The Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, a two class challenge series for emerging talent and enthusiast racers. Platinum: the fastest class with the newest Porsche 911 Carrera GT3 Cup race cars. Gold: the 911s from the 2009 model year and older. And within these two classes, a master's championship battle ensues. That's for drivers aged 45 and older.
Tires are from Yokohama. Race cars are from Porsche. Setup is critical but talent and race craft are how you win. Every second counts. No mistake goes unpunished. Drivers aren't pros but this isn't amateur hour. All of Porsche's factory racers started in a series just like this. It's the largest single make series on the planet.
Rounds 13 and 14 are at the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. A magnificent 400 million USD facility, which as well as hosting the American Le Mans series this weekend, is also the FIA World Endurance Championship's new home in the USA.
For all of the drivers in this IMSA development series it's a perfect opportunity to showcase their skills to the top teams in the world of sports car racing. And as a bonus, it's the first time they have made it in front of the Porsche factory team with the Manthey 911s racing in the world championship here.
Facilities here are world class too. The Herbert Tilke designed track, like most Formula 1 circuits in the world now, makes it quite challenging for those who've not experienced this type of circuit before. It's a mixture of long straights, tight turns and aerodynamics and mechanical grip come to play here.
With the majority of the season well behind as only four rounds remain, team rivalries have been defined and relationships established. If the teams aren't a well oiled machine by this time of the season, they aren't a team of contention.