Middle East region.“
The manager of the Porsche Michelin Supercup, Jens Walther commented: “We all at Porsche are excited and proud to open a new chapter in Porsche motorsport history at this Grand Prix weekend. Thanks to the kind invitation of His Highness Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, and of the Bahrain International Circuit, we can celebrate a double premiere. This coming weekend, we are going to witness the first ever race of the Porsche Michelin Supercup on Arabian soil. And we will see a brand new Porsche racing sportscar in competition for the first time. It is this 911 GT3 Cup, a thoroughbred racer, based on the new 911 Carrera.”
To make things even more sporty, all 911 GT3 Cup cars must be technically identical to the last bolt. Series title sponsor and technical partner Michelin developed tailor-made racing rubber. For each car there are two sets of slicks per weekend – absolutely identical for every driver.
From his side, Martin Whitaker, General Manager of Bahrain International Circuit said: “All of us at Bahrain International Circuit are delighted that the Porsche Supercup will be racing on the Sakhir circuit as a support event to the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. The race has an extra significance where for the first time Porsche will have two Bahraini drivers competing for honours. Both Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa and Shaikh Jaber bin Ali Al Khalifa will contest the race as guests of Porsche in two VIP cars. Porsche Supercup racing creates real excitement all over the world and we are very honoured that the cars will be here racing at the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East. ”
Like its predecessors, the latest 911 GT3 Cup is tailor-made for customer motorsport with near-standard vehicles. Porsche delivers the car, which will run exclusively in the Porsche Michelin Supercup, ready-to-race to its customers.
Since 1993 the Supercup sprint races have become a fixture in the schedule for the European and American F1 meetings. The ingredients of its long-standing success are spectacular race cars based on the legendary 911, sporting regulations that ensure exciting competition, and the excellent co-operation of Porsche and its motorsport clientele.
The new model marks a clear step towards a thoroughbred racer: with its six-cylinder boxer engine now delivering 400 horsepower, the GT3 Cup features a sequential gearbox with a power shift system. The suspension underwent modifications for higher precision and further improved driving dynamics. The 997-based GT3 Cup is the first works-prepared racing sportscar to feature the revolutionary Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) – and with the typical Porsche sound. Aerodynamics is the most sophisticated in the history of the 911 GT3 Cup.
Pilots from all reigns of motorsport make up the grid, from the top professional to the gentleman driver or the Formula 1 veteran who just loves to race the legendary 911 in the atmosphere of an F1-weekend.
The technical and sporting regulations ensure that the drivers‘ courage and skill as well as the class and quality of his team’s backup are decisive for success. Hence winning in the Porsche Michelin Supercup is regarded as an excellent recommendation for furthering a motorsport career.
One particular driver who made his way from Porsche makes cup sport to the top is Bernd Mayländer who pushed his young career forward when he won the German Porsche Carrera Cup in 1994. Ever since then he has been a sought after sportscar and touring car pilot. Today, besides many racing activities, Mayländer drives the FIA Safety Car at all Grand Prix meetings. And for Bahrain, he enters the Porsche Cockpit again. So watch out for our 3rd VIP-car with starting number 33!
Report from 29/03/2005
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