Carrera Cup GB: 2018 Season Preview
The Carrera Cup GB enters its 16th season this weekend, and it is set to deliver a classic battle between rookie newcomers and seasoned drivers. Acting as somewhat of a leveller across the field will be the introduction of the new second-generation 991 GT3 Cup car. The latest model’s 4.0-litre flat-six engine produces 485hp – an increase of 25hp over the first generation car – it also offers enhancements to aerodynamics and safety.
A grid of more than 20 drivers will race with the new generation 911s under a refreshed format across 16 rounds during eight race weekends, including one meeting in support of the European Le Mans series at historic Monza. Race format changes for 2018 will include the adoption of reverse grids for Pro drivers in race two, the abolition of rolling starts, and a new championship points structure.
In the Pro category GT Porsche contributor, Dino Zamparelli, is a title favourite. Now driving with the Redline Racing squad, the 2017 championship runner-up will face strong opposition from a former team mate, 2017 Rookie champion Tio Ellinas – he moves to Slidesports for this season. Nick Tandy’s JTR team are also very much expected to be in the hunt with drivers Lewis Plato and Tom Wrigley – both proved their speed in 2017.
New to the series is 17-year-old Dan Harper from Belfast, the Porsche GB 2018 / 2019 Junior joins the Carrera Cup GB with JTR from the Ginetta Junior championship. George Gamble, also migrating from Ginettas, will drive with Team Parker Racing. Esmee Hawkey, a Porsche GB Junior Shootout finalist, will compete with the returning GT Marques team – 20-year-old Esmee is another exciting Rookie for 2018.
In the Pro-Am category – formerly called Pro-Am1 – Team Parker Racing’s Justin Sherwood will be looking to continue his momentum from 2017. Jamie Orton previously undertook a partial season in the Pro category, and for 2018 returns to complete a full season in the Pro-Am category as the fourth entrant for JTR. The Am category, renamed for 2018 from Pro-Am2, comes an equal split of returning and new names. Also returning is Motorbase, best known for its role over recent years in the BTCC, Motorbase took 26 outright wins over its time in Carrera Cup GB – the third highest of any team – and last ran with the championship in 2012.
Rounds one and two will take place on Sunday with live coverage of round two on ITV4.