Porsche 911 996 Carrera Cup Racing Series and Champions
996 Carrera Cup Champions & Results
Two weeks after the 996 Carrera, the 996 GT3 Cup car was introduced for the next year’s Porsche Supercup series. Interestingly, the engine in the 996 GT3 didn’t share anything with the 996 Carrera engine, but was more of a water-cooled version of the 993 engine. While all the 993 Cup cars had 3.8-litre engines, the 996 Cup car had a 3.6-litre powerplant. The power was up from 993’s 228 kW to 265 kW. The GT3 naming was new and showed that the car was placed below the GT2 cars. There was no GT3 class in FIA races like there had been classes for GT1 and GT2.
While the Carrera Cup Germany and the Carrera Cup France racing series were still held with the 993 Cup cars in 1998, the Porsche Supercup was ran with the new 996 GT3 Cup cars. The Supercup races were held on 9 F1 weekends (out of 16 F1 weekends). The 1998 Supercup series was dominated by Manthey Racing. Patrick Huisman won 6 races. Second in the season was Oliver Mathai (also Manthey Racing). Mathai had lost the Supercup title a year before to Huisman although he had the same amount of points (but lost with the number of race victories). Third place in the 1998 Supercup went to Altfrid Heger (1993 Supercup winner).
The 1999 Porsche Supercup was again won by Patrick Huisman in front of Oliver Mathai. In 1999, the Carrera Cup races were also contested with the 996 GT3 cars like in the Supercup already a year earlier. The 1999 Carrera Cup Germany title went to Lucas Luhr and 1999 Carrera Cup France victory to Dominique Dupuy. The reason the cars were named as GT3 is a bit strange. Either the cars should have been called as 996 Carrera Cup or the series as Porsche GT3 Cup.
The 2000 Porsche Supercup was won – for the 4th time in a row – by Patrick Huisman! The 2000 Carrera Cup Germany victory went to Jörg Bergmeister and 2000 Carrera Cup France victory to Christophe Bouchut.
The 2001 Porsche Supercup was won by Jörg Bergmeister. He also participated in the Carrera Cup Germany where scored second after Timo Bernhard. The 2001 Carrera Cup France was won by Philippe Gache. 2001 was the first year when Carrera Cup Japan was held – and won by Yasuo Miyakawa.
To improve spectator attention on the Supercup races, a VIP car was made, driven by different person (local motorsport related VIPs) at every race. The 2002 Supercup was won by Stéphane Ortelli, Carrera Cup Germany by Marc Lieb, Carrera Cup France by Sébastien Dumez and Carrera Cup Japan by Takashi Inoue. In 2003 the Carrera Cup series expanded like never before. In addition to the established championships (Germany, France and Japan), Carrera Cup Asia, Australia and Great Britain were launched. Now, together with the Supercup, 7 Porsche one-make series were run.
The 2003 Supercup and Carrera Cup Germany were won by Frank Stippler, the Carrera Cup France again by Sébastien Dumez, the Carrera Cup Japan by Masayuki Yamamoto, the Carrera Cup Asia by Charles Kwan, CC Australia by Jim Richards and CC GB by Barry Horne.
The modifications for the 2004 Cup car included the roll cage and integration of the Head and Neck Support System (HANS), which helps prevent head and neck injuries. With this, the GT3 Cup met the new FIA safety requirements. New for 2004 was an intake air shrouding on the engine, which prevented some of the hot air from around the engine from entering the air filter. The rear rear lid, rear bumper and doors were made of CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastic). Because of the 25 litres larger fuel tank (now 89 L) car weight with fuel was 1160 kg/2557 lb. With the exception of the roll cage, older car could be modified to 2004 spec. The price of the GT3 Cup car was similar to the GT3 street car.
For the 2004 season, a new car was created by Porsche Motorsport, the 911 GT3 RSR. First cars were delivered already in December 2003. The RSR replaced the GT3 RS racing car. Engine was still the normally aspirated 3.6-litre heavy duty unit. New pistons, rods and valve gear resulted in a moderate power increase to 327 kW @ 8250 rpm. This much of power from a 3.6-litre engine without turbocharging is really an engineering feat. The engine screams up to 8500 rpm. A characteristic feature of the RSR is its air inlet which generates ram pressure. For the first time, a sequential gearbox is installed. The 6-speed gearbox with ignition cut ensures quick gearshifts at full throttle and offers protection against mistakes in gearchange. Carbon Kevlar components include front spoiler, front lid, front fenders, doors, rear fender extensions, rear lid and spoiler. The RSR weighs 1100 kg/2425 lb in FIA spec and 1115 kg/2458 lb in ACO spec (Le Mans 24h/LMS/ALMS).
The 2004 Supercup was won by Wolf Henzler (runner-up from last year), the Carrera Cup Germany by Mike Rockenfeller, CC France by James Ruffier, CC Japan by Masayuki Yamamoto (again), CC Asia by Matthew Marsh, CC Australia by Alex Davison and CC GB by Richard Westbrook. In 2004 Carrera Cup Scandinavia was started (a Swedish series with a few Finnish drivers) and was won by Robin Rudholm.
In 2005 the Porsche Supercup was already ran with 997 Cup cars, but Carrera Cups were still ran with 996. The 2005 season saw the following winners: Carrera Cup Germany by Christian Menzel (runner-up from 2004 Supercup), CC France by Anthony Beltoise (runner-up from 2004), CC Japan by Isao Ihashi, CC Asia by Jonathan Cocker, Australian CC by Fabian Coulthard, CC GB by Damien Faulkner and CC Scandinavia by Fredrik Ros (last year’s runner-up).