Porsche Sportscar Together Fest Uniting Racing Pyramid – Sportscar365

Photo: Porsche

This weekend marks the first Porsche Sportscar Together Fest at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a one-of-a-kind celebration of Porsche, motorsports and motor culture with a full program of single-make and club Porsche races as well as multiple entertainment and hospitality options spread across the three-day event.

Brian Blocker, director of the Cayman Islands’ Porsche Carrera Cup North America series, said it has been an event for two years and it’s no surprise that it coincides with the launch from the own Carrera Cup series in North America.

“Everything with Porsche always starts on the race track,” Blocker told Sportscar365.

“When we started looking a few years ago to revamp our motorsport pyramid and launch new single-brand Porsche platforms, we started to pitch the idea of ​​creating a celebration to bring all these different parts of the world together. pyramid.

“We have the Porsche Club of America, which is the world’s largest one-manufacturer club, in our foundation.

“We have the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America in Yokohama, and new this year, we have the Porsche Carrera Cup North America.

“The idea was to bring all of these platforms together with our Clubsport offerings and other cool cars that have appeared in the world of specially designed racing cars and give drivers and fans a chance to come together.

“Fortunately, we have incredible support from Porsche Cars North America, who really did the heavy lifting. “

Blocker said Indianapolis quickly became the venue due to the circuit’s history, support from its staff and central location in the United States and added that Porsche’s business relationship with the owner from IMS, Roger Penske, were a “nice bonus”.

With a large selection of cars that will be on hand for the event, which is open to the public, Blocker is optimistic that it will create a unique festival atmosphere.

“I think the atmosphere is going to have a great energy,” Blocker said. “General admission will be allowed to get closer to teams and drivers in the paddock. All the garages will be open and people will circulate.

“Porsche Cars North America has a lot of other good things planned in terms of autocross and off-road driving sessions, there are yoga sessions in the morning, there will be live music throughout the day while the track is cold, lots of hospitality options, an entertainment area… so lots of activities for the kids, photo ops with a Cayman Islands themed Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport.

“There is sure to be a lot going on and we are anticipating good energy. “

While there are currently no firm plans to make it an annual event, Blocker has indicated that the possibility exists pending a successful first edition this weekend.

“We don’t know yet, this is the first of its kind that we’ve done here in North America,” he said. “There have been Porsche Sport Cups in other markets, but I think the brand as a whole is looking to see how that comes together.

“There have been over 40 cars in some of the Sprint Challenge races, 35 or more in some of the Carrera Cup races this year, and of course the Porsche Club of America can always bring as many cars as possible to the track. .

“When you have those kinds of people running, it makes sense to put these series together and let all the Porsche platforms see what the others are doing.”

USAC brings IMS expertise to the festival

The USAC-sanctioned Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama will make the first of two trips to IMS on its 2021 schedule during the festival with a round-trip scheduled in conjunction with the 8 Hours of Indianapolis in October.

The new series, which USAC President and CEO Kevin Miller has exceeded expectations and is poised for further expansion in 2022, is only a small part of the organization’s role. sanction for the event.

“We have had a close relationship with Indianapolis Motor Speedway for many years, and what people probably don’t realize is that every time there is an event on the road, the USAC is generally involved, ”Miller told Sportscar365.

“This includes NASCAR, the [IndyCar] Grand Prix weekend, and that’s because the Speedway was built around an event, and other events developed there, including Formula 1 racing, for which the USAC was the host sanctioning body in the United States.

“We have a flag marshal program at IMS, so we have staff in place for over 50 days this year at IMS for events on the road course. Apart from that with our relationship and our closeness across the street, when Porsche realized they were having a big-scale event, they called on us.

“We know the registration process and the waiver process which is very different at IMS than in most channels.

“Porsche has relied on our expertise, our backend systems, which we have used to extend beyond the Porsche Sprint Challenge to incorporate Carrera Cup and PCA. We facilitate the one-stop competitor for this event.

While the USAC is best known for sanctioning miniature races, sprint cars and Silver Crown short oval races, Miller stressed that the organization has a broader reach than many realize, including sanctioning rallies and snowmobile races in addition to organizing hundreds of events across the country each year.

“We are continuously running events, over 400 a year, that have similar processes,” he said. “People have to register, they have to sign a waiver, they have to buy tickets and other items for this activity.

“Whether it’s sanctioning part of the competition during the race or hosting an event and all the ancillary entertainment that comes with an event like this, we have a wide variety of things we do.

“This is what we do on a daily basis, this is just a new approach for us with our relationship with Porsche.”

The Porsche Sprint Challenge increased the visibility of the USAC in road races

Despite an important history in road racing, notably as a sanctioning body first for the Pirelli World Challenge and now for SRO America, Miller said USAC’s involvement in the Porsche Sprint Challenge has made it the Indianapolis-based group more visible in road racing circles.

“What the Porsche series has done for us is that the USAC name is a little stronger in road races where people are now more aware of our role.

“We go beyond just managing the back-end for someone. With the Porsche series, we have the real racing control, the safety, the technological elements, the hospitality elements for which we are 100% responsible.

“What we have been able to do is show that the USAC can play a major role in road racing, just as it did from 1958 to 1962 when it hosted the national road racing championship. of the USAC.

“I think we’ve raised awareness of some of the expertise that USAC can bring to road racing and I think you’re going to see some of that in some upcoming announcements in the next 60 days and next year. “

Ryan myrehn

Ryan myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and journalist. In addition to his work primarily covering national sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is the main television coverage announcer for SRO America as well as a booth reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365’s “Double Stint” podcast.

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