The new Porsche Carrera Cup Italia format provoked the significant agiotage. The possibility to share a car between two drivers, three races in a weekend including the 45-minute endurance format, a mandatory pit stop with the handicap for prize-winning places in the previous round – all these factors promised the most exciting and unpredictable championship.


The season started in Monza, where Côme Ledogar won the silver medal in the absolute classification, and Mikael Grenier brought the bronze to the team while the long race took place on the wet track. It was the first time the teams faced the nuances of the new rules due to which five drivers at a time were penalized for untimely entering the mandatory pit stop. Tsunami RT Centro Porsche Padova team performed its pit stop perfectly, however, we were put on edge: we almost got an additional penalization for leaving the pit lane 0.01 seconds earlier than prescribed, but, fortunately, it was just a mistake.



The Imola round brought us the highest place on the podium! Côme Ledogar won the first sprint from the pole position, and the prize-winning duet Gaidai-Ledogar finished on the first place in the endurance race (rainy again, by the way).



During the Misano round of June Côme Ledogar won the silver having started from the sixth position, and Oleksandr Gaidai performed his sprint without mistakes and won the forth place in the PCCI classification having finished the sixth.



The stunning Mugello presented us (But was it really "presented"? No, we earned it!) two victories of Ledogar in sprints and (after the very tense events) the third Côme's victory plus the bronze of Mikael Grenier.



So, that is what we have till the middle of the season:
- Côme Ledogar is leading in PCCI series;
- the 7th position of Mikael Grenier;
- the 8th position of Oleksandr Gaidai (taking into account the Mugello round he missed)
- the 16th position of Matteo Torta (he also skipped the Toscana round)
- the second position in the team classification.

After that there was a pause for reevaluation, rethinking of rules and other reflections on the universe organization in general and the Italian Porsche Cup in particular. It is just what our driver Oleksandr Gaidai and the team director Irina Kolomeitseva are doing now.

Oleksandr Gaidai: "The series became more interesting with the new rules: each time we have an intrigue. There is a great number of additional nuances absent before on each racing weekend. That is why you never know what can happen – there is a competition for many points, and any serious mistake in one of the races can result in non-participating in the endurance race and a "roll back" in the tournament table. That's what happened to me after I had missed the Mugello round.





As for me, the question about the handicaps during pit stops that make the prize winners to spend more time is rather debatable, but maybe there is a reason for it because we can see the same rule in other series.

Maybe, the most significant disadvantage of this format is that there is too much free time, especially if there are two drivers in one car, like Côme and me. The weekend is too extended anyway, even for the single drivers."





Irina Kolomeitseva: "The Italian Championship certainly became more interesting and eventful, but the three-day format (unlike, for example, PCCF that takes two days) is, of course, a difficult one both from the logistic point of view and as for the time spent. Sunday is always very inconvenient. Our endurance race usually starts at about 4 p.m. It means that the whole day is spent for nothing.

If the race were at least at 12 p.m., it would be perfect because we could fly home in the evening. In this case, even if you have an airport in proximity, you arrive home at 1 a.m., get up for work in the morning, and you are giddy for the whole day. But an airport with direct flights is often 300-400 kn away, and you have to fly on Monday. In all, you lose your working time – the half of Thursday and the half of Monday. It is the difficulty of the Italian format.




I would also like to talk about difficult pit stops and other rule nuances. Every time we try to do our best. Of course, we have mistakes. Do I expect them? Yes, because the team consists of the people made of flesh and blood, each of them can make a mistake. Some mistakes are inexcusable from the team's point of view, but, from the other hand, every our mistake is an opportunity to become better. I consider it this way. Of course, I am not happily clapping hands when mistakes happen, and the people bear their responsibility for the consequences, but it is unusual for me to self-chastise for a long time. I am a Buddhist in every situation: there are no bad or good events, it is a matter of your attitude. That is why I think that everything that happens to us is our experience, it gives us a possibility to get better.



From the team director's point of view, the most significant disadvantage of the Italian format is that you have to have an extensive budget to compete on your own. It is natural that people try to pay for the half of the races and share the car with the mate. But in this case the points are calculated in total. So, when you have two clients sharing one car but who are absolutely different as for their driving level, the team begins to experience problems. The perfect situation from the team director's point of view is where I have the even-numbered quantity of equally skilled drivers. But the ideal situation is that does not happen in reality...

I think that PCCI organizers have to reconsider this issue. It causes certain difficulties with the scoring of points that will possibly prevent some drivers from participating in the Italian Championship the next year."




Probably, the Porsche Carrera Cup Italia series have new difficulties from the team director's point of view, but the series are amazing and exciting for the viewers. That is why we are waiting impatiently for the end of the midseason pause to return on racing circuits. Vallelunga, Imola, Mugello are waiting for us. This summer will be long!