The need for speed and the racing drug

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I was given the chance to write an article for the local Finnish Porsche Club magazine about Team CoolCava Racing and my personal involvement in racing. Now that the article has been published, I figured I would share it here as well.

I am sitting in the airport in Oslo watching the screen with departing flights, a sea of cancelled and new departure times…. It is the end of March and during the night it started to snow, wonderful white snow which transformed Oslo into a fantasy picture ready for a princess story, and it continued to fall long into the afternoon. But all public transportation was stationary and flights were unpredictable, and this in a city that is used to snow? All I wanted was to get back home to my family in Espoo after a long week away, and the flight departure time was slowly moving further into the night…

Sitting at the airport watching the screen of effected flights and slowly coming to terms with the reality that I am here, I am committed and I have one single objective – get home to my family. I started to understand that only a small part of my preparations and actions can impact the end result, and all I can do is react to the events that unfold before me.

This is when I started to realise the connection between my current predicament and any of the PRCF SportsCup race weekends Team CoolCava Racing (www.coolcavaracing.eu) and I so desperately look forward to, a weekend when me and team CoolCava Racing get to play professionals and push our Porsche racing cars and our abilities to the limit (and sometimes past the point of no return!) on a racing circuit with a bunch of likeminded individuals.

People often ask me why I do car racing, and whilst it confuses them regularly I answer “I love and desire the unpredictability within a competitive and controlled environment”. It does not matter how much you test, prepare, investigate and plan, it will be unpredictable – no amount of planning will survive the actual race, this I can promise you! And this is why I love racing – you can control your own actions and reactions to events that unfold, but you cannot control or predict everything. The weather, the other drivers, the environment, it is all outside from your control, and the best you can do is decide at the split moment something happens how to react. And that is where I now sit, in Oslo with a flight that is getting delayed further and further into the night. I have no control of the situation, but full control of my actions and will need to face the outcome that follows – crash, win, survive, or in my current situation, get home to my lovely family.

I can not talk for all that enjoy racing, but I would not be surprised if the unpredictability is not a large part of the adrenalin infused desire they have to return to the battle ground again and again, no matter what.

WP_20150606_11_23_52_ProAs for me, I am an addict and can not consider a life without racing, and this all started – unknown to me at the time – a long time back, when I was a little kid wondering what life was all about at school. I did not at the time understand the impact on my life when my father picked me up from school one day in his new white Porsche 924, and how my life would be changed for ever. I was an impressionable kid struggling with early onset of puberty, and my father had gone and got one of the most sexy cars I lusted after  (ok I wanted a 944, but the 924 was close enough). From that day on my mind was set, I wanted a Porsche and I wanted to be a Porsche racing driver. Amazing how it can take a long time to get from dreams to reality, but here we are, and that brings me to my extended family, team CoolCava Racing and the company behind it.

Team CoolCava Racing was formed off the back of CoolCava Racing Motorsports Engineering a small company that has moved from England to Sweden and finally to Finland with me (Pål Krogdahl). The company has a focus on automotive electronics and data acquisition, but will gladly help any Porsche or racing enthusiast with problems or upgrades if asked. But the core of the company is based on my extensive background and qualifications in electronics and computer engineering.

As for the team, in current configuration, it consists of three drives and a dedicated mechanic. A family of like minded people who will stick together through thick and thin. We have had our good and bad times like all families, but we stand strong and keep going with a common goal – race Porsche cars and have fun.

For the 2015 season, the CoolCava Racing team as already mentioned consists of Drivers Pål Krogdahl, Timo Virkki and Jukka Fiskar. Standing strong behind the drivers and making sure the Porsche racing cars end every race is our mechanic Shardul Gawas. The team has been successful in this configuration for several seasons and apart from the sad departure of team driver Toni Niemelä, who moved to new ventures with another team, we keep fighting successfully for podium results.

Team CoolCava Racing

Pål Krogdahl – Team Principal and Driver

I am a husband, a father and a complete car freak! Ever since I could hold a screwdriver I have had a fascination for cars and motorsport. I have had a relationship with Porsche cars ever since my father purchased a white 924 when I was a little boy, and purchased my first Porsche, a red 944 when I was in my early 20. I started racing in 2012, and look forward to every season even more than the last. (http://paulkrogdahl.com)

Timo Virkki – Team Administrator and Driver

Timo lives in Tampere and has 4 years’ experience racing in the Porsche Sports Cup with several cars, including a Porsche 996 GT3 Cup car. At the end of the 2013 season, he decided to take some time out from racing and took the task of acting team administrator. For the 2015 season, Timo is back as a driver and will be racing again!

