The 944 Cup is a grassroots motorsports road racing racing series dedicated to the front engine water cooled Porsche 944. The race series was created as a standalone series and continues to be operated as such within numerous sanctioning bodies. The series was founded by the current National Director, Dave Derecola, and his son Chris Derecola, who continue to own and operate the series. The series currently races primarily within the Porsche Club of America under the direction of the National Director.
Racing under the 944 Cup rule set is possible in four different chapters and a National runoff event each year. The following are the only currently recognized official chapters of the 944 Cup National Series:
In addition to providing for Regional Championships, the series held its inaugural National Championship in September 2006 and a subsequent one in every year following it. The yearly events invites all 944 Cup racers to compete on the same track over the course of 2–3 days to crown a National Champion.
Pirelli World Challenge offers a full race season of free entries to the winner of the 944 Cup Nationals for each of the two 944 Cup classes. Pirelli World Challenge also offers a half season of free entries for second place, and one free entry for third place. All totaled the package is valued up to $90,000 in prizes for the National Championship. More importantly, this offer provides drivers the chance to progress to the next level of competition with a head start on the financial resources needed in the pro ranks.
The series includes 2 classes: Cup and Super Cup for the front-engine water cooled Porsches including the various models of the 924S, 944, 944S, 944S2, 951, 951T, and the 968. The Cup Class is designed for normally aspirated eight (8) valve front engine Porsches, with the exception of the turbo powered 2.0L model (931). The Super Cup Class is designed primarily for higher horsepower cars such as the sixteen (16) valve normally aspirated and turbo equipped front engine Porsches.
For each Class, allowed modifications for each category of car and corresponding minimum weights are described in detail in the rules with a link provided below. The 944 Cup rules also include by rule all PCA SP1, SP2, SP3, B, C, E and F class front engine Porsches, SCCA ITS 944's, and all NASA 944 Specs cars are also eligible, along with many NASA GTS1 and GTS2 cars.
Most front engine Porsches racing in PCA, SCCA and NASA are eligible. No 944 Cup membership or annual dues are required to race in the series. A current race competition license is required from PCA, SCCA or NASA.
The 944 Cup started with one class for normally aspirated/8 valve 944's in 2002 at a race at Summit Point on June 22 with 16 racers entered. The race was held with NASA but as an independent owned and operated race series. The series had 6 rounds of racing that year. Designed as a place to race for nearly all front engine Porsches, the series added a second class in 2004, Super Cup, for the more powerful 944's.
Now racing in its 13th season, the series has hosted more than 365 individual races and is approaching the 2,000th racer entries. Along the way, it has visited some of the most storied tracks in motorsports history; a list that includes Virginia International Raceway, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Watkins Glen International Raceway and Daytona International Raceway. To create a safe and well organized racing environment, the 944 Cup has partnered with many clubs and sanctioning bodies, including World Challenge, PCA, SCCA Club Racing, SCCA Pro Racing, Brian Redman’s Intercontinental Events, Rennsport Reunion, Calabogie Motor Club, Autobahn Motor Club, NASCAR of Canada, NASA and EMRA.
The 944 Cup now races most of its events with the Porsche Club of America. The first contact from PCA with the series regarding the prospect of adding 944 Cup classes for the club was in late 2005. As a result, PCA added two Cup classes in 2006: the SP2 representing the 944 Cup class and SP3 representing the 944 Super Cup class. The series Cup officially split from its original partner club, NASA, in 2008, when NASA decided to move their Nationals to Utah.
Several other series have developed directly out of the Cup series by former Cup directors, including NASA's 944 Spec, NASA's GTS, and the 944 Canada Challenge.