DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Laurance Yap’s introduction to Porsche came in 2008 in Siberia. Working as a freelance journalist at the time, Yap was sent to cover the Rallye TransSyberia that runs from Russia to Mongolia.
The current Director of Marketing for Porsche Cars Canada co-drove the 14-day off-road rally with Kees Neirop, who drove for the factory at Le Mans in 1986. The fellow Canadians enjoyed their two-week experience so much that Yap says he would do it again in a heartbeat despite a crash that ended their adventure.
“I came to know Porsche during my days as an automotive freelance writer, so I spent 10 years writing about the industry, test driving cars and reviewing them,” Yap explained. “I drove a few Porsches and fell in love with them.”
Yap’s love story has grown over the years, and now includes the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series, which is supported by Porsche Cars Canada. Yap was heavily involved in the decision made in January of 2011 to start a racing series. With only two months until the start of the season in March, Porsche Cars Canada and IMSA worked together to quickly and efficiently build the development series.
“We have had terrific support from Porsche Motorsport North America and IMSA since the beginning,” Yap said. “Back when we started, the tech trailer came out to all the weekends. We had a pace car and everything was done properly and with the same level of professionalism as the U.S. series even though we were much smaller at the time.”
What started off as seven or eight cars on race weekend has expanded to as many as 20 entries in the 2013 season.
Yap is elated with the success of the series after three seasons and hopes it will have a permanent place on the racing landscape in Canada. Comprised of young drivers aspiring to make it in the professional ranks combined with veteran drivers, the series blends to form a perfect mix with the iconic Porsche 911 as the series’ soul.
“The Porsche motorsports program is really special because of the amount of technical and part support you get every weekend,” Yap said. “Not only are the cars great and very reliable robust race cars, but if you do have an issue there is someone to support you.”
What entices many to the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series are multiple comparisons between the Porsche GT3 Cup race car and road car. The street car shares many similar parts with the race car, and all vehicles are thoughtfully constructed and developed for the optimum driving experience.
For 2014 the series introduces the brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car. A healthy number of next-generation 911 GT3 Cup car orders have already been placed for next season, speaking volumes to the level of commitment teams have to the series.