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Old March 22nd, 2008, 09:14 AM   #1
dedes
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, Emerald Hills, Ca
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Arrow "Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday"

Rich men's sport
WIWAT CHANG

Friday March 21, 2008
Motoring >> MOTOR SPORT


No other one-make road car-based racing series in Asian is as fast or as competitive as this.

In 56 years since a 356 won its class on the brand's race debut in Austria, over an astonishing 28,000 outright and class victories have been claimed by the Weissach

It should be safe to say that no other car makers in existence today win as many races using race cars based on production road cars.

Even though Porsche has shied away from globally the most watched motorsport, Formula 1, for several years, the brand has always been very active in many club, national and international circuit racing series around the world.

The idea of "Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday" definitely holds true today. But for a car maker to succeed in retaining their existing customers, a different approach is needed.

For a marque, there probably isn't a better marketing activity to do than have their buyers race against one another - a gentleman's race, so to speak.


The 420hp Porsche GT3 Cup.

Porsche first started one-make racing in 1986 with the 944 Turbo Cup which eventually progressed to be based on the iconic 911 with the Carrera Cup Germany in 1990.

The combination of pace and competitiveness has led to inclusion of professional drivers to make the races more exciting, while at the same time giving amateur racers the chance to gauge their skills.

One-make racing cannot succeed if the cars are not fast and exciting enough for the fans and non-fans or the cars are not equal.

The Carrera Cup, however, has always been the fastest one-make series in most countries they're held, and if the regulations didn't make the cars pretty much equal, it would have lost interests from racers and spectators alike.

But 28 years on and the Cup has expanded to cover four continents and regions; Germany, France, Japan, the UK, Australia, Italy, Scandinavia and Asia.

Many of these races are also the "warm-up bands" or support races at F1 events.

The 2008 Asian version of the Carrera Cup is now in its sixth year with 11 rounds held at six circuits around Asia - most interesting one is the Singapore round where it will be a support race to the Singaporean Grand Prix later this year.

There's a reasonable field of 18 entries this year from eight countries: Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. 10 of these are professionals including the youngest driver age 24 - the remaining eight are amateurs with the oldest driver being 59.

A unique difference that set the Asian version apart from the rest of the Carrera Cup is that all entries are available as arrive and drive packages.

This means a team or individual simply and flies to the races with just his or her gears while all preparations, maintenance and logistics are handled by the organizers. A GT3 Cup car and two years' running costs amount to around 20m.

It's somewhat sad that this is the first year no Thai driver has confirmed an entry, although a one-off guest drive is possible for Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak at the Singapore round.

It may also possible to rent a drive provided you have some race experience, deep enough pocket and that a car is available for your race of choice.

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2008 Porsche Cup Asia

Date Circuit, Country Event Round

March 21-23 Sepang, Malaysia F1 support race 1&2

April 18-20 Shanghai, China China Formula Open 3&4

June 20-22 Zhuhai, China Pan Delta Super

Racing Festival 5&6

July 18-20 Sentul, Indonesia Asian Festival of Speed 7&8

September 26-28 Singapore F1 support race9

October 17-19 Shanghai, China F1 support race10

November 13-16 Macau, China Macau Grand Prix11
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