L. Gautier takes stock

Interview, April 23, 2020

The 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup France is shaping up to be the toughest of the last few seasons. Like so many others, the PCCF is waiting for the green light to kick off. Laurie Gautier, head of the Porsche Carrera Cup France, gave this interview to “Endurance-Info.”

Will the format of the Cup races remain the same this 2020 season?

The format of the races is unchanged this year, but the new feature will be the format of qualifying. We’re going from two 20-minute sessions to one 30-minute session. The best time will define the grid position for Race 1 and the second best time will define the starting position for Race 2.

The aim is twofold, first to improve the performance of the drivers and relieve tyre wear, second to lighten teams’ workload which can be demanding on schedules. Our rounds will therefore consist of two 40-minute free practice sessions, one 30-minute qualifying session and two 30-minute races. The exception will be for the opening race of the 24 Hours of Le Mans which will be a 45-minute race!”

Spa and Barcelona are scheduled for two days. Is track time planned for Thursday or Friday?

“For Spa, we should be able to keep the same format as planned, meaning track time on Thursday, Friday, Saturday. As for Barcelona, we are waiting on information from the organiser.”

How will the 2020 calendar be affected by other championships in relation to the pandemic?

Given this unprecedented crisis and the multiple date changes, we are trying to maintain these dates relative to the various other championships like the WEC, ELMS, FFSA GT and DTM. In addition to the multiple changes, there is also the fact the Porsche Carrera Cup France cannot clash with the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup because several teams are doing both. As a result, we are waiting for the F1 calendar, particularly the European Grand Prix, to finalise our calendar. Our objective is to maintain a qualitative season for our customers. We are aware that we will have to adapt the championship to ensure their financial security and in consideration of 2021.

Will the new Cup car still arrive in 2021?

“Porsche Motorsport engineers are working on the 992 GT3 Cup car and Porsche Motorsport will announce its calendar in the coming months.”

France is fortunate to have several French drivers serving as official Porsche drivers. The Cup France is a real talent-spotter. Why do you think that is?

“For the past few years, the Porsche Carrera Cup France has been at a very high level, one of the highest levels of Porsche Carrera Cup in general, for both young professionals and gentlemen drivers. One of the strong points of the championship is the calendar. We have the opportunity to race at the top F1-type European circuits. This is a considerable advantage for our young drivers and a pleasure for our gentlemen. We have some truly beautiful circuits in France, certainly, but we also must listen to our customers. This is why we are committed to a balanced calendar between France and Europe.

This leads to the second strong point, as I said earlier, we are not in conflict with the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup because the objective is to allow young talents to take part in the Supercup and to reach the highest levels of the Porsche industry concerning one-make series. Mathieu Jaminet, Julien Andlauer and Ayhancan Güven have all followed the same itinerary.

In other words, a first year of apprenticeship in Cup France, a second year with the double program to compete against the strongest competition, but with the advantage of knowing the PMSC circuits.

That’s without counting on talent scouts, we are lucky to have Patrick Pilet with us. He plays an essential role in discovering talented individuals for the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme. He accompanies and coaches all the young pros throughout the season. And team managers closely follow the young drivers from their beginnings to recognise their potential, help them evolve in the Carrera Cup and hopefully move on to the rank of official driver.

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