Why this new one-make historic racing series is a welcome addition to the historic racing calendar
This year sees the introduction of a new historic one-make race series: the 2.0L Cup for pre-66 Porsche 911s, created by Brits Lee Maxted-Page and James Turner in association with leading historic organiser, Patrick Peter.
Though well established in modern racing, one-make series are few and far between in historics. Perhaps the best known is the HRDC’s Austin A30/35 series. With an Academy series aimed at rookies or the appealing mix of pros and celebrities that have starred at both the Goodwood Revival and Silverstone Classic meetings in recent years, it’s proving extremely popular with competitors and fans alike.
Though there’s no official involvement from the Porsche factory, the new 2.0L Cup is more akin to the Stuttgart marque’s modern Supercup and Carrera Cup championships, albeit one dedicated to the earliest short-wheelbase versions of Porsche’s rear-engined legend.
Of course the Porsche 911 is no stranger to racing. Indeed it can legitimately stake claim to being the most prolific competition car of all-time, with outright wins at the in events as diverse as the Monte Carlo Rally, Paris-Dakar and Targa Florio, plus countless class wins in endurance racing and thousands of victories accrued in more than three decades of Supercup racing.
In more than half a century of continuous competition it’s no wonder the 911 can also boast the wildest and most extraordinary evolution, as Porsche’s motor sport department sought to adapt the 911 to motor racing’s ever-changing rules and regulations. From the 911R of the mid-60s, through the 935s of the ‘70s, the 959/961 of the ‘80s and the fearsome 993 GT2s and 996 GT1s of the ‘90s and early 2000s, the 911 has been through many guises, but remained at the forefront.
Compared to those remarkable monsters the circa-200bhp stars of the 2.0L Cup are considerably more modest, yet for many they are also the purest and most appealing 911s of all. They’re certainly the most vivid exponents of that rearward weight bias. And with clear championship regulations and strict scrutineering there should be little to choose between them, save the drivers, which is at it should be.
For all these reasons the 2.0L Cup is an interesting development for a branch of racing more commonly known for its broad mix of machinery. One that seems perfectly pitched to the growing number of enthusiasts who have abandoned modern racing for the fun and challenge of historics, as well as those already converted to the glory of competing in classics.
The timing certainly couldn’t be better, as Porsche celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. With plenty of eligible 901s and 911s already out there racing in series such as Peter Auto’s Sixties’ Endurance, and more cars built specifically to enter the 2.0L Cup, the grids should be full and the racing ultra-competitive.
Four rounds have been announced for the 2.0L Cup in 2018, the first of which is at Peter Auto’s Spa Classic meeting on May 18-20. I’ll be there racing a number of cars, including the 2.0L Cup. It’ll be my first time in an early 911. I can’t wait.
For a glimpse of classic 911s going at it hammer and tongs have a look back at the John Aldington Trophy from Goodwood’s 73MM