On your marques

Is a pre ’66 Porsche series a step in the right direction?

One-make racing is largely a feature of modern motor sport, with hordes of identical cars providing close, action-packed competition on what is generally a level playing field.

The concept is much rarer in historic racing, which has always thrived on the diversity of cars involved in each race. So the news of a one-make series dedicated to pre ’66 Porsche 911s has generated a lot of discussion. Launched by Peter Auto, the 2.0L Cup will start with three races in 2018, at Spa, Dijon and Paul Ricard.

Those behind the series are targeting 40-strong grids – bold, given that there were only a handful of cars being raced regularly towards the end of last season. If it can be made to work, it will certainly be a fine spectacle, with the added bonus of some notable Porsche racers on the grid.

But will it take off? In truth, the jury is out and only when the first grid lines up at Spa in late May will we know the answer.

The only guide to date was the one-off John Aldington Trophy race at Goodwood in March 2015, when a grid of 22 cars was assembled. Elsewhere, the Jaguar E-type had its own race series to mark its half-century in 2011 and Ford GT40s and pre ’66 Minis have enjoyed dedicated grids at Goodwood.

However, converting a Goodwood grid into a viable race series is no easy task. On the back of a successful grid at Goodwood, Masters Historic Racing launched a Mini-only series but it quickly faltered through lack of support.

There is no doubt that a pre ’66 2-litre Porsche 911 is a desirable car and values have gone through the roof in recent years. Are there enough potential racers to fill a 40-car grid? That remains to be seen, but if the 2.0L Cup hits those numbers it will be a massive success.