Posted by: porschebahn | December 17, 2010

Gianluca Roda first Italian to win the Porsche Cup

Gianluca Roda is the first Italian to win the Porsche Cup, which has been awarded by Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, since 1970. As the brainchild of Ferry Porsche, the company honours the best private Porsche race driver each year with this trophy. The businessman from Como yielded many successes with the Porsche race car fielded by the Autorlando Sport team based in Pedrengo near Bergamo in northern Italy. With five victories and a total of eight podium results from 14 races, Roda secured the GT3 title of the Italian Gran Turismo championship. In his bid for the title, the 51-year-old could rely on support from Porsche: Works driver Richard Lietz (Austria) shared driving duties with Roda at eight races in the cockpit of the 911 GT3 R. His factory pilot colleagues Patrick Pilet (France) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) supported Roda at two rounds, with Raffaele Giammaria (Italy) providing reinforcement at another two races.

With Richard Lietz (Austria), Roda contested the International GT Open in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. After 16 races in six European countries, the pair concluded the season with vice championship honours in the top “Super GT” category by a very narrow margin.

Four wins from four guest appearances in the Spanish GT Championship were also part of the amiable Italian’s impressive track record. In Estoril and Jerez, Roda shared the cockpit of the Autorlando Porsche with his compatriot Raffaele Giammaria. With fourth place in the GT class at the season final of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in Zhuhai, China, Roda earned extra points in the fight for the Porsche Cup at the wheel of a Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Taking home the Porsche Cup, Gianluca Roda joins the ranks of many top race drivers to have received the coveted trophy, including Bob Wollek, Bernd Schneider, Jochen Mass as well as current Porsche works pilots Wolf Henzler and Marc Lieb. Raymond Narac from France ranks second in the 2010 Porsche Cup. As owner of the well-established IMSA Performance Matmut squad, the 43-year-old businessman was a regular driver in his own racing Porsche and enjoyed great success. He kicked off the season with overall victory at the Dubai 24 hour race, and followed up with second overall at the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium. Until the season finale of the International GT Open, Narac – supported by Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet – was tied for points with Gianluca Roda in second place, to finish the year a close fourth.

After an extremely successful season in the American Le Mans Series, Klaus Graf (Germany) takes home a well deserved third place in the Porsche Cup. The 41-year-old professional racer notched up a class victory at the wheel of the Porsche RS Spyder fielded by Muscle Milk Team Cytosport at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring. Over the course of the season, he yielded two overall victories from Lime Rock and Mosport. After the ninth and final round, Graf earned himself the vice-championship title in Class Two for Le Mans prototypes.

Gianluca Roda is awarded the Porsche Cup on 11 December at the “Night of Champions” in the Research and Development Centre, Weissach. In addition to the valuable challenge cup, the best Porsche private driver of the year takes home a Porsche 911 GT3. The 2010 Porsche Cup carries a total value of over 250,000 Euro, with positions two to ten receiving prize money. Drivers earned points towards this year’s traditional competition in 19 Grand Touring and prototype race series worldwide as well as at selected long distance races.

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