Published in the October 2022 issue of “Die Porsche Kassette”
For more information on Porsche racing and more, please visit my website: www PedrosGarage.com.
Ⓒ2022 Technolab / PedrosGarage.com
Images courtesy of Porsche Motorsposts North America, Inc.
One of my favorite American racecar drivers became one of us this past weekend.
Four-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion, Jeff Gordon became a PCA Member!
How did that come to be, you may ask, because in order to be a member you need a Porsche VIN. So, did he buy a Porsche?
If so, which one? A 911, Cayman, Boxster, Panamera, Taycan, Macan or Cayenne?
Well, he bought a 911, but not just any 911.
It all happened haphazardly and here's the back story …
New PCA Member, Jeff Gordon, seated next to long-time PCA Member and Club Racer Leh Keen with the PCA Staff behind them at the PCA Tent signing autographs and interacting with Club Members.
Earlier this year, in his capacity as Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports and while overseeing the Hendrick Performance Track Attack, at The Thermal Club in Southern California, Jeff Gordon got a chance to drive a Porsche Cup Car that Don Cusick (Cusick Motorsports) had just purchased.
He enjoyed himself so much that he decided to buy one.
What he didn't know at the time was that in order to purchase a Porsche Cup Car you must agree to race it.
That's when everything was set into motion.
Jeff called his old friend and crew chief Ray Everham who immediately agreed to join him for a weekend in the second-year series where neither one of them had any experience: The Porsche Carrera Cup. Jeff also got to run with his iconic number 24 on the side of his Porsche and they picked the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for this one-race comeback!
During the second Friday practice, as Jeff continued to learn the road course and the racecar he was 23rd overall and 14th in class (Pro).
He had only had one day of in-car testing at Carolina Motorsport Park and a lot of iRacing (race simulation) as preparation for the weekend.
On Saturday he placed 15th and on Sunday he improved to 11th.
After the race, during the interviews Jeff said:
“All week I've been happy I am here, having a great time with Ray and the whole team. I must say that yesterday, I was getting beat out there, and I don't like that, If I am going to be in an environment like this, I want to be competitive. But today turned the corner for me. So, I hope I get to do another one, one day”.
The IMSA-sanctioned Porsche Carrera Cup is one of the most important one-make racing series today. This is so, because the emphasis is placed solely on the driver's skill since every car competing is identical to the next. Same make, model and year, all equally prepared by the factory, all Spec 911 GT3 Cup Cars.
Driver talent and team strategy is what will claim podiums.
The Series is run in 3 classes: Pro, Pro-Am and Am.
The series is in its second year (2022) and has a fantastic schedule which includes many of North America's iconic tracks:
Round 1: Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, FL.
Round 2: Grand Prix of Long Beach, Long Beach CA.
Round 3: Weathertech Raceway, Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA
Round 4: Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY
Round 5: Streets of Toronto, Toronto, ON Canada
Round 6: Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI
Round 7: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN
Round 8: Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA
This year's schedule is almost over, but if you get a chance, try to catch one or more races next year. The 2023 race calendar will be out soon.