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Porsche Years Aheadů and left out in the coldů again

The winter of discontent has come early to Weissach and fans of what was once
the greatest purveyor of available prototype racecars to the public in motorsport
history. In a recent interview with a German rag, Porsche boss Wendelin
Wiedeking stated that there would be no werks racing until 2006. It is anybody's
guess how Lean-Leaner-Wendelin came up with that date. Maybe it will take at
least three years to find a suitable replacement for the genius of one Herr Norbert
Singer, who has considered retirement at the end of this year. (Norby, say it ain't
so!) Weideking has never hid the fact that he is not much of a race fan and the
past is just that, the past. As successful as he may have made the balance sheet
look, the soul has been sacrificed. The new entry level Omar Cayenne with its
outside supplied V6 is the result of a lesson not learned.

The seemingly endless amount of GT-3's in club racing and in the bowels of the
pro ranks may be suitable for those who have the money for a basic turn key entry
level car but it is not a blueprint for the future. With all the coming changes
regarding the personal of Porsche Motorsport, one has to wonder who is ready for
what may be ahead. Jurgen Barth has a few years left; in the USA we have the
departure at the end of the season of Alwin Springer, which won't help matters at
all. The politically astute Springer kept Porsche racing alive in the U.S. when those
in Stuttgart questioned the worth. Barth is bit more complicated. There was no
motorsport program at all in the early 90's, so Barth created a market for one. The
BPR Series gave birth to the 3.8 RSR, which gave us the GT-2, and then the FIA
got in to the picture. Check your Le Mans yearbooks and FIA annuals for the
results.

The new Porsche Carrera GT is supposed to be the wundercar with all kinds of
technology and a better car than the Ferrari Enzo. I have no doubt about that and
Porsche can build the best of the best. But in the image conscious world we live
in, Porsche is losing the battle. Currently, private teams are modifying production
based Ferrari 360's and 550's. You can buy a 360 GT, which competes with the
GT-3RS. Porsche does provide some support to customers that compete with the
GT-3 and the record is far better than the Ferrari 360. Move up the ladder however
and it is a different story in the more competitive classes. The Prodrive Ferrari has
been on par with and beating the factory Corvette team with perhaps the best GT
racing in the U.S. The average fan can point to Ferrari competing in sports car and
the big dog, Formula One. The message here is that you can get airtime and print
space in a Ferrari, not so the case of a Porsche GT-3.

Even Lamborghini no longer wants to be known as a poser and builder of cars for
porn stars and trash talking jocks. The Bull is getting serious and the word out of
Frankfurt is that this will be for real.

So how about it Porsche? Time to choose between being essential or eventually
inconsequential.


Kerry Morse

Left in the Cold !
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