Jukka Fiskari – Team Driver

Jukka joined the Porsche Sports Cup at the start of the 2013 season where he entered in Team CoolCava Racing Timo Virkki’s old Porsche 996 racing car. From the start of the 2014 season Jukka became an official driver for Team CoolCava Racing.

Shardul Gawas – Chief Mechanic

I joined team CoolCava Racing for the 2013 season and I wish to be with the team for many seasons to come. I have joined the team as the team mechanic. Although I am new in Finland,  am not new to cars. I have been repairing cars since I finished school. I am a great car enthusiast and motorsport follower. I always wanted to be a part of motorsports and so I hope my arrival in CoolCava Racing will bring good technical help and many victories to the team.

My Sponsors for 2015

Whilst we are not a mainstream racing team, we do have a small list of sponsors that support either the full team or individual drivers. We would be lost without them, and as such we would like to thank them for the ongoing support.

Motorsport Auctions

Motorsportauctions.com has been established as an online Motorsport Specialist classified advert and auction site, with as many features as possible, yet quick and easy to learn and use. We are working hard toward the establishment of a truly Global Marketplace with several different selling methods, all with the aim of finding the right buyer for your items. We are a group of four founding members, each with different skill sets, and with a strong motorsport background. With International Rallying, long distance Marathon events, Formula 3000, Indy car and many Historic Touring car wins, also Group C and Formula 3000 team management amongst the list of our past achievements, we know motorsport and we understand many aspects of the industry. More about Motorsport Auctions can be found here – http://www.motorsportauctions.com

CoolCava Racing Motorsports Engineering

CoolCava Racing Motorsports Engineering is the main partner and owning company of Team CoolCava Racing. A specialised motorsports company based in Espoo focusing on automotive electronics and data acquisition. More about CCR Motorsports Engineering can be found here – http://www.coolcavaracing.fi and http://VboxMotorsport.fi/

Highgate House

We have several years experience in producing the highest quality automotive decals for both worldwide and the UK domestic markets. Our products are produced entirely in house from artwork through manufacture, and ultimately to worldwide despatch. We use only the highest quality materials, and products are checked frequently throughout the entire production process. More about Highgate House can be found here – http://www.highgatehouse.co.uk

Specialist Vehicle Preparations

Specialist Vehicle Preparations is the UK Midlands’ freshest Porsche specialist. Using all Porsche parts and main dealer technology, we can service all Porsche cars from the very first 356 model (we look after some of the earliest 356s in the UK) right up to latest current models, including Porsche Cayenne, Porsche Boxster, all Cayman models and of course the iconic 911, including GT2, GT3 and Turbo. Check our pages for special prices on Porsche Clutch replacement. More about SVP can be found here – http://www.specialistvehiclepreparations.com

Kuljus Consulting

With the help of our comprehensive knowledge and local experience we are your partner in Finland by supporting your company’s back office. We take care of your business’s activities starting with establishment of the company, accounting and other daily routines up to supporting your development by counselling on strategic matters. Our services cover financial and accounting topics, HRM and corporate law topics and other business support topics. We also provide advisory services to individuals regarding financial and career development areas. More about Kuljus Consulting can be found here – http://www.kuljus.eu

LT-STUDIO

LT-Studio Oy was established in 2013 as a family business specialising in furniture and vehicle paint and finishing. We offer our services to companies, associations and individuals from our workshop located in Sipoo. Our goal is simple: To make sure that our company is known for high quality and professional service, as well as an innovative approach for combining classic craftsmanship with the latest technologies available. More about LT-STUDIO can be found here – http://www.ltstudio.fi/

Tarett Engineering

Tarett Engineering designs and manufactures high-performance suspension components for both club and professional auto racing. We use aircraft-quality materials and hold the highest quality standards to provide our customers with products they can depend on to last and perform up to and beyond their expectations. Our goal is to provide our customers with high quality performance products at reasonable prices. You can be confident that all of our products are fully engineered and tested to meet this goal. More about Tarett Engineering can be found here – http://www.tarett.com

The future for Team CoolCava Racing

The Porsche Racing Club Finland SportsCup is club racing at its best, and the good people at PRCF do a great job in making it fun, exiting and above all safe for the drivers and teams. In general we all pack up and load our racing car back on the trailer in the same condition it came off at the start of the race event. This is where team CoolCava Racing belongs, and unless there are large changes in our future, this is where we will stay. There is a good mix of new and regular drivers which makes every race a unique challenge and a fun event.

