Porsche China, organisers of the region’s premier sportscar championship the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, today announced nine-time FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb will make his debut with the series at the end-of-season invitational at the Macau Grand Prix.
The Frenchman, who is the most successful driver ever in World Rally Championship history, will take to the fabled Macau Guia street circuit in November amongst an international field of some of the best sportscar drivers from across the region and beyond, all racing the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Commented Mr. Oliver Schwab, Motorsport Manager of Porsche China: “We are delighted to confirm Sébastien Loeb will make his Porsche Carrera Cup Asia debut with us at the Macau Grand Prix this year, and his participation is testament to the high regard in which the series is held not only in the region, but across the world. We are certain that all our exceptional drivers are excited by the prospect of racing wheel-to-wheel with this legendary star on one of the most challenging race tracks in the world.”
The announcement of Loeb’s participation adds to the fevered anticipation building ahead of the Macau race, which sees the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia return to the Guia Circuit as part of the celebration of the 60th running of the Grand Prix. In the year when Porsche is marking 50 years of the iconic 911, the Asian edition of its hugely successful Carrera Cup is set to close the season in spectacular fashion.
For the first time in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia’s ten-season history, drivers from its sister series in Japan will join the field. Four Porsche Carrera Cup Japan drivers will line up on the Guia Circuit grid as part of a historic and unique field of exciting sportscar stars. Ryo Ogawa of Bright Motorsport, Garmin Porsche driver Hideto Yasuoka, Hiroaki Nagai of Ninne Racing, and Tsubasa Kondo of Improve Racing are amongst the stellar cast who will tackle Macau’s tight turns and lightning straits.
Loeb may be new to Macau’s unforgiving 6.2km Guia street track, but he does have experience of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup both as a driver and a team boss in the Porsche Carrera Cup France, and on a city circuit. In 2012, he won the two Porsche Carrera Cup France rounds held around the streets of Pau.
Earlier this year, Loeb made his debut at the pinnacle of Porsche one-make racing – the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, contesting both the Spanish and Monaco rounds.
With nine FIA World Rally Championship titles to his name, all won consecutively between 2004 and 2012, Loeb is also a three-time winner at the Race of Champions and finished second in the 2006 Le Mans 24 Hours. He switched to circuit racing for his full-time campaign this year, and is contesting the FIA GT Series.
Originally a gymnast, Loeb switched to rallying in 1995, and won the Junior Rally Championship in 2001. In 2007 and 2009, he was named French Sportsman of the Year, and in 2009 was honoured by his country with the Legion of Honour.
Having conquered the world of international rallying, Loeb has turned his remarkable talent to circuit racing. When he arrives in Asia, he will be met by a Porsche Carrera Cup Asia brimming with both experience professionals and young talent, several of whom have previous experience at Macau. All eyes will be on the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia this November to see whether the world’s most successful rally driver can beat his formidable rivals and conquer the Guia Circuit to take a coveted Macau victory.