The Porsche BWT GT3CCME is longest running and most professional championship in the region and is based on the highly successful Porsche formula for one-make racing. It was created to give the region’s home-grown driving talent an opportunity to realise their racing potential and is credited with establishing the most exciting and successful series on the regional motor racing calendar. And now, it’s back for Season 10.
Launched in 2009 by Lechner Racing on behalf of Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, the competition was the first and remains the only regional championship backed by a manufacturer in the Middle East. It gives official drivers access to the latest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car, the same model used for international motorsport editions, such as the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, the official F1 support race.
The series, managed by motorsport legend Walter Lecher, will celebrate an historic 10th season with the introduction of a title sponsor for the first time, thanks to a new partnership with BWT (Best Water Technology), a global leader in the manufacturing of water treatment systems.
The new look for Season 10 includes an exciting new format and new schedule including sixteen rounds across six weekends. A diverse grid of international champions, alongside veterans and new, home-grown future stars lined-up at the first race weekend in Dubai Autodrome on 16th November 2018.
The longest running and only regional motorsport series, with races in more than one country, is back for a milestone season. The Porsche BWT GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East (GT3CCME), managed by Lechner Racing on behalf of Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE since its inception in December 2009, has unveiled an action-packed 2018/19 calendar.
The anniversary season sees several changes to its format, while continuing to hold its exhilarating championship finale as the official support race of the 2019 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Such is the global reputation and growing appeal of the highly successful one-make series, the landmark tenth anniversary highlights its accomplishment of developing emerging, regional talent. Continuing this legacy, organisers Lechner Racing have reformatted the championship to add more action-packed racing into the rounds than ever before.
The new season of the longest-running, regional motorsport series consists of sixteen races over six weekends. Instead of just two, Rounds 1, 2, 3 and 5 will now feature three action-packed races. The additions aim to test driver focus and endurance, while also making the -fight for the title more difficult, with added points on offer to disrupt the championship table significantly.
The Car Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the most-produced GT racing car now houses a 4-litre, six-cylinder flat engine for even more drive. Thanks to thoroughbred motorsport technology, the compact engine with direct fuel injection delivers peak performance of 357 kW (485 hp).
A range of innovative details also improve efficiency in addition to engine performance, ensuring even better durability of the naturally aspirated engine in racing mode and reduced maintenance costs.
A valve drive with rigidly mounted rocker arms and a central oil feed is being used for the very first time. What’s more, an integrated oil centrifuge is used to optimise oil defoaming in the engine. A crankshaft with significantly increased rigidity has also been installed.
A new front apron and a new rear end improve the downforce of the new 911 GT3 Cup Car and therefore enhance traction and performance. The prominent 184-centimetre wide rear wing has been retained from the predecessor model.
The wheel dimensions are also unchanged: One-piece 18-inch racing rims with a central locking mechanism are used – with 270-millimetre Michelin racing slicks on the front axle, and a massive 310-millimetre tread on the rear axle. The intelligent aluminium-steel composite construction ensures maximum rigidity and a lightweight body. The new 911 GT3 Cup Car is ready to race weighing in at just 1200 kilograms.
The engineers have once again focused speci¬fically on driver safety during development. The driver is protected by a solid safety cage and an innovative, bucket-style racing seat that is moulded particularly heavily around the head and shoulder area. The enlarged rescue hatch in the roof, in line with the latest FIA standard, makes it easier to provide initial treatment and recovery following an accident.
Porsche manufactures the 911 GT3 Cup Car on the same production line as the 911 road car in its main plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. The basic race tuning is performed at the Weissach motorsport centre, where vehicles are also thoroughly tested by a professional race driver prior to delivery to the customer. Some 3031 units of the 911 GT3 Cup Car have been built in the 996, 997 and 991 model lines since 1998. This makes the brand cup racing car from Stuttgart the most-produced and most-sold GT racing car in the world.
Our Zeina Mokaddam attended the launch of the new season as guests of Porsche Middle East
Race Structure Testing is restricted to officially organised test days. All participants must have quali¬fied during the official timed practice. There will be two practice and two qualifying sessions during the race weekend, each 30 minutes long.
Scoring All results of the individual rounds are combined for the ranking at the end of the season.
Drivers are awarded points according to the following scale:
1st = 25 points
2nd = 23 points
3rd = 21 points
4th = 19 points
5th = 17 points
6th = 15 points
7th = 14 points
8th = 13 points
9th = 12 points
10th = 11 points
11th = 10 points
12th = 9 points
13th = 8 points
14th = 7 points
15th = 6 points
16th = 5 points
17th = 4 points
18th = 3 points
19th = 2 points
20th = 1 point
Keep up to date throughout the season here.