As a team we will never exclude the ability to aim for something bigger, grander or more professional, but that is not in our current plans – the SportsCup is where we belong.

So, the question is, will we win this season like we did in 2013, who knows? We will give it a good shot! But having fun and living the racing dreams with a good group of friends is the main part – and that is what we love. We wish good luck to all drivers in the 2015 PRCF SportsCup, and look forward to sharing the starting grid with them – let us all have fun and park our car’s on the trailers at the end of the race as they were unloaded.

Good luck to you all in the 2015 season,  and stay safe our Porsche racing friends, from team CoolCava Racing!

Race Report: Race 5 & 6 at Kemora on Saturday 12th of July

Kemora

  • Race Sponsor: Highgate House
  • Race Event: Porsche SportsCup (PRCF) Race 5 and 6
  • Race Location: Kemora Circuit
  • Date of Event: Saturday 12th of July 2014
  • Weather Race 1: Sunny and +21°C
  • Weather Race 2: Sunny and +26°C
  • Results Race 1: 4th Overall & 2nd in Class
  • Results Race 2: 4th Overall & 2nd in Class

Fast driver vs Fast car!

On Saturday 12th of July I participated in race 5 and 6 in the Porsche SportsCup here in Finland with team CoolCava Racing.

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This was my first time to Kemora racing circuit, which is, as it turns out, quite a fun and fast circuit to drive.

It has two quite fast sections linked with a right hand bend, which I am told can be taken at quite high speed. Then there are some interesting turns that separate the fast drivers from the fast cars, and can make for some nice racing, as I quickly discovered.

My participation in the race event at Kemora was funded by my sponsor Highgate House, for which I am extremely grateful. Highgate House has been one of my longest running sponsors, who have been with me from the start.

Highgate House have several years experience in producing the highest quality automotive decals for both worldwide and the UK domestic markets, and have supplied all the vinyl and livery for my racing car to date.

Their products are produced entirely in house from artwork through manufacture, and ultimately to worldwide dispatch. Highgate House use only the highest quality materials, and products are checked frequently throughout the entire production process.

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Kemora racing circuit is located approximately 450km north from Helsinki, which is a good 5 hour drive. The team set off from Helsinki on Friday morning giving enough time to get to the circuit and set-up camp before having a relaxing evening and a quick test run of the car.

Saturday morning started hot (by 8:30 we already had +20) and the temperature just increased through the day. Nice to finally get some summer weather here in Finland, so I can not complain, but it did get HOT inside the black Porsche Boxster RSR racing car!

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After going through a last quick check on the car, I hit the racing circuit for some practice runs. Pushing it a bit more for each lap as I got more confidant in the circuit and car set-up. In hindsight we should have made some changes to the suspension and rear wing for this circuit, but we will document that for the next time we compete at Kemora.

My best lap time during the morning practice was 1:25.656 which was way to slow compared to other drivers in my class. Based on the published times from the first practice session I had to reduce my lap times by 4 seconds to have any chance. So armed with the Racelogic data acquisition system installed in the Boxster and a laptop, we started to analyse my driving and the car.

After another two sessions out on the circuit and a good amount of data analysis we lined up for the qualification run… All that data crunching and analysis paid off, as I recorded a fastest lap during qualification of 1:21.177 putting me 4th on the starting grid for race start 5 in the Porsche SportsCup – not a bad result!

Both race 5 and 6 had some good action, and I will publish the in-car video from both on YouTube within the next couple of weeks. I took overall 4th and 2nd in class for both race 5 and 6. 1st in class would have been nice, but I am happy with the results and look forward to the next race event which will be the big Porsche Club Festival at Alastaro on 23rd and 24th of August.

I would like to thank all my sponsors for the 2014 season support so far, and Highgate House again for covering the fee for race start 5 and 6.


CoolCavaRacing Motorsports Engineering LT-STUDIO Highgate House
Tarett SVP KULJUS

Race Report: Race 3 & 4 at Ahvenisto on Saturday 7th of June

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  • Race Sponsor: LT-Studio
  • Race Event: Porsche SportsCup (PRCF) Race 3 and 4
  • Race Location: Ahvenisto Circuit
  • Date of Event: Saturday 07th of June 2014
  • Weather Race 1: Heavy Rain and +16°C
  • Weather Race 2: Light Rain and +19°C
  • Results Race 1: 10th Overall & 2nd in Class
  • Results Race 2: 10th Overall & 2nd in Class

Rain, the great equalizer!

Last weekend I attended race start 2 and 3 in the Porsche SportsCup with team CoolCava Racing at Ahvenisto racing circuit here in Finland, one of the best racing circuits in Finland with tight technical corners and a great elevation change.

LT-STUDIOThis race weekend was funded by my sponsor LT-Studio, a family run business which was established in 2013 specializing in furniture and vehicle paint and finishing. Their great work can be seen on the Porsche Boxster RSR that I race with. Their goal is to make sure that LT-Studio is known for high quality and professional service, as well as an innovative approach for combining classic craftsmanship with the latest technologies available.

 

Saturday morning started with outstanding weather. The sun was shining and there was clear sky. The temperature fast went up and all was looking good for a great race event.

We spent the early morning getting the car ready and undertaking final checks before hitting the track for warm-up and qualification.

O6V1714We did two warm up runs to get the car and tires up to operating temperature before qualification. Second warm up run I made some good lap times and managed a respectable best lap during qualification of 1:32.909, which gave me a nice grid position just behind the factory GT3 Cup cars for race start 1.

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But then it all changed fast!!!

DSC_9922Heavy rain changes everything, and it did this time as well. We changed to wet race wheels and made the relevant adjustments to the suspension, but the circuit was very slippery. We had several drivers crash during the race event.

DSC_0047I completed both race start 3 and 4 with no incidence apart from a spin in race 3, and 2nd in class for both race starts is not to bad…

Current results has me overall 11th in the season with a total of 12 points. Next race will be on 12th of July at Kemora race circuit.

Video from the event and additional pictures will be made available soon, so please check back for updates.

I would like to thank all my sponsors for the 2014 season, and LT-Studio again for covering the fee for race start 3 and 4.


CoolCavaRacing Motorsports Engineering LT-STUDIO Highgate House
Tarett SVP KULJUS

All pictures are the property of the photographer who took them – Tero Niemisto and Matti Tilves.

Race Report: Race 1 & 2 at Botniaring on Sunday 18th of May

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  • Race Event: Porsche SportsCup (PRCF) Race 1 and 2
  • Race Location: Botniaring Circuit
  • Date of Event: Sunday 18th of May 2014
  • Weather: Sunny and +20°C
  • Results Race 1: DNS
  • Results Race 2: DNS

An interesting start to the 2014 season!

Botniaring is a long way from Helsinki when things do not go to plan! The Porsche Boxster RSR did pull a lot of good attention thanks to the new look and great work done by the boys at LT-Studio, and I got a great chance to promote my sponsors to the people who came to have a closer look at the car during the day.

Unfortunately I did not get the chance to compete in the 2014 season start. I was forced to retire after only two laps into the warm-up session due to technical problems in the transmission that could not be fixed on location.

The car is now back with CCR Motorsports Engineering to get the issues corrected and I hope to be race ready by the time we are scheduled to be at Ahvenisto for race start 3 and 4 on the 7th of June.


CoolCavaRacing Motorsports Engineering LT-STUDIO Highgate House
Tarett SVP KULJUS

New sponsor agreement with Kuljus Consulting and other good news

KULJUSThe 2014 Porsche SportsCup season is fast approaching with the first race on Sunday 18th of May at Botniaring. But before we take a closer look at the season and the racing car, I would like to make an announcement.

I am delighted to be able to announce that Kuljus Consulting who are the accountants for CCR Motorsports Engineering will be giving me their support for the 2014 season.

With the help of their comprehensive knowledge and local experience Kuljus Consulting are your partner in Finland by supporting your company’s back office. They take care of your business’s activities starting with establishment of the company, accounting and other daily routines up to supporting your development by counselling on strategic matters. Their services cover financial and accounting topics, HRM and corporate law topics and other business support topics. Kuljus Consulting also provide advisory services to individuals regarding financial and career development areas – See more at: kuljus.eu

As for the 2014 Porsche SportsCup season, both LT-Studio and CCR Motorsports Engineering have been working hard to get the Porsche Boxster RSR racing car ready for the first race of the season, and I am glad to be able to say they have done an outstanding job. The car is now race ready – see you all at Botniaring!

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Highgate House to give continued support for 2014 in Porsche SportsCup

HighgateHouse_logo_v3Every racing car, driver and team should be easily identified out on the racing circuit and always carry a distinguishing brand which helps the spectators and fans to spot where their favorites are at all times in a race.

Sure, the colour and shape of a car can help, but it is the livery that makes sure that one car stands out from the crowd and can be easily recognized in a race.

From my first season racing Highgate House in the UK have been responsible for my livery design and supplying all the vinyl to make the car stand out, as well as all the great stickers we have available for sale and to give away at every race. And I am happy to announce that Highgate House have decided to continue supporting me for the 2014 season in the Porsche Sports Cup and are currently working with both CoolCava Racing and LT-Studio to design the new livery for my Porsche Boxster racing car.

Highgate House have several years experience in producing the highest quality automotive decals for both worldwide and the UK domestic markets.

Their products are produced entirely in house from artwork through manufacture, and ultimately to worldwide despatch. Highgate House use only the highest quality materials, and products are checked frequently throughout the entire production process.

 

My day at LT-Studio and their support for the 2014 season

LT-STUDIOTake a drive to Sipoo, not far from Helsinki here in Finland, and down some nice winding roads (perfect for summer driving in a Porsche 911). Eventually you will come to a small industrial estate close to a railway line. Among a number of interesting companies you will find the unit where Liquid Tension Studios are based (Vaahteramäentie 2 B).

From the outside this is an industrial unit just like all the others it is surrounded by, but step through the door and you are in no doubt that this company knows paint and custom body work.

As you step into the large industrial unit the first thing you see is the paint booth in the far left corner of the building. It has been professionally built in, and looks like the building was built round it rather than the booth having just been installed there. On the right as you walk in is the office, and between the spray booth and the office is the body shop – and where my CoolCava Racing Porsche Boxster S was sitting, having come close to completing the RSR conversion that LT-Sudio and CCR Motorsports Engineering have been working on. Heikki the owner of LT-Studio had invited me to come and spend a day there and follow (and maybe assist a bit) the Boxster RSR project. And I must say I was blown away by how good the car looks already!

WP_000433Whilst all work done at LT-Studio is overseen by Heikki, this project has been managed and done by Tuukka, LT-Studio’s composites expert.

When I arrived to LT-Studio in the morning I was greeted by Tuukka in his usual warm but calm and relaxed way, which was quickly transformed into an exited desire to show me the progress on the Boxster and the attention to detail – every panel gap is spot on and I would even go as far as to say better than factory! And considering the RSR fenders on this car are not factory, but fender extensions that Tuukka has painstakingly grafted on – the work is fantastic…  Sure, there is still work to be done, and the paint will need some fine tuning, but the work done so far is outstanding.

After spending some time looking at the car and the detailed attention Tuukka has put in making every panel fit perfectly, I was treated to a cup of coffee and a look round the facilities at LT-Studio.

At the side of the spray booth they have the paint mixing room. I have never been to a professional body shop like this before, the closest I have been to painting a car is with spray paint cans you purchase from your local DIY car shop. But this is another world. At LT-Studio they have rack after rack with paint in special containers, and special computer equipment to mix the paint for any registered car manufacturer’s colour code.

But with all this great computer stuff and all the other advanced technology they have there, the “toy” that I was most fascinated by was their special torch to mimic sun light. They use this to be able to see the actual colour on a car or a test card when matching paint for a job.

Heikki and his team at LT-Studio are no strangers to German cars. Both Tuukka and Heikki have a long history with BMW and sitting in the corner of the LT-Studio workshop is a Porsche 993 project which has been keeping my Boxster company from the day she got there.

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After the coffee was drunk and the pleasant chat was over with, Tuukka put me to work on the Boxster whilst he was prepping the parts that had already been removed from the car ready for paint – the complete car is going to be painted black, just like the front and completed with a custom LT-Studio livery for the 2014 season.

My task for the day – get the side radiators installed with the new supplied Porsche 996 RSR radiator mounts and ducting. This I figured would be a simple task, but as it turned out required a lot of assistance from Tuukka to get completed. But by 14:30 in the afternoon we were done!

As I drove home I reflected on the day and the work that Tuukka had done so far on the car. I have done some composite work in the past and I am sure I will do some more in the future, but Tuukka and the LT-Studio team are artists and have a special connection with this work – you can see their passion in the details. This is what separates an outstanding shop like this one from an every day body shop.

I am honored to have LT-Studio as a sponsor for the 2014 Porsche SportsCup season, and with luck this will be the first of many seasons…

If you are looking for a professional shop in Finland who put their passion into every job, then I am sure that LT-Studio would love to hear from you.

LT-Studio
Vaahteramäentie 2 B, 04150 Sipoo
Tel. +358 40 774 0119
info@ltstudio.fi

SVP decide to continue support for 2014 Porsche SportsCup season

SVP2

 

They have been with me from the start, and initially built the Porsche Boxster S that I have been racing in the Porsche SportsCup here in Finland. And I am delighted that the team at Specialist Vehicle Preparations in the UK have agreed to continue supporting me for the 2014 season.

Whilst the Boxster I am racing in the 2014 season is not in the same configuration it was when supplied by SVP, they have been closely involved in every conversion done since CCR Motorsports Engineering took delivery of the car, and have made several trips over to Finland to assist in continued development and testing. If all goes to plan, then SVP are scheduled to be in Finland again for initial tests before the start of the 2014 season.

Established since 2009, SVP’s friendly team of five full-time mechanics, parts manager and full-time master fabricator are at your service for Porsche maintenance and competition preparation of ALL marques. See their website for details of their experience, including their Cayman SV which has been featured in several Porsche publications.

SVP3

 

I would like to say a big thank you for the continued support to the team at SVP for the 2014 season…

Continued support from Tarett for the 2014 Porsche SportsCup season

Tarett

 

Last year I was honored to get support from the good people at Tarett Engineering over in the US. They supplied new suspension components which greatly improved the Porsche Boxster I run in the Porsche SportsCup here in Finland with Team CoolCava Racing.

I am now pleased to be able to announce that they have agreed to continue this support for the 2014 season and will be working closely with CCR Motorsports Engineering to further improve on the Boxster, which at the moment is with LT-Studio in Sipoo for some work which should be completed by early March.

Tarett Engineering designs and manufactures high-performance suspension components for both club and professional auto racing. They use aircraft-quality materials and hold the highest quality standards to provide their customers with products they can depend on to last and perform up to and beyond their expectations. Tarett’s goal is to provide their customers with high quality performance products at reasonable prices. You can be confident that all of the Tarett products are fully engineered and tested to meet this goal.

Tarett use the latest 3D CAD solid modeling and finite element analysis (FEA) software to insure that all their designs are reliable and optimized for strength, weight, and functionality for the applications that they are designed for.

And last year Tarett also approved CCR Motorsports Engineering here in Finland as an official supplier and installation center for all their products.

I would like to say a big thank you for the continued support to the team at Tarett Engineering for the 2014 season…

Porsche Sports Cup 2014 Season Starts in…

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Schedule for the 2014 Porsche Sports Cup season have been published and the count down to the first race is on…

May 2014

16 – 18/05/2014 – Sports Cup # 1 @ Botniaring


June 2014

07/06/2014 – Sports Cup # 2 @ Ahvenisto


July 2014

12/07/2014 – Sports Cup # 3 @ Kemora


August 2014

22 – 23/08/2014 – Sports Cup # 4 @ Alastaro (Porsche Festival)


September 2014

05 – 07/09/2014 – Sports Cup # 5 @ Mantorp (Sweden)


More details available on the Race Schedule page

See you all for the first race of the 2014 season at Botniaring!