Major sponsor

Search our website

Nationals TV

iTV Live

News

Apr 18, 2013

MILESTONE MOMENT FOR GT3 CUP CHALLENGE OPENER

Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli will this weekend welcome the first ever paraplegic racer to enter Porsche one-make competition worldwide at its opening 2013 round at Mallala Motor Sport Park.

Coinciding with the start of the series’ sixth season, Matt Speakman will make his first appearance in national level motorsport competition at the South Australian circuit, using a meticulously developed hand control system in his Porsche 911 race car, developed by McElrea Racing.

The 46-year-old, who was left paraplegic after being hit off his motorcycle by a drunk driver 20 years ago, will now fulfil his long-term goal of joining the one-make series.

“It has been a long road to get to this point; especially with all the problems I had getting my racing licence. Now that I am ready to race, I just want to get out there and make the most of this opportunity,” said Speakman.

Speakman has been working closely with his Queensland based team to perfect the unique hand control system in a quest for peak performance from his pure-bred Porsche race car.

“We’ve been able to tweak the hand controls to a point now where everything is working great and I am comfortable in the car. We have a new hydraulic clutch which has given me a lot more feel getting around the pits and off the start line.

“I’m hoping we’ll be competitive, but you never know these things until you get out on the track.”

Thirteen entries will line up for the Mallala season opener, with the depth of talent set to provide exciting racing at the 2.6 km circuit - the home to the first ever GT3 Cup Challenge round in May, 2008.

Four South Australian drivers will line up for their local event, with John Karytinos, John Goodacre, Keith Wong and Michael Almond all set to be near the front of the action; the latter three drivers all boasting a single race win in the category.

Four non-local racers will also return to the category for the Mallala round, with Carrera Cup regular Stephen Grove racing alongside Phil Woodbury, Fraser Ross and John Morriss who, with 18 round starts, has the most experience in the category of all the competing drivers.

There are five new additions to the category at Mallala, with debutants Speakman, Scott Taylor, Richard Muscat and Grant Sparks joining the series.

A familiar name also making his first GT3 Cup Challenge appearance is former Porsche Carrera Cup Australia competitor turned Driving Standards Advisor Peter Fitzgerald, who is returning to Porsche one-make racing following his Carrera Cup retirement in 2006.

The first round of the 2013 season will feature a 40-lap twilight race, which will be included as part of the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy. The Porsche series will then hold two 14-lap races on Sunday, which will be streamed live on the internet via the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals website at www.thenationals.com.au.

The opening round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli season will be held as part of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals and marks the series' first round with its new Presenting Partner, Pirelli.