SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Porsche Motorsport North America is partnering with Yokohama Tire Corp. and the United States Auto Club (USAC) to establish a new racing series for Porsche 991 GT3 Cup and 718 Cayman Clubsport GT4 racers.
The new series, dubbed the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama, will comprise nine race weekends in 2021, starting March 5-7 at Sonoma Raceway near San Francisco.
The series' competitors will use Yokohama Advan A005 or A006 race slicks as the spec tire, Yokohama said.
Disclosure of the new series comes a few weeks after Porsche Motorsport and the International Motorsport Association announced the formation of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America, with Michelin North America designated the spec tire supplier.
The Porsche Carrera Cup effectively replaces the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge — supported by Yokohama for the past 12 years — in the IMSA calendar. At that time Porsche addressed the issue, stating: "Yokohama will continue to have a place in the Porsche one-make structure in North America."
USAC calls the Porsche Sprint Challenge by Yokohama a stepping stone on the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid North America between the clubsport/club-racing entry stage and the Carrera Cup North America.
The series will comprise three classes: Platinum for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (type 991.2) race cars, Gold for type 991.1-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars and the Silver Class for the mid-engine Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
"We're honored to be a part of the inaugural Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama," Andrew Briggs, vice president of marketing and product management.
"The USAC-sanctioned series perfectly fits our motorsports strategy and is another excellent opportunity to continue working with our longtime partner Porsche Motorsport North America. We're looking forward to spotlighting our Advan tires next season in this exciting new series."
Erik Skirmants, series manager, Porsche Motorsport North America, said the goal of the new series is to create a "clear first step up from club level racing while establishing a direct path to higher level motorsport.
"A key to this series' success is the choice to have Yokohama as our tire and series partner. We needed world class tires and technical support and Yokohama has always exceeded expectations as a partner."
The series will visit eight well-known race venues throughout the U.S. and Canada, running on most weekends as part of a larger racing event featuring multiple series, including the SRO World Challenge series that's also sanctioned by USAC.
The creation of the Porsche Sprint Challenge expands USAC's involvement in roadracing. The Speedway-based body is known primarily for its sanctioning of various circle-track series for sprint cars, midgets, etc.
Yokohama is also the sponsor and sole tire supplier for the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama and the 2020 Porsche Sprint Trophy USA